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Old Roman circuits


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 17:40

No, this is not a reference to Ben-Hur style competition, but rather, the musings of a sad old anorak on a wet and windy Welsh Sunday!

I will be in Rome for a few days next summer. So, I decided to scout around Multimap to see if I might add anything to the list of visits made by members of Les Amis des Circuits d'Antan.

I was very happy to see that two of the old circuits used for races in Rome (or nearby) seem still to exist in more or less their entirity.

Here is the circuit at Caracalla:
Posted Image
The location of this circuit appears to be very near the Circus Maximus and only a swallow's flight away from the Colosseum. So a stroll around this one seems fairly likely.

The Castelfusano track out near Ostia appears even less affected by the passage of time. Indeed, according to Multimap, the curving section at the top of the circuit is still called the Viale del Circuito. So there is little doubt about the authenticity of this road.
Posted Image

This track matches exactly my Autosport Directory 1955 track plan but being out by the coast, I may find it a tad more difficult to persuade the other 3 members of my party that it is a valid subject for a visit.


Now I wonder if anyone could post some race results from those 2 circuits?

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#2 Barry Boor

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 17:46

I have just checked Darren's track database and I find that there was a street track used in Rome in 1984 and 5 (what for?) It was, apparently, based around the Via Cristoforo Colombo.

Our hotel for our 3 days in Rome is called the Caravel; it's address is..... the Via Cristoforo Colombo. :)

#3 René de Boer

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 18:09

From 1925 till 1991, with interruption, for obvious reasons, from 1933-1946 and then also a few years missing in the 1950s and 1960s, there was an event called "Gran Premio di Roma" for single seater cars. It started as Formula Libre (1925-1927), then had GP-status (1928-1932) and was then mainly a Formula 2 race, counting towards the European Championship from 1967 till 1984. From 1985 till 1991, the Grand Prix of Rome was a Formula 3000-round.

Most of the races took place at Vallelunga, 20 km north of Rome, but a few were held on other circuits:

1925 Monte Mario (winner Carlo Masetti, Bugatti T35)
1926 Valle Giulia, Parioli (winner Aymo Maggi, Bugatti T35)
1928 Tre Fontana (winner Louis Chiron, Bugatti T35C)
1929 Tre Fontana (winner Achille Varzi, Alfa Romeo P2)
1930 Tre Fontana (winner Luigi Arcangeli, Maserati 26M)
1931 Littorio (winner Ernesto Maserati, Maserati V4)
1932 Littorio (winner Luigi Fagioli, Maserati V5)
1947 Terme di Caracalla (winner Franco Cortese, Ferrari 125)
1949 Terme di Caracalla (winner Luigi Villoresi, Ferrari 166/F2)
1950 Terme di Caracalla (winner Alberto Ascari, Ferrari 166/F2)
1951 Terme di Caracalla (winner Mario Rafaeli, Ferrari 166/F2)
1954 Castel Fusano (winner Onofre Marimón, Maserati 250F)
1955 Castel Fusano (winner Jean Behra, Maserati 300s) (this was the only time the Grand Prix of Rome was a sportscar race)

#4 alessandro silva

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 19:32

To René's list, it has to be added the unnamed 1927 circuit: a mix between Monte Mario and Valle Giulia. You can stroll along all the mentioned circuits.
The only non-surviving is the Littorio track. Only the airport is left.

Vallelunga has had three different layouts: an oval dirt-track after WWII
a 1.8 kms very twisty and the 3.2 kms present.

When in Roma next Summer, Barry, I hope I can take you to whatever circuit you wish to visit.

#5 René de Boer

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 19:56

Grazie, Alessandro, I forgot that one. For the record, the winner was Tazio Nuvolari, Bugatti T35.

#6 Racer.Demon

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 21:30

Originally posted by Barry Boor
This track matches exactly my Autosport Directory 1955 track plan but being out by the coast, I may find it a tad more difficult to persuade the other 3 members of my party that it is a valid subject for a visit.


