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Autodromo National - Stiges


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#1 Dennis David

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Posted 03 January 2002 - 02:43

Received an email from Peter Schömer who's involved with a group that recently purchased the old circuit at Sitges near Barcelona. They hope to eventually restore it and conduct events organized by the VSCC as well as others.

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The Autodromo National was the first permanent racing track built in Spain. It opened on October 28th 1923 in the presence of King Alfonso, a great fan not only of motorsport but cars in general. The inaugural event of 600km was won by Alberto Divo in a Sunbeam. It was hoped that this track built along similar lines to Brooklands, would enjoy the same success but according to Andriano Cimarosti there was a fatal flaw in the design of its corners. What flaw was he referring to and can this be fixed as part of a restoration?

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BTW they are also planning to publish an English history of the track.

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#2 David McKinney

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Posted 03 January 2002 - 06:19

Those pictures look to me more like the old Sitges circuit...
I believe the "fatal flaw" was the unscientific angle of the banking, which would presumably still be there after restoration. I would need more time to dig out more.

#3 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 03 January 2002 - 07:36

Originally posted by Dennis David
.....It was hoped that this track built along similar lines to Brooklands, would enjoy the same success but according to Andriano Cimarosti there was a fatal flaw in the design of its corners.....

The convincing reason given of why racing stopped at Sitges, were their financial problems. About the alleged disign flaw of the banking, I have never read a plausible explanation exept the odd half-liner. Maybe Felix will find the time to shed some light on this question?

#4 Dennis David

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Posted 03 January 2002 - 14:23

The pictures show the current state of the circuit.

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 January 2002 - 14:47

Dennis: I think David was referring to your consistent mis-spelling of "Sitges" ... :rolleyes: :)

#6 Dennis David

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Posted 03 January 2002 - 16:54

Of course it's Sitges. I'll just blame it on my spell checker!

#7 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 03 January 2002 - 17:28

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Dennis:.....your consistent mis-spelling of "Sitges".....

Its not that we don't know how to spell. Its caused by dyslexia. Many people have this brain impairment, which is more common once you reach my age. The spell checker will catch it, though.

#8 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 January 2002 - 19:26

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Its not that we don't know how to spell. Its caused by dyslexia. Many people have this brain impairment, which is more common once you reach my age. The spell checker will catch it, though.


Hans: don't put yourself down - it is notoriously difficult to proof-read something you wrote yourself, as you know what you meant to put and read it as that, not what you actually typed! :)

#9 Vitesse2

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Posted 31 January 2002 - 15:29

They now have a website up and running - photos old and new!

http://www.autodromo.org/main.html

#10 Gary C

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Posted 31 January 2002 - 15:41

let's hope they make a go of this one, I'd hoped they would make a go of the Mallora Motorsport Resort thing the other year, but nothing came of it!

#11 LittleChris

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Posted 31 January 2002 - 15:57

I think Motor Sport may be doing an article on it next month

#12 prettyface

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 08:44

Oh my God! This is fantastic news! I hope they succeed. I've had an interest in this abandoned racetrack since learning of it a while back. I entertained intentions of going there when I visited Barcelona a few years ago, but was informed that it was a bit of a drive and they didn't welcome visitors as it was a privately owned property those days. Of course, the real reason for skipping it was family vacationing logistics (...you want to see what? ). Still regretting it.

Cheers. :wave:

#13 karlcars

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Posted 02 February 2002 - 09:42

The reported flaw concerned the transitions on and off the bankings from and to the straights. Nevertheless the track was used successfully for both racing and record-breaking.

#14 PreWarCar

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Posted 24 March 2002 - 01:11

:rolleyes: Can any of you enlighten me on the Miller car that holds the lap record on Terramar-Sitges? I am working on an article about the circuit and I have been there. Incredible place. Wrong curves or not, it must be restored. Thanks Joris

#15 David McKinney

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Posted 24 March 2002 - 07:46

Welcome to The Forum, Joris
The Miller was a 2-litre 122 model which Count Louis Zborowski had ordered after racing a Bugatti against similar cars in the Indianapolis 500. The Count had also raced it in the Italian GP before the Sitges meeting and would contest the 1924 French GP, as well as using it at Brooklands.
The Zborowski car, chassis no. HM8, has recently been restored to original spec and can occasionally be seen at historic gatherings in Europe

#16 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 24 March 2002 - 10:07

Joris,
Nice to see you back again. Where did you hide for the last year? ;) Or were you just busy with your own Web Site? :D

#17 PreWarCar

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Posted 26 March 2002 - 08:37

Thank you David & Hans, Yes my site consumes a lot of time. But that was not the reason. I am into a few other forums as well. But at one time I couldn't get in any more. Change of settings? Also I had the impression that I had to pay for this forum. Anyway, I have found my way back. Maybe David, or anybody else, could you help me on the figures of this Miller. I mean how fast he was? What was his laptime? I twould be great to have this car back in the Autodromo one day... regards Joris :confused:

#18 Option1

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Posted 26 March 2002 - 09:06

Welcome Joris,

Am I the only one (wouldn't be the first time) who thinks that the concreting of that circuit looks bumpy in the extreme? Not only is there the half-line, but the whole surface looks like waves on a not-so-calm ocean.

