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Circuit Histories Guide
GRAND PRIX CHALLENGE: CIRCUIT HISTORIES GUIDE by Jamie Stafford/Wolf Feather FEATHER7@IX.NETCOM.COM Initial Version Completed: March 11, 2003 Version 1.0 Completed: March 11, 2003 ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== JOIN THE FEATHERGUIDES E-MAIL LIST: To be the first to know when my new and updated guides are released, join the FeatherGuides E-mail List. Go to http://www.coollist.com/group.cgi?l=featherguides for information about the list and to subscribe for free. ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== CONTENTS Spacing and Length Permissions Introduction Circuit History: Albert Park Circuit History: Kuala Lampur Circuit History: Interlagos Circuit History: Imola Circuit History: Catalunya Circuit History: A1-Ring Circuit History: Monte Carlo Circuit History: Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve Circuit History: Nurburgring Circuit History: Silverstone Circuit History: Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit History: Hockenheim Circuit History: Hungaroring Circuit History: Spa-Francorchamps Circuit History: Monza Circuit History: Indianapolis Circuit History: Suzuka Wrap-up Contact Information ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== SPACING AND LENGTH For optimum readability, this driving guide should be viewed/printed using a monowidth font, such as Courier. Check for font setting by making sure the numbers and letters below line up: 1234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ============================================== PERMISSIONS Permission is hereby granted for a user to download and/or print out a copy of this driving guide for personal use. However, due to the extreme length, printing this driving guide may not be such a good idea. This driving guide may only be posted on: FeatherGuides, GameFAQs.com, f1gamers.com, Games Domain, PSXCodez.com, Cheatcc.com, gamesover.com, Absolute-PlayStation.com, GameReactors.com, RedCoupe, InsidePS2Games.com, CheatPlanet.com, The Cheat Empire, a2zweblinks.com, Gameguru, CheatHeaven, IGN, cheatingplanet.com, RobsGaming.com, neoseeker.com, ps2fantasy.com, and vgstrategies.com. Please contact me for permission to post elsewhere on the Internet. Should anyone wish to translate this game guide into other languages, please contact me for permission(s) and provide me with a copy when complete. Remember: Plagiarism in ANY form is NOT tolerated!!!!! ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== INTRODUCTION This guide was created due to a personal inquiry, wishing to learn more about the history of the race venues currently used in F1 competition (and in Grand Prix Challenge as well). This is not intended to be a detailed history of all the race venues, but more of a general overview of the circuits. The majority of information for this section comes from circuits' official Web sites, Formula1.com (http://www.formula1.com/), and Driver Network (http://www.drivernetwork.net/). To the extent possible, I will try to update circuit wins as best as I can, although that admittedly is not initially a priority in writing this section. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: ALBERT PARK The Albert Park circuit is a beautiful tree-lined venue using real Melbourne city streets encircling the serene Albert Park Lake. The Albert Park circuit has hosted the Grand Prix of Australia since 1996, taking over from the Adelaide temporary street circuit. Over 400,000 spectators saw the 1997 Grand Prix of Australia in person at the Albert Park venue. The 2002 Grand Prix of Australia was extremely eventful from the very beginning - to the extent that only eight cars finished the race!!! Rubens Barrichello began the race from Pole Position (P1), but on slowing for the first corner of the circuit, Ralf Schumacher (brother of Michael Schumacher) rammed the rear of Barrichello's Ferrari and was sent airborne, landing in the massive sand trap at the end of Pit Straight with far too much damage to continue. The incident created a massive chain-reaction melee as the other drivers scrambled to take evasive action... but many ended up taking each other out of contention due to massive damage. Seven other drivers were forced to retire from the race due to extreme damage. Fortunately, there were no severe injuries - just a lot of bruised egos and angry tempers. Stupidly, however, the race marshals made the decision to send out the Safety Car instead of red-flagging the race; had the race been stopped instead, FIA rules would have permitted all those drivers involved in the incident to use their back-up ('T') cars when the race was restarted. Of course, those drivers whose cars were damaged in the opening-lap melee were able to take advantage of the Safety Car situation to make repairs and rejoin the race. F1 winners at Albert Park include Damon Hill (1996), David Coulthard (1997), Mika Hakkinen (1998), Eddie Irvine (1999), and Michael Schumacher (2000-2002). The official Web site of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (http://www.grandprix.com.au/cars/index.asp) features information on Australian F1 driver Mark Webber. Interestingly, there is a movement afoot - Save Albert Park (http://www.save-albert-park.org.au/) - which aims to prevent the relocation of the Grand Prix of Australia to a permanent race venue. