Jump to content


Photo

Strange, ridiculous, or amazing parts of race tracks


  • Please log in to reply
177 replies to this topic

#51 David Shaw

David Shaw
  • Member

  • 1,724 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 06 July 2011 - 12:40

As someone with an appreciation of both sports and at the risk of sounding blasphemous, I think the AJC had their priorities right.

As for their comment about English horse racing, they were, and still are, too arrogant for their own good.

Advertisement

#52 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,874 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 06 July 2011 - 12:50

I can't agree, David...

But I have no time for horse racing at all.

#53 David Shaw

David Shaw
  • Member

  • 1,724 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 06 July 2011 - 12:58

I can understand that Ray, and I would be surprised if the majority didn't agree with you. I don't know whether they experienced any issues with the crossings at Aintree, but I would expect some of the horses would be unnerved by the change in surface and the potential for injury to (a) horse/s or rider/s.

There is also the point of it being the AJC's facilities, and they always regarded the motor racing as very much secondary to the equestrian pursuits.



#54 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,501 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 06 July 2011 - 13:11

So, the perfect 'Strange Park' race track would have:

- an impossible hairpin with permanent yellows
- a narrow bridge or arch with no overtaking
- at least one railway crossing, preferably making cars take off a bit
- tram lines along at least one straight
- a point where two straights face each other, divided perhaps by a barn?
- a really dangerously sited pit entry
- a pit exit passing through a tunnel under the track
- a section paved with some sort of slippery paving slabs
- a corner paved with cobbles

Sounds good to me, but lets see what the Risk Assessment says....

#55 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,874 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 06 July 2011 - 15:08

Did we mention the railway lines that crossed the main straight at Woodside at an angle?

Something like the Oporto tramlines, I expect...

#56 Hieronymus

Hieronymus
  • Member

  • 2,031 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 06 July 2011 - 16:51

At the old Alexandra Park circuit in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, there was a corner called SUICIDE BEND . Going off there you were confronted by a steep drop followed by a row of ablution blocks. You were literally and figuratively in deep sh*t if you went off there…

#57 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,081 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 07 July 2011 - 05:39

The former North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina featured a back straight that went uphill and a main straight that went downhill.

#58 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,874 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 07 July 2011 - 05:51

So did Westmead...

If you raced an outfit. For cars and solos it was the other way aroound.

#59 GMACKIE

GMACKIE
  • Member

  • 1,735 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:14

At the old Alexandra Park circuit in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, there was a corner called SUICIDE BEND . Going off there you were confronted by a steep drop followed by a row of ablution blocks. You were literally and figuratively in deep sh*t if you went off there…

In Australia, we have an expression that fits that situation.........it's called "Going for a row of dunnies". That's the more polite version!


Advertisement

#60 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,874 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:50

And there was a time that temporary hessian covered 'dunnies' were set up for marshals at Warwick Farm...

There was one at Polo Corner at least, and there was great mirth the day (October 14, 1962) when David McKay visited it while still seated in his 2.7 Cooper.

#61 Lee Nicolle

Lee Nicolle
  • Member

  • 5,755 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:57

The former North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina featured a back straight that went uphill and a main straight that went downhill.

A bit like Hamley Bridge.[Bell Bay Speedway] Turn 1 is uphill to turn 2 over a crest down to turn 3 and turn 4 starts to go uphill again. And it is egg shaped as well, 1-2 is wide open whereas 3-4 tightens up considerably,,,, and the pit gate is about 100mm inside the posts, doesnt sound much until you hit it sideways!! Ask Peter Denton, it was h u g e! With apologies to Daryl Eastlake

#62 ray b

ray b
  • Member

  • 2,564 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 07 July 2011 - 16:14

So, the perfect 'Strange Park' race track would have:

- an impossible hairpin with permanent yellows
- a narrow bridge or arch with no overtaking
- at least one railway crossing, preferably making cars take off a bit
- tram lines along at least one straight
- a point where two straights face each other, divided perhaps by a barn?
- a really dangerously sited pit entry
- a pit exit passing through a tunnel under the track
- a section paved with some sort of slippery paving slabs
- a corner paved with cobbles

Sounds good to me, but lets see what the Risk Assessment says....


almost we need to add a boardtrack extreme high banked curve section
and a really off cambered corner
and a bit of dirt track with ruts
and a high crowned paved bit too
and a corkscrew too

Edited by ray b, 07 July 2011 - 16:16.


