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Sitges-Terramar circuit: remarkable survival


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#1 Terry Walker

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 09:05

Sitges Terramar, a speedway type banked circuit built in 1922, not far from Barcelona, was apparently a failure from the start, and was abandoned in about 1950. Imagine my surprise when, touring the Barcelona area from space on Google Maps I found this:

Posted Image

I went down as far as the resolution would take me, and it looks like the two end bankings are still there. I am amazed.

Now all we need is a Barcelona-based TNFer to visit with a camera.

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#2 Murray Lord

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 09:38

Terry,

See http://users.pandora...s.bvba1/sitges/ for some (relatively) recent photos.

Murray

#3 Terry Walker

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 10:11

Wow!

Those bankings are steep! Cost the earth, no doubt, to revive it, and would be scarey to drive on. Reminiscent of Brooklands.

#4 humphries

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 10:27

Terry

I had a walk round the Sitges track at Terramar, or most of it until seen off by a pack of dogs, about 10 years ago.

The track is remarkably intact although somehow the curvature of the banking seems odd. Driving round it at speed must have been exciting to say the least. To go over the top of the banking looked almost impossible, it's so steep, and it was probable a car in trouble would have slid down to the bottom and into a rock face. You can only conclude the drivers of old were either very brave or nuts.

What surprised me is that when I visited the Tourist Informatin office in Sitges none of the staff were aware of its existence. They pulled out a map and when I pointed to the kidney bean shape they gave the Continental shrug and smiled. Since then, however, there have been efforts to resurrect the facility.

John

#5 2F-001

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 11:27

One small point I have never been clear on...
how should one pronounce "Sitges"?

#6 macoran

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 15:44

Originally posted by humphries
Terry

I had a walk round the Sitges track at Terramar, or most of it until seen off by a pack of dogs, about 10 years ago.
John


I was there 24 years ago, probably different dogs, but the chaps with the rifles telling me to get the h*** away prevented me from taking pics.
The condition of the track then was quite good actually. I would have taken my car for a spin.

#7 Manel Baró

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 16:17

Originally posted by 2F-001
One small point I have never been clear on...
how should one pronounce "Sitges"?


Figurative: "seetges", phonetical like "bridges" . Sitges is Catalan for "silos".

#8 Manel Baró

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 16:57

Originally posted by humphries
Terry

I had a walk round the Sitges track at Terramar, or most of it until seen off by a pack of dogs, about 10 years ago.

The track is remarkably intact although somehow the curvature of the banking seems odd. Driving round it at speed must have been exciting to say the least. To go over the top of the banking looked almost impossible, it's so steep, and it was probable a car in trouble would have slid down to the bottom and into a rock face. You can only conclude the drivers of old were either very brave or nuts.

What surprised me is that when I visited the Tourist Informatin office in Sitges none of the staff were aware of its existence. They pulled out a map and when I pointed to the kidney bean shape they gave the Continental shrug and smiled. Since then, however, there have been efforts to resurrect the facility.

John

Dogs are still there!
Actually, The Hispano-Suiza specially built to establish lap record of the the track, travelled close to the banking top.
Track area is an active farm nowadays. The diverse projects to turn the silent track into a living vintage motor racing events have not awaken the interest of the landlords until now.

#9 h4887

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 16:59

Probably a daft question, but how did they lay that concrete without it all slumping down?

#10 James Page

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 17:05

I'd always wondered that about Brooklands, which has weathered far less gracefully than Sitges by the looks of it. Was always a bit afraid to ask in case it was blindingly obvious!

#11 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 17:24

I 'found' the Sitges autodrome back in 1968. Thanks to Spanish winters being effectively non-existent it seems to have survived pretty much unchanged even after another 40 years.

I believe the concrete surface was laid in shuttered sections, shaped at the top of the bankings within wooden moulds. Undre the Spanish sun the mix would certainly have 'gone off' very quickly. The banking surfaces are also laid on virtually solid cut rock which was a great advantage compared to the unsettled rubble and earth spoil banks thrown up at Brooklands.

