Photos of the Day: Jackie Stewart vs. The Nurburgring

Today’s POTD focuses on Sir Jackie Stewart and his nemesis: The Nurburgring Nordschleife.

Flying at the Nurburgring in 1969

It was Sir Jackie himself who coined the famous term ‘The Green Hell’ towards the demanding and terrifying circuit, yet it was also Sir Jackie who studied it, mastered it and conquered it. And nowhere was this most impressively evident than in 1968 during the German Grand Prix held at the Nurburgring amidst simply appalling weather conditions…

Starting grid at the rain-soaked/fog-blinding 1968 German Grand Prix

The notorious heavy rain and thick fog of the region had descended upon the Eiffel mountains with a vengeance that day and, even then, teams and spectators were surprised that the race wasn’t cancelled.

Accidents were a-plenty and many cars retired within the first few laps of the race, but Sir Jackie drove on throughout the rain-battered, fog-engulfed mellee with exquisite, precisional concentration – almost ‘feeling’ his way around the course lap after lap, usually relying on his memory of the endless dips and cambers as the blanketed fog prohibited any real view of what lay ahead… Incredible.

Stewart 'feeling' his way around the terrifying circuit

As the chequered flag fell, Jackie crossed the finish line a full 4 minutes ahead of the next car and soon after offered-up his descriptive ‘Green Hell’ tag that has stuck with the challenging circuit to this very day.

Brave brave man...

A short vid from the ‘Murray Walker F1 Greats’ series…

-Blake J.


2 Responses to Photos of the Day: Jackie Stewart vs. The Nurburgring

  1. Having been to the Nurburgring a few times, it always amazes how brave they were. I know they came from a time when men were men but you only have to imagine the ring without barriers. Good for Jackie for raising the safety bar do modern drivers can enjoy themselves like they do.

    • I agree with you fully. As cool and daring/slightly scary and exciting it is to see the old footage and hedge-lined track, it goes without saying that those old drivers were in a league of their own in terms of ‘bravery’ and skill. Sadly, it was all coming at the cost of human lives on a monumental scale – the number of deaths and subsequent loss of amazing talents in the ’60s alone, was staggering. Cheers for the comment… 😉 B.

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