#63 Amphicar

Amphicar
  • Member

  • 1,867 posts
  • Joined: December 10

Posted 07 July 2011 - 17:02

Of course, modern tracks are far too antiseptic to qualify - though the otherwise forgettable Valencia "street circuit" does cross a swing bridge. I had thought that said bridge was welded shut for the duration of the Grand Prix weekend but according to Martin Brundle (during qualifying for the recent European GP), it is opened each evening to allow boats to pass.

#64 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,501 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 07 July 2011 - 17:06

Of course, modern tracks are far too antiseptic to qualify - though the otherwise forgettable Valencia "street circuit" does cross a swing bridge. I had thought that said bridge was welded shut for the duration of the Grand Prix weekend but according to Martin Brundle (during qualifying for the recent European GP), it is opened each evening to allow boats to pass.

Every now and then, a major cycle race gets caught at a railway crossing. Imagine the ruckus if the GP circus was halted by an opening bridge to allow some gin palace to pass through... :lol:

What used to happen on those long distance events like the Mille Miglia - were there ever any railway crossing incidents?

#65 ollychester

ollychester
  • New Member

  • 20 posts
  • Joined: September 10

Posted 07 July 2011 - 20:17

Every now and then, a major cycle race gets caught at a railway crossing. Imagine the ruckus if the GP circus was halted by an opening bridge to allow some gin palace to pass through... :lol:

What used to happen on those long distance events like the Mille Miglia - were there ever any railway crossing incidents?


Isn't there a Hans Herremann tale of driving a 550 under the crossing barriers during the Mille Miglia, just in front of a train?

More prosaically, I'd like to nominate Russell at Snetterton in the year before it was tightened - when half the field of any given race was excluded for cutting the kerb too much - and then in the next year when it was so tight Pedro Chaves broke the gearbox in his F3000 Reynard because they didn't have a first gear low enough.
It got better after that.

The tram lines at San Jose were some of the daftest things I've seen recently - I actually called my dad after the first lap and told him he had to watch the next restart.

#66 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 9,460 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 08 July 2011 - 01:26

almost we need to add a boardtrack extreme high banked curve section
and a really off cambered corner
and a bit of dirt track with ruts
and a high crowned paved bit too
and a corkscrew too

What, no loop de loop? ;)

#67 simonlewisbooks

simonlewisbooks
  • Member

  • 2,118 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 08 July 2011 - 13:49

How about Neath Abbey stock car track, built 1954-55 right beside the Abbey ruins and featuring a nice local material as a track surface....coal dust!
Bernie Ecclestone raced there a few times apparently.
Or Hednesford, built in the bowl of a former reservoir on Cannock Chase.
Or St Sampson's Harbour in Guernsey, where an oval track was marked out on the harbor floor when the tide went out. It boasting superb spectator viewing from about 20 feet up , on the harbour walls. It also featured fishing boats in the pits....



#68 Rob G

Rob G
  • Member

  • 10,891 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 08 July 2011 - 17:40

Virginia International Raceway's signature corner is the Oak Tree Turn, so named because there is a giant oak standing on the inside of the corner, right at the apex.

#69 Charlieman

Charlieman
  • Member

  • 235 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 08 July 2011 - 19:34

The figure of eight layout, preferably with the track crossing at different altitudes, should not be forgotten. On a conventional circuit running clockwise, cars and bikes turn right for 360 degrees more than they turn left. On a figure of eight, the numbers equal out.

I recall an F1 event a couple of years ago where one of the front wheels was not secured following a pit stop. Fortunately the driver was alerted to the problem and drove a very slow lap back to the pits. The team were lucky that the loose wheel was on the outside for those extra 360 degrees.