The Spanish track was notoriously badly designed, with very abrupt and dangerous transitions between the flat main 'straights' and the rising bankings. While the spiral easement curves used by Colonel Holden in his Brooklands' design were very effective in leading a car into the curve without excessive loading, the apparent rule of thumb used at Sitges produced a very dangerous course, in which cars entering the banked curves at high speed virtually struck a concrete wall...

Complaints were loud, and numerous, and this factor alone seems to have been largely responsible for the autodrome's early abandonment.

DCN

#12 Peter Morley

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 20:13

The link in the second post is to my website.

I've not known the track as long as DCN (I was only 4 when he discovered it), but have always felt that something in such good condition (it was incredibly well built with solid foundations, kind weather and lack of use have all helped preserve it - even the grandstand was just covered to turn it into a grain silo!), really should be restored and used as intended.

The farmer who owns it is old and would sell the site (for something around 10 million - which when you consider a fairly average house in Sitges is a million is quite reasonable). Since a previous plan to revive the circuit fell through the family have appointed an architect who has drawn up plans to redevlop the site - basically as a concrete shopping/conference centre and preserving the circuit as some kind of park).
Fortunately they don't seem to have found backers for their project yet so it would still be possible to restore it - once the site is bought it is possible to obtain subsidies from various sources (EU, Local Development agencies and so on) which would keep the costs down.
I do know people who are interested in the idea but they keep getting distracted by other projects, which is a source of great frustration.

As for the circuit itself one objective was to promote the use of cast concrete for road construction, the survival of the circuit surely proving that to have been a great success.

Apart from difficulties raised by the transitions there were various other problems that led to the closure of the circuit - someone running off with all the gate money for example!
The number of successful races held shows that the track was raceable, and some great names raced there - of course it is hard to imagine some of the current 'nanny state' drivers liking the idea, but those with 'cojones' should relish the prospect.

#13 pac

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 23:53

It appears that this thread served as an inspiration for Mark Hughes' article on the track in the June 7th issue. He writes about his visit to the track in 2000...

http://www.autosport...cle.php/id/1097

It's been a real pleasure to look at Peter's photos and read the stories from those of you that have visited the track!

#14 taylov

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 10:17

I have a copy of the programme for the Sitges races held between 28 October and 4 November 1923. There were to be 4 days of racing for 2 litre cars, Voiturettes (1500cc), Autocycles and Motorcycles.

The entry list is fasinating if one can get past the more obvious errors such as the Sumbeam entries. Tazio Nuvolario (sic) is down to drive a Chiribiri in the 1500cc race, alongside Cap. Wolf Barnato in a Bertelli. Benoist (is it THE Robert Benoist?) entered in a Salmson in the 1100cc "autocycle" race and Ach. Varzi on a Norton in the 500cc bike race.

Does anyone have a full set of results for all of the races at Sitges that week? To date, I can only find the 1-2 for the 2 litre race.



(http://users.pandora...s.bvba1/sitges/ shows the remarkable state of the Sitges track in 2001)

#15 GIGLEUX

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 12:06

1923
1500cc 300 laps (!!!)
1.Resta 4h22.11.9 85,31 mph
2.Divo 4.22.12.0
3.Zborowski 4.39.43.0
4.Nuvolari 4.45.23.0

FL Divo 50sec.3 88,94 mph

1100cc 200 laps
1.Benoist 3.14.51.5 76.53 mph
2.Matthieu 3.15.17.0
3.Bueno 3.15.39.0
4.Lombard 3.40.41.0
5.Lluch stopped with 197 laps
6.Collet 174 laps
7.Brambilla 134 laps

Lombard and Lluch had 750cc cars. The winner was effectively the "great" Benoist.

#16 taylov

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 12:48

Thank you, Jean-Maurice.

Can anyone add the results for the motorbike race(s) held on 29 October 1923 ?

#17 Pils1989

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 13:23

I confirm what Peter says from what I've heard from my side and I heard anything new. :(

#18 Lotus23

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 19:44

Doug Nye (post #11) has it correct, as usual.

50 years ago I was a civil engineering student, and can remember learning about the importance of gradual spiral transitions from a straight road into a curve, or vice versa.

