Abandoned Racetracks

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by Johnny1996, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. Northstar

    Northstar Premium

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    That was Charlotte, Rockingham was used in Talladega Nights though.
     
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  2. twitcher

    twitcher

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    When I first saw the new Hockenhiem, I didn't like it much, although I understood the reasons the changes were needed.

    However, after watching a couple races, it grew on me slightly (can't remember the year, but I remember a good race with Button in the BAR with Sato as a teamate).

    Now, after having a chance to race on it in pCARS, I'm actually quite a big fan of it. Although it's very "point and squirt", I can get into a nice rhythm. I get a feeling too of why the design was chosen. The old stadium section (best stadium section in racing? I absolutely love the flow through these final corners) remains in tact. Same with the pit straight and T1, which still has an emphasis on carrying good speed for the following straight (extremely important in order to defend the braking zone into T2).

    To me, the exit of T2 and T3 are the weekest points on the track. Not the easiest to navigate, but could be more exciting. I think the straight between 1 & 2 could have been slightly longer, T2 closer to 180', and then connect it back to the long, curved straight down to T5.

    The T6, 7, & 8 complex is more exciting than it appears on the map. The apex of T8 is pretty blind :). You can build good speed through T8 down towards T9, which helps preserve the old feeling of this corner. Of course, the approach is not as fast as it used to be, but it's still quite quick.



    I think any track that is going to build a stadium section needs to go to Hockenhiem and study the final section. It's like a mini roller coaster going through there :). I think it's a great example of how you don't need a ton of banking or elevation to make some exciting corners.
     
  3. TDZdave

    TDZdave

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    They are uninteresting but make for good racing, if your car handles well and is kind to its tires you'll get through there without issue, if its handling is bad and destroys its tires it leaves you open to being attacked at the hairpin, makes for very good racing, same with the kink after the hairpin, it can be quite an exciting track to watch racing on,
     
  4. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

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    Geez, had a project right near Rockingham three years ago; seemed in good shape at the time.

    I kind of liked the racing at those "not-quite-oval" ovals, but they've been phased out over the past few decades for larger facilities...Yet another reason I'm not a fan anymore.
     
  5. Liquid

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    A nice look at the full, abandoned sections of Monza and not just a close up of the north banking. It must be an old aerial photo given the lack of chicances at the Rettefilio, Ascari and Roggia

    You can just about see the 90 degree left turn halfway along the back straight which brought you onto the south banking and avoided the Parabolica altogether, in addition to the small chicane just before the south banking.

    This rarely used configuration was 1935-1937.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

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    You can also see remnants of the two final corners which were bypassed (around 1954-55) for the construction of the banking, which gives us the Parabolica as we know it today.
     
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  7. Liquid

    Liquid Premium

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    See, that's always bugged me. Going from the Wikimedia Commons files on the Monza layout:

    The original 1922-1935 layout has a Parabolica
    The 1935-1937 layout avoids it
    The 1938-1954 layout layout has it severely chopped into a double right hander
    Then the layouts from 1955 onwards have a Parabolica again! Albeit reprofiled over time like the Lesmo.

    It seems like such an effort to have that corner, get rid of it, then have it back again. I can't think of many circuits where a corner has vanished only to return.
     
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  8. TDZdave

    TDZdave

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    It might have had something to do with the war,
     
  9. R5

    R5

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    [​IMG]

    :lol:
     
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  10. GTPorsche

    GTPorsche

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    Late 60s/Very Early 70s photo of Monza I think.
     
  11. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

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    Come to think of it, it doesn't make much sense...I was under the belief that the banking wasn't built until the mid-1950s. I forgot that it has loads of pre-WWII usage as well. Unless it was also reconstructed?

    So the old Curva Sud should have had a an overpass for the banking just above the track, like the stretch from Curva Seralgio and Variante Vialone has above it, but it doesn't. I've never seen a single photo with anything like that; though to be fair, most race photos from pre-1955 seem to be centered on the pit-straight area with a few outposts by the Vialone section. That's not to say Monza was unique; the concept of having photographers around every corner of the track wasn't really common until the mid-1970s, probably due to an ever-greater press corps, the decreasing cost/increased availability of camera equipment, and track facilities having more infield/outfield access from point-to-point for safety and logistical purposes.