#70 Duc-Man

Duc-Man
  • Member

  • 1,068 posts
  • Joined: November 08

Posted 11 July 2011 - 12:48

So, the perfect 'Strange Park' race track would have:

- an impossible hairpin with permanent yellows
- a narrow bridge or arch with no overtaking
- at least one railway crossing, preferably making cars take off a bit
- tram lines along at least one straight
- a point where two straights face each other, divided perhaps by a barn?
- a really dangerously sited pit entry
- a pit exit passing through a tunnel under the track
- a section paved with some sort of slippery paving slabs
- a corner paved with cobbles


almost we need to add a boardtrack extreme high banked curve section
and a really off cambered corner
and a bit of dirt track with ruts
and a high crowned paved bit too
and a corkscrew too


Shall we add the new pitlane in Silverstone?
It's halfway underground and the driving bit is pretty tight as well.

#71 racer69

racer69
  • Member

  • 222 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 14 July 2011 - 12:15

The original incarnation of the Wellington street circuit in 1985 included something strane, a one lane bridge! It was improved for the 1986 race, and then totally revamped for 1987 and the WTCC race.

#72 timbo

timbo
  • Member

  • 314 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 14 July 2011 - 13:29

I don't think any of that stuff is unusual...

Well, the grid being on a parade ground at Mallala is, and also the fact that it's an airfield circuit that doesn't use any of the runways, which were all grass.


My first recollection of motor racing was in the mid to late 1960's at Mallala, and the two things I remember was an open-wheeler cartwheeling off the track, and a fire hydrant being collected by a car and the remainder of that race was run with cars having to pass under a large water fountain which was dumping on the track and caused by the damaged hydrant.

#73 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,081 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 20 July 2011 - 11:56

The Meadowdale International Raceway in Illinois featured a 180 degree banked curve that was known as the 'Monza Wall':



#74 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,081 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 01 August 2011 - 05:57

Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando had an artificial lake shaped like Mickey Mouse's head and called 'Lake Mickey':

http://www.themousef...hardpetty.shtml

#75 AleSi

AleSi
  • New Member

  • 27 posts
  • Joined: July 11

Posted 01 August 2011 - 06:05

What about old 10km long Monza with banking? The start finish line divided by orange cones.

#76 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,081 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 13 September 2011 - 00:51

The Novo Mesto circuit in Slovenia was built around a former military base, and has an unsual tunnel/bridge which is overgrown by grass and bushes:

http://www.mil-airfi...e-shelter-2.jpg

#77 mikeC

mikeC
  • Member

  • 602 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 13 September 2011 - 07:29

... Imagine the ruckus if the GP circus was halted by an opening bridge to allow some gin palace to pass through... :lol:


Well, they have the safety car, which has the same effect... :rotfl:

#78 Welby

Welby
  • Member

  • 89 posts
  • Joined: March 11

Posted 14 September 2011 - 02:01

The Dipper and Skyline, Mt Panorama, Bathurst.



#79 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 1,921 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 14 September 2011 - 03:43

The Dipper and Skyline, Mt Panorama, Bathurst.


The Dipper in particular is extraordinary in itself. I was recalling walking along the little dirt path beside the circuit at that point. Here and there you're pretty close to the track but what... 15 feet below it. Quite remarkable to see and hear cars dicing above you!

Advertisement

#80 Garsted

Garsted
  • Member

  • 66 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 14 September 2011 - 19:47

On the short straight before Barn corner at Cadwell there used to be a cottage (now demolished) whose garden path terminated at the trackisde in a wicket gate. It was reminiscent of a similar situation on the old Spa circuit that sometimes caught the eye of photographers.

On a different tack, at Mid Ohio when I visited years ago the pit garages had a raised viewing gallery along the back for spectators - brilliant! a terrific close up view of what was going on without getting in anyone's way at all.

Steve

#81 Macca

Macca
  • Member

  • 3,323 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 14 September 2011 - 19:54

http://forums.autosp...w...t&p=2567635

Picture I took in 1985.

Paul M

Edited by Macca, 14 September 2011 - 19:56.