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: KUALA LAMPUR The Sepang Circuit opened in March 1999 and includes three circuit formations: Race Track (used for the F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia), Go-Kart Track (using the first half of Race Track), and Motocross Track (circuit layout not yet available on the official Sepang Web site). This is the second-newest race venue in F1 competition, which began its F1 use at the end of the 1999 season. Sepang hosts F1, JapanGT, MotoGP, Merdeka Endurance, Malaysian Super Series, Motocross, and other track events (including private bookings). Two features cause the Sepang Circuit to truly stand out among all other F1 race venues. The first is the incredibly wide nature of the track itself, which has a 16m minimum width to provide plenty of side-by-side racing action. Aesthetically, the Sepang Circuit is literally dominated by the main grandstand, which is nestled snugly inside the two longest straightaways and has a roof designed to simulate Malaysia's national flower (the hibiscus, or Rosa Sinensis - known locally as the Bunga Raya). Unfortunately, with the relative newness of the Sepang Circuit, there is not much historical information to be found. The winners of the initial four Grands Prix of Malaysia: Eddie Irvine (1999), Michael Schumacher (2000 and 2001), and Ralf Schumacher (2002). See the official Web site (http://www.malaysiangp.com.my). ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: INTERLAGOS The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace has hosted the Grand Prix of Brazil intermittently since 1973, but has held the event consistently since 1990. As with many race venues, the circuit was originally longer (7.914 kilometers, or 4.946 miles) than its current configuration (4.267 kilometers, or 2.667 miles). This is also an odd venue in that races are run counterclockwise. This is definitely a tricky circuit to master, built upon a steep hillside. The very end of Pit Straight is the highest point of the circuit, then the circuit drops away significantly on a steep downhill S-curve which is one of the most dangerous areas in all of current F1 racing. The majority of Sector 2 and the beginning of Sector 3 are a set of tight, twisty corners connected with VERY brief straightaways, all tempered with significant elegant changes. F1 winners at Interlagos: Emerson Fittipaldi (1973 and 1974), Carlos Pace (1975), Niki Lauda (1976), Carlos Reutemann (1977), Jacques Laffite (1979), Rene Arnoux (1980), Alain Prost (1990), Ayrton Senna (1991 and 1993), Nigel Mansell (1992), Michael Schumacher (1994, 1995, 2000, and 2002), Damon Hill (1996), Jacques Villeneuve (1997), Mika Hakkinen (1998 and 1999), and David Coulthard (2001). Unfortunately, I am currently unable to find any further online information concerning the Interlagos venue. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: IMOLA Used for F1 racing since 1963, the Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari is actually located in Italy (20 miles - or 32 kilometers - from Bologna) even though it officially hosts the Grand Prix of San Marino. Construction of the circuit began in 1950, and three years later was officially opened with 125cc & 500cc motorbike events. However, only in 1979 was the entire venue made permanent; before this time, part of the circuit was comprised of public roads. The 1963 F1 race was an untitled race, but was indeed part of the Formula1 series. In 1980, the Imola circuit hosted its first World F1 race as the Grand Prix of Italy. Beginning in 1981, the race at Imola was named the Grand Prix of San Marino. Two notable major incidents occurred at Imola. The first was in 1989, when Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger crashed and exploded in flames. Nearly a full fifteen seconds later, the flames were extinguished and Berger saved to the delight of the concerned spectators; in fact, Berger re-entered the race!!! Five years later, during the qualifier race and the actual Grand Prix, Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna lost their lives. (There has practically been a 'cult' surrounding the death of Ayrton Senna, and there are several Web sites which include details as well as video of his tragic death.) Due to these incidents, the circuit was redesigned. F1 winners at Imola: Nelson Piquet (1981), Didier Pironi (1982), Patrick Tambay (1983), Alain Prost (1984, 1984, and 1993), Elio de Angelis (1985), Nigel Mansell (1987 and 1992), Ayrton Senna (1988, 1989, and 1991), Riccardo Patrese (1990), Michael Schumacher (1994, 1999, 2000, and 2002), Damon Hill (1995 and 1996), Heinz-Harald Frentzen (1997), David Coulthard (1998), and Ralf Schumacher (2001). Visit the official Web site (http://www.autodromoimola.com/) for more information. