AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix to celebrate 1961 Formula One Revival

Initial details of the 2020 AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix event programme have been established. The 48th running of the renowned racing festival for historic vehicles will feature a revival round commemorating the 1961 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring: owners of the historic Formula One cars from one of the most legendary races the Eifel circuit has seen in its history are planning to get together at the original venue. They will complement a programme for which many other highlights have already been confirmed as well: sports cars from the 50s in the popular night race on Saturday, the revival of the DRM cars, touring car and GT rounds will be witnessed as well as the single-seaters from Formula Junior through to Formula One. Together with Fahrergemeinschaft Historischer Rennsport (FHR) the organisers are also planning to revive the AvD Historic Marathon on the Nordschleife on Friday of the event. The provisional event date on the second weekend in August (7 to 9 August 2020) has been established a well pending confirmation by the FIA, which is expected at the beginning of December. Information, news and impressions from previous AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix events can be obtained on the official homepage at www.avd-ogp.de.

With the 1961 Grand Prix Revival, the organisers of the biggest classics race in Continental Europe managed to score a real coup: the vehicles to be presented here can seldom be seen on a race track. Whilst it is a pity to confine these beautiful cars to museums they should not be exposed to rough racing due to their considerable value, so a demonstration round was created. The organisers of the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix and of the Revival announced this decision at a press conference on the occasion of presenting a book about the Ferrari 156 ‘Sharknose’ at Burg Heimerzheim on 23 November. “With the 1961 Grand Prix Revival we plan to organise a kind of high-speed parade,” said Jason Wright, the initiator of the event. “Even though it is not a race, it will evoke great memories. The spectators will have the opportunity to see and hear these wonderful machines when they are being used for the purpose they were built for – albeit without the risk of accidents.” Initial acceptances have already been received, promising to make for a meeting of rare and beautiful Formula One legends. To recreate the ambience of that era, the participants’ cars will be accommodated in a dedicated area of the historic paddock – in exactly the same surroundings where they were prepared for the race nearly 60 years ago.

An era of excellent drivers and exciting cars

There are several reasons why the 1961 Grand Prix was selected for the revival. The single-seaters visitors can look forward to seeing are from the days of famous driver personalities such as Phil Hill, who in a Ferrari 156 was the first driver at the time to break the nine-minute ‘sound barrier’ on the Nordschleife. Stirling Moss delivered one of his greatest races at the Nürburgring, and unforgotten Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips, one world championship race before his tragic death in an accident, was in the thick of a fight for the world championship title that was ultimately clinched by equally legendary Phil Hill. The introduction of the 1.5-litre Formula One cars (beginning in 1961) rang in an era of fantastic Grand Prix racing in which drivers of cars from Ferrari, Porsche, Lotus, Cooper and BRM were pitted against each other. The field in those days reads like a ‘Who is who’ of well-known personalities. Graham Hill, Jack Brabham and John Surtees battled against Bruce McLaren, Jo Bonnier, Hans Herrmann and Richie Ginther for world championship points. It was a decade of outstanding drivers that will now be revived.

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© Heinrich Esch / Archiv Siep