The Circuit Bremgarten was a 7.280 km (4.524 mi) motorsport race track in Bern, Switzerland which formerly hosted the Swiss Grand Prix from 1933 to 1954 (Formula One, 1947 to 1954) and the Swiss motorcycle Grand Prix in 1949 and from 1951 until 1954.

Bremgarten was built as a motorcycle racing track in 1931 in the Bremgartenwald (Bremgarten forest) in the north of Bern. The circuit itself had no true straight, instead being a collection of high-speed corners. It hosted its first automobile race in 1934, which claimed the life of driver Hugh Hamilton. In 1948 it claimed the life of Italian racer Achille Varzi. From the outset, Bremgarten's tree-lined roads, often poor light conditions and changes in road surface made for what was acknowledged to be a very dangerous circuit, especially in the wet.

Bremgarten has not hosted an official motorsport event since 1955, when spectator racing sports, with the exception of hillclimbing and rallying, were banned in Switzerland in reaction to the 1955 Le Mans disaster. Although there was a 1982 Swiss Grand Prix, it took place in Dijon, France. On June 6, 2007 an amendment to lift the ban was passed by the lower house of the Swiss parliament, 97 in favour and 77 opposed.[1] The legislation failed to pass the upper house, and was withdrawn in 2009 after being rejected twice.[2]

Motorcycle racing

The Grand Prix of Bern took place at Bremgarten from 1931 to 1937 and also in 1947 and 1948. In August 1931 the Bern (Swiss) Grand Prix took place and the Irish motorcyclist Stanley Woods won the 500cc event on a Norton. He won three more events here; 1932 350cc and 500cc races and 1933 500cc race also on a Norton. Jimmie Guthrie won the 350cc and 500cc races in 1937.

The Bremgarten Circuit was one of the original rounds of the Grand Prix motorcycle World Championship during the inaugural season of 1949 and from 1951 to 1954. Famous riders who raced here included: Hans Stärkle [de; nl], Freddie Frith and Geoff Duke.[3] Italian racer Omobono Tenni was killed at Bremgarten during practice for the 1948 event.

Lap records

The official race lap records at the Circuit Bremgarten are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Date
Grand Prix Circuit: 7.280 km (1931–1955)
GP 2:34.5 Bernd Rosemeyer Auto Union C 1936 Swiss Grand Prix
Formula One 2:39.7 Juan Manuel Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196 1954 Swiss Grand Prix
500cc 2:41.2 Rod Coleman AJS Porcupine 1953 Swiss motorcycle Grand Prix
Voiturette 2:46.5[4] Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo 158 1939 Bern Grand Prix
Formula Two 2:52.4[5] Raymond Sommer Ferrari 166 F2 1950 Bern Grand Prix
350cc 2:54.5 Geoff Duke Norton Kneeler 1952 Swiss motorcycle Grand Prix
Sports prototype 2:56.1[6] Hermann Lang Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 1952 Bern Grand Prix
250cc 3:00.9 Walter Villa Harley-Davidson RR250 1953 Swiss motorcycle Grand Prix
Sidecar 3:13.7 Eric Oliver Norton Manx 1953 Swiss motorcycle Grand Prix
125cc 3:42.5 Nello Pagani Mondial 125SS 1949 Swiss motorcycle Grand Prix

Notes

  1. ^ UpdateF1 >> Formula 1 News > Switzerland lifts motor racing ban Archived 2007-10-10 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Formula One motor racing ban to continue". SWI swissinfo.ch. Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. 10 June 2009. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Grand Prix Bern Revival - Historical Background". Archived from the original on 2005-11-23. Retrieved 2006-06-26. (visited 26 June 2006)
  4. ^ "1939 Bremgarten Voiturette". Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  5. ^ "1950 Bremgarten F2". Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  6. ^ "GP Bern 1952". Retrieved 15 June 2022.

External links