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: CATALUNYA The Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona has hosted the Grand Prix of Spain since 1997. The circuit hosts numerous forms of racing, including FIA Sportscar Championship, Spanish Formula-1 Grand Prix, 24 HOURS MOTORBIKE ENDURANCE, 24 HOURS CAR ENDURANCE, Catalunya Motorbike Championship, Spanish GT's Championship, Truck GP, and certainly F1 Racing; Catalunya even holds courses for the preparation of racing officials. Many teams also use the circuit for practice and testing. The circuit has three configurations: Grand Prix (7.563 kilometers, or 4.727 miles), National (4.907 kilometers, or 3.067 miles), and School (2.725 kilometers, or 1.703 miles). F1 winners at Catalunya: Jacques Villeneuve (1997), Mika Hakkinen (1998-2000), and Mika Hakkinen (2001 and 2002). See the official Web site (http://www.circuitcat.com) for more information. Unfortunately, it does not have any historical information on the circuit, nor can I find any such information online. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: A1-RING The A1-Ring has been the host of F1's Grand Prix of Austria since 1997, but also hosts Truck Grand Prix, Classic Grand Prix, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, and motorbikes, among other racing series. The 2002 Grand Prix of Austria was surrounded by controversy following an extreme Ferrari public relations faux pas. Reubens Barrichello had truly dominated the entire race weekend, and was definitely on his way to his second-ever F1 win. In the closing laps of the race, teammate Michael Schumacher (P2) began closing in on Barrichello, but the assumption was that this move was to allow Ferrari's cars to be close enough for a photo opportunity for its sponsors. However, since Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya (Schumacher's closest expected competition) were at that point very close in points in the Drivers' Championship, Barrichello - who that week had signed a contract extension as the NUMBER TWO TEAM DRIVER behind Michael Schumacher - was ordered to pull aside in the final meters of the race to allow his teammate to gain an extra four points in his lead over Montoya (P1 awards 10 points; P2 awards 6 points). While FIA could not do anything against the team or the drivers for the team orders, the fans in the stands (and myself watching live on television at 7AM in Arizona) were FURIOUS. Michael Schumacher having officially 'won' the race was to take the top rung on the podium, but instead took the second rung and pushed the 'true' winner Reubens Barrichello to the top rung; the FIA took objection to this and sanctioned the team and the drivers at a special hearing later in the year. F1 winners at A1-Ring: Jacques Villeneuve (1997), Mika Hakkinen (1998 and 2000), Eddie Irvine (1999), David Coulthard (2001), and Michael Schumacher (the official winner in 2002 - see the note on the controversy above, as many consider that Reubens Barrichello won the race). See the official Web site (http://www.a1ring.at/) for more information. Unfortunately, it does not appear to have any historical information on the circuit itself, nor can I find any such information online. Also, the official Web site is entirely in German, a language I cannot read. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: MONTE CARLO Anthony Noghes presented the concept of an automobile racing event in the streets of Monte Carlo in the 1920s. With the support of Prince Louis II, it was realized that the natural lay of the land provided a natural location for a superb racetrack. The first Grand Prix of Monaco was help April 14, 1929, with sixteen competitors. Since then, only fourteen years did the Grand Prix of Monaco not take place. Many of the most famous F1 drivers have won the Grand Prix of Monaco: Juan Manuel Fangio in 1950 and 1957; Stirling Moss in 1956, 1960, and 1961; Graham Hill in 1963-1965, 1968 and 1969; Jackie Stewart in 1966, 1971, and 1973; Niki Lauda in 1975 and 1976; Alain Prost in 1984-1986 and 1988; Ayrton Senna in 1987 and 1989-1993; and Michael Schumacher in 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2001. Due to the narrowness of the circuit, the steep elevation changes, and the numerous tight corners, the Grand Prix of Monte Carlo is one of the most prestigious events an F1 driver can possibly win. See the official Web site (http://www.monaco.mc/monaco/gprix) for more information. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: CIRCUIT GILLES-VILLENEUVE Located on the Ile Notre-Dame in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the circuit has hosted the Grand Prix of Canada since 1978. The circuit is named for Gilles-Villeneuve, the first Canadian F1 driver. His first F1 victory was in 1978 at the Canadian Grand Prix on the Ile Notre-Dame track. However, following his death during a practice session for the 1982 Grand Prix of Belgium, the City of Montreal Executive Committee passed a resolution to rename the circuit in honor of Gilles-Villeneuve. Jacques Villeneuve, son of Gilles- Villeneuve, now competes in F1 (for BAR in 2002), so the Villeneuve name continues on in F1 racing. Many people attempt to compare F1 cars with CART cars. Therefore, it is perhaps not so surprising that in 2002, CART raced at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve for the first time. Based upon the popularity of this first CART venture to the circuit, CART will likely keep returning to this great race venue for many years and decades to come. F1 winners at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve: Gilles-Villeneuve (1978), Alan Jones (1979 and 1980), Jacques Laffite (1981), Nelson Piquet (1982, 1984 and 1991), Rene Arnoux (1983), Michele Alboreto (1985), Ayrton Senna (1988 and 1990), Thierry Boutsen (1989), Gerhard Berger (1992), Alain Prost (1993), Michael Schumacher (1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2002), Jean Alesi (1995), Damon Hill (1996), Mika Hakkinen (1999), and Ralf Schumacher (2001). The official Web site (http://www.grandprix.ca) has plenty of good information - including very important circuit access information, since cars cannot be taken to the island. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: NURBURGRING Originally 22.677 kilometers (14.173 miles) in length, the Nurburgring first opened in 1927 (following two years of construction) and is still going strong. The opening events featured motorcycles (June 18, 1927), with cars featured the following day. The 1939 German Grand Prix was the final race at Nurburgring for quite some time due to the beginning of World War II. The circuit itself was damaged in the closing months of the war, but racing returned to Nurburgring in 1947. However, there were no races at Nurburgring in 1948, as the circuit was being brought up to safety standards. Nurburgring began hosting F1 events in 1951. Estimates show that 400,000 spectators came to the track for the 1954 F1 race. In 1958, however, the F1 race saw the death of Peter Collins as his Ferrari went out of control. The 1968 world motorcycle championship at Nurburgring had a strange stoppage: a forest fire. The F1 Grand Prix later that year had nearly impossible visibility due to intense rain and fog. In 1970, the Northern Loop of the circuit was called into question after numerous accidents. Improvements were made for the following year, when 130,000 spectators witnessed Jackie Stewart winning the F1 Grand Prix. More improvements were demanded in 1974 (first by motorcyclists, then by F1 drivers). When Nikki Lauda was seriously injured in 1976, the Northern Loop was decommissioned as an F1 venue. A new, shorter circuit was then designed and built, opening in 1984 at 4.542 kilometers (2.839 miles) in length. Alan Prost won that year's European Grand Prix. In 1986, however, the F1 race moved to Hockenheim. 1995 saw the return of F1 to Nurburgring, and the historic race venue has produced excellent races ever since. Some of the notable F1 winners at Nurburgring: Alberto Ascari (1951 and 1952), Juan Manuel Fangio (1954-1956), Stirling Moss (1961), Jim Clark (1965), Jack Brabham (1966), Jackie Stewart (1968, 1971, and 1973), Alain Prost (1984), Michael Schumacher (1995, 2000, and 2001), Jacques Villeneuve (1996 and 1997), Mika Hakkinen (1998), and Rubens Barrichello (2002). See the official Web site (http://www.nuerburgring.de/) for plenty more details about the Nurburgring. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: SILVERSTONE The world-famous Silverstone circuit - often spoken of in the same terms as Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Monza - has hosted F1 racing since 1950. This 5.110-kilometer (3.194- mile) circuit is set at an airport site, and contains several configurations. The Silverstone International circuit (used for the British TOCA series) shares much of the same pavement as the Grand Prix circuit used for the annual F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain; in fact, the pavement for the two circuits even cross at approximately two-thirds of the way around the International circuit. During World War II, the Royal Air Force chose the site now known as Silverstone for an airfield and a bomber-training base. Following the war, other circuits such as Donnington Park and Brooklands could not be used for racing due to having been converted for wartime uses. Thus, in 1948, the Silverstone site was used for its first race... with the circuit marked by hay bales. The circuit was redone in 1949 and assumed a configuration roughly equivalent to that in current use. F1 began in 1950, and held its first race at Silverstone. Guiseppe Farina won the first-ever F1 race in an Alfa Romeo. The British Racing Drivers' Club operated Silverstone until 2001, when current owner Octagon Motorsports took control of the venue; this also ensures that the British