Video: Ruins Of Speed: Race Tracks Everyone Forgot
2023 Author: Natalie MacDonald | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 13:59
What could be sadder than the sea, in which there is no water or forest, where stumps stick out instead of trees? For example, autodromes that have forgotten about real races. Alas, there are many of them on the planet. Moreover, every second of the abandoned racetracks is a ready-made set of scenery for filming a fantastic dystopia. We ask especially impressionable ones to restrain …
Hats off, gentlemen. Here is the oldest race track in the world! Brooklands is such an ancient circuit that the last race took place here in 1939. A 4.4-kilometer oval opened in County Sarri back in 1907. And yes - it was the world's first purpose-built racetrack, and also the favorite brainchild of British businessman Hugh Loke-King, a big fan of cars and aviation.
Brooklands is unique not only in its status, but also in its configuration. Imagine: the width of the track was as much as 30 meters - I don't want to overtake! And the height of the profiled turns reached nine meters. Swipe is when like this!
In its best years, the Brooklands held up to 300,000 spectators, but the outbreak of World War II marked the end of the racing history of the world's first circuit. In place of the oval, temporary workshops of aircraft factories grew. Despite careful camouflage, they became a priority target for the Luftwaffe. As a result of the bombing, the Brooklands suffered significant damage. So even after the war, no one remembered racing here …
Another veteran track - "Reims-Gu" or simply "Reims" - opened almost a hundred years ago. In July 1926, the Marne Grand Prix took place here. Defeated François Lescaut in Bugatti T35. But that was only the beginning. Laid on public roads, Reims-Gu will host the French Grand Prix and the traditional 12-hour race, and will host the French Formula 1 races from 1950 to 1966.
The simple configuration (almost a triangle, in fact) and the long straight lines made Reims famous for a fast, literally overtaking track. But in the late 1960s, racetracks on public roads began to succumb to the pressure of purpose-built racetracks. And the aged "Reims-Gu" quietly and nobly left the stage, imperceptibly becoming a part of the history of motorsport.
No, this circuit has nothing to do with the football team from the English Premier League. It's just that the city track was laid along the streets of the London quarter of the same name, which, as you might have guessed, became the name for the football team.
The first race took place here in 1927, and in the original configuration the lap was only one mile. Over time, Crystal Palace became prettier, improved, became faster and more spectacular. At one time, even Formula 1 races were held here - however, not prize money, which were included in the World Championship, but exhibition ones.
Alas, the growing speeds ultimately ruined the "crystal castle". Squeezed in the grip of the city, the track could not be equipped with the necessary safety zones and modern infrastructure. And therefore, another city circuit went to the scrap. On the straight lines of "Crystal Palace" today you can ride only on a bicycle.
North Wilkesboro Speedway
This short kilometer-long oval in North Carolina is synonymous with NASCAR itself. Built back in 1947, North Wilkesboro has hosted the world's most famous stock car races for half a century. The first "Nascar" stage took place here in October 1949 - then the victory was celebrated by Bob Flock on Oldsmobile. The last race at North Wilkesboro dates back to 1996.
Farewell to the famous oval to the world of big races was difficult. Fans and racers alike loved the circuit in North Carolina. But it took money to upgrade the track to modern safety requirements. So much money. The bill went into millions of dollars. Alas, the owners of North Wilkesboro decided to save money and just gave up on the legendary oval. Another big name has been added to the list of ghost trails …
Like many highways of the mid-20th century, "Rouen" is laid along public roads. At the same time, the infrastructure of the circuit was very advanced for its time - spacious boxes for teams, comfortable stands for fans. "Rouen" is interesting from a purely racing point of view - a wide track with numerous opportunities for overtaking and elevation changes that require great skill from the pilots.
Five Formula 1 Grand Prix took place here. Alas, in the last race of 1968, the Frenchman Jo Schlesser got into a fatal accident on the Rouen, who was burned to death in a HondRA302. This tragic event led to the fact that the track began to slowly fade.
First, "Rouen" left Formula-1, then races were stopped here altogether. In the 1990s, the entire infrastructure accompanying the circuit, from stands to lighting masts, was ruthlessly sent to a landfill. Now you won't guess that speed once lived in this place in the north of France …
Back in 1963, a group of Japanese businessmen decided to build a racing oval at the foot of Fujiyama for the away stage of the American NASCAR series. Only they did not calculate with the money. The budget of the entire enterprise was exhausted after the construction of one profiled turn …
In the future, "Fuji Speedway" was completed not in the form of an oval, but as a classic track. But the banking - the 30-degree profiled turn of the original track - was left in configuration.
Largely because of him, "Fuji Speedway" turned out to be very fast and very dangerous. In 1974, on the same bank, two pilots of the Japanese racing championship crashed at once. The profiled corner was removed, but the track's bad reputation has not gone away.
In 1976, Fuji hosted the first ever Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix. Yes, yes, that scandalous race in the pouring rain, filmed in "Race" by Ron Howard, which made James Hunt the champion - because Niki Lauda refused to start. And just a year later, Gilles Villeneuve will have an accident here, in which two spectators will die …
After a series of circuit upgrades, Formula 1 returned to Fuji in 2007 and 2008. But the limited spectator popularity of the race, and therefore the low revenue, forced the organizers to abandon plans to further host the Japanese Grand Prix on this track.
In 2020, the "Fuji Speedway" was supposed to host the Summer Olympics bicycle race. But instead of it there was a coronavirus … Say whatever, but some kind of curse really hangs over the "Fuji Speedway".
Perhaps, against the background of the famous race tracks, where Formula 1 cars were regularly visited, the Ebisu track looks modest. But this is only if your interest in racing is limited to only one Formula 1.
In fact, Ebisu is one of the world's most iconic drift tracks. This is not just a track, but a whole racing complex where a bunch of events are held - from go-karting and motorcycle races. And the main track of the complex - "Minami" - hosts the masters of the Japanese drift championship D1 Grand Prix.
Rather, she did. In February 2021, the legendary track was partially destroyed as a result of an earthquake in Fukushima of up to 7.3 points. The coverage itself and infrastructure facilities were badly damaged. Now enthusiasts from all over the world are raising money for renovations.
Finland is a rally country. Even despite the merits of Hakkinen, Raikkonen and Bottas in circuit races. Perhaps that is why the Keimol Motor Stadium track near Helsinki never became popular …
The circuit with a lap distance of 3.3 kilometers was built back in the mid-1960s. At one time, the stages of the secondary ring championships were held here - Formula-2, "Interseria" and the like. But limited audiences and financial problems hampered the development of Motor Stadium. As a result, Keimola closed in the late 1970s. But the vicinity of the track turned into an ideal place for genre photography. Abandoned racing facilities in the forest are not inferior in originality to Chernobyl.
But hurry up, gentlemen, photographers: local developers have chosen the former autodrome for multi-storey buildings. Perhaps very soon only memories will remain of Motor Stadium …
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