But a visit to the impressive archeological sites near-by at what used to be the Empire's Ostia harbour would be a valid subject for any visitor to Rome. Here's your excuse for a historically minded and politically correct seaside trip with the prospect of some motor racing archeology on the side :cool:

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 21:51

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
But a visit to the impressive archeological sites near-by at what used to be the Empire's Ostia harbour would be a valid subject for any visitor to Rome. Here's your excuse for a historically minded and politically correct seaside trip with the prospect of some motor racing archeology on the side :cool:


As I read down through this thread I was thinking exactly the same thing...

I spent two days in Ostia after going to Monaco and Le Mans in 1981 and barely looked at these things, but was impressed by those I saw. And that there was some apparent effort going into restoring or preserving sites that reeked of history.

It also brought back memories of the thoughts I had... my plane was struck by lightning in Germany, and thus delayed by a day, then the following day it was overloaded, so another delay... of offering Qantas the opportunity to let others travel while I took a train trip to Spain and watched yet another exhibition of Gilles... but, in the end, I was safely at home to watch another kind of train circulate that day.

Of course, I can now also reflect that during those two days I was walking on parts of an old racing circuit and never knew! Shame on me!

#8 Rob29

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Posted 22 October 2002 - 07:50

Originally posted by Barry Boor
I have just checked Darren's track database and I find that there was a street track used in Rome in 1984 and 5 (what for?) It was, apparently, based around the Via Cristoforo Colombo.

Our hotel for our 3 days in Rome is called the Caravel; it's address is..... the Via Cristoforo Colombo. :)

Dont think that circuit was ever used Barry. Around that time there was a plan for a Rome F1 GP which never happened.

#9 Racer.Demon

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Posted 22 October 2002 - 08:16

I think you're right, Rob. I have friends living in the immediate vicinity, and they would have told me with their knowledge of my keen interest in track pilgrimages. And if it was used - for what? Does someone have pictures?

BTW, I can see why they chose the Via C. Colombo. It's the enormously wide axial boulevard cutting through the middle of EUR, Mussolini's neo-Roman suburb to the south of the city - so not in the city centre, as Darren mentions incorrectly. Its two "arms" embrace the circular sporting arena right in the centre of EUR, and the road is flanked by pompous porticos and colonnades - now fronting several impressive museums - to turn it into the proud fascist equivalent of the Via dei Fori Imperiali. It would have given a suitable background to a bit of modern carriage racing!

What about Tre Fontane? Where exactly is it? On Darren's map I can just make out the Via Laurentina, the Via Ostiense/Via del Mare and the S. Paolo basilica (fuori le Mura). So did it indeed circumnavigate the current EUR? Ah yes, here it is - EUR still has a Via delle Tre Fontane! Looks like a huge track...

But Alessandro is better placed to elaborate on all this.

#10 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 13:11

From 1925 till 1991, with interruption, for obvious reasons, from 1933-1946 and then also a few years missing in the 1950s and 1960s, there was an event called "Gran Premio di Roma" for single seater cars. It started as Formula Libre (1925-1927), then had GP-status (1928-1932) and was then mainly a Formula 2 race, counting towards the European Championship from 1967 till 1984. From 1985 till 1991, the Grand Prix of Rome was a Formula 3000-round.

Most of the races took place at Vallelunga, 20 km north of Rome, but a few were held on other circuits:

1925 Monte Mario (winner Carlo Masetti, Bugatti T35)
1926 Valle Giulia, Parioli (winner Aymo Maggi, Bugatti T35)
1928 Tre Fontana (winner Louis Chiron, Bugatti T35C)
1929 Tre Fontana (winner Achille Varzi, Alfa Romeo P2)
1930 Tre Fontana (winner Luigi Arcangeli, Maserati 26M)
1931 Littorio (winner Ernesto Maserati, Maserati V4)
1932 Littorio (winner Luigi Fagioli, Maserati V5)
1947 Terme di Caracalla (winner Franco Cortese, Ferrari 125)
1949 Terme di Caracalla (winner Luigi Villoresi, Ferrari 166/F2)
1950 Terme di Caracalla (winner Alberto Ascari, Ferrari 166/F2)
1951 Terme di Caracalla (winner Mario Rafaeli, Ferrari 166/F2)
1954 Castel Fusano (winner Onofre Marimón, Maserati 250F)
1955 Castel Fusano (winner Jean Behra, Maserati 300s) (this was the only time the Grand Prix of Rome was a sportscar race)


From a (very) old thread.