Grand Prix will be held at Silverstone for at least the next fifteen years. The world's best F1 drivers have all placed themselves into the Silverstone record books, including Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, Jack Brabham, John Surtees, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, John Watson, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Eddie Irvine, Jacques Villeneuve, Mika Hakkinen, Michael Schumacher, and David Coulthard. The track record is held by Michael Schumacher, at 1:24.475 with an average speed of 217.784KPH (136.115MPH). Silverstone hosts far more than just F1: Grand Prix motorcycles, SuperBikes, Karts, FIA GTs, European Le Mans, RallySprint, stages of the Rally of Great Britain, British Touring Car Championship, and British Formula 3 and GT. The official Web site is actually the site for Octagon Motorsports (http://www.octagonmotorsports.com/), which owns and operates Silverstone, as well as Snetterton, Cadwell Park, Brands Hatch, and Oulton Park. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: NEVERS MAGNY-COURS Characterized by its three parallel straightaways (which can be aurally difficult for drivers while on the middle straightaway), Nevers Magny-Cours has hosted F1 events since 1991. The 4.226-kilometer (2.641-mile) circuit is also used for Motorbikes Championship, FIA GT Championship, Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup, FIA Sportcar Championship, Formula Nissan, historical races, and various endurance races. F1 winners at Nevers Magny-Cours: Nigel Mansell (1991 and 1992), Alain Prost (1993), Michael Schumacher (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, and 2002), Damon Hill (1996), Heinz-Harald Frentzen (1999), and David Coulthard (2000). Visit the official Web site (http://www.magnycours.com/) for more information. Unfortunately, the site does not include any circuit history in either the French- or English-language versions of the site. This information on the 1999 F1 race at Magny-Cours is provided by ViperMask, one of the biggest F1 fans I have ever met. It is edited only for formatting purposes. As for Magny-Cours, Heinz Harald Frentzen's win was a very special one. He made a BEAUTIFUL drive in the wet, in the Jordan Mugen-Honda. It was one of the races that made HHF into a superstar driver AND the Driver of the Year in 1999. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: HOCKENHEIM The Hockenheim circuit was an EXCELLENT and very high-speed race venue until 2002, when the circuit was redesigned and severely shortened while accommodations were added to bring in even more spectators than before. The former Hockenheim configuration ran almost entirely through the German forest. The circuit was designed in 1932, and hosts F1 and many other forms of motorsport. Notable F1 winners at Hockenheim: Niki Lauda (1977), Mario Andretti (1978), (1981, 1986, and 1987), Alain Prost (1984, 1993), Ayrton Senna (1988-1990), Nigel Mansell (1991 and 1992), Michael Schumacher (1995, 2002), and Mika Hakkinen (1998). The official Web site (http://www.hockenheimring.de/) is unfortunately only available in German - which is a language I cannot read :-( ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: HUNGARORING Located 19.2 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Budapest, the 3.946-kilometer (2.466-mile) Hungaroring circuit has been used for F1 racing since 1986, and represented the first foray of F1 racing into the Eastern Block (during the Cold War era). F1 winners at Hungaroring include Nelson Piquet (1986 and 1987), Ayrton Senna (1988, 1991, and 1992), Nigel Mansell (1989), Thierry Boutsen (1990), Damon Hill (1993 and 1995), Michael Schumacher (1994, 1998, and 2001), Jacques Villeneuve (1996 and 1997), Mika Hakkinen (1999 and 2000), and Reubens Barrichello (2002). The official Web site (http://www.hungaroring.hu/) unfortunately does not include a circuit history. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is one of the most scenic race venues in all of F1 racing (especially now that the Hockenheim circuit in Germany has been practically destroyed in its new, far shorter configuration); races here are also as much characterized by the often-changing weather as by the challenging circuit itself. The Spa-Francorchamps venue has been as long as 14.038 kilometers (8.774 miles) in length (from 1950 to 1956), but has been greatly shortened now to 6.928 kilometers (4.330 miles) in length. This is a tricky circuit, categorized primarily by the tight La Source hairpin just beyond the Start/Finish Line, and the long, snaking, steep, uphill climb up Eau Rouge to the tree-lined Kemmel Straight (the highest area of the circuit). The Spa-Francorchamps circuit hosts numerous forms of motorsport, including F1, Karting, and motorbikes. There are also two driving schools based at Spa-Francorchamps: Peugeot Driving School EPMA and RACB Driving school. Conceived in 1920, the circuit was ready for racing in August 1921... but there was no race, as only one