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Algarve International Circuit

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Algarve International Circuit

Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Location Portimão, Algarve, Portugal
Time zone GMT
Major events FIA Formula One (testing), Superleague Formula, GP2 Series, A1 Grand Prix Grand Prix of Nations, Portugal, World Series by Renault, FIM Superbike World Championship, FIA GT Championship Algarve 2 Hours, FIA GT3 European Championship Algarve 2 Hours, Le Mans Series 1000 km of Algarve, Euroseries 3000
LMS Circuit
Length 4.648 km (2.905 mi)
Turns 17
Lap record 1:30.681 (Nicolas Lapierre, ORECA Team Matmut, 2010, Peugeot 908 HDI FAP, LMP1)
GP Circuit
Length 4.692 km (2.915 mi)
Turns 18
Lap record 1:31.404 (Adam Carroll, A1 Team Ireland, 2009, A1GP)
Motorcycling Circuit
Length 4.658 km (2.894 mi)
Turns 15
Lap record 1:42.774 (Max Biaggi, Aprilia Alitalia Racing, 2010, SBK)
Felipe Massa at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
B09/60 Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 driven by Stefan Mücke in the 1000km do Algarve Race of the Le Mans Series 2009

The 100,000 capacity Algarve International Circuit (Portuguese: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve), commonly referred to as Portimao Circuit, is a 4.692 km (2.915 mi) race circuit located in Portimão, Portugal. With a total cost of €195 million (approximately $250 million), the project includes a karting track, technology park, five-star hotel, sports complex and apartments.[1]

Construction was finished in October 2008 and the circuit was homologated by both the FIM on 11 October 2008 and the FIA two days later.[2]

The circuit was designed by Ricardo Pina, Arquitectos. In October 2010 the teams agreed to add the Portimao Circuit to the Formula One testing roster along with Bahrain.[3]

In September 2013, the company that manages the circuit, Parkalgar Serviços, was taken over by Portugal Capital Ventures, which is a Portuguese state-owned venture capitalist, effectively placing the circuit under state management. The sale was forced by the debts accumulated by Parkalgar Serviços, believed to be approximately 160 million Euros.[4]

The circuit

The circuit hosted the final round of the World Superbike Championship on 2 November 2008.[1] On 9 June, the track was confirmed to host a round of the 2008-09 A1 Grand Prix season. The race was set for the weekend of 12 April 2009. On 10 October 2008, the Le Mans Series announced a 1000 km night race to be held at Algarve on 2 August 2009.[5] On 5 November 2008, the FIA GT Championship announced and 7th round of the 2009 season will be held at Algarve on 13 September 2009.[6] A Formula One test session, with the McLaren and Honda teams participating, was scheduled for 15–17 December 2008. Ferrari also ran at Algarve.[7][8][9][10][11] Toyota also tested at the circuit on 20 January 2009 in the first outing of their new TF109 chassis.[12] The circuit will also host the final round of the 2009 GP2 Series season in September 2009.[13] From 2010 it will host a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.[14]

On April 4, 2009 Max Mosley stated that based on the quality of the circuit it could integrate the Formula One championship under the guise of the Portuguese Grand Prix, as long as a commercial agreement with the Formula One Management is achieved.[15]

The circuit resembles old Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, mainly because of its constantly undulating nature. A1 Team Portugal's driver Filipe Albuquerque observed that there are big downhill slopes and right-hand turns after the main straight. He also commented that the track is good for overtaking because the circuit width. A1 Team New Zealand's driver Earl Bamber observed that there are many special turns with personality. He commented that the new circuit is a little bit dangerous like the old school circuits with a roller coaster ride. A1 Team France's driver Nicolas Prost commented that the asphalt is new and the circuit has little grip.

It has been confirmed that one of the corners of the circuit was named after former World Supersport rider Craig Jones who was killed in a motorcycle crash at Brands Hatch in 2008.

Craig Jones memorial

On 2009, October 22, a tribute ceremony occurred, with the exhibition of a provisional statue, created by the Portuguese sculptress [18]

The inauguration of the marble and stainless steel statue was expected to occur in 2010. If completed in 2011, this will be the only stone statue in the world representing a motorbike.[19][20]

Results

A1GP history

Season Date Sprint Race Winning Driver Sprint Race Winning Team Feature Race Winning Driver Feature Race Winning Team Report
2008–09 12 April 2009 Robert Doornbos Netherlands Neel Jani Switzerland Report

See also

References

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External links

  • Official website
  • Track maps and history at RacingCircuits.info
  • 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial, partially built, in the main access of the Algarve Motor Park - YouTube [1]
  • “Craig Jones remembered with statue honor” in Algarve resident (30 October 2009) [2]
  • “Craig Jones memorial removed” in Algarve resident (5 November 2009) [3]
  • (Portuguese)Paula Hespanha expõe estátua de Craig Jones” in Jornal Hardmusica (October 2009) [4]
  • (Portuguese) “Memorial Craig Jones em Portimão” in Atrox Mobilis – Motos e Mobilidade (22 October 2009) (contains a 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial) [5]

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