The Grenzlandring, Europe's fastest street circuit!
The Grenzlandring (Borderland circuit) in Germany, situated close to the Dutch border, was from 1948 to 1952 the fastest circuit in Europe. This 5,6 miles long oval street circuit was originally built for a military purpose...
At the beginning of World War Two, a transport route was needed to the western front. Because heavy military equipment should be transported a surface of concrete was chosen for the new road. After the war the road was used as the ring road around Wegberg.
At a night the major of Rheydt, a town close to Wegberg, was lost on this road. When he passed a cyclist for the thirth time he realised that he was driving in circles. He asked the racing driver Emil Vorster, who was living in Rheydt, to investigate this road on its possibilities for motor racing. And so it happened that on the 19th of September 1948 the first races have been held here.
The oval shaped circuit contained two long straights and two very long left hand corners and was driven anticlockwise. It was an extremely fast and dangerous track which was compared with the legendary Tripoli circuit. Crash barriers or run-off areas where not usual at that time, so there was absolutely no margin for mistakes!
During the motorcycle races on September 11 in 1949, George Meier drove with his BMW an average speed of 209 km/h (130 Mph). And in his fastest lap 216 km/h (134 mph). By the cars, Tony Ulmen reached at September the 9th in 1951 an average speed from 211,9 km/h (131,67 Mph).
Here was start/finish
On the 31st of August 1952 fatality strikes at the Grenzlandring, Helmut Niedermayr crashed into the Roermonder-kurve (Roermond Corner) and ended between the spectators. Thirteen of them where killed and 42, including Helmut Niedermayr, where badly injured. This marked the end of racing at the Grenzlandring. The minister of internal affairs banned racing on the fast and dangerous street circuit.
The Roermonder Kurve (Roermond Corner).
Today the old Grenzlandring is still used as the ring road around the city Wegberg. On three points they modified the lay out a little to connect new intersections. If you want you can still drive a lap at the former street circuit.
At this point the road has been modified. The right turn was added later to connect a new intersection.
© Text: Herman Liesemeijer Pictures: Herman Liesemeijer Map: Mattijs Diepraam 8w.forix