Motor Racing can be a thrilling spectator sport – providing the right racing circuit. Hairpin turns combined with long straights make for a quick and gripping race that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This article is devoted to looking at some of the most iconic racing circuits from around the world that make for some of the most famous races in history.
Circuit de la Sarthe, France
This track hosts the 24 hour race, Le Mans, a high speed race around a combination of a 13km official track and normal streets. The racing track opened in 1923 and hosts many other races, including the MotoGP and the French Grand Prix.
Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo
This circuit is the location of the Monaco Grand Prix, which takes place around the streets of the city. The narrow streets, hairpin bends and ancient walls of the track creates a circuit that must be taken slowly at times, making this a race focused on driving skill rather than car performance.
Host to the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix and first built in 1992, this site is the setting of the most serious Italian racing accident to date. In 1928, the oval banking of the site led to a fatal crash of Emilio Materassi and 27 spectators. This was not the only catastrophic accident that occurred on the circuit – in 1961, Wolfgang Von Trips and 15 spectators were killed. The track was labelled unsafe and undertook many alterations and adaptions to create a shorter and much safer track.
Thought of as the most dangerous track in the world, this circuit is 17 miles long and has over a whopping 170 corners. It is estimated that between 3 and 12 people die each year at the track, and because the circuit is open to anyone on track days, most of these fatalities are members of the public who want to take a ride on the iconic course.
Host to the British Grand Prix and known as the ‘home of British motorsport’, Formula 1 fans flock to this Northamptonshire circuit regularly. Built on a World War II airfield, this track was initially used as an improvised racing site for a group of friends in 1947 – the race ended with one of the competitors, Maurice Geoghegan, hitting and killing a sheep, leading to the race being playfully referred to as ‘The Mutton Grand Prix’. In 1948, the formal track was produced and evolved. As far as iconic racing tracks go, Silverstone is very undesigned, the track was developed over time rather than being thought out and planned, so the genius of the circuit seems to be rather more accidental than designed. However, regardless of the lack of planning, the Silverstone circuit has inspired many other iconic tracks.
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