The Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungs-Straße, better known as AVUS, is a public road that was also used as a motor racing circuit. It is located in the south-western districts of Berlin, Germany, between Charlottenburg and Nikolassee, and is nowadays an important part of the public highway system, as Bundesautobahn 115.
The circuit through the Grunewald forest was devised by the Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD), in 1907, as both a motorsport venue and a testing track for the motor industry.
While normal for a road, it is unusually shaped for a race track as it is essentially just two long straights in the form of a dual carriageway, with a hairpin corner at each end. The north curve featured a steep banking from 1937 to 1967. While the original layout was 19 km long, the southern turn was moved several times, to shorten the track to 8.3 km, then 8.1 km without the banking, 4.8 km and finally 2.6 km.
AVUS hosted its only world championship F1 with the 1959 German Grand Prix, won by Tony Brooks. This race weekend also saw the death of Jean Behra in a supporting sports car race, as his Porsche RSK flew over the top of the north turn banking, as there was no wall or fence. German driver and journalist Richard von Frankenberg had previously walked away from a similar spectacular crash.
After 1961, Grand Prix racing did not race on banked circuits anymore. The banked sections at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry, etc. were considered dangerous by international racing standards. They were used in connection with chicanes for some time, then abandoned. The AVUS banking was dismantled in 1967 to give way to an expanded intersection under the Funkturm tower. From the top of this tower, one can see that the AVUS is not perfectly straight.
In 1999, a farewell event with veterans was held. From 2000 on, the new EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Brandenburg is considered the replacement for AVUS. The round race control tower (with prominent Mercedes-Benz and Bosch sponsorship) remains at the north end and is used as a public restaurant and motel. The old wooden grandstand is protected as a historic monument.
For the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, it hosted the cycling road race and the marathon, and 50 km walk athletic events.