If a road designer just plonks the arc of a circle onto a length of straightaway, it's lethal: whether entering or exiting the curve, the driver has to make just the precise turn of the steering wheel at just the exact moment, or he'll get it all wrong. Sitges was mentioned in class as a Horrid Example of poor design.

As evidenced by its longevity, the track benefited from great construction. But unfortunately the greatest construction in the world cannot overcome an inherent design flaw.

#19 Manel Baró

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 19:45

Originally posted by taylov
Thank you, Jean-Maurice.

Can anyone add the results for the motorbike race(s) held on 29 October 1923 ?


According my scarce notes on hand :

Class Distance: Time Average Speed
-350 cc 300 laps (600 km)
Winner: I.Mariani (Garelli) 3h 06' 36" 96.500 Kph

-500 cc 350 laps
Winner: Guillard (Peugeot) 2h 46' 31" 126.000 Kph

-1000 cc 400 laps
1st: E.Vidal (Indian) 3h 38' 10"
2nd: I.Macaya (Indian) 3h 49' 24"

Can try to find out some more data results, if interested

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#20 flat-16

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 11:49

Modern F1 would be a heck of a lot more interesting if we had a few circuits like Sitges on the calendar! I'd pay money to see that!

Sitges would make a fantastic setting for revival races, but even in the case of low-speed demonstration racing, I suspect it would give most drivers the chills... If you go over the top, you ain't coming back!

Thanks to all for sharing a fascinating link. It would be great to see Sitges host historical events, but I'm not sure I'd want to drive a modern car at more than 50mph along that circuit, let alone a 1923 Sunbeam at 100+ :eek:

Let's start petitioning Bernie now: 2009 Spanish GP @ Sitges. Make Hamilton and Alonso work for a living I say!


Justin

#21 Manel Baró

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 10:36

Further to my post # 19, pls note T. Nuvolari raced in the 350cc event with a "Borgo" motorcycle but DNF.

#22 Manel Baró

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 11:15

"Complaints were loud, and numerous, and this factor alone seems to have been largely responsible for the autodrome's early abandonment". (Post # 11)
"Sitges was mentioned in class as a Horrid Example of poor design." (Post # 18)

I have collected info of the Terramar Autòdrom for years and until now have been unable to find any technical report sustaining these repeated comments. Could you pls supply further details of where that alleged basic design mistake are reported. Thank you

#23 1929BSA

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:19

January 2008 - I spoke with Manel 2 weeks ago, having contacted him before our planned trip to Catalunya. I had walked as much of the track as I could the week prior, until being seen off by those same large angry dogs. The track is in relatively good and essentially complete condition for it's age and its neglected status.

With my long-suffering wife and 3 daughters I cheerfully ignored the many "PRIVAT - NE PASSEUR" signs on every one of the 3 very rough gravel entry roads, and parked our rental car on the end of the main straight (the banking is barricaded off at that point). From there I walked around half the circuit towards and past the quarry . I will post some of the images on the thread once I sort them out - we were in Europe for 2 months and I have some 3000 images to sort out.

#24 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:20

Originally posted by Manel Baró
...I have collected info of the Terramar Autòdrom for years and until now have been unable to find any technical report sustaining these repeated comments. Could you pls supply further details of where that alleged basic design mistake are reported. Thank you

There are about 14 pages in Javier del Arco's book "Història de l'automobilisme a Catalunya" dealing with the Sitges course. Because I do not understand Spanish I am not certain that the circuit's problems have been explained in this section, but at least I would expect Javier del Arco to have reported something to this effect. As far as I have learned, none of the drivers who raced in 1922 and 23 liked the track, complaining that it was rather dangerous getting on to the banking and getting off again, a flaw concerning the transitions on and off the bankings from and to the straights as explained quite well by DCN in post 11.

The organizers never staged a larger international event. The main problem for the decline of the Sitges oval was however of financial nature and had less to do with deficiency problems of the track. Even Brooklands was an imperfect track but survived for many years because of successful financiers.

