Some pictures from our travels over recently years, seeking out those forgotten motorsport venues that once hosted great racing, but have now perhaps faded into obscurity. First up, Morocco;

The Anfa circuit was used in the 1930s, and featured “wide straights and well built curves”. Next, France;

This is the Charade circuit, used for F1 over the years, built around a ‘puy’ – extinct volcano. This is the most exciting circuit I have ever driven, like Cadwell with sunshine and spikier horizons. Some of the original circuit spills over onto public roads which can still be driven. Next, Ireland;

This was taken close to the Gordon Bennett route, the man who, arguably, was the Godfather of F1. Public roads form a long route in rural Ireland and as a thank you to Ireland for hosting racing when England had stricter rules on the road, British racing green was invented. Next, Spain;

Still a functioning circuit, this sun-baked place once hosted F1 and the likes of James Hunt. There’s a mural of him and King Juan Carlos under this bridge – a rogues gallery? Next, Monaco;

I love before and after pics. Here’s a mighty Ford falcon at the famous Grand Hotel hairpin. It’s a procession, racing here in F1 today. Look how close the photographers stood back when the Monte Carlo rally came though here! Up to Paris for the next one;

South of Paris is Montlhery, once a place to rival Avus, Monza and Brooklands with high speed banked concrete ovals and a section running through the woods. Home to the infamous Million Franc race, today it’s used for automotive testing. It is way steeper than it looks, we lost oil when parked up on the banking! Next is Reims This place is pretty well-known, in Gueux, south of Reims. I prefer the old timekeepers building to the faded beauty of the main grandstand that attracts other roadtrippers. Look at that arrow-straight road and think of the speed through the fields! Next up, Italy;

The San Remo circuit was popular pre-war and rivalled nearby Monaco for glamour and thrills, but post-war is fell into disuse or, more accurately, reverted to public roads where a few clues remain to racing along the coast. That’s my wet Mini in shot. Germany below;

This is, roughly, the Sudschleife. The nastier half of the original, full, Nurburgring. You can still drive the Nordschleife, of course. The Sud bit is mostly woods and old tarmac now. The old marshalls posts can be found with the remains of the telephone system that called in the inevitable prangs from racing. That’s me in a mate’s Exige. 190bhp from a K series… heaven. Finally, to Sicily;

A panoramic shot from the grandstands and pits of the Targa Florio route. A race first sponsored by a wine magnate who brought a crocodile home on his honeymoon. This place is perpetually under threat of some council-funded bulldozer other – visit while you can and relive the excitement of wonky roads and great scenery.

Pics; Mostly Rich Duisberg, plus the occasional Darryl Sleath and Tom Harrison. Thanks, chaps. Where next?

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

2 Responses

  1. Jeremy Edwards

    Love Reims, I have some shots of my ’89 LR110CSW on the start/finish straight last time we were around. There’s a car museum in the town that is worth a visit, if only to see some French oddities, like some of the scariest voiturettes ever made and a slightly baroque Renault 25.

    Reply
    • Rich Duisberg
      Rich Duisberg

      Thanks Jeremy – I’m off there again next week! Enjoy your summer.

      Reply

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