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A silly place to run a race


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:01

I know that Monaco would be high on many people's list as a place that is somewhat unsuitable for motor racing but where else could the circuit description 'silly' be applied.

I give you my own pet hate - MACAU.

What a ridiculous piece of road to allow racing cars to inhabit.

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#2 Graham Gauld

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:32

I know that Monaco would be high on many people's list as a place that is somewhat unsuitable for motor racing but where else could the circuit description 'silly' be applied.

I give you my own pet hate - MACAU.

What a ridiculous piece of road to allow racing cars to inhabit.



Assuming you have been to Macau and watched the race I agree that the uphill section past the hospital ( !!!) and the hairpin are a bit dicey but the really fast bits along the front are wider than Monaco. Though I took the photo attached in 1994 I cannot imagine the circuit has become narrower. However as you can see from this shot of English ex-pat Adam Topping with his Porsche, the hairpin is a bit tight.



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#3 Rob

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:37

The Beijing street circuit that A1GP visited a while ago. It had a hairpin that was so tight that it was physically impossible to get around on full lock. The cars were having to do spin turns in order to negotiate it.

#4 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:44

The most ridiculous and unsuitable course after last weekend I would say is the Shanghai street course where the DTM season finale took place.
On the other hand, if I think about it, it suits the current DTM rather well....

I could not think of a more stupid layout for a pit entrance :
Practice accident
Qualifiyng accident

Edited by Ralf Pickel, 29 November 2010 - 09:49.


#5 Simon Hadfield

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:49

Macau is however one of the best circuits in the world to race on, it has every challenge you could possibly wish for, the whole circuit rewards commitment and precision and surely that is desirable in the days of all but infinite run-offs etc? Not only that but they pay (very good) prize money as well. It is in the top three of circuits I have raced on.

#6 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:14

Am I alone in thinking that the street circuits mentioned above are actually very interesting exactly because they are "ridiculous" - i.e. different? I'd take these over another Tilkedrome in an Arab desert any day of the week.

#7 wenoopy

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:15

The Beijing street circuit that A1GP visited a while ago. It had a hairpin that was so tight that it was physically impossible to get around on full lock. The cars were having to do spin turns in order to negotiate it.


As I recall, after initial practice problems, the hairpin leg was shortened back to a point where the majority of competitors could make it round the corner most of the time. But that was only one of the many problems with A1GP.

#8 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:20

Really most street circuits are rubbish. In Oz the one in Canberra was a joke, as is the Surfers Paradise one. They just cause crashfests and the paying public can see bugger all.
Melbourne is better than most but still a major compromise. Adelaide was possibly better to drive but very dangerous. The Brewery bend got a few F1 drivers. The turn 1 chicane is downright dangerous and turn 8 on the shortened Supercar circuit has killed. And what ever they do short of chicanes means the place will never be safe. And when it rains the drainage is hopeless.

#9 wenoopy

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:44

Really most street circuits are rubbish. In Oz the one in Canberra was a joke, as is the Surfers Paradise one. They just cause crashfests and the paying public can see bugger all.


Fortunately, the Auckland street circuit, which was proposed for the NZ round of the Australian V8 saloon Series, never came to fruition.
It sat astride the main Northern access to the central business area, and would have had very scary downhill section whichever direction it was run, and was generally a dumb idea. It would have guaranteed that the mayor would have been thrown out at the next election(which happened anyway, I think.)

I was never sure what was so wrong with Pukekohe. Probably they couldn't suck enough money out of the local government to satisfy organisational greed.


#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:51

Parramatta Park, Southport and Balcombe in Australia are among those to be considered...

Both Parramatta Park (long circuit only) and Southport had sections so narrow that 'no passing' rules applied, while Balcombe was similarly constricted. Balcombe, in fact, never saw races, but 2-car sprints I believe, with army barracks buildings providing narrow gaps for the cars to go between.

I have the feeling that some wanted to have actual racing at Balcombe, but common sense obviously prevailed.

Then there was the cross-roads intersection at the Woody Point circuit in Brisbane. The cars left the Lilla Street start, turned right into Kate Street and then took the next left into Alfred Street. After roaring up Oxley Avenue and then heading back again down Ernest and then Kate Streets, they reached the same intersection and turned left into Alfred Street as others were doing the same thing in the opposite direction!

Again, not a race, but a 'high speed reliability trial'... but the intention was to prove that racing on public roads was safe.

