Here Are The 11 Most Beautiful Race Tracks In The World
There’s nothing quite like a good race track.
Created as a controlled environment for speed freaks to get their jollies, your average race track is a cathedral to speed.
However, all too often these days, circuits are becoming sanitised – particularly as cars get faster – to keep the huge energy of collisions contained, and they can be accused of looking a little on the boring side.
So, to prove that there are still some tremendously aesthetically pleasing tracks out there, we’re showing you 11 of our favourites:
Lime Rock Park (Connecticut, USA)
Located in the exclusive Berkshires, Lime Rock Park is the very image of New England, and though it’s pretty all year round, it’s almost unrivalled when the autumnal colours start to come through on the trees that surround the facility.
Here’s ex-Formula One driver Jan Magnussen talking you through a lap of the circuit in a Corvette C7 R.
Nürburgring Nordschleife (Germany)
The most famous race track in the world, ‘The Green Hell’ sits in the Eifel mountains of west Germany. Threading a six-yard-wide path for mile after mile through Rhineland forest, the track itself is great to look at, never mind the famous Nürburg Castle that dominates the skyline.
Watch the Porsche 918’s record-breaking lap of six minutes, 57 seconds around the fearsome Nordschleife.
Circuit Mont-Tremblant (Canada)
Sitting in the foothills of the Laurentian mountain range near the ski resort of Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, this picturesque but quick track has hosted Can-Am and IndyCar races in the past.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
Hiding away in the Ardennes, ‘Spa’ is just a great-looking track that follows the topography of the hills to great effect. The scenery is utterly spectacular too and it’s this, combined with the challenge, that makes it one of the greatest tracks in the world. Picture: Jack Healy
Setting a track record in the process, here’s German four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel blasting around the evocative Spa, including the RB5 going completely flat through the renowned uphill corner, Eau Rouge – lovely stuff!
Mount Panorama (Australia)
Commonly known as Bathurst, Mount Panorama climbs up the eponymous mountain to the Skyline corner from where one can almost see the entirety of New South Wales. From there, it’s a rapid descent that finishes with the famous Conrod Straight. Every corner is as beautiful as it is dangerous.
In an intense last-lap dash to the flag, see Formula 3 driver James Wilmslow set a lap record around the undulating circuit, which can be driven on by the public most times of the year – sweet!
Bristol Motor Speedway (Tennessee, USA)
This isn’t a track that boasts as much natural beauty as the others here but it’s spectacular nonetheless. Completely surrounded by grandstands, race events are a sea of human colour and flash photography – not to mention the amphitheatre effect on the noise!
Here, NASCAR racer Kyle Busch navigates the tight circuit in the 2013 NSCS Food City 500 (great name right?) during the Sprint Cup Series.
Circuit de la Sarthe (France)
Part-race track, part-public road, Circuit de la Sarthe is home to the world’s most famous endurance race, the Le Mans 24 Hours. The track disappears into the forest for nearly six miles, cutting past rural houses and hostels in a manner that’s all but disappeared from motorsports.
Watch the on-board video of the brutal-sounding Peugeot 908 endurance car during the 2011 edition of the Le Mans 24-hour race.
Pikes Peak (Colorado, USA)
Although it’s been made safer by full-length tarmac, there are few things as visually spectacular or terrifying as Pikes Peak – a 12-mile race track with a finish line 14,000 feet above sea level and sheer, deadly drops off every one of its hairpins. The annual race here was made famous by this 1989 film, called Climb Dance:
Snaefell Mountain Course (Isle of Man)
Host of an annual motorbike race, the Snaefell Mountain Course is a very rare track in that it consists of public roads that, by and large, have no speed limits all year round anyway. Occasionally bleak as the fog rolls in from the Irish Sea, the Snaefell road can be almost without peer when it comes to views.
This video shows an entire lap of the beautiful Isle of Man TT course, with the bike screaming through the countryside at full chat!
First and foremost, Mugello is in Tuscany, one of the prettiest parts of the entire world. More famed for motorbike racing than cars, Mugello sits on the valley floor, bordered by the Apennines to the north – although the busy nature of the circuit means it’s hard to admire the views. Picture: PA Images
This clip from the front of the factory Yamaha MotoGP bike from 2015 shows exactly why the Tuscan circuit is revered so highly.
Circuit de Charade (France)
A hidden gem, Circuit de Charade is built into the side of an extinct volcano in France’s Auvergne mountains near Clermont-Ferrand. Although the modern circuit is much shorter than the old loop, it’s difficult to find a track that has the same savage elevation changes, as Charade hugs the mountains to generate one of the most beautiful strips of track anywhere in the world.
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