Photos all courtesy of  

Joerg Noeske

Gelsenkirchen - Alma



The 1000m spoon-shaped track still exists among the encroaching undergrowth - one of the best preserved 'ghost tracks' in europe.


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The stadium as it was in 1981

As recently photographed by Joerg Noeske...

...gradually disappearing into the weeds...

The industrial setting is very obvious in this 1982 shot.

1979 - A Porsche 914 ! A car you would never have seen  on a British oval

1978 - the  Mustang course car

 1972 -  when the surface was still shale

Early days - 1971 when the surface was still loose...

...the track narrow...

...and safety barriers....what barriers?

Joerg Noeske recalls...

"The first race in Gelsenkirchen was in 1967 on a grey-green field called Berger Feld, not far away from the new stadium built for the 1974 Football-World Cup and since then the home of FC Schalke 04 .There were 2 race-dates at this venue. The second was in 1968 and then it was over. 

Then in 1969 the promoter ( R.A.G. = Rheinländische Autorenn-Gemeinschaft) rented a site further south in the town. II at Almastreet, the old coal mining area. In the background of most photos you can see Schalker Eisenhütte steelworks : History now.When I went for the first time to Sheffield, 9 years ago, I thought this was a little bit like Gelsenkichen  or Oberhausen, both are towns in the Ruhr-District..

From 1969-1976 the new venue, called Speedway-Motodrom Gelsenkirchen, was a shale track. At this time you could see cars and moto-cross bikes together in one meeting  ( 3 car-races, then 1 motocross-race, 3 car-races etc.,etc.!)


My stepfather was a driver in an old VW-Beetle (Käfer) at the track. Team-Racing was the big thing at this time and  he was member of "Die wilden Engel aus Gladbeck" (The wild angels from Gladbeck). They were against teams like "Die roten Teufel aus Mühlheim" (The red devils from Mühlheim) etc.! It was not a destruction race like Bangers or the team-racing' in NZ. 


For the 1977-season the track was tarmaced. The layout fremained the same (1000m long), but they added more facilities for the spectators and installed Armco barriers.
The track was an great success until around 1982. Then spectator numbers declined and pressure from some locals and the -at this time new- green party, grew and grew.  The end came after the 1984 season".

This YouTube clip features some good home movie footage showing the nature of the track and the style of racing in the late 70s