#25 wdm

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 11:30

Originally posted by Manel Baró
"Complaints were loud, and numerous, and this factor alone seems to have been largely responsible for the autodrome's early abandonment". (Post # 11)
"Sitges was mentioned in class as a Horrid Example of poor design." (Post # 18)

I have collected info of the Terramar Autòdrom for years and until now have been unable to find any technical report sustaining these repeated comments. Could you pls supply further details of where that alleged basic design mistake are reported. Thank you

I found a reference to this in Dudley Coram's "Aston Martin: The Story of a Sports Car".

(The book is actually in two sections, the second written by Coram, the first - from which the following extract is taken - was written by Inman Hunter and FE Ellis.)

"The Sitges-Terramar autodrome, several miles south of Barcelona, was an attempt to provide Spain with a kind of Brooklands on a smaller scale, but its success proved limited, owing to the too rapid transition from banked turns to flat straights and back again, the effect on the drivers being tiring in the extreme. Clearly something had gone wrong with the designers’ calculations for the entry into the bankings and the exit therefrom, and as nothing was done to correct it, Sitges had a short international racing life."

#26 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 12:10

Did the developer not run off with the receipts from the first event?

#27 Manel Baró

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 16:23

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
There are about 14 pages in Javier del Arco's book "Història de l'automobilisme a Catalunya" dealing with the Sitges course. Because I do not understand Spanish I am not certain that the circuit's problems have been explained in this section, but at least I would expect Javier del Arco to have reported something to this effect. As far as I have learned, none of the drivers who raced in 1922 and 23 liked the track, complaining that it was rather dangerous getting on to the banking and getting off again, a flaw concerning the transitions on and off the bankings from and to the straights as explained quite well by DCN in post 11.

The organizers never staged a larger international event. The main problem for the decline of the Sitges oval was however of financial nature and had less to do with deficiency problems of the track. Even Brooklands was an imperfect track but survived for many years because of successful financiers.


Terramar oval track and early Spanish motor racing history, has been neglected or even ignored by most post WW motor historians, likely due to scarce interest in a country eclipsed during vaste periods of autarchy.
J.del Arco’s book, -writen in Catalan language- was, backed in 1989 by the RACC (Royal A.C. of Catalunya), published just after erection of current track of Montmeló began, in an effort of the Club to bring back the F1G.P. home, after the ill-fated 1975 edition.
The book relates in a sound yet divulgative way, the long love affair of Catalans with the motorsport since the very first years of past century and besides a number of images spreaded here and there among the text, devotes two pages -54 and 55- on Terramar. JdA emphasizes its sound construction and defines three basic reasons for its early failure i.e.:
-Its location far away from Barcelona in a period devoid of popular private transport.
-The fast raise of racing machinery performance turned the track soon obsolete.
-The capital invested by the private promoters was unsufficient to face debts generated.
Other writers are of similar opinion.
Creditors retained the innaugural event income so, preventing the organizers to pay the prizes to competitors and the AIACR banned the track to further international events, easing its fast declining. Subsequent civil war and long postwar depression buried the project.
Spiral easement curves were widely known at the time. J.Mestres, the track architect, visited Monza and other racing sites before. Fortunately, original project memorandum and relative paperwork is available and the site survives in good shape. Opinion of serious researchers/architects would be welcome.

#28 tdcadguy

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:27

I realize that this is an old thread, but there's something recent to add.

For the life of me I can't remeber which magazine, but there is a short magazine article this month (June 2008) about Sitges-Terrama track. If it's of help, it was a U.S. based motorcycle magazine.

Google Earth has several photos placemarked on the track. Coordinates for the track are:

lat 41.238497°
lon 1.780722°

Hope this is of interest.

Later,
Trent

#29 Edington Mains

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 08:01

I Posted this elsewhere.. but as 'some here' dont go there!!
its an OCR scan of the MOTORSPORT MAGAZINE March 2004 trip to the track..

