Click here for a larger map. Please note that the start line on the above map is incorrect.
The track featured several Motorcycle GPs and non-championship F1 races with attracted huge crowds (the average in the last decade was 288,000 spectators!) watching the legendary racers like Geoff Duke, John Surtees, Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips, Dan Gurney, Jack Brabham or Jim Clark. The Solitude was used by Mercedes-Benz and Porsche (both companies being based in Stuttgart) and NSU (the world's largest motorcycle factory in the 1950s) as a test track, as it resembled the Nürburgring. Also, Hans Herrmann, GP driver for Mercedes-Benz in the 1950s and Le Mans Winner 1970 in a Porsche 917, still lives nearby in Magstadt.
The circuit was closed in 1965 to be replaced by the new and safer permanent racetrack of the Hockenheim Motodrom, and some races there were named Solitude GP. On closure, the track reverted to being only public roads which can still be followed today, mainly speed limited, though.
The start/finish line is situated near Leonberg, the "Zeitnehmerhaus" tower on the left and the pits on the right side still exist. Also, an "ADAC Verkehrsübungsplatz" (traffic exercise area) is located there. To follow the counter-clockwise track, turn left at Glemseck corner to go past the Hotel Glemseck (where motorcyclists meet frequently) towards the Hedersbach Kurve, which is a very steep and tight uphill righthand turn, like Ex-Mühle at the Nürburgring. The track then climbs steeply (with 18% even steeper than the Ring's famous Quiddelbacher Höhe) uphill in a section named Elend (Misery), and further up to Frauenkreuz.
Here on this former 4-way crossing, the track used to turn left to Dreispitz. But this 600m long section was "re-nature-ized" in 1998 in a trade-off for the forest which were cut down for a new nearby Autobahn Restaurant area. But it is possible to take a short deviation and rejoin the original track at Dreispitz. Past the Lettenlöcher, a very fast section which some long sweeps and waves (somewhat similar to the old bumpy Döttinger Höhe at the Ring), leads past the Steinbachsee lake to the village of Büsnau. Here, near the Schattenwald Hotel, the track leads downhill in sweeping turns. After a sharp left turn, the track continues through the Mahdental valley, along the Glems creek to the left and hills to the right. This 4 km long puzzling section, with 10 left turns and 8 right turns, all of them being different but looking similar, was described by Phil Hill as being more difficult to learn and memorize than the whole Nürburgring.
The all-time motorcycle record is said to be held by Mike "the Bike" Hailwood on a 500cc MV Agusta, with an average of approx. 160km/h or 100mph in the rain.
In 1996, a Oldtimer festival with parading race cars was held on the start/finish straight of the Solitude, including Hermann's Mercedes W196 and Porsche 917. In 2011, the circuit was re-opened for the Solitude Revival Meeting.
With help from Matthias Flatt, firstname.lastname@example.org