Is Autódromo de Sitges-Terramar really the fastest race track in Europe? No, I had never heard of it either but it was an absolute revelation.
Maybe the headline is a bit misleading, Ken Block did his Gymkhana 3 at Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry which was nice but arguably Linas-Montlhery does not have the sheer mysticism of a Sitges.
More run down = equals cool, at least in my mind.
But the real beauty of Sitges is that the track is still complete and home to a chicken farm no less. Brooklands was nice but it lost all appeal when I found out they had destroyed most of it. If the track was supposed to be so fantastic they would not have demolished it for houses. My opinion.
If there are any motorsport enthusiasts out there with a few million to blow on renovating something absolutely captivating, visit Sitges. I for one will cover the opening ceremony!
Some links to site dedicated to this amazing track
While I was putting together the sources for this article I was happy with photos, but there are also videos of probably the fastest racetrack in Europe, fastest track in Europe if the surface was a bit smoother obviously!
Information from Wikipedia
Autódromo de Sitges-Terramar is a former racing circuit located between Sant Pere de Ribes and Sitges near Barcelona, Catalonia. Although minor races were sporadically held on the circuit through the 1950s, it was largely abandoned after the inaugural season of 1923. Owing to the excellence of its construction, the track remains intact even after 80 years of disuse.
2 Gran Premio de España
4 External links
In 1922 Frick Amangue founded Autodromo Nacional, S.A to oversee the construction of a new concrete oval for auto and motorcycle racing. The architects were Jaume Mestres (track) and Josep Maria Martino (facilities). It was completed in 300 days at a cost of 4 million pesetas. The track had a length of 2 kilometers and banking in the corners of 60 degrees.
The opening meeting was held on 28 October 1923. The event was for 2-litre GP cars and was won by Albert Divo in a Sunbeam defeating Count Louis Zborowski in a Miller, with a winning speed of 96.91 mph. No prize money was awarded.
Unpaid construction overruns caused the builders to seize the gate receipts, leaving the organizers with no money to pay the drivers. As a result, the track was forbidden to host international races again. Drivers also complained about the entry and exit from the bankings claiming the transition from straight to banking and back again was poorly designed. Catalunyan Automobile Club and the Penya Rhin continued to hold races in 1925 with little success.
It was sold to Edgard de Morawitz in the 1930s. The last known race held on the oval was in the 1950s. The track and surrounding land is currently an operating chicken farm. Because of the high quality of construction, the track and buildings still stand more than 80 years later and are in excellent condition.