#11 john winfield

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:58

From what I've seen and read, the old Avus track in Berlin seemed a bit 'silly', but I would still like to have seen some racing there. Perhaps that's the yardstick - a circuit is silly when you, or the drivers, or the spectators, can't get very excited.

Edited by john winfield, 29 November 2010 - 11:03.


#12 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:02

I'm glad someone else said it finally. I've never liked Macau either, it seems like something out of a Playstation game.

And as much as I like Pau, it seems too small/tight for modern race cars.

#13 sherer

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:24

depends on how you define silly. DO you mean silly as in the track is rubbish in which case we could have any Tilke designed circuit.

Or do you mean silly as in Magny - Cours or South Korea which are in the middle of no where with no infrastructure around them

#14 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:28

The geographic location of Magny-Cours only seemed to be a concern to whinging journalists.

#15 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:03

I can think of a few ridiculous proposed circuits where logic, apathy and/or opposition meant they never happened: Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, two in Vienna and the 1950s "Peak District Tourist Trophy Circuit" to name but four.

Of ones which happened Campione d'Italia made Monaco, Pau and Macau look sensible and Angouleme, while very pretty, gives the term "Mickey Mouse circuit" a whole new meaning!

But how come nobody's mentioned Caesar's Palace yet?

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:38

Originally posted by john winfield
From what I've seen and read, the old Avus track in Berlin seemed a bit 'silly', but I would still like to have seen some racing there. Perhaps that's the yardstick - a circuit is silly when you, or the drivers, or the spectators, can't get very excited.


Perhaps...

In a way, you answer your own question here, but to look more deeply at circuits like the AVUS you need to put it into the perspective of the time. Many people in those days didn't even own or drive a car, so the sheer speed was an incentive for people to attend.

Which helps it look silly to have circuits like Monaco, of course.

#17 Roger Clark

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:47

I can think of a few ridiculous proposed circuits where logic, apathy and/or opposition meant they never happened: .... and the 1950s "Peak District Tourist Trophy Circuit" to name but four.


Why was that rediculous?


#18 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:49

I suppose I should have defined 'silly' a little more clearly.

My version of silly is anywhere that is so narrow that cars are not even allowed to attempt to overtake. I appreciate Simon's comments, he is a racing driver after all and I am most certainly not, but to see cars trailing along behind eachother because the circuit is too narrow for them to do anything else is, to me, just plain silly.

I can imagine that Macau, driven alone on a qualifying lap, would be quite a challenge. But as for racing..... forget it.

#19 Gabrci

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:50

Am I alone in thinking that the street circuits mentioned above are actually very interesting exactly because they are "ridiculous" - i.e. different? I'd take these over another Tilkedrome in an Arab desert any day of the week.


There are at least the two of us. They provide a special challenge and the drivers really earn their money, which is great entertainment for all of us that love watching racing drivers at their best.

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#20 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 13:09

Why was that rediculous?

Because Derbyshire County Council were - as I understand it - taken by surprise when there turned out to be significant local opposition to siting a race circuit on public roads in a National Park. I'm sure it would have been spectacular, but even by the standards of the time it would surely have been considered too dangerous.

#21 Paolo

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 13:18

Am I alone in thinking that the street circuits mentioned above are actually very interesting exactly because they are "ridiculous" - i.e. different? I'd take these over another Tilkedrome in an Arab desert any day of the week.



:up:

#22 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 13:28

If a race has to start behind a safety car and then there is a three corner long passing ban after the start (all in dry conditions) - this I would not call interesting but unsuited.


#23 Sharman

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 14:38

Remind me where it was meant to go in the Peak District. I must admit that I have indulged in my own Grand Prix d'Antan. (I once boiled the brake fluid on my V12 E type during the course of a run from Chesterfield to Chapel)

#24 mahleu

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 14:56

Winnit's Pass outside Castleton in the Peak District would be amazing (probably up, not down as there's a narrow cattle grid...)

#25 milestone 11

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 17:22

Silly but great!

#26 midgrid

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 17:39

The Beijing street circuit that A1GP visited a while ago. It had a hairpin that was so tight that it was physically impossible to get around on full lock. The cars were having to do spin turns in order to negotiate it.