The Tre Fontane circuit was created in 1928, a 13-kilometer road course between the Via Laurentina and Via Ostiense (at the time the place was pretty far from Rome, now... it is "center of Rome")
http://forums.autosp...w...t&p=1521061

Another obscure Roman track was the "Circuito Ostiense". It was a motorcycle race which was held on 07 March 1926, a round of the Italian Championship, the winner was Tazio Nuvolari on a Bianchi "Freccia Celeste".

Nothing is known about this course. According to Italian contemporary press, the track was almost 13-kilometer long, "on the route of Via Ostiense".
The Via Ostiense is a 25-kilometer road from the Piramide Cestia in Rome, to Ostia, on the Tirrenian sea. It is not known wheter the circuit was at Ostia or at Rome.

Another street track was created at Ostia in 1939, the "Circuito dell'Impero" held on the promenade by the sea.

Possibly the stretch of the Via Ostiense which was used from 1928/30 in the Tre Fontane circuit, was the same of the "Circuito Ostiense" of 1926.

Who knows?
:confused:



#11 hansfohr

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 18:51

Another street track was created at Ostia in 1939, the "Circuito dell'Impero" held on the promenade by the sea.
Possibly the stretch of the Via Ostiense which was used from 1928/30 in the Tre Fontane circuit, was the same of the "Circuito Ostiense" of 1926.

Who knows?

Don't look any further than De Carli's incredible site: http://www.gdecarli....var1=512&var2=1

#12 milotemesvar

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:46

Posted Image


It's in my intentions to make a series of footages about the circuits used in Rome (and surroundings) from the 1920s to the 1950s. Using of course informations present on the site http://www.gdecarli.it/.

The first circuit is Valle Giulia (Reale Premio Roma 1926). I refer you to 2 posts on my blog:

Valle Giulia 1

Valle Giulia 2

In the second post there is an on board video in which I marked the small deviations from the original path due to one-way traffic.

I hope you'll find it interesting.

#13 LittleChris

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 20:30

Great stuff Milo, looking forward to more track tests !! Castelfusano soon please :wave:

#14 Barry Boor

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 22:29

...and Caracalla.

#15 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 14:52

From a (very) old thread.

The Tre Fontane circuit was created in 1928, a 13-kilometer road course between the Via Laurentina and Via Ostiense (at the time the place was pretty far from Rome, now... it is "center of Rome")
http://forums.autosp...w...t&p=1521061

Another obscure Roman track was the "Circuito Ostiense". It was a motorcycle race which was held on 07 March 1926, a round of the Italian Championship, the winner was Tazio Nuvolari on a Bianchi "Freccia Celeste".

Nothing is known about this course. According to Italian contemporary press, the track was almost 13-kilometer long, "on the route of Via Ostiense".
The Via Ostiense is a 25-kilometer road from the Piramide Cestia in Rome, to Ostia, on the Tirrenian sea. It is not known wheter the circuit was at Ostia or at Rome.

Another street track was created at Ostia in 1939, the "Circuito dell'Impero" held on the promenade by the sea.

Possibly the stretch of the Via Ostiense which was used from 1928/30 in the Tre Fontane circuit, was the same of the "Circuito Ostiense" of 1926.

Who knows?
:confused:


Updating:
according to newspaper La Stampa of Turin, Italy, issue of 08 March 1926, the track used for the "Circuito Ostiense" motorcycle race of 07 March 1926 was 13.750-meter long (lenght confirmed by the Museo Nuvolari and GdeCarli websites).
The article states that the race "started from Via di Decima and passed through the Via Ostiense straight". So, it must be a longer variant (13.750 vs. 13.035) of the Tre Fontane circuit used from 1928 to 1930 which course passed on the same streets.