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Bern's race into the past

Winning is far from everything at the vintage car race. Grand Prix Bern Revival

Fans of vintage racecars are gearing up for a nostalgic weekend at the "Grand Prix Bern Revival" in the Swiss capital. It will be only the second time the event has been held since the government banned motor racing 46 years ago.

This content was published on June 24, 2001 - 20:05

More than 150 entrants will test their vintage cars and motorcycles on the seven- kilometre circuit around the Bremgarten forest on June 23 and 24.

This year's event was made possible due to the large interest shown during the first revival of the race in 1998. Some 70,000 spectators showed up at that time to cheer on the old Mercedes, Ferraris and Bugattis.

The revival recalls an era when the Grand Prix Bern was a fixture on the racing circuit. It was staged on the same Bremgarten course between 1931 and 1939 and in the post war years until it was banned in 1955 following a tragic accident on the track at Le Mans.

Most victories in those years were chalked up by drivers for Mercedes and Ferrari, and Bernd Rosemeyer set the fastest lap record of 169.633km/h in 1936.

The Oldtimer Club of Bern will stage an exhibition of vintage vehicles to coincide with the race. At the Von Roll factory site, the club will present the development of transport from the "Brass and wood pioneers" in the early 20th century to the "Economic miracle and mass motorisation" of the post war years.

swissinfo

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