The new Beijing street circuit inaugurated this year by the Superleague Formula also had its shortcomings: certain narrow sections of the track were governed by "no-passing rules", there was a sharp kink on the start-finish straight at the pit entrance (like the Shanghai street circuit, but fortunately the barriers were set further back), and every time a driver hit the wall, the safety car had to be deployed because a recovery vehicle had to drive the length of the track to tow the damaged car back to the pits. The race weekend ended up being declared a non-championship event.


#27 bigears

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 17:59

Silly but great!


Thought someone would mention it! :lol:

But it was a mad circuit as it was so fast but yet it was so twisty and bumpy as well. But many drivers loved the circuit though.

#28 Roger Clark

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 18:03

Remind me where it was meant to go in the Peak District. I must admit that I have indulged in my own Grand Prix d'Antan. (I once boiled the brake fluid on my V12 E type during the course of a run from Chesterfield to Chapel)

It was based around the Buxton-Ashbourne road and featured a four mile straight on that road. Two courses were considered: one a 12-mile circuit through Monyash, the other 8 miles long through Hartington. The proposal was made in the summer of 1955, not the best time to be considering a race circuit on public roads. THe project was abandoned later that year. According to Autosport, one of the main reasons was that racing was certain to restart at Donington Park in 1957.

#29 john winfield

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 18:18

It was based around the Buxton-Ashbourne road and featured a four mile straight on that road. Two courses were considered: one a 12-mile circuit through Monyash, the other 8 miles long through Hartington. The proposal was made in the summer of 1955, not the best time to be considering a race circuit on public roads. THe project was abandoned later that year. According to Autosport, one of the main reasons was that racing was certain to restart at Donington Park in 1957.


I think we'd struggle to resurrect this proposal; at the moment there's a 50mph limit on the four mile straight! But what fun. It would be a bit fiddly around Monyash or Hartington but we could always include stretches of the A6. There are some excellent kinks alongside the river as you dive under the railway arches. The 'west-schleife' would have to include Macclesfield and the Cat-and-Fiddle and, if all else fails, we could have a hillclimb up the Via Gellia from Cromford. But watch out for the bikers at Matlock Bath.

#30 BRG

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 18:19

I have often voiced my view that Monaco is a daft race track (and it was the first place that I attended a GP, so it is despite any sentimental value), but I am glad to be able to come out of the closet about Macao. A track with a corner so tight that there are permanent yellows, and where a major crash is absolutely guaranteed on the first lap (and at any subsequent restarts) is really not acceptable, however exotic and historic it may be. It would make a good rally stage though!

Pau I can just about accept but it is getting rather too close to Macao in unsuitability IMO.

I think the silliest tracks I can remember in recent years used for major international series are Singen (DTM) - a blast around an industrial park - and Novi Mesto (the Euro TCC before the WTCC) which seemed to be simply paths around some sort of a military camp. And of course the DIRE Caesar's Palace - I parked in that car park in Vegas years later and simply could not imagine how it had ever been turned into a 'race track'!

Edited by BRG, 29 November 2010 - 18:20.


#31 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 18:27

According to Autosport, one of the main reasons was that racing was certain to restart at Donington Park in 1957.

I've actually recently found a report in The Times that Donington was scheduled to reopen in 1956, under the management of the Shields family, with plans for an F1 race in 1957. This was conditional on the Army releasing the estate before the end of 1955, but the MoD changed their minds in August of that year and announced they would hold on to it until the end of 1957.

A local syndicate then announced plans for a new circuit in September 1957, aiming to re-open it in April 1958. The county council decided that planning permission was not needed and the district council also signalled their approval the following month.

After that: nix, nada, nothing, rien ...

#32 Rob G

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 18:29

The San Jose street course was awful. The hairpin was ludicrously tight and came at the end of a long straightaway, so they were basically one stuck throttle away from tragedy. And once you made it through there, you had to negotiate a jump over a railroad crossing.

#33 jj2728

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 18:29

Any Tilke designed track....

#34 BullHead

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 19:20

I think Detroit in the 80s was a poor idea...

#35 LittleChris

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 20:55

Curacao was none too clever

#36 David Shaw

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 21:03

Parramatta Park, Southport and Balcombe in Australia are among those to be considered...

Both Parramatta Park (long circuit only) and Southport had sections so narrow that 'no passing' rules applied, while Balcombe was similarly constricted. Balcombe, in fact, never saw races, but 2-car sprints I believe, with army barracks buildings providing narrow gaps for the cars to go between.

