Over the winter, the racing circuits are working on various improvements of their venues, be it re-surfacing, safety upgrades or building new facilities. The usual stuff.
9.4 km circuit!
One of the most interesting news came from Almeria circuit in the south of Spain. In January, the track merged with the adjacent Circuit Andalucia that is situated right next to it. Two track joints were built between both circuits and the result is an impressive 9.4km long layout that was given a name Circuit Espagne.
Obviously, the longest purpose built racing circuit in Europe would be Nürburgring, but the Circuit Espagne would now be longer than any other track on the continent, definitely a tempting experience for drivers and riders. And of course, good weather all year round.
Who re-surfaced? Or landed a world championship race?
Winter break provides an opportunity for the circuits to work on their track surface, so who re-surfaced during the winter months?
The track that can currently thrive on attention is Circuit Paul Ricard as it brings Formula 1TM back to France after 10 years. A popular return. The track worked hard to get ready for the Grand Prix in June, a complete re-surface was carried out, snow in January and March (!) providing its own challenge. Three turns were also reprofiled and there is a new corner for motorbikes too.
The Irish circuit Mondello Park which is situated about 30km west of Dublin, worked hard on track improvements during the winter too, and there was big news also for the Lake Torrent circuit project in Northern Ireland as the 3-year contract with Dorna was announced to host a round of World Superbike Championship from 2019 onwards. The track is currently under construction, it should be 3.6 km long and the event would certainly be popular with spectators, considering the big motorcycle racing culture of Northern Ireland.
- Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was fully repaved to meet the latest standards of Formula 1 as well as MotoGP
- Nürburgring re-paved sections of the Nordschleife (Hatzenbach, Hohe Acht, Brünnchen) and Yokohama-S on GP circuit
- Mugello worked on its trackside safety features too
- Portimao’s Autódromo Internacional do Algarve re-paved essential parts of the circuit
- former motorcycle world championship venue Rijeka has carried out its first re-pave since the inauguration in 1978
- new track surface received also another former motorcycle world championship circuit – Sydney Motorsport Park
ADAC GT Masters topic of interest
After the difficulties with the noise levels in the previous season, the Autodrom Most circuit in Czech Republic is fully back on track and it is now also equipped with a new control room. The track will host a round of FIA European Truck Championship this season, as well as an ADAC GT Masters race in April.
A circuit on Cyprus
We have been come across a racing circuit on the island of Cyprus – the Achna Speedway. Cyprus being a popular holiday destination with great weather, it certainly provides the opportunities for a racing circuit with the good infrastructure (which includes briefing rooms, restaurant, disabled access, petrol station, clinic and garage space) that can be used for the car launches as well as for motor racing enthusiasts.
Last but not least some news from the Middle East and Asia
Meanwhile, the project of a racing circuit in Kuwait is shaping up. Designed by the Tilke engineers, the track will feature an impressive flowing section of fast corners, long straight with overtaking opportunity at its end, and there is also great corner consisting of fast apexes, similar to Istanbul Park circuit. We should have more news on the project in the near future.
Staying in Asia, the Madras circuit in India that hosts international events such as MRF challenge, has upgraded its pits and paddock facilities which now include 20 pit garages and also VIP hospitality suites that can accommodate up to 400 people.
Seems like we are ready for the new racing season to fully start!
Photo credits: Facebook pages Nürburgring, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Achna Speedway, Autodrom Most, Circuito de Almeria, Circuit Paul Ricard, Madras Motor Race track