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Senna on a hot lap. Fangio steering with the throttle.
Belief lowering the Nordschleife's lap record, froma standing start. An awakening Chevy stock-block.
These are the motor-racing things that take your breath awav. cause your heart to skip a beat.
In contrast, distant memories of disused tracks evoke a slippers-bv-the-fire glow. True, drive Dundrod, or Montjmch. or Chimay, or Solitude, and a sense of awe does rise from the pit ot vour stomach to lodge uncomfortably in the back of your throat. True. vour mouth dries as a consequence. But that's about all. Until now.
Actually, we're not even supposed to be here. Preparatory faxes to the local tourist office had been met with an encouraging all-clear. But there is a problem when it comes to the crunch. Permission has not been granted. We cannot gain vehicular access. Not today, not manana.
We've come too far to stop just short, though. We mean no harm. We're here to pay homage. We decide to check it out in any case.
Nudging along at walking pace, determined not to create a give away plume of rust-red dust. the engine is silenced and we coast
the final few yards. "erv conspiratorial. We roll to a halt alongside an impressive - in size and construction - retaining wall. Imagine a northern milltown cobbled street. Flip it onto its side, through 90 degrees. Flex it into a pleasing curve. That's about what we have here.
The farm track ahead disappears into a tunnel. No Pasar, Privada, the sign says. We mean no harm. We're just curious. We don't plan to blat round on a hired holiday scooter. We will be reverential. This, we know, is a special place. How special we're about to find out.
We scramble up the wall. taking care not to dislodge anything, and peer over its edge, like snipers. My jaw drops. Not metaphorically.
Literally. We have stumbled upon the Land that Lap times Forgot. A concrete crop circle. A white elephant's footprint Majestic. Mysterious.
The most impressive piece ofmotorsport architecture. Le Corbusier at 15Omph. A Falling Water for petrolheads. To our left stands an imposing 16th century fortified farmhouse. Its retro sits well with the track's nouveau. I stand to get a better view. Oops, people. I duck down.
Mustn't compromise the mission. We need another point of access. One that affords us more cover.
The next approach ventured is much wider but strewn with boulders.
Photographer Newton minesweeps for our low-slung MR2, and we emerge behind the purpose-built stands. They could have been put up yesterday.
Brooklands has suffered the caprices of British weather; Autodromo Nacional has been faithfully preserved by solid Spanish sunshine. The buildings are boarded up and a roof has been laid over the integral seats, but it's all here- bar the wooden trimming.
Betwixt the stands and the track's edge lies a small olive grove - affording us more cover. We risk driving onto the track.
A lap is out of the question, home-made barricades of scrub, rubble and chain see to that, so we pull up on the curving start/finish straight - Sitges is kidney-shaped. Tufts of grass jut through the surface's 'zigzag' joins (to be explained later), but it is in remarkable condition otherwise, even on this section, where farm vehicles have done their worst Autodromo Nacional enjoys a 16-year technology advantage over Brooklands - 1923 compared to '07 - and its concrete is of a better consistency, is smoother,
and is beautifully edged, as a result. Deep pan rather than thin crust. This was meant to be the best, a showpiece.
Spain had big plans in the early 1920s. Part of the grandiose scheme was the construction of a modern road network. To this end, a Portland Cement factory was built close to Sitges. The track was their sampler, proof of the worth of their pre-cast sections, of the silence and comfort afforded by their aforesaid angled joints which precluded jarring caused by both wheels of an axle crossing them simultaneously.
This two-kilometre (1.242-mile) cutting-edge construction was gouged out of a rock face and moulded from 3.5 million kilograms of concrete in the space of 300 days during 1923. Two thrusting young architects, Jaume Mestres i Fossas (track) and Josep Maria Martino Arroyo (pits and grandstand), oversaw the project, and part of their brief was to build a Royal Box: King Alfonso XIII was coming to the races.
Autodromo Nacional was big news, a source of national pride for a country that had lagged behind industrial giants Britain and Germany and was determined to catch up. Sitges was meant to be a beginning. A pointer to a brighter future. It was to be a middle and an end, too. A microcosm, a litmus test of the problems and darker days to come.
Spains most ambitious motorsport programme began on october 21st, Albert Divo's Talbot 70 winning the voiturette Penya Rhin Grand Prix, held over 35 laps or the 9.2-mile Villafranca road course.
Fifth, in his first race outside Italy, was Tazio Nuvolari at the wheel of a Chiribiri 12/16. The Mantuan had a busy Iberian schedule ahead of him, for Villafranca was just for starters.
Sitges, the following weekend, was the main dish. And everything was ready. The crowd was impressive: 30,000, some ferried from the purpose-built train station to the track in purpose-built Model T-based coaches; others arriving in the
4000 cars parked on the infield-cum-aerodrome.
Early rain threatened the show, but afternoon sunshine saved the day: the first Spanish Grand Prix was go, albeit reduced to 200 laps from 300.
