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  • Estoril

    A couple of nights ago on Speed, Tommy Kendall was testing a Volvo through the city and on the Estoril track that used to host F1. I got to wondering why that race fell off the schedule. Couldn't afford the sanctioning fee anymore, or did the track fall into disrepair?
    It's hard to be cool when your dad is Goofy.

  • #2
    In 21 October 1984, Portugal returned to the F1 calendar, ending the season, where Alain Prost won the race but failed to win the Championship by half a point. In 1985, the Grand Prix was moved to April 21 and held under heavy rain, the ideal conditions for Ayrton Senna to win his first race. From 1986, the race was held in what would become its traditional date, in the penultimate week of September.
    After the deaths of Senna and Roland Ratzenberger in Imola in 1994, the Estoril track was changed, with a new chicane built in place of the tank curve, as a security measure. Estoril was then considered an unsafe and outdated track, and the last Portuguese Grand Prix was in Estoril on 22 September 1996, with Jacques Villeneuve as the winner. Estoril was planned to be the final of race of 1997 season, but improvements to the circuit were not finished in time, so it was replaced with the European Grand Prix, which was held at Jerez in Spain.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Grand_Prix

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    • #3
      I didn't pay a lot of attention to F1 in the mid-80's, as I was mostly focused on CART, but I did happen to see Senna get his first win in the rain at Estoril. That was something.
      It's hard to be cool when your dad is Goofy.

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      • #4
        Pat,

        The track is not far from Lisbon, a beautiful spot. I think they still have motorcycle racing at Estoril. So whatever the problems are ($$$) the track is not one of them.

        PS. Bernie's involved and money is an issue? What a shocker!!

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        • #5
          The city of Estoril sure looked beautiful as Kendall drove through town. Speed is doing the job the Travel Channel used to do before it became a food channel.
          It's hard to be cool when your dad is Goofy.

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          • #6
            It was on the A1GP calendar for a couple of seasons and provided some good racing.

            The long main straight and tight dog-leg turn one provided some good passing opportunities and frequently had drivers still fighting for position up the following straight and into the sweeping right-hander.

            The bit I really remember from watching it is the uphill climb from Orelha up to Gancho which is a sur[prisingly steep uphill kink. It look especially crazy in bike racing because they flick them so quickly and so low to get through.

            There's a bit of info on this page. http://www.travelplaces.co.uk/mr-a1-...ts-estoril.htm

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            • #7
              I went to Estoril several times in the early/mid '90's, for F1 races & F1 tests. Great location no doubt, beautiful & convenient. All the teams stayed either at the hotel right next to the circuit or in Cascais, but everyone, teams, drivers, fans, congregated in the town square of an evening to drink at John Bulls... & after a few pints take turns to climb the flag pole! Sunday night after the race the nightclub called Coconuts was the place to be.. even Schumacher chilled out & got his groove on.. (He danced like yer grandad with a false hip) Ahh the memories I digress...

              The track itself was fun, but definately showing its age & when you compared it to the flash new facilities that were starting to come to the drawing board you could see it (along with a few other old tracks) wasn't on a par... heck the washrooms were definately not to the Paddock Club standards, if you're paying a sack load of cash you want to place your a$$ on something fitting, right?

              I walked round a fair bit of the track, (went out the memorial to Ayrton, which is not in the most accessible place on the inside of last turn, but there were plenty of flowers laid). Also down at turn one at pit out, the circuit was showing wear & tear, the catch fencing was rusty & the place just looked shabby... & lets face it after money Bernie is all about the image of F1, & Estoril was not giving out the 'right' one.

              Saying that it did need safety over haul to move with modern times.. one year I was there & Katayama rolled through the air off the start line, that was a tad disconcerting when you're sitting with your legs dangling over the edge of the main grandstand perilously close to the a flying Tyrrell & right then you notice there is no catch fence!

              The circuit has since undergone quite a bit of upgrading, saftey & facility wise, & has hosted a few championships. If it ever came back on the F1 calender (unlikely I think given the direction F1 is heading) I for one would be back like a shot

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