Whenever you see pictures of those circuits you realise how much they risked to go fast. Add in the safety features in the cars ------- umm ---- which equated to, oh approxiamately, give or take a few percent, none --- and the concern the manufacturers had for their drivers ----umm---- again------safety features + manufacturers safety concerns = adjust for time lapse - social structure = NONE --- and the public's concern for drivers ---- I guess I can stop with the umm's ---- safety features + manufacturers safety concerns + public's safety concerns (- driver's mother's safety concerns - mechanic's mother's safety concerns + rewards for a brave face = who cares) = NONE.

Total of safety from above paragraph (for those who couldn't follow the advanced drunken mathematics) = NONE

So that's perception, now let's add in the safety features contained in and designed in the cars.

Okay, let's not.

So they were INCREDIBLY brave, but, damn. I think this circuit deserves preservation as much as Brooklands!

Neil

#19 PreWarCar

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Posted 26 March 2002 - 09:37

Hi Neil,

I didn't think it was as bumpy as you suggest. I am not sure what you mena with half lines. But the edges between the concrete plates have a special elongated shark tooth design as to prevent that two wheels on one axle have to cross the line at once. So instead of a big Brooklands Bang when crossing the line, you'll get a much softer and probably safer ba-bang. Understand?

Joris

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#20 Option1

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Posted 26 March 2002 - 09:48

Thanks for the explanation Joris.

I'm prepared to accept that the line joining the two halves of the curve vertically (that is the line between the high-side of the banking and the low-side of the banking) was constructed in a safe manner. However, it certainly appears that the track's surface was very wavey. The fourth picture in Dennis's original post make it looks as though the track was extremely bumpy.

regards

Neil

#21 Flying Panda

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Posted 28 March 2002 - 13:28

Hehe - I used to think that Sitges was not intentionally an oval, just aa GP circuit shaped like a bean... :lol:

Those photo's make it look like nothing I could have imagined, and even more beautiful than i thought....

But can somone tell me what was so wrong or 'fatal' with the design of the banking?

#22 PreWarCar

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Posted 28 March 2002 - 20:22

:drunk:

What some people said about the curves of Terramar-Sitges: "They suck you in and spit you out."

Wrong inset and ofset of the banking. BUT remeber it's just a story. Possibly it came into the world because didný get their money after the first GP. Or fist lesson in: How to kill your circuit...

Joris

#23 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 29 March 2002 - 04:48

In case you Sitges admirers are interested,
here a snippet from ALLGEMEINE AUTOMOBIL ZEITUNG (Wien), Nummmer 4, pg. 34, 15. Februar 1924:
Sitges Autodrome A touring car race, which recently took place on the new racing circuit of Sitges near Barcelona and which went over a distance of 160 km, brought the following result: 1. Farell (Buick) 118 km/h average; 2. Escoffet (Diatto); 3. Trapero (Studebaker).

#24 Marcor

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Posted 04 April 2002 - 00:47

Those results were published in some Belgium newspapers and certainly somewhere else. I've hesitated if I posted it in this thread or in the thread about Morawitz (or about the Vizcaya family)


Re-Opening Meeting (Sitges) 27 March 1932
1- Vizcaya (André *) Bugatti 10' 46"
2- Morawitz Bugatti 10' 47"
3- Sabata Bugatti 10' 57"
4- Stahl Bugatti 11' 22"
5- Angli Bugatti 11' 43"

final = 30 km

Heat 1 (20 km)
1- Vizcaya Bugatti 8' 14"
2- Stahl Bugatti 8' 18"
3- Morawitz Bugatti 8' 19"
4- Sabata Bugatti 8' 31"
5- Pons Bugatti 8' 32"
6- Angli Bugatti 9' 12"
7- Hurban Talbot 9' 33"

Heat 2 (20 km)
1- Morawitz Bugatti 8' 07" 1/5
2- Vizcaya Bugatti 8' 07" 4/5
3- Stahl Bugatti 8' 26"
4- Angli Bugatti 8' 27"
5- Sabata Bugatti 8' 29"
6- Pons Bugatti 8' 32"
7- Hurban Talbot 9' 19"

also included in this meeting
sidecars race: 20 km
motorbike races: 40 km

* André is surely a Frenchified forename.

#25 nuvo

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Posted 11 April 2002 - 16:39

I´ve been there, I mean driving my car over it. Had to run away when the owner came but I had to do it.

I hope it will come to life again. :wave:

#26 prettyface

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Posted 22 April 2002 - 01:07

nuvo, you're quite loco :lol: I take it you had to dodge quite a lot of growth, but could you complete a lap? I wouldn't be surprised if the -previous- owner blocked it in parts.

So, was it bumpy?

#27 Felix Muelas

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Posted 22 April 2002 - 13:59

Originally posted by Marcor
* André is surely a Frenchified forename.

Maybe...
For some more notes on the Vizcaya saga, visit this old thread ;)

Felix