There were five no-shows, including the Miller of 1922 Indy 500 winner Jimmy Murphy, but the seven starters thrilled the crowd, the 'Fiat copy' Sunbeams of Divo and Dario Resta slugging it out with Louis Zborowski's Miller 122.
Resta retired after 150 laps, but his team-mate upheld Sunbeam's honour, winning by a minute after the blistering pace forced Zborowski to fit new tyres with just 10 laps to go. The Count's consolation was a 45.8sec (97.49mph) international car lap record. It would never be broken.
And Nuvolari? He raced his 500cc Borgo in the Spanish Motorcycle GP, held the same day, over two 175-lap heats. He retired, but returned the next weekend to drive his Chiribiri in the Spanish Voiturette GP. This, in turn,was held the same day as me 200-lap Spanish Cyclecar GP (1100cc) was completed; it had been abandoned after 70 laps three days earlier because of rain.
Robert Benoist led a Salmson 1 -2-3-4 in the latter event, while Divo deferred to Resta in the former, missing out on a memorable Spanish hattrick by 1 sec. And Nuvolari ? Fourth, after brake and exhaust problems.
For his efforts Divo received nothing. For beneath the track's squeakyclean modernism lay a murky problem as old as business. The project, at four million pesetas, had gone over budget. Consequently, there was no money to pay the German contractors, Tanner and Eigenheer. So they seized the gate receipts.
The drivers would have to go without.
The bad-mouthing began. Despite claims by the architect that the track would be good for 200kph (almost 25% faster than Zborowski had gone), and that its 100-metre radius, 60-degree bankings (a giddy 90 at the top.') had been designed to act as a seamless continuation of the straights, word was that the circuit was flawed. The bankings were too severe, they said,
sucking the cars in, spitting them out, while the reverse-curve approach to the north-western banking unsettled the cars. Flat-out dangerous, no less.
This much-maligned banking is certainly flat-out impressive - on foot To stand at its base, to bask in the heat reflected from its surface, to crick your neck skywards, is to be bowled over.
Brooklands' Outer Circuit, at 2.75 miles, dwarfs Sitges' lap, but its bankings are Lilliputian in comparison.
Discarded shotgun shells add to the tang of fear. It's very quiet here. And the sign did say Trivada. And a distant dog is barking.
Despite these omens, we chance a third invasion, this time from the north, an even narrower track leading us through cornfields and the only unsightly tear in the track's fabric, and onto the south-east banking. Even on its levelling exit, to go slowly at this angle causes the car, on modem radials, to sideslip.
Then it happens. We had almost got away with it.
Perhaps we'd become complacent. We never saw it coming. A white 2CV van, that is. We freeze. The driver slows, gives us a pitying look (even his barking dog has sought shade) and drives by. Our worst fears have not been confirmed, but instinctively we know we have overstayed what welcome there was.
There is a dignity about this place, and we are intruding. Taking away rather than adding. We'd sneaked on. Now we scuttled off.
The track, too, went out with a whimper. Oval contemporaries Monza (1922) and Montihery (1924) had long careers. Even the insufferably dull Miramas in southern France, venue of the farcical three-Bugatti 1926 French GP, has found an outlet as a BMW-owned test track.
Sitges, however, was immediately and roundly shunned. International racing was prohibited because of the financial irregularities, and although the Catalunyan AC and Penya Rhin ran minor races, they did so with little success. The track had lost its direction. The owners were desperate: cars raced planes, the track was run in both directions, even a share offer was attempted, all in a bid to revive interest. All failed. The Millenium Dome of its day.
Abandoned in 1925, it was bought by Bugatti racer Edgar Morawitz in the immediate fallout of the 1929 Wall Street crash and, in 1932, Sitges hosted the Spanish Motorcycling Championship. But these green shoots of recovery were chopped down by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Morawitz joined the fight - against Franco.
Spain remained in the General's tight grasp until 1973, and all motorracing breath was squeezed out of Sitges. But it was too big, too well-built to be erased completely. Its idealistic fathers had created a slumbering monster that lies a skipped heartbeat away frpm an awakaning, hot laps and wide-open throttles and new lap records.
BANKING ON THE FUTURE
entrepreneurs HAD SPENT 50 YEARS TRYING to persuade the owners to sell Sitges - to no avail.
Their on-site chicken farm was too successful to give up. So why is Peter Schemer on the verge of succeeding where others have failed?
He admits the timing was right: the owner had retired, and Catalonia's attitude to its heritage has recently changed.
"They really want to protect it now," says Schomer, a Canadian of German extraction. "So when the mayor of Sant Pere de Ribes [the track doesn't actually lie on Sitges land!] phoned the farmer to say that, legally, he had to look after the track, it was clear he was in no position to do so. He was ready to sell."
Schomer wants to create a Motorsport Resort. He has one planned in Majorca,but the potential of Sitges has seen it take priority. Before you recoil, he is adamant that trie track and buildings will be faithfully restored - for historic demos, maybe racing: "Why would you want to change it?
I couldn't believe it when I first saw it. this is an amazing fantastic place
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And a couple of interesting links posted by a guy on there as well...

