12 June, 2012

Top 10 iconic and amazing race tracks (V)

  And now, the last 2 tracks. I think that some of you might even know what tracks are going to win because both of them are tracks with immense history and reputation.


2. Circuit de la Sarthe (Le Mans)

Why did it make the list:
- exceptional history, with pilots ranging from the "Bentley Boys" to Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren.
- home of the 24h of Le Mans, the world's oldest endurance race
Why it didn't score higher:
- not that popularized in the past years.
- there aren't that many races held here.

It's hard to find a video to represent the amazing history of Le Mans, but this should at least scratch the surface.

Also, this is a very interesting blog post about the history of Le Mans.

1. Circuit de Monaco

Why did it make the list:
- best known circuit in the world
- most demanding track in Formula 1 racing
Why it didn't score higher:
- not up to current safety standards of Formula 1.

There aren't enough words to describe the circuits, so I'll let a video, of the great driver Ayrton Senna around this track, do the talking.

Also, you can see below the table with the scores for each track (click to enlarge).

11 June, 2012

Top 10 iconic and amazing race tracks (IV)

Sorry for the long gap, but I forgot to sync my infographic data with my home computer, so everything I had made for these posts was on my desktop, at work.

4. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Why did it make the list:
- great layout and skill based track + the "Corkscrew";
- my personal favorite track, all-time (this blog is not a Democracy, so it's a legitimate reason :D)
Why it didn't score higher:
- relatively new track;
- it mostly hosts minor world racing events.

Two videos are in order for this track, both of them featuring the best corner ever seen on a racing track.
The first one, from Moto GP, in a fight between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner, two of the best Moto GP riders of all time.

Sadly this video can only be watched on YouTube. Follow the link here.

Second video, from Alex Zanardi and Brian Herta, a maneuver that won Zanardi the third place in that year's Champ Car season.


3. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Why did it make the list:
- historic and respected race track that has an emphasis on the skill and courage of the competitors;
- "Masta" and "Eau Rouge" corners are known as some of the hardest corners to negotiate.
Why it didn't score higher:
- has lost a bit in importance in the past years due to poor relations with the F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone;
- there are still two more tracks that are a lot more famous than it.

A small video showing the speed of F1 cars in the Eau Rouge corner.

08 June, 2012

Top 10 iconic and amazing race tracks (III)

Part 3 is here with 2 more iconic tracks. From now on, the order of the tracks could've been either way, cause every single track left to announce here, is special. I'll be posting the leader-board with all the marks in the final post.


6.  Mount Panorama, Motor Racing Circuit Bathurst

Why did it make the list:
- uniquely laid out track, going around a mountain with a huge difference between it's highest and lowest point (174 meters)
- home of the historic "The Great Race", a fight between the 2 biggest car companies in Australia: GM and Ford.
- amazing cult following, with over 190.000 people that attended the 2006 Bathurst 1000.
Why it didn't score higher:
- impossibility of modifying it to the new safety standards, that would allow it to run more prestigious races, like F1.
- large number of people killed on the track and in the stands.

You can see how spectacular the race circuit is, even by watching a qualifying race. This one is from 1985, and it's made by Tom Walkinshaw (Rest In Peace), in a Jaguar XJS V12.

5.  Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Why did it make the list:
- historic track, being the first ever Speedway built in the USA(and in the world);
-ability to host the two most viewed motorsports in the world: Nascar and F1.
- enormous capacity, with 225.000 people present at the  2000 US Grand Prix
Why it didn't score higher:
- for most of the time since it's construction, it only held races that appeal to limited number of spectators
- not a very skill based track, with it being mostly based on endurance.

With this being said, the track still generates the highest amount of passion from all the race tracks, as you can see from the small tribute video below.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Eye candy

As you may have notices until now I am a big fan of rallying and especially of the Group B era. It's hard not to be taken aback by the passion and the speed generated by this short era, so why resist it? Here's an amazing video from the Pirelli P7 Corsa Classic demonstration/race/launch, in the Italian Alps.

 I'm willing to bet that the engineers at Pirelli made this tires (the P7 Corsa Classic, special tires for historic rally cars) just to get to have some fun with some of the most amazing rally cars ever:
- Fiat 131 Abarth;
- Lancia Stratos;
- Lancia 037;
- Lancia Delta S4;
- Lancia Delta HF Integrale;
- Lancia ECV (amazing one-off prototype, an evolution of the Delta HF model);
+ a late '90s Subaru and a Peugeot 207 IRC.

You can see all of them driven, in this video, by world class drivers: Markku Alen, Juha Kankkunen and Paolo Andreucci.

Enjoy the footage!
PS: just two small hints:
- superb outside shots from 7:21 to 7:44;
- very nicely taken corner at 9:04.

This was a small intermezzo, the Top 10 Race Tracks series will continue after this.

07 June, 2012

Top 10 iconic and amazing race tracks (II)

Like I promised you, here is part 2 of the Top 10 Tracks.

8.  Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Why did it make the list:
- very high speed circuit, that tests the pilots and the engineers;
- it's one of the oldest racecourses in Europe with enormous heritage and history.
Why it didn't score higher:
- the huge number of fatal accidents;
- it's a rather dated race circuit with a large number of safety problems.

This video describes Monza perfectly: very harsh on the engines and a very fast track(Curva Grande is a great example).


7.  Suzuka International Race Circuit

Why did it make the list:
- high skill required to be competitive on this circuit;
- one of the oldest remaining F1 circuits;
- a large number of F1 titles have been decided on this circuit
Why it didn't score higher:
- large number of fatal accidents;
- it's Japan Grand Prix hosting days seem to be over.

05 June, 2012

Top 10 iconic and amazing race tracks (I)

I've been thinking of writing this article for a long time and I finally got some time to think properly about it and make it interesting. The ranking is based on personal preference, track history and heritage, the passion is stirs in other people and driving skill required to be successful there.
I'll be starting the countdown from the 10th place to the first:

10.  Circuit Paul Ricard

Why did it make the list:
- it was one of the most advanced race tracks at the time of it's opening and it's still hi-tech now;
- the Mistral straight, where in 1987, F1 cars achieved speeds in excess of 320km/h;
Why it didn't score higher:
- it hasn't been used for important races in a while, but it's set to be the French Grand Prix organizer for 2013.

9.  Ebisu Circuit

Why did it make the list:
- it a premier circuit for a rather new and spectacular form of motorsport: drifting;
- one of the most entertaining and challenging corners in drifting:

Why it didn't score higher:
- relatively new circuit with almost no history;
- besides Drifting competitions it's only used for minor and local cart and motorcycle races.

This will be continued tomorrow and in the following days.
You'll also be able to find the links for the next parts, below.