    Maybe Curva Sud had an different infield alignment that's long-gone.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  12. GTPorsche

    GTPorsche

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    I think the south banking might have rebuilt during the renovation in 1954 and would be why there's no overpass there as it was no longer necessary?
     
  13. SagarisGTB

    SagarisGTB

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    The modern Parabolica shares little with the old pre-war Curva de Vedano, apart from both corners connecting the same two straights. The original pre-war corner was located further north than any of it's successor corners and was a constant radius curve. During the 1938/39 renovations, the banking was demolished and they built the double right hander (the one that you can still see traces of in your photo) at the location of the former south banking. The old south banking was either completely gone or at least disjointed at that point.

    However, when they built the newer steeper banking in 1954/55, they built the new southern banking just to the north of the double right hander, cutting it off from the rest of the circuit. A new corner to link the Rettifilo Centro with the Rettifilo Tribune (start/finish straight) was required and the now much-loved Parabolica was emplaced.

    That's how I understand it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
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  14. Grand Prix

    Grand Prix Premium

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    Some photos of Monza in the mid 1930s:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can probably guess, the reason they included those tight chicanes all over the circuit in those days was to take away some speed advantage from the German cars, so the Italian ones could have a better chance of winning. After the war the circuit returned to its former flowing glory. Until 1972 that is, when chicanes were added once more despite 1971 having one of the closest finishes in GP history.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Mike-ZENKAI

    Mike-ZENKAI Premium

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  16. Liquid

    Liquid Premium

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    This crosses over with a recent post in classic motorsport photos but there is very little left of the original Daytona Beach & Road Course (1902-1958).

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    The highway section (Highway A1A):

    [​IMG]

    It rather highlights how much urban expansion has happened since the 1950s. There's almost none in the photo of the track; it almost looks like they're racing in a seaside swamp.

    The beach bit is roughly the same. No land speed records since 1935, mind.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  17. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

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    Most of State Road A1A has been built up over the past 50-60 years, although the modern photo shows the area in the city proper. Go a little further north or south of Daytona Beach and there's usually just private residences (and a few scattered preserves). It's not very populated once you're 8-10 miles away from the coasts...farms and forests dominate the region. Outside of most urban or metropolitan areas, A1A is a two-lane road, and some sections are still that way due to encroaching development and erosion. Since the beaches are still active, and the road still exists, it's just the links between the straights which are lost.

    Useless fun fact: about twenty minutes north of Ormond/Daytona Beach, winding County Road 2002 has litter maintenance sponsorship by the local BMW club.
     
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  18. TDZdave

    TDZdave

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    Wow, barely 60 years difference, and what a difference, I'm gonna have to make this a "must visit" place when I go to the Daytona 24 in the next few years,
     
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  19. FoolKiller

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    Visit the North Turn Bar. It sits on the spot of the turn in the older photo and is a landmark, marking the original northern side of the track. It is racing themed as well, so a racing fan should enjoy it.

    Also they have a deck with beach access and Adirondack chairs to sit and watch the ocean. While you drink.

    It's a must stop whenever I am in the Daytona Beach area.
     
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  20. Liquid

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    Not abandoned, but this is the original Brands Hatch.

    This was its layout from its founding as a grass/dirt cross-country running track in 1926. It was tarmacked in 1950. You'll note that Paddock was much more conventional, the Cooper straight wasn't so straight and Druids didn't exist. At this point in time, it was also run in reverse to what we know today.

    [​IMG]

    There are some photos of the anti-clockwise grass track. You can see the basic outline on the right, with Druids still yet to be built.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The addition of Paddock Hill and Druids came in 1954, giving us the Indy layout we know today, and the running direction changed at this point too.

    The extension was constructed in 1960. This below is how it was proposed even before the Druids extension was built.

    [​IMG]

    And just to top things off, here's Brooklands under construction:

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. TDZdave

    TDZdave

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    I remember seeing a Top Gear episode where they drove through Spain and 90% of it looked abandoned, I'd have thought Valencia was doing ok after seeing the Moto GP crowds, but the F1 street circuit tells a rather different story, I'm unable to provide further details on the circuit as I haven't bothered with F1 for some time and I actually thought this circuit was still on the calendar, these images popped up on my facebook stream so I'm unsure who to credit them to,
     

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  22. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

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    Looking at it through Google Maps imagery, it seems that about half of the circuit were access roads leading to a parking lot. So there's nothing much to keep up, and appearance-wise, that area wound up as a bit of a dumping ground. I never paid much attention to the construction phases, but that white bridge also seems have been removed, probably so it could be used as a port.