#82 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,032 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 14 September 2011 - 22:28

On a different tack, at Mid Ohio when I visited years ago the pit garages had a raised viewing gallery along the back for spectators - brilliant! a terrific close up view of what was going on without getting in anyone's way at all.

What, like this????

Posted Image

#83 Aero426

Aero426
  • Member

  • 214 posts
  • Joined: June 08

Posted 15 September 2011 - 15:26

The Meadowdale International Raceway in Illinois featured a 180 degree banked curve that was known as the 'Monza Wall':


More unusual in my opinion were the two short straightaways at Meadowdale next to each other in opposite directions. The two roads were separated only by a guard rail.

#84 Rob G

Rob G
  • Member

  • 10,891 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 15 September 2011 - 17:58

The new-for-2011 Baltimore street course, due to a lack of space, had pit spaces down the entire length of the right side of pit lane, plus spaces for a few cars on the left side. Has this ever happened before?

#85 Garsted

Garsted
  • Member

  • 66 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 15 September 2011 - 20:14

What, like this????

Posted Image

Not really, the gallery was internal, imagine something like the Silverstone garages with a mezzanine walkway running the length inside. You had a plan view of the whole garage space and could walk through from one garage into the next.

Steve

#86 La Sarthe

La Sarthe
  • Member

  • 103 posts
  • Joined: June 09

Posted 16 September 2011 - 16:26

A new candidate for the ridiculous is the new Silverstone, specifically the exit of Club onto the new pits straight. On the outside of the track some num-nuts had decided to glue on pieces of green astroturf, although it looked more like carpet. At the 6 hour ILMC sports car race last weekend, every time a car ran slightly wide, sections of carpet would be ripped up and strewn down the track, mainly for the next car to run over and move along a bit. By the end of the race several bits had made their way to near Abbey. What puzzled me was that each side of the astroturf the surface had just been painted green. Does anyone know if there's a specific reason why this stuff is used?

#87 Duc-Man

Duc-Man
  • Member

  • 1,068 posts
  • Joined: November 08

Posted 17 September 2011 - 12:30

A new candidate for the ridiculous is the new Silverstone, specifically the exit of Club onto the new pits straight. On the outside of the track some num-nuts had decided to glue on pieces of green astroturf, although it looked more like carpet. At the 6 hour ILMC sports car race last weekend, every time a car ran slightly wide, sections of carpet would be ripped up and strewn down the track, mainly for the next car to run over and move along a bit. By the end of the race several bits had made their way to near Abbey. What puzzled me was that each side of the astroturf the surface had just been painted green. Does anyone know if there's a specific reason why this stuff is used?


Because they want that it looks like gras beside the track? :rotfl:

#88 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 17 September 2011 - 13:58

Longford has a train crossing,,,, and a pub!
And a lot of ex airfield tracks have or had some strange things like bomb shelters, hangars, ammunition huts and parade grounds. The start line at Mallala is on the parade ground!


You forgot to mention the Esses under the viaduct and the 2 bridges.

Good track and 1967 sedan race rendition here ...



A little off subject but I used to do mudsprints in a cow paddock around a dam. Plenty of cowshit there.


Bullshit.


#89 Barry Boor

Barry Boor
  • Member

  • 10,834 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 19 September 2011 - 22:47

I'm not 100% sure about this one because I cannot find any reference to the circuit but in 1935 there was a Grand Prix in Bergamo, Italy.

If Mark A's circuit map is correct (I'd love to know from whence it came) the cars had to pass through here:

http://maps.google.c...2,309.39,,0,5.8

Hard to imagine but I can't see that this would have looked much different even 76 years ago.

Edited by Barry Boor, 19 September 2011 - 22:49.


#90 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,164 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 19 September 2011 - 22:53

I'm not 100% sure about this one because I cannot find any reference to the circuit but in 1935 there was a Grand Prix in Bergamo, Italy.

If Mark A's circuit map is correct (I'd love to know from whence it came) the cars had to pass through here:

http://maps.google.c...2,309.39,,0,5.8

Hard to imagine but I can't see that this would have looked much different even 76 years ago.