Another pages :

http://alvolante.ifrance.com/alvolante/autodromo.html

http://www.gdecarli.it/Circuiti/ESP/foto/E...itges/index.htm

Impression of the banking :shock:
http://img379.images...214qblr6.th.jpg



#30 taylov

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 09:13

Here are a few Sitges items from my collection,

Tony.

1923 Programme

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Postcards from a set of at least 16 cards of the "Autodromo Nacional - Sitges" published by L.Roisin of Barcelona; Photos were taken mainly in track testing. Similar photos appear in the programme.

1 Motorcyclists practising.

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2 The Sitges track

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3 Cars on the banking

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#31 Mark A

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 09:44

Originally posted by Edington Mains

And a couple of interesting links posted by a guy on there as well...


Just to sort out the last link.

Posted Image

There seems to be quite a few tyre marks on the lower section of the banking.

#32 2.2VTEC

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 17:27

Hello all,

I visited the Sitges track last week & wrote a short story about it + took many pictures

You'll find them here :

http://foto.telenet.be/5785984129
http://foto.telenet.be/8783954213
http://foto.telenet.be/7782954255


Best regards,
2.2VTEC

#33 Herman L

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:25

I visited the old Autòdrom Nacional Sitges-Terramar last summer and made there a lot of pictures. You can find them at my site about old race tracks www.circuitsofthepast.nl If you can read Dutch you can also read the story about the track and the story about my visit. There is also an English section at the site and as soon as i have time i will translate the Sitges story to English.

Herman.

#34 Herman L

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 20:13

I translated the Sitges Terramar page to English. Go to my site www.circuitsofthepast.nl and select Sitges Terramar. Don't forget to read the story about my visit to the track!


I visited the old Autòdrom Nacional Sitges-Terramar last summer and made there a lot of pictures. You can find them at my site about old race tracks www.circuitsofthepast.nl If you can read Dutch you can also read the story about the track and the story about my visit. There is also an English section at the site and as soon as i have time i will translate the Sitges story to English.

Herman.



#35 Manel Baró

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 16:30

Originally posted by Manel Baró

Dogs are still there!
Actually, The Hispano-Suiza specially built to establish lap record of the the track, travelled close to the banking top.
Track area is an active farm nowadays. The diverse projects to turn the silent track into a living vintage motor racing events have not awaken the interest of the landlords until now.


I am glad to communicate thart the "Autòdrom Nacional de Terramar" will be restored to recover its former glory.
The ownership of 20's Catalan oval track located near Sitges, has decided to adequate the site to host motor-related events. A restoration Plan has been already launched.
Further news to come shortly.

#36 Mark A

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 16:33

Originally posted by Manel Baró


I am glad to communicate thart the "Autòdrom Nacional de Terramar" will be restored to recover its former glory.
The ownership of 20's Catalan oval track located near Sitges, has decided to adequate the site to host motor-related events. A restoration Plan has been already launched.
Further news to come shortly.


