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Autodromo do Estoril

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Title: Autodromo do Estoril  
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Autodromo do Estoril

Autódromo do Estoril
Location Estoril, Portugal
Time zone GMT
Major events FIM MotoGP
Portuguese motorcycle Grand Prix
Portuguese Grand Prix, A1 Grand Prix, WTCC, Superleague Formula, 6 Hours of Estoril (Le Mans Series)
Length 4.182 km (2.599 mi)
Turns 13
Lap record 1:14.859 (Damon Hill, Williams-Renault, 1993)

The Autódromo do Estoril (officially, Autódromo Fernanda Pires da Silva) is a motorsport race track in Portugal, owned by state-run holding management company Parpública. Its length is 4.182 km (2.599 mi). It was the home of the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix from 1984 to 1996.


Its first years saw many national races, as well as an occasional Formula 2 race. However, the course soon fell into disrepair due to the owning company having been taken over by the state between 1975–78, and a significant redevelopment effort was needed before international motorsport returned in 1984.

Estoril became a popular event on the F1 calendar, the setting for many well-known moments including Niki Lauda winning the 1984 championship, his third and final, from McLaren team mate Alain Prost by just half a point by finishing second to Prost at the 1984 Portuguese Grand Prix. Three times world champion Ayrton Senna's first F1 win in 1985, Nigel Mansell's notorious black flag incident and subsequent collision with Senna in 1989, Jacques Villeneuve's overtaking Michael Schumacher around the outside of the final turn in 1996, and Riccardo Patrese's being launched airborne in a near-backward flip after colliding with Gerhard Berger on the main straight in 1992.

Estoril was dropped from the F1 calendar for the 1997 season, though it continued to play host to top-level single-seater, sports car and touring car events, including the FIA GT Championship, the DTM and the World Series by Renault.[1] A new redesign of the parabolica turn which saw its length reduced to 4.182 km (2.599 mi) was implemented in 2000 in order to obtain FIM homologation.


On September 3, 2000, the Autódromo do Estoril held its first Portuguese motorcycle Grand Prix, an event held annually. On October 23, 2005, the circuit hosted the third round of the first ever A1 Grand Prix racing season, with both races in the event being won by the French team.

The track's main open-wheel racing series is now the Superleague Formula series which has hosted events at the track in 2008, 2009 and an event has been confirmed for 2010.

The circuit

The Estoril circuit was built in 1972 on a rocky plateau near the village of Alcabideche, 9 km from the city of Estoril, the beach resort lending its name to the circuit. The course has two hairpin turns, noticeable elevation changes, and a long start/finish straight.[1] Its original perimeter was 4.350 km (2.703 mi).

Throughout the years, Estoril has had numerous problems with safety, failing safety inspections on more than one occasion. After the death of Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, a chicane was added which increased the circuit length to 4.360 km (2.709 mi). Estoril sometimes has high crosswinds, which remind many of its Spanish counterpart, the Circuit de Catalunya which also has a similar layout. Many teams were fond of using Estoril for winter testing.

Typical laptimes

Category Time Driver Car Date
F1 1:11.494 Damon Hill Williams FW15C 1993 Portuguese Grand Prix
Superleague 1:26.368 Franck Perera Panoz DP09 2008 Estoril Superleague Formula round
LMP900 1:28.876 Stefan Johansson Audi R8 2001 1000km of Estoril
A1GP 1:30.561 Nelson Piquet Jr Lola-Zytek 2005–06 A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Portugal
DTM 1:34.039 Mattias Ekström Audi A4 2004 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season[2]
MotoGP 1:35.715 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha YZR-M1 2008 Portuguese motorcycle Grand Prix
GT 1:36.222 Mike Hezemans/Philippe Alliot Chrysler Viper GTS-R 2003 FIA GT Estoril 500km
WTCC 1:47.325 Nicola Larini Chevrolet Lacetti 2008 FIA WTCC Race of Portugal[3]
WSB 1:54.018 Aaron Slight Kawasaki 1993 Superbike World Championship season[4]

References

External links

  • Satellite picture at Google Maps.
  • Audio walkthrough of the track, for use with games.

Coordinates: 38°45′3″N 9°23′39″W / 38.75083°N 9.39417°W / 38.75083; -9.39417

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