SimRacing offers the unique opportunity to experience the history of motorsports firsthand: Vintage cars are a staple of many sims, and classic tracks are rather popular as well – and both are favorites of the modding community. The latter is going to help with an exciting project: Together with Sergio Loro, SRU editor Yannik Haustein has set out to recreate one of the first German post-war circuits.
From 1948 to 1951, the Prinzenpark-Rennen in Brunswick (Braunschweig in German) was part of the post-war revival of motorsports in Germany: Mainly known as a motorcycle racing event, Formula 3 and other, smaller race cars also took the start there until the city deemed the spectacle to be unsafe. The circuit ran through and next to a residential area for large parts of the lap.
Today, nothing points to the racing history of the streets close to and inside the park – which is why I was very surprised when I found out that there used to be a race track right in front of my apartment that I lived in at the time. The start/finish line was barely 100 meters away, even! Of course, I had to find out more about the track and the event. So I did, and I even ended up writing an article for Circuits of the Past about the event.
Even though I soon moved to another place in Brunswick, I could not get the thought of the race track no one seems to know about anymore right in the middle of a popular park and residential area out of my head. Seeing the amazing vintage tracks modders like Fat-Alfie have come up with for Assetto Corsa, I started dreaming – how cool would it be to revive the Prinzenpark-Rennen in AC? There was just one minor problem: I have no idea on how to create tracks.
That is when I remembered Sergio Loro: Having created numerous classic tracks – including lesser-known ones – under the F3 Classic Tracks banner, he seemed to be the perfect person for the job. So, I shot him an email to see if he was willing to cooperate on a project that I would be able to assist him in with local research while covering the process in an article series. Luckily, Sergio replied positively – and the project can go ahead!
Introducing Sergio Loro
For those who do not know Sergio or his brilliant vintage recreations of Zandvoort, the Norisring or more obscure tracks like Roskilde in Denmark, an introduction is in order: The 45-year-old started his SimRacing career in 1998 with Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix 2, transitioning to GrandPrix Legends and eventually Assetto Corsa years later. “I played many sims like GTR2, the Papyrus NASCAR series and more, but GPL was the king for me”, reminisces the Argentinian from Villa Cañas. The small town is also the home of the Studebaker Parque dirt track, which dates back to the mid-1970s.
The track certainly played its part in fueling Sergio’s passion for racing. As for why he started creating virtual race tracks, he has an explanation that goes back to his youth: “I remember being a little boy and drawing cars. I always had a creative mind and was always focused on sports, drawing soccer and basketball jerseys, cars, and more”, Sergio says looking back. “I think that is why I started making circuits, it is a creative process that fills me with satisfaction.”
Additionally, it broadens his horizon. Sergio continues: “Being interested in such old circuits allows me to get to know different cultures, landscapes, types of constructions – in short, it is an exciting journey for me.”
Why the Focus on Lesser-Known Tracks?
The most excitement is not in the most popular tracks – some of which have interesting vintage versions, of course – for Sergio, however. It is the lesser-known circuits that interest the Argentinian the most: “I really believe that there are little-known circuits that have exciting layouts. There are dozens of all types in Europe and also the USA, I have even read of such circuits in El Salvador. Generally, I choose a circuit if I am attracted to its layout, its history or the simple fact that it is out of the general focus”, Sergio explains. “Of course, I also love to be able to capture part of their charm virtually.”
While Sergio is still busy with the creation of another track at the time of writing this article, the project has already entered its research phase. I am in the process of gathering info and photos of the races, and in late October, the virtual cornerstone of the Prinzenpark Circuit could be laid. While I am admittedly very excited to see the circuit come to life, Sergio himself is looking forward to the project very much himself: “I think this will allow a lot of people to get to know a bit of history and have fun at the same time. I am looking forward to the fact that building the circuit allows me to know a bit about the history of the place, and that I am able to help recreate it virtually and perhaps preserve it.”
As the project advances, SimRacing Unlimited will offer more insight into the creation of the circuit. Check back regularly to not miss the progress, background info and interesting facts about building it for Assetto Corsa. Meanwhile, all of Sergio’s works can be found at F3 Classic Tracks – many even completely free of charge. Happy vintage racing!