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A useless question about South African race tracks.


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#1 Andrew Hope

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 00:39

A dumbass question, of course, but one of those annoying nagging things that will eat at me for a while and there's no better place to ask than here. I was goofing around killing time on Trackpedia and I noticed something a little odd - almost all of the road circuits in South Africa have small sections of the track with white dashes along the middle of the road, the kind you'd see on city roads or highways. Anyone know why this is? You can see what I'm talking about here -

The end of main straight at Aldo Scribante.

At 00:41 seconds into this video at Killarney.

All over the Phakisa road course.

15 seconds into this lap at Zwartkops.

And of course, almost all of the old Kyalami -

Posted Image

That's 5 tracks in one country, not including tracks that don't have onboard videos or aerial shots I could find. Am I being retarded here and I've just never noticed this sort of thing on tracks from other countries before? I've seen a hell of a lot of racing videos and played a hell of a lot of racing games, and the only times I can remember actually seeing these things are on South African tracks. Are they just a helpful reminder towhere the midway distance is in the width of the track? Something one circuit included when it was being built, and then later SA tracks copied it but it never caught on in other places? I vaguely recall that Riverside in the USA might've had something similar, but odd things to put on road circuits I'd think.

Cheeeeeers.

Edited by andrew., 29 October 2010 - 13:57.


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#2 arttidesco

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 05:47

Good find Andrew, not noticed that before the only thing I have seen like it are the lane markings at Talladega, but those lanes are marked round the whole circuit.

#3 byrkus

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 05:58

IIRC, it was used for seperating slower cars from faster. Faster cars used ideal line, while slower had to stay within dashed lines, so they wouldn't get in the way. Lines are usually not on the centerline of the track, but some 3-4 meters from outer track border - just enough for faster car to 'squeeze' through.

At least, that's my impression for that.


#4 Michael Ferner

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 11:20

I recall reading the same explanation many, many years ago.

#5 Andrew Hope

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:17

Neat, thanks for the help. I had a look through my F1 picture folder last night and the only the only other track I could find similar lines on was the old Interlagos, on the off chance anyone gives a toss.

Edited by andrew., 16 July 2010 - 13:04.


#6 arttidesco

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:58

Neat, thanks for the help. I had a look trough my F1 picture folder last night and the only the only other track I could find similar lines on was the old Interlagos, on the off chance anyone gives a toss.


You never know when an apparently minor detail might gain major significance :-)

#7 simon drabble

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 13:36

is it me or does teh old Kyalami photo remind you of the new Silverstone GP configuration?

#8 arttidesco

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 13:55

is it me or does teh old Kyalami photo remind you of the new Silverstone GP configuration?


Kyalami is a bit squidged for Silverstone and has more significant elevation changes but, I see a passing resemblance from Leeukop bend closest to us in the photo down the left hand side to Crowthorne Corner and Silverstone circa 1973 from Copse down to Stowe and an even more familiar run from Barbeque through the Jukeski Sweep to back up to Sunset Bend and the run at Silvestone circa 1973 from Club through Abbey and onto pre chicane Woodcote.

Edited by arttidesco, 16 July 2010 - 13:57.


#9 Killarney

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:31


Some classes of racing have what is called a "white line rule" (strangely enough!). Dotted or solid white lines are painted in the middle of the track at the end of straights and stop just short of the corner. The intention is to keep racers apart just prior to entering corners, ie it prevents a driver on the outside line from cutting across and into the driver on the inside line, thus hopefully limiting accidents.

I race at Killarney in Cape Town and although there are four straights, it only applies to the two long and very quick straights. Seems to work quite well and it does not stop overtaking in corners, just places a little control on the over exuberant

Edited by Killarney, 20 July 2010 - 11:04.


#10 Jim Thurman

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 15:56

Riverside had the stripes on the backstretch for an entirely different reason...to mark the lanes for drag racing.

The back straight was used for drag racing for several years and, as such, was painted similarly to some strips of the era (center line, striped down the center of each lane).