Is this a new plan as the one a couple of years back fell apart.

#37 David Birchall

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 02:07

Does it involve Peter Schomer?

#38 Buford

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 06:38

All very interesting I had never heard of this place.

#39 Manel Baró

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:10

At this early stage, this brand new project is promoted and backed exclusively by the family-owners of the track i.e. without any other foreign people involved other than the necessary restoration workforce and tha assistance of a team of motoring-event experts.
Once the whole project and relative activities be fully defined, smal room for a selected group of outside investors might be eventually considered.

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#40 TrackDog

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 00:40

I believe I once read a feature article about Sitges in Road & Track about 15 years ago. It stated that the design of the track, specifically the banking, limited the cars to about 120 mph on the straights, and the g-loadings on the drivers in the corners was enough to pin them down so hard that it was difficult to turn their heads or even hold them up. It was also almost impossible to pass because so much of the driver's concentration had to be centered on just how and where he entered the banking that most drivers just had to hang on for dear life.

My son brought up an interesting point when I told him about this track...how do you keep oil in an engine that has to spend so much of it's life tilted at 60 degrees?



Dan

#41 fines

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 08:06

By this time they would all have had pressure lubrication, but I agree, that must've taxed some designs to the tilt!

#42 Catalina Park

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 09:39

The car may be tilted at 60° but the oil is still subject to G-forces. Seeing how the tyres are so narrow I would assume that there was very little side loading by current standards. So the g-force is trying to force the oil to the bottom of the sump which is where the pickups would be.

#43 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 11:10

As Catalina says, it's all down to G forces, and you're probably better off on a banked track. Cornering at 1G on a level track will cause the surface of the oil in the sump to take an angle of 45º to the horizontal. When travelling round a banked curve at 'neutral steer' speed, ie when the car steers itself round the banking, the oil in the sump will be at the same angle to the engine that it would be if the car was at rest on level ground.

#44 Manel Baró

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:45

For the first time since its first run 51 year ago, the “Barcelona-Sitges” vintage cars rallye, held the past weekend, has visited the "Terramar Autòdrom".
Rallye participants were welcome by the Catalan oval circuit promoters and saw the progress of the estate recovery works yet perhaps most important still, was the pleasure to travel -at modest pace- around the recently cleaned track.
It was a emotive experience to everyone the sight and sound of dozens of vintages cars back again onto the old racing site after some eighty years of absence.

#45 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:58

I do hope that photographs were taken during the day and we can all have a look at them.
Sitges-Terramar is one of those special places that we should all enjoy.

#46 Mark A

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:55

Looks like the owners are allowing it to be used for a few events for car clubs etc.

Found a few bits on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.c...0E9tPVgIaw&NR=1

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

Lots more links from these 2.

#47 Pils1989

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 14:05

Originally posted by Mark A
Looks like the owners are allowing it to be used for a few events for car clubs etc.

Found a few bits on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.c...0E9tPVgIaw&NR=1

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

Lots more links from these 2.


Thanks, Mark :up:

#48 Manel Baró

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 15:30

Originally posted by Mark A
[B]Looks like the owners are allowing it to be used for a few events for car clubs etc.

Not really: Most of these footages reflects clandestine runs in a very limited section of the track, these past years.

#49 Manel Baró

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 15:45

Originally posted by Patrick Fletcher
I do hope that photographs were taken during the day and we can all have a look at them.
Sitges-Terramar is one of those special places that we should all enjoy.


Pls have a look to this site:
www.penedesfera.cat/2009/03/10/una-visita-a-lautodrom-de-terramar/ - 68k -

#50 Mark A

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 18:57

Originally posted by Manel Baró

Not really: Most of these footages reflects clandestine runs in a very limited section of the track, these past years.


After looking at them again I hadn't realised they were from last year :drunk:

The corvette one was from an American cars owners club meet, seems strange the were on the track without authorisation for the whole day considering the problems some people have had just to have a look at it.

poor form if they shouldn't have been there but from all the footage with marshalling etc it looked official.




Nice pics and a good video on the link you posted above. Video shows a pretty clear track all the way round. Nice to see it's being worked on.