The ‘Gabelbach Racetrack’ has been undergoing modernizations. Back in 1904 it was a hill climb up a gravel track.
From 1913 the newly build Gabelbach Hotel was used as the finish line. In 1927 the start was moved from the outskirts of town to the station ‘Ilmenau Bahnhof Bad’ extending the track from 3.3 for 4 km. The track goes along the forest road towards city exits.
Outside of town the gravel started and the track got steeper demanding everything from drivers and vehicles. In 1933 for the 11th ‘Gabelbach-Bergrennen’ the track got modernized again. The Track got paved for the more and more powerful vehicles. Elevated turns were supposed to ensure more safety.
The track is still build that way today.
The 4 km hill track a an average incline of 9%, with a maximun of 16.5 %. Manfred von Brauchitsch holds the track record in a Mecedes SSK and an average speed of 114km/h. Considering the dead start and the puristic technology at the time it is an amazing accomplishment.