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Hello, one and all, and welcome to the magnificent Verdant Hills Speedway!
Verdant Hills Speedway is an exceedingly gorgeous course set in the Eifel mountains in southern Belgium. This lengthy 5.95-mile course takes drivers through some of the world's most stunning scenery, winding its way through the hills in a way that's sure to leave racers wanting more. Let's take a tour, shall we?
Sector 1: The Opening Turn
The lap starts off atop one of the tallest hills in the region. The first two turns are the perfect introduction to what VHS is all about: speed and beauty. The opening left-hand sweeper takes you steeply downhill, with the gorgeous Eifel countryside spilling away to the right, struggling for your attention as you scream through at maximum speed.
Sector 2: Second Turn, Verdant Hills Hairpin
The course then flows smoothly into a right-hander of almost the same radius, taking you past some spectator tents to the bottom of the hill and into the first of the track's six hairpins, a blind, late-braking right-hander which is very easy to overshoot. After that, it's back on the gas for the huge left-hand sweeper that follows.
Sector 3: Hillbottom Sweep, Uphill Battle
The left-hand sweeper (named "Hillbottom Sweep") continues well into Sector 3, leading into the Uphill Battle straight, which is so named because of the huge speeds and close racing that tends to take place on this uphill run. As racing cars frequently crest 200 miles an hour here, drivers tend to use the slipstream to set up overtakes going into Panorama Square.
Sector 4: Panorama Square, Forest Run
After the massive slipstream-fest that tends to happen on Uphill Battle, racers then must get slowed down for the uphill right-hand hairpin named Panorama Square. A favorite destination for fans to relax and take pictures before the race begins, Panorama Square is also known for the number of wild outbraking maneuvers that drivers tend to do throughout the race. However, the slipstream battles don't end there, for what follows is the long, curving, undulating Forest Run straight, which dips into a forest before rising back uphill for the utterly terrifying Bergab-Haarnadel complex.
Sector 5: Bergab-Haarnadel Part 1
At the end of Forest Run, racers are presented with the first of the Bergab-Haarnadel hairpins at the top of the hill. This first hairpin goes sharply uphill for its first half, before hitting a small crest and going steeply downhill. The uneven surface of the crest makes the turn even harder and slower than it would usually be, and it's not uncommon for drivers who think they've slowed down enough to go sliding into the wall on the outside.
After that, the course proceeds rapidly downhill and into the second of the four Bergab-Haarnadel hairpins, which is the inverse of the first hairpin: instead of a crest, there's a sharp dip in the middle, enough to make any car that doesn't have the correct suspension settings bottom out. Because of the high downward G-forces generated by the dip, it's very easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and hit the throttle too early on the exit.
It's then onto the third hairpin in the complex, and as far as difficulty goes, this one is truly a god among gods. The infamous Fifth Hairpin sits just behind a flat crest over which it's very easy to catch air if one is not careful. The entry to the corner is extremely steep and blind due to the severity of the crest immediately before it, so when on top of the crest, it's always best to watch for the point where the track dips away on the right-hand side and brake immediately upon seeing it. The corner is very bumpy as a result of the grade, so smooth power application is a must.
Get through that, and there's just one hairpin left to go before the track opens back up.
Sector 6: Bergab-Haarnadel Part 2, Napa Rise
The fourth and last Bergab-Haarnadel hairpin is a relatively simple downhill left-hander with a slight rise on the exit. A medium-length right-hand turn follows, proceeding over a mid-turn crest before opening into a wider, uphill left-hander. In most cars, this turn can be taken almost flat-out, but the exit is a bit tricky as the road wanders back to the left a small bit going up the hill. After a short straight, there's a loose, full-throttle left, which has a huge but hard-to-see bump on the inside near the edge of the road, making overtaking here very possible but also very dangerous. The track then wanders back to the right before the final turn.
Sector 7: The Final Turn
After all that, it's at last time for the final turn. As with many parts of VHS, the turn is a deceptive one. It's a very long, flat left with a gorgeous view to the countryside on the right, but a little more than halfway though it, there's a slight dip followed by a rise. While visually almost unnoticeable, this element is just severe enough to unsettle virtually anything going through at high speeds, and can make for some fantastic last-corner upsets as the driver in front is too preoccupied with the car behind. Rounding the corner successfully, it's a full-throttle blast to the finish!