There's a photo tour on Guidos site Barry

http://www.gdecarli....p?var1=2&var2=1


#91 Les

Les
  • Member

  • 2,068 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 19 September 2011 - 23:08

I'm not 100% sure about this one because I cannot find any reference to the circuit but in 1935 there was a Grand Prix in Bergamo, Italy.

If Mark A's circuit map is correct (I'd love to know from whence it came) the cars had to pass through here:

http://maps.google.c...2,309.39,,0,5.8

Hard to imagine but I can't see that this would have looked much different even 76 years ago.


Have a look at the pic on this page of Nuvolari past the arch at Bergamo:

http://www.alfasport...View.asp?id=491

#92 Barry Boor

Barry Boor
  • Member

  • 10,834 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:32

I think that one beats the Donington arch for ridiculosity!

#93 Les

Les
  • Member

  • 2,068 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 20 September 2011 - 21:52

I think that one beats the Donington arch for ridiculosity!


I went round the place in Google Earth (anything instead of studying!). Its a seriously insane circuit. One car wide for a good portion of the track around the arch. Loads of fast stretches leading to tight corners with brick walls or buildings. I know it was the 30's but still a crazy track.

#94 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,081 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 27 September 2011 - 03:01

When the 12 hours of Gheux sports car race was held at the Reims circuit for the first time in 1926, drivers found the sunrise as they approached the village of Thillois along Route Nationale 31 was dazzling and making it hard to see.

The solution was a giant velvet curtain which was hang at the start of the escape road just beyond the right hand corner into Thillois, which blocked the effects of the rising sun.

#95 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,081 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:33

The now unused 30 degree banking of the Fuji Speedway was very dangerous as the drivers approached the banking over a blind crest and then dropped down into the banking, rather than climbing up the banking as was the case at Monza, Monthlery and other banked tracks.

The drop can clearly be seen at 0:35 in the following video:



#96 Lee Nicolle

Lee Nicolle
  • Member

  • 5,755 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 05 March 2012 - 22:06

I can't agree, David...

But I have no time for horse racing at all.

Sand over the bitumen is far more commonsense, they also did that here at Victoria Pk [Adelaide Parklands Circuit] before motorsport effectivly decimated horse racing.

#97 HeskethBoy

HeskethBoy
  • Member

  • 57 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:47

What puzzled me was that each side of the astroturf the surface had just been painted green. Does anyone know if there's a specific reason why this stuff is used?


The aim of the 'astro-turf' is to provoke wheelspin on those cars which leave the racing surface - to slow the car and thus discourage the practice of running wide.
Sadly - nobody has yet worked out how to secure the plastic grass sufficiently to cope with sverel hundred horse-power on regular and repetaed occurrences, resulting in "lawn clippings" and the like being scattered everywhere.
Mind you, the old concrete wall inside Honda Corner at Amaroo Park certainly deterred drivers from cutting that corner - didn't it?

The Noosa Hillclimb in Queensland permits road-registered vehicles to leave the property and return to the pit/paddock area via the highway - drivers are encouraged to remove their helmets before doing so.

#98 HeskethBoy

HeskethBoy
  • Member

  • 57 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:56

I believe the 'gravel' was a product called something like Lytag - a very light aggregate material. It was pretty effective, as I recall spectating there when a mini lost its brakes and buried itself in the mound, up to A piller. When they dragged it out there was remarkable little damage, probably less that would be caused by hitting another car.


Mount Cotton Hillclimb in Queensland uses the fibrous outer husk from macadamia nuts as an arresting trap at the hairpin located at the bottom of the first loop.
Cars caught in "the nuts" seldom receive more damage than a light scratching of paintwork. Very effective, very safe and environmentally friendly also.

#99 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,081 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:09

The short oil-covered track at Barjarg in north-eastern Victoria had a large rock outcrop in the middle of the main straight.

Advertisement

#100 Jon Saltinstall

Jon Saltinstall
  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 10 April 2012 - 18:20

Didn't really know where else to put this, but it kinda qualifies - the original Melbourne Loop at Donington, complete with jumps in both directions! Here it is in 1995, before the "central reservation" was completely paved over by the Sunday market brigade.........

http://imageshack.us...31/img002tl.jpg