I have the feeling that some wanted to have actual racing at Balcombe, but common sense obviously prevailed.


They were 4 car sprints at Balcombe. In that early post-war period Victorians were starved of racing and were happy with whatever they were given. They had wanted to actually race at Balcombe, but they were not given permission to close the Point Nepean Road (now known as Nepean Highway).


#37 D-Type

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 21:11

I unearthed this:

They have the most astounding audacity in some parts of Europe. For instance there is going to be a Grand prix at Monaco - a Grand prix, mark you, in a Principality which does not possess a single open road of any length, but has only ledges on the face of of a cliff and the ordinary main thoroughfares that everyone who has been to the Casino knows so well.

from The Autocar in 1928

#38 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 21:15

The San Jose street course was awful. The hairpin was ludicrously tight and came at the end of a long straightaway, so they were basically one stuck throttle away from tragedy. And once you made it through there, you had to negotiate a jump over a railroad crossing.


The famous level crossing

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

And at full speed


Edited by tyrrellp346wheels, 29 November 2010 - 21:17.


#39 Risil

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 21:40

AMA Superbike racing at Pomona Fairgrounds in the mid 1990s?

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#40 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 22:32

Fortunately, the Auckland street circuit, which was proposed for the NZ round of the Australian V8 saloon Series, never came to fruition.
It sat astride the main Northern access to the central business area, and would have had very scary downhill section whichever direction it was run, and was generally a dumb idea. It would have guaranteed that the mayor would have been thrown out at the next election(which happened anyway, I think.)

I was never sure what was so wrong with Pukekohe. Probably they couldn't suck enough money out of the local government to satisfy organisational greed.

The street circuit you have now seems a bit silly on TV. Pukekohe is a good circuit though a little bit of infrastructure would seem in order but I guess it is about money instead of quality

#41 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 22:46

The famous level crossing

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

And at full speed

You have to be joking, that would suit a rallycar stage!

#42 BullHead

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 23:17

^^ Agree. That is crazy. Who in their right mind thought that was suitable for open wheelers?

#43 T54

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 23:27

Any Tilke designed track...

I second that, add San Jose and Las Vegas (the one in the hotel parking lot).

#44 BullHead

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 23:42

The Las Vegas race was a daft idea on the face of it, but actually, the racing itself I thought was pretty good.

#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:09

After seeing San Jose I'm prepared to believe anything!

That is just so ridiculous, in these modern cars the drivers would have been taking a huge jolting...

#46 wenoopy

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 10:44


In July 1966 there was a Formula 3 (1000 cc) race at Mugello over 2 laps of the 66.2 km road circuit = 132.4 km! This circuit was likened to the Little Madonie / Targa Florio, but may not have been as rough. Even so, the attrition rate doesn't seem to have been too bad. However, there is no sign that the F3 race was held again.

#47 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 11:26

After seeing San Jose I'm prepared to believe anything!

That is just so ridiculous, in these modern cars the drivers would have been taking a huge jolting...

It is a 'what were they thinking' scenario. The Americans mae ot they are so hot on safety but some of the places they have ran Indy type cars have been stupid and that is one of the worse.I am amazed there was not car failures and physically injured drivers over that train line as those cars have little suspension travel and are very stiff. And the hairpin is even dumber.


#48 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 11:59

Originally posted by wenoopy
In July 1966 there was a Formula 3 (1000 cc) race at Mugello over 2 laps of the 66.2 km road circuit = 132.4 km! This circuit was likened to the Little Madonie / Targa Florio, but may not have been as rough. Even so, the attrition rate doesn't seem to have been too bad. However, there is no sign that the F3 race was held again.


No, no... no!

This thread is about bad things, not something every F3 driver ever dreamed of...

#49 Kpy

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:12

This thread is about bad things, not something every F3 driver ever dreamed of...


I'm not so sure about that.
Try googling "most prestigious F3 race"

#50 john winfield

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 13:27

No, no... no!

This thread is about bad things, not something every F3 driver ever dreamed of...


Seems quite a fine line, Ray! How about Caserta? Sounded exciting, 'silly' and very dangerous. I believe sections were through the walled streets, blind, no room for flag marshalls etc. all of which appears to have contributed to the disastrous accident in 1967, for which there is a thread on TNF, started by Cirrus.

http://forums.autosp...w...&hl=caserta