Memories of Rio

Galahad

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It was announced recently that, as long expected, the Jacarepaguá circuit in Rio, former home of the Brazilian Grand Prix, is to be demolished to make way for the 2016 Olympic Games in the city. Work will progress gradually over the course of the year, with the final race events being held at the end of 2012 as the bulldozers move in.

Although not as celebrated as Interlagos, Jacarepaguá hosted the Grand Prix ten times between 1978 and 1989, coinciding with the career of the city's racing icon, Nelson Piquet (after whom the track was named in 1988). The rise of Ayrton Senna, from Sao Paulo, prompted the return to Interlagos, and thereafter Rio mainly hosted national level events, though the US ChampCar series visited for five races on an unusual oval layout that used the road course pit and start/finish straight.

The F1 races were held early in the season and in conditions of extreme heat, with exhaustion a common problem for the drivers. The series of long, fast bends added to the physical challenge, even if the circuit did not require great technical proficiency to master and was essentially completely flat.

As far as I can figure out, to date only one F1 world championship venue has disappeared completely - Riverside International Raceway, which hosted the USGP once in 1960 and is now a shopping mall - so this is quite a notable milestone.

Here's Satoru Nakajima to give you a sense of the place, followed by short highlights of two of my favourite races held there, the 1982 and 1986 races, with commentary from the great Clive James:



 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
I recall the race (1989?) Where Nigel Mansell won his first race for Ferrari, and Johnny Herbert was fourth despite having to be lifted in and out of the car.

Also, the first F1 game I remember having for the PC many many years ago, featured the circuit, and I was provided with the choice of a Ferrari, a Williams or a McLaren, it was great.

As an aside, I think the Swiss GP track at Bremgarten is now no more, ending up as a field, unless anyone knows any different.
 

Galahad

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Yes, '89 was a great story. Ferrari's semi-automatic gearbox was completely unreliable and the car hadn't completed a race distance in pre-season testing, yet somehow held together to give Nige a win in his first race for the team. Allegedly he had pre-booked an early flight out of Rio, so sure was he that the car would break! Possibly a myth that, though.

I remember seeing satellite pictures of Bremgarten and being able to make out part of the old circuit, but really I have no idea what's left now, if anything.
 
The old Hockenheimring is gone as I'm sure you're aware.

I have to say though, where we were parked, by the hairpin, looked suspiciously like the old track :unsure:

[EDIT] Seriously, though, sad to see an old F1 circuit just abandoned, at least there'll be something there though, not just forest :( The only thing I know about Jacarepaguá is that a kart track I went on in Portugal is based on its layout, and that was a great track....
 

Pyrope

Podium Finisher
Supporter
As an aside, I think the Swiss GP track at Bremgarten is now no more, ending up as a field, unless anyone knows any different.

Most of Bremgarten has reverted to its original form, as the roadways and lanes around the Bremgartenwald park, but plenty is still there to look at.
 

Galahad

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Valued Member
Of course, many if not most F1 venues have been remodelled over the years, in the cases of Zandvoort, Kyalami, Nurburgring and Hockenheim, substantially so. Still some of the original layout remains in all cases; unlike in Rio where, I understand, no trace will remain at all, and certainly no motor racing venue.
 

ZakspeedYakspeed

NeverUnderestimateThePredictabilityOfStupidity
Valued Member
Used to love watching this races (ok...I was a Senna fan as well)... the long main straight grandstand jammed packed... the fire truck driving slowly down the straight hosing down the fans... it always had that exotic feel that a young pimply teenager far away in Australia was seduced by...

Race start 5:55-ish; Senna lays about 150 feet of Goodyear off the start... watch for Mansell and Senna coming together lap 1 end of main drag...

 

Pyrope

Podium Finisher
Supporter
As far as I can figure out, to date only one F1 world championship venue has disappeared completely - Riverside International Raceway, which hosted the USGP once in 1960 and is now a shopping mall - so this is quite a notable milestone.

As F1Yorkshire has just snuck it into the 'Name That Circuit' thread, I am reminded that there really isn't much left of Nivelles (the 1972 and 1974 Dutch GP venue) any more. The circuit lay out is reflected in the roadways around the business park that it now hosts, but with major additions such as roundabouts that I'm fairly sure weren't there when Emmo et al. were beaning around it in the early '70s.
 

Galahad

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Valued Member
I took a pretty hard line interpretation over Nivelles - but it suited my purposes to do so! :D

P.S. Belgium, not Holland.
 
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