    Also, I never realized that the hairpin exit coming the back straight bounded a cemetery.
     
  23. Ganon83

    Ganon83

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    This is very late but on Daytona-
    The primary reason France left there to begin with was business wanting to expand and take over that land. They basically moaned and groaned about it to city hall for 10-20 years in spite of not willing to give a dime to the constantly delayed and money starved DIS construction, now the businesses there profit off the racetrack like crazy.
    Also, if you are looking for landmarks, the Steamline Hotel (aka the birthplace of NASCAR) is another good one. If you want something to eat, Bill France's favorite place to go was the Steak and Shake. Many important meetings would end up there, and it infamously was the birthplace of the points system used from 1975-2003, scribbled on a napkin by a NASCAR official.
     
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  24. prisonermonkeys

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    It was also right next to the Port of Valencia. The whole area was an under-developed eyesore and the city had been looking for a project to fill it for years.

    It's a shame, because unpopular as it was, I think the circuit had a genuine chance to be fantastic. It just had too many slow corners and hairpins. The problems could have been cured in two easy steps: first, the cars should have been able to go flat out from the start line to the swing bridge; turns 2 to 5 should have been cut. And secondly, the switchback at the bottom of the circuit - turns 10, 11 and 12 - should have been condensed into a single corner.

    Like this:

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/m/?r=6769130&rf=1
     
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  25. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

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    Street circuits seem to be designed by politicians, at times. Of course, the natural design of most cities is such that you can't escape 90-degree bends and parking lots (or very wide swaths of asphalt) are the few places to introduce actual curves and shaped bends. It did have some unique aspects to enjoy from a television-viewing standpoint, but it did not lend itself to many overtaking opportunities. While most proposals show glittering skylines, the fact is that most street circuits exist in areas in need of (or devoid of) development, rather than inconveniencing existing tourist sites, storefronts, hotels, et al for two weeks of very limited passenger and pedestrian traffic.

    I think we're now at a stage where 4-8 years is as much as we'll see from most 21st Century-era facilities anymore, since there's lots of bidders. On the other hand, it gives a nod to the established tracks before most new ones...Silverstone, Monte Carlo, and Monza aren't going anywhere. Spa seems to be oddball, although its future seems relatively stable.
     
  26. jimipitbull

    jimipitbull

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    Approx 20 years ago on a rainy day, myself and a mate were four wheel driving in our Landcruisers (I had an FJ40, mate had an FJ45)and came across what looked like an goat track in what was 6 - 8 feet of long, thick grass. We started following it, and realised it was an oval shaped track. We started doing laps, after an hour or two the track was effectively resurfaced.

    tanktracks.jpg

    Playing with the google earth history function, managed to find it - the faint oval shape in centre of the above pic. Picture is probably taken approx 5 years after that day. For scale, it's about 140m long and 40m wide. Track width was about 5m, but the ground was flat enough that you could run wide through the long grass for overtaking. It wasn't far from home, so every few weeks a few of us would meet up and throw our cars around - usually in an anti-clockwise direction.

    Unfortunately, pic below is what it looks like today :(

    t2.jpg

    Looking into the history of the area, it was first developed as a US army base during WWII - Camp Columbia.
    Can't find any reference anywhere as to the origin of the oval track though.
     
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  27. GTE4everyone

    GTE4everyone

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    I'm going to recreate the original in GT6 course maker. It won't have elevation though.

    Edit: Nevermind, the front straight is bent, so I can't :/
     
  28. GTPorsche

    GTPorsche

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    The start line on the original configuration was closer to the final corner.
     
  29. GTE4everyone

    GTE4everyone

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    The default start is longer than either half of the front straight on Laguna
     
  30. GT6champNK_69

    GT6champNK_69

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    It was in 1969, Jackie Stewart winning over Jochen Rindt the closest win in Formula one.