Name = AVUS
Location = flagicon|GER In western suburbs of
FIA Formula One
Length_km = 8.300
Length_mi = 5.157
Turns = 4
Record_time = 2:04.5
Record_driver = flagicon|GBR
Record_team = Ferrari
Record_year = 1959
The Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungs-Straße, better known as AVUS, was a motor racing circuit on the south-western outskirts of
Berlin, Germany, between Charlottenburgand Nikolassee.
Nowadays, it is an important part of the public highway system, as
While normal for a road, it is unusually shaped for a race track as it is essentially just two long straights in the form of a dual carriageway, with a hairpin corner at each end.
The circuit through the
Grunewaldforest was devised by the Automobilclub von Deutschland(AvD), in 1907, as both a motor-sport venue and a testing track for the motor industry. A lack of finances delayed the start of construction for six years, and construction was halted in 1913 for the same reason. During the Great War, Russian prisoners were employed in AVUS's construction, but the track was still unfinished by 1918. The remaining work was financed by business man Hugo Stinnes, and the circuit opened in September 1921.
At the time of opening, AVUS was 19½ km (12
miles) long - each straight being approximately half that length, and joined at each end by flat large radius curves, driven counter-clockwise. In 1926, the track played host to the first German Grand Prixfor sports cars (won by Rudolf Caracciolain a Mercedes-Benz).
Since 1927 the AVUS faced competition from the new
Nürburgringcircuit. In an effort to make AVUS the world's fastest race track, in 1937 the north curve was turned into a steeply banked turn (43°) made of bricks. [ [http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/gp372.htm#15 1937 GRAND PRIX SEASON - PART 2 ] ] It became dubbed the "Wall of Death," especially as it had no retaining barrier so cars that missed the turn easily flew off it. [ [http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/t2.htm Tracks-Germany ] ] The Silver Arrowsof Mercedes-Benz and Auto Unionraced only once on the banked version, in 1937, using streamlined cars as in their high speed record attempts. Hermann Lang's average race speed of about convert|260|km/h|mph|abbr=on was not beaten at Indianapolis Indy 500for 3 decades.
In early 1938, the popular German race driver
Bernd Rosemeyerwas killed in a land speed record attempt (not at the AVUS, but on a similar straight of the Autobahn Frankfurt/Darmstadt), and the high speed AVUS was then considered too dangerous for the fast Grand Prix race cars. Also, it was planned to connect the AVUS to the growing Reichsautobahnnetwork by extending it to the south, so the South Turn at Nikolasseewas demolished and replaced by a junction.
World War II, the Soviet quarter and the Berlin Wall with its Checkpoint Bravo at Dreilinden/Drewitz came no closer than about one mile to the former South Turn. It is a common yet incorrect belief that the Berlin Wallcut the AVUS in half. For post-war racing, the original extremely long straights were shortened by the introduction of a new south turn roughly in the middle (just before the exit at Hüttenweg, where it can still be seen), reducing the track length to 8.3 km (just over 5 miles).
In 1954, this shorter track hosted a non-championship
Formula Onerace which was mainly a show by the Mercedes-Benzteam, as no serious competition was present. In 1959, AVUS hosted its only world championship F1 with the 1959 German Grand Prix, won by Tony Brooks. This race weekend also saw the death of Jean Behrain a supporting sports car race, as his Porscheflew over the top of the north turn banking, as there was no wall or fence. German driver and journalist Richard von Frankenberghad previously walked away from a similar spectacular crash.
This banking, which was considered dangerous by international racing standards, was dismantled in 1967 to give way to an expanded intersection under the Funkturm tower. From the top of this tower, one can see that the AVUS is not perfectly straight.
Racing was continued with a flat north turn, but AVUS only held national touring cars DTM and
Formula 3events. The length of the track was roughly cut in half twice in the 1980s and 1990 as racing on straights became unpopular. Also, chicanes were added to reduce entry speed into the North Curve. Yet, some incidents and accidents occurred. The BMW of Dieter Questerrolled over when exiting the last corner, and crossed the finish line sliding on its roof, with sparks flying, for a podium finish. The car of John Winter hit a barrier and exploded into a fireball in North Curve which he survived.
In 1995, the race 2 of DTM had to be cancelled, after a multi-car pileup blocked the circuit; later that September, British driver
Kieth Odorwas killed in a Super Touring Car event when his car spun and was rammed sideways. [ [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=CC&s_site=contracostatimes&p_multi=CC&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=1063F97510EB4AE6&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM Search Results ] ]
After the fall of the Berlin wall, the closure of the AVUS for race events became more and more problematic. The last real races were in 1998.
History since 1999
In 1999, a farewell event with veterans was held. From 2000 on, the new
EuroSpeedway Lausitzin Brandenburgis considered the replacement for AVUS.Fact|date=November 2007
The round race control tower (with prominent
Mercedes-Benzand Bosch sponsorship) still remains at the north end, and is used as a public restaurant and Motel. The old wooden grandstand is protected as a historic monument.
List of Formula One circuits
* [http://www.forix.com/8w/avus.html FORIX about the AVUS track]
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Look at other dictionaries:
AVUS — Automobil Verkehrs und Übungs Straße heute nördlicher Abschnitt der A115 … Deutsch Wikipedia
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Avus  — Avus (lat.), 1) Großvater; 2) überhaupt der Vorfahre … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Avus  — Avus (a. Geogr.), so v.w. Avo … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
AVUS — fluv. Thesprotiae, ad quem Paravai populi habitant. Steph. Item fluv. Hispaniae Tarraconensis. Ptol. qui nunc in Portugall. et Rio d Aves. In Oceanum Occidental. se exonerat, inter ostia Celanid et Durii, prope Abobricam. Baudrand … Hofmann J. Lexicon universale
Avus — Avus, die; (Kurzwort für Automobil Verkehrs und Übungsstraße [frühere Autorennstrecke in Berlin, heute Teil der Stadtautobahn]) … Die deutsche Rechtschreibung
Avus — Blick vom Funkturm auf die AVUS Verlauf der Rennstrecke 1 – Südschleife 2 – Abfahrt zur Nordschleife 3 – Nordkurve 4 – Start und Ziellinie Die … Deutsch Wikipedia
AVUS — Automobil Verkehrs und Übungs Straße GmbH L AVUS est la première autobahn (autoroute) construite au monde. En 1909, la société AVUS (Automobil Verkehrs und Übungs Straße GmbH) commence les études d une route automobile rapide de dix kilomètres de … Wikipédia en Français
AVUS — La AVUS en 1922 … Wikipedia Español
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