Street Circuits – Part 1

Wednesday, 3rd March 2010 by

Once a year, streets all over the world transform into professional racing circuits to play host to some the greatest drivers and cars in the world. Parking lots are turned into paddocks, parks are remodelled with grandstands, and intersections on the road become high-speed overtaking points in battles for world championships. Local governments often use these events to promote tourism on the worldwide stage and races can often inject millions of dollars in revenue into the surrounding communities.

Monaco St. Petersburg

Let's take a look at some of the more unique street circuits around the world...

1. Monte Carlo, Monaco - Since 1929, the streets of Monte Carlo have been home to a motor race each year, and today the principality is home to Formula One's Monaco Grand Prix. A lap around the 3.34 km (2.075 mi) circuit goes directly underneath the Grand Hotel via a tunnel and ricochets around a swimming pool next to the city's harbour. The track continues to hold events each year in late May.

2. Norisring, Nuremberg, Germany - Built on top of former Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg, this track is 2.3 km (1.4 mi) in length and uses the grandstand from Zeppelin Field as it's centrepiece. The track is host to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series and the Formula 3 Euro Series each year.

3. Cleveland, Ohio, USA - The Grand Prix of Cleveland was held from 1982 to 2007 on the fully functioning Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. The airport had to be shut down once a year for a week to get converted into a 10-turn racetrack. Traces of the track are hard to see these days on Google Maps, but if you look closely you can see some tires stacked up near turn 8, various asphalt patches along the racing line on the taxiways (used to try and smooth out the bumpy track for the lightweight race cars), and some tire tracks from the pit stalls. Races are rumoured to return in 2010 but nothing has been announced yet.

Keep an eye out for follow-up posts on more street circuits around the world, including some that you can lap with the Street View car! Stay tuned!