competitor had registered :-( Three years later, Spa-Francorchamps hosted its first annual 24 Hours of Francorchamps (24 Hours of Spa), an endurance race begun only one year following the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans. Until World War II, the major events held at the circuit were the motorcycle grand prix races, the Belgian Grand Prix, and the 24 Hours of Francorchamps. However, by the 1970s, drivers were sincerely concerned about safety along the lengthy Spa-Francorchamps circuit. After numerous propositions, a shorter circuit was created, and the 7-kilomter circuit was inaugurated in 1979. Fortunately, the new circuit kept the main characteristics of its massive former self and also sported many safety improvements. With the shorter, safer circuit, the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium was able to return to Spa-Francorchamps. The current track record was set by Michael Schumacher at 1:43.726 (241.837KMH, or 151.148MPH) in 2002. In one of the most spectacular passes in recent F1 history, the 2000 Grand Prix of Belgium hinged upon Mika Salo drafting behind Michael Schumacher to make a pass for the race lead at the end of Kemmel Straight, using a third car as a pick on entering Malmedy-Les Combes at the highest point of the Spa- Francorchamps circuit. Notable F1 winners at Spa-Francorchamps: Juan Manuel Fangio (1950, 1954, and 1955), Alberto Ascari (1952 and 1953), Jack Brabham (1960), Jim Clark (1962-1965), Emerson Fittipaldi (1972), Alain Prost (1983 and 1987), Ayrton Senna (1985, and 1988-1991), Nigel Mansell (1986), Michael Schumacher (1992, 1995-1997, and 2001-2002), and Mika Hakkinen (2000). Please visit the official Web site (http://www.spa- francorchamps.be/) for a lot of excellent information on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and its many events and driving schools.. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: MONZA Originally opened in 1922 to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Milan Automobile Club, the Monza circuit (Autodromo Nazionale Monza), near Milan, Italy, has been the site of more F1 grand prix events than any other. The Monza circuit has seen numerous configurations, including the famous banked section from 1955 to 1961. Monza has always been an incredibly fast race venue... and with this speed comes even greater danger. Phil Hill's 1961 race victory (his second consecutive win at Monza) was severely overshadowed by a collision between Jim Clark and Wolfgang von Trips which took the lives of the latter driver and over one dozen spectators. A 1970 mechanical failure during Qualifying killed Jochen Rindt, so one may not be surprised that chicanes, guard rails, and reinforced fencing were added beginning in 1972 as an attempt to slow the cars and make Monza's events safer for all involved; however, the chicanes specifically were really just makeshift safety measures due to the increasing performance in virtually all realms of motorsport. In more recent years, the opening lap of the 2000 Grand Prix of Italy was seriously marred by the death of a trackside race marshal due to all the flying debris at the Roggia Chicane (the second chicane of the circuit). While there were no dangerous incidents at the 2001 Grand Prix of Italy, that particular event happened to be scheduled for the first weekend following the world- shocking terrorist attacks on the United States (September 11, 2001) AND the near-fatal accident at a new race venue in Germany (the previous afternoon) which forced the amputation of the legs of CART driver Alex Zanardi; these events cast a dark shadow over the race itself as well as the entire Grand Prix weekend. On a far more positive note, Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya - truly making his first great impact upon the F1 world following several years of astounding success in CART - broke Keke Rosberg's twenty-seven-year record for the fastest ever F1 qualifying lap. Rosberg's then record-setting lap was 259.005KPH (161.878MPH) set at Silverstone; Montoya's new record-setting lap was 259.827KPH (162.392MPH). What makes Montoya's achievement even more impressive is that Michelin- shod F1 vehicles (led by Williams and McLaren) have generally not been able to compete with Bridgestone-shod cars (led by Ferrari). The Monza circuit has seen all sorts of motorsport events, including motorcycles and touring cars, and currently is 5.736 kilometers (3.585 miles) in length. A recent Italian telefilm on the life of Enzzo Ferrari exclusively used the Monza circuit for its racing shots using time-appropriate vehicles. Notable F1 winners at Monza: Alberto Ascari (1951 and 1952), Juan Manuel Fangio (1953-1955), Stirling Moss (1956 and 1957), Stirling Moss (1959), Jim Clark (1963), Jackie Stewart (1965 and 1969), Emerson Fittipaldi (1972), Mario Andretti (1977), Niki Lauda (1978 and 1984), Alain Prost (1981, 1985, and 1989), Nelson Piquet (1983, 1986, and 1987), Ayrton Senna (1990 and 1992), Michael Schumacher (1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002), and Juan Pablo Montoya (2001). The official Web site of Autodromo Nazionale Monza (http://www.monzanet.it/) has plenty of great information, including a large track map of Monza's various configurations and plenty of images of racing action on Monza's banked turns. ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: INDIANAPOLIS Essentially a 'stadium circuit' located at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit is the newest race venue in F1, first used in its current incarnation in 2000. This also marks the return of F1 racing to the United States, which had been absent since 1991 (using a temporary street circuit in downtown Phoenix, Arizona). The initial 4.192-kilometer (2.620-mile) US Grand Prix was won by Michael Schumacher in 2000, followed by Mika Hakkinen (in his final race win before sabbatical/retirement) in 2001. Indianapolis Motor Speedway was purchased in 1945 by Tony Hulman (the namesake of Hulman Blvd., which connects Turn 7 and Turn 8 of the Grand Prix circuit) and restored to use after the speedway had fallen into disuse because of World War II. In 1950-1960, the Indianapolis 500 also awarded points for the F1 World Championship; winners in this era include Johnnie Parsons, Bill Vukovich, and Jim Rathmann. Tony George, the President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was almost single-handedly responsible for bringing F1 racing back to the United States. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway had to be brought up to standard in order to host the United States Grand Prix, including a new Paddock area which would allow cars to exit from the garage directly onto Pit Lane. Also, in a MAJOR concession to the traditions of F1 racing, the 2000 USGP marked the very first time that a race had been run in REVERSE (clockwise) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 2001 Grand Prix of the United States was the first major auto racing event on American soil following the terrorist attacks on America just two weeks before. FIA and USGP organizers truly went out of their way to provide entertainment, soothing words, and patriotic moments for the thousands of spectators at a time when the nation and the world were still in shock, grief, and mourning at the terrorist events. Winners of the Indianapolis 500 during its quasi-F1 era (1950-1960): Johnnie Parsons (1950), Lee Wallard (1951), Troy Ruttman (1952), Bill Vukovich (81953 and 1954), Bob Sweikert (1955), Pat Flaherty (1956), Sam Hanks (1957), Jimmy Bryan (1958), Rodger Ward (1959), and Jim Rathmann (1960). Winners of the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis in the modern era: Michael Schumacher (2000), and Mika Hakkinen (2001). Visit the official Web site (http://www.usgpindy.com/). ============================================== CIRCUIT HISTORY: SUZUKA In operation since at least 1962 and the host of F1 races since 1987, Suzuka Circuit is the host of many forms of motorsport - including F1 and other Formula series, and motorbikes (including MotoGP) - as well as several racing schools. Suzuka comprises two different circuits: the 5.821- kilometer (3.638-mile) International Racing Course (used for F1 events) and the 1.264-kilometer (0.790-mile) Southern Course (which itself contains numerous configurations). F1 winners at Suzuka: Gerhard Berger (1987 and 1991), Ayrton Senna (1988), Alessandro Nannini (1989), Nelson Piquet (1990), Riccardo Patrese (1992), Ayrton Senna (1993), Damon Hill (1994 and 1996), Michael Schumacher (1995, 1997, and 2000-2002), and Mika Hakkinen (1998 and 1999). Unfortunately, the official Web site (http://www.suzukacircuit.co.jp/) is almost exclusively in Japanese. Many section titles are also given in English (such as Event Calendar, Group Enjoy!, and Circuit Queen), but the only truly-English area is a single page with downloadable files of information for buying tickets to the next Grand Prix of Japan. ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== WRAP-UP The official FIA Web site (http://www.fia.com/) has a lot of good information pertaining to F1 racing, including the current season's race schedule, rules and regulations, and links to the official Web sites of most of the courses used. The FIA Web site is available in both French and English. ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== CONTACT INFORMATION For questions, rants, raves, comments of appreciation, etc., or to be added to my e-mail list for updates to this driving guide, please contact me at: FEATHER7@IX.NETCOM.COM; also, if you have enjoyed this guide and feel that it has been helpful to you, I would certainly appreciate a small donation via PayPal (http://www.paypal.com/) using the above e-mail address. To find the latest version of this and all my other PSX/PS2/DC/Mac game guides, visit FeatherGuides at http://feathersites.angelcities.com/ ============================================== ============================================== ==============================================