Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Favorite Race Tracks

One of my friends sent me this link of a blog about the world's best racetracks (as seen from Google Earth, no less!). I read through their criteria for an awesome racetrack and while I don't particularly agree with all their thoughts, they do make some sense. And before I read their text of what the racetracks were, I tried to guess the tracks just by their layout and surrounding countryside. I did pretty well and guessed 10 or 11 of them accurately. And then I realized why...I had driven on 10 of them and walked around the other one I got right! And although for the most part I agree with their choices, I thought I would come up with my own list of the world's best road courses (that I have driven on)- and give a reason (or two) why. And these racetracks are in their current layout (the biggest argument may be over the original Nurburgring- the whole 17.5 mile long lap- while I am only including the current Grand Prix layout).

Charlie Kimball's Top 15 Road Courses in the World

15. Le Mans Bugatti circuit, France- You can still feel the energy of the 24 Hour race.

14. Donington Park, UK- The Craner Curves and the jets landing overhead.

13. Nurburgring, Germany- Being in the Eiffel mountains and the unpredictable weather.

12. Barcelona, Spain- The never ending turn 3!

11. Sepang, Malaysia- The fast flowing corners.

10. Zandvoort, The Netherlands- Sheivlak corner.

9. Hockenheim, Germany- The hairpin for overtaking.

8. Mid-Ohio, USA- Thunder Valley

7. Pau, France- Foch (monument corner)

6. Road America, Wisconsin, USA- The Carousel corner and the straights.

5. Laguna Seca, California, USA- The Corkscrew (what other corner in the world do you aim for a tree on the horizon?)

4.Silverstone, UK- The Becketts complex in a Formula 3 car (and watching an F1 in the wet!)

3. Monte-Carlo, Monaco- The tunnel, the Grand Prix, the yachts, the palace, the history.

2. Monza, Italy- Racing through the park with the old banking still there- still gives me the shivers thinking about it.

And now for the #1.....well actually there are 2 number 1's....I couldn't choose between them!

1a. Macau, China- The mile long straight and then the mountain section- two racetrack personalities in one. The best track in the world for Formula 3 cars by far. The most challenging and technical place I have ever driven.

1b. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium- Eau Rouge, Pouhon, the trees, the elevation, the rain, the fog, the history, the frittes and waffles.

In the future I will delve into the special moments that each of these incredible tracks hold for me.

1 comment :

  1. Mt Panorama Bathurst Australia. 6.213 kilometres of pure excitement. Where else in the world do cars race up and over a mountain, and also reach speeds of 300 kilometres/hour down the straights. Search youtube for 'Greg Murphy Bathurst' and there is footage of the current lap record being set. 6 years later it still stands. The track in itself has been open since 1938, and used for motorcycle racing for many years. The first 500 mile endurance even was held in 1963, and every year since then the tradition continues, although now the race is 1000 kilometres rather than 500 miles. A beautiful track to both watch and drive.