It was a miracle that no one died at the Nurburgring Grand Prix of 1976. On lap two of the race, Niki Lauda, who drove for Ferrari F1 had a terrible crash that sent his car bouncing between the barriers and bursting into flames.
Lauda’s burning car was then struck by Brett Lunger’s Surtees-Ford, who was unaware of the accident until he was right on top of it.
Lauda spent almost a minute in the burning car, but luckily survived, although his burns left lifelong scars on his face.
Just a few days before the race, Lauda was campaigning to make the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife (the infamous 14-mile track also known as the ‘Green Hell’) safer. He felt that the run off spaces and the barriers were not safe enough for grand prix racing, and due to the length of the track, emergency response times were much too long.
Since this crash, no F1 race has been held at the Nordschleife circuit, and nowadays a much smaller and modern circuit exists in the shadows of the original track, where F1 cars still race.
The story behind the 1976 F1 season caught the attention of Hollywood producer Ron Howard, who is now in the process of making a movie on the topic. The movie is called “Rush” and will be primarily focused on the rivalry between the Austrian ace Lauda and the British racing playboy James Hunt who drove for McLaren.
The movie is in production at the moment, and they recently recreated the crash scene at the Nurburgring. The eager eyes (or camera’s) of “BridgeToGantry.com” have managed to catch some footage of the production team trying to recreate the scene.
The part of the track where the accident took place was renamed “Lauda Links” in honor of the Austrian. Surprisingly, Lauda was back in action in his F1 car just 39-days after this terrible accident.
“Rush” is expected to be released in theaters next year, until then, you can catch the video on the reproduction of the crash scene below.