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The 7 most unusual race tracks in the world: from the hippodrome to the football stadium

Date: May 19, 2024 Time: 14:58:02

Along with the iconic, dangerous or terribly boring racetracks, there are also very peculiar circuits. We present to your attention the seven most original race tracks in the history of motorsport.

ExCeL (London, UK)

Formula E championship circuits are something of a rarity in the world of motorsport, but London’s makeshift race track stands out even against the background of its “brothers” in electric formula. Previously, the London E-Prix was held on the grounds of Battersea Park, but from 2021, the British stage of “electric trains” began to take place inside the ExCeL exhibition center, which previously hosted the summit of the G- 20, the Miss World pageant, as well as part of the 2012 Olympic Games competitions.

The start of the Formula E race “indoors”

Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

To be precise, the racetrack doesn’t cut completely through ExCeL territory; part of the track is located on the tracks that surround the building. However, most of the track is under the roof of the exhibition center, including the start line, as well as the pits.

Indoor racing looks a bit futuristic these days, a good excuse to watch the London Formula E races.

“AFUS” (Berlin. Germany)

In general, “AFUS” can hardly be called a racetrack in the usual sense of the word. In fact, this is a proving ground, as confirmed by the abbreviation AVUS itself (Automobil-Verkehrs und Übungs-Straße – road for automobile traffic and exercises). The Berlin track setup consisted of two long straights connected by a hairpin and brick bank.

Legendary bench “AFUS”

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images

However, despite the rather simple and at the same time dangerous configuration, AFUS has been organizing top-level racing competitions for quite some time. In 1926, the first German Grand Prix was held here, and in 1959, the Berlin racetrack fully accepted the official Formula 1 arena. One attempt was enough for the queen of motorsport to understand that AFUS was not right for her: the Formula 1 no longer came to Berlin.

In addition, the “proving ground” became a paradise for local racing series, in particular, the track hosted the stages of the German Formula 3 and the DTM championship. And in 1998, AFUS ceased to function as a racetrack, becoming a fragment of the Berlin Autobahn.

“AFUS” in the list of the worst F-1 tracks:

The 7 Worst Circuits In F1 History: From Casino Parking To Crumbling Asphalt

Caesars Palace (Las Vegas, United States)

Another unusual circuit that has not taken root in the world of Formula 1. In the early 1980s, the United States was affected by a formula boom: the queen of motorsport regularly opened new points on the map, one of the which was Las Vegas.

All the new American stages of that time were held on urban tracks to minimize the cost of organizing a Grand Prix, but the Nevada promoters went further by building a temporary circuit in the parking lot of the Caesars Palace casino. The result was something between a go-kart track and your average Formula E track. The lack of elevation change, the compactness of the track, and the terribly boring setup (more than half the track is repetitive corner sections) made Caesars Palace one of the worst tracks in F-1 history.

The main racing championship of the planet was enough for only two years, the more that Formula 1 did not visit Las Vegas. This year, the queen of motorsport will continue to return to America’s gaming capital, but on a completely different track, albeit on the city track as well.

Read more about the failed Caesars Palace Grand Prix:

The story of one of the worst Formula 1 circuits. They just fenced off the casino parking lot in Las Vegas

Solvalla (Stockholm, Sweden)

Solvalla is one of the largest racecourses on the Scandinavian Peninsula, where prestigious international races take place every year. And in 2012, the Stockholm Hippodrome underwent an unusual transformation, turning into a racetrack for a while.

Solvalla’s motorsport history began with Swedish touring: 11 years ago, the racetrack hosted the final stage of the season. For the sake of automobile competitions, the organizers had to lay a temporary asphalt surface on two straights. As for the turns, they were placed inside the ring of the racetrack.

Curiously, every year the asphalt had to be removed and relaid, as the racing season started in the summer. Solvalla hosted local racing competitions (including rallycross) until 2017. Then the race bosses decided to abandon the temporary track, preferring stationary circuits.

Potrero de los Funes (San Luis, Argentina)

One of the most exciting race tracks in the world, you’ll find an interesting set-up here that combines high-speed sections with slow turns and stunningly beautiful scenery. The forest, the mountains and the lake are responsible for the picturesque view of the Argentine track. Yes, the route runs around the lake of the same name. The road bed is next to the water so that riders can effortlessly see the water directly during races.

Regarding the sports component, in different years Potrero de los Funes hosted the stages of the local tourism championship, Formula Renault, as well as the FIA ​​GT1 world championship. Unfortunately, the Argentine track has not seen more status competitions.

“It looks like the second Nordschleife. One of the most beautiful tracks in the world!” – Italian runner Fabrizio Gollin described Potrero de los Funes as accurately as possible.

The most beautiful corner of F-1 is in danger of extinction:

The mythical corner of F1 is in danger of disappearing. Can Red Water be saved?

Sochi Autodrom (Sochi, Russia)

“Sochi Circuit”

Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

In Russia, the Sochi circuit is not considered something super unusual. This is largely due to the fact that we are corny used to this route. But if you look at the Sochi track with an impartial eye, then the track that hosted the Russian Grand Prix can really surprise you.

Let’s start with the fact that the circuit is located right in the Olympic village. Also, the sports facilities are not visible somewhere in the background, they are located just inside the track. Some of them still function according to their original purpose, such as the Bolshoi Ice Palace, where the Sochi hockey club plays its home games. Also very close to the track is the Fisht Stadium, the stadium where the opening of the Olympic Games took place (now the home stadium of FC Sochi). One of the turns surrounds the square where the Olympic cauldron is located. Well, all this colorful picture is complemented by a view of the Black Sea. As for the landscape, the Sochi circuit will shape many Formula 1 circuits.

Bowman Gray Stadium (Winston-Salem, USA)

Bowman Gray Stadium

Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

There are plenty of football stadiums with running tracks, but still, the more original space between the field and the stands was removed in the state of North Carolina, placing an actual racetrack instead of running tracks.

Bowman Gray Stadium was built in 1937 and immediately became the home stadium for the local college football team. Later, races began to be held on a 400-meter long dirt oval, and in 1947 the space between the field and the stands was paved. Two years later, the stadium hosted motor competitions for the first time.

Over time, the track placed inside the stadium even entered the calendar of the main division of the NASCAR championship: the races were held from 1958 to 1971. Over time, Bowman Gray Stadium lost the attention of the main racing championship. of the USA and was left with a series of much less status. What is important, the football stadium to this day hosts racing competitions, albeit of regional importance.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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