Tony Brooks describe una vuelta al circuito en el coche con el que ganó los 1.000 km en 1957, en el libro Kings of the Nürburgring de Chris Nixon.
Around the ring with Tony Brooks
With the aid of gear changes he had marked on a map for John Wyer in 1957 and DBR1 Designer Ted Cutting’s gear/speed chart, Tony Brooks describes a flying lap of the 14.2-mile circuit he had mastered so brilliantly with the Aston Martin that year:
For the race the Aston has been fitted with a 3.38:1 final drive in fifth gear which, with the 6.5 x 16 inch Avon rear tyres, gives a maximum speed of 152 mph at 6,000 rpm, and I hold that speed past the pits, heading into the South Turn. The brakes on the DBR1 are pretty good so I go very deep into the corner, changing down through the gears to second. Although it looks fairly quick on the map, the South Turn is actually quite a tight semi-circle, so I power through it, balancing the car on the point of breakaway with the accelerator, moving up into third and snatching fourth at about 105 mph on the straight behind the pits which leads to the North Turn, which I also take in second. This is a double left-hander which I power through, taking third at 75 mph for a quite tricky series of corners known as Hatzenbach. The Aston drifts beautifully through here, and we rush downhill and over the bridge at Quiddelbacher-Hohe, which is the first of the Ring’s big-dipper effects where I really feel the force of gravity pushing me down in the seat as we go over the bridge.
Then it's into fourth gear at around 105 mph, still being pushed into the seat, soaring upwards and taking off just before a very tricky right-hander, drifting through that over Flugplatz, taking fifth with the road still rising slightly. At the top of the rise the Aston is doing 5,000 in fifth (124 mph) as we plunge downhill, reaching 136 mph before I drop down into fourth for a tricky left-hander and then into third for the tight right-hander which is Aremberg. We power through here and as the Aston drifts through the corner I feel it moving sideways and feed in the slightest opposite lock, straightening the steering at the same time as I ease off the accelerator to correct the slide. If I keep the power on I just spin the rear wheels and lose time, so I'm always trying to keep the rear wheels on the point of spinning, because that's the quickest way round.
We then rush down to Fuchsrohre and the second big-dipper effect. This is very sharp indeed and puts a tremendous gravitational force on me as we hit the bottom, by which time the Aston is doing around 135 mph, before I change down to third and then second for the left-hander at Adenauer-Forst. That can catch you out, because the gravitational effect of the Fuchsrohre can leave you highly stimulated, if not quite stunned, so it is very easy to take the left-hander a little too fast. If I don't brake heavily here I am going to be on the wrong line for the sharp right which follows within 30 or 40 yards.
Then it's maximum acceleration as the road curves gently to the left before tightening into a tricky second-gear corner, then turning sharp right at Kallenhard. Still in second gear I apply the power just enough to keep drifting, but not spinning the wheels and losing time. Then it's up into third for a longish right-hander before dropping to second again and drifting round Wehrseifen, which leads to a very tricky section going down to Adenau Bridge. Again, there is a tremendous gravitational effect as we rush down to it in third and then, having been forced into my seat over the bridge at around 85 mph, there is a very tricky climbing right-hander, Ex-Muhle. It is very important to get through this corner quickly because it leads on to quite a good straight where I take fourth at about 105 mph before dropping down to third again and then second for the right-hander at Bergwerk.
This, too, is very important, because it leads onto the long climb to the Karussell and your speed out of the corner is even more important as you are then going uphill. The climb is a series of curves through Kesselchen, which I take accelerating through third and into fourth and I have to feather the throttle lightly, but it is a corner where I can save a lot of time by getting it just right.
So it is down to third and then second for the right-hander, accelerating hard up to the Karussell, snatching third very briefly and then back into second for the banking itself. I accelerate out of it and into third for the steep climb up to Hohe Acht, drifting round that right-hander and on through Wippermann before changing down to second for Brunnchen. I am drifting through most of these corners, balancing the car between the steering and the accelerator all the time and this is where I get a tremendous sensual feeling of poetry in motion, as the car moves from one drift into another.
We continue rushing downhill through a series of corners of rather similar radius which makes it difficult to differentiate clearly one from the other. In many ways this section is the most difficult (after the rush down to Adenau) in that there is no visibilty, the corners are blind and yet not so dissimilar that they are clearly marked in my mind as how best to take them. It is a tricky section of road where I am drifting to the right one minute and to the left the next, a marvellous sequence of drifts through corners of varying radius to the right-hander after Pflanzgarten. This I take in third gear before changing up to fourth at 105 mph and accelerating towards Schwalbenschwanz, the Little Karussell.
I drop down to third for the right-hander over a bridge and then turn left into the corner that leads to the Little Karussell.
This is quite difficult because although it has a small concrete banking it is only wide enough to take the inside wheels, so I have to assess just how much additional grip this small amount of banking gives me. It is hard to satisfy myself that I have gone through that corner at the best possible speed - it would be much easier with a flat piece of road.
We then go through a very wooded section to a double right-hander which is crucial in that it governs both the speed at which I enter the three kilometre straight and just how soon I achieve maximum speed on it. This corner is completely blind and I must take the two apices in one broad drift, clipping the first apex and allowing the car to drift wide, but not so wide that I will miss the second apex, then allowing the curve of my drift to take me out to the full width of the straight.
Once on the straight I change into fourth at 105 mph before the bridge at Dottinger-Hohe and into fifth at 136 mph just before the second bridge. Accelerating hard, I reach 6,000 rpm (the Aston’s maximum of 152 mph) just before the Antoniusbuche Bridge. Then there is a flat-out left-hander, slightly downhill, followed by a flat-out righthander which is the trickier of the two. It is important to take these flat, as immediately after the latter the road climbs quite steeply before it plateaus in front of the pits (*). And that is a flying lap of the Nürburgring in the DBR1, 1957-style.
* La chicane de antes de la recta de meta no se construyó hasta 1967.