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Paul Ricard Circuit

From Academic Kids

The Paul Ricard Circuit was built at Le Castellet, near Marseille, France, in 1969 with finance from the eccentric drinks magnate Paul Ricard. With innovative facilities it was considered by some to be the safest motor racing in the world at the time. The circuit had three possible layouts, a large area of industrial park and an airstrip. The track was dominated by the mile-long Mistral Straight that was followed by the flat-out Signes corner.

It opened in 1970 with a 2-liter sports car race. During the 1970s and the 1980s the track developed some of the best French drivers of the time, and hosted the Formula One French Grand Prix on many occasions.

In 1986 Formula One driver Elio de Angelis was killed in a testing accident, and the circuit was modified in order to avoid any future accidents. Such modifications consisted of shortening the circuit in order to reduce the Mistral Straight and to eliminate the fast sweeping curves where de Angelis had crashed.

In the 1990s the circuit's popularity was reduced to motorcycle racing and French national racing. The track is also the home of the ORECA F3000 team. After Paul Ricard's death, the track was sold to Formula One promoter Bernie Ecclestone in 1999. The track has since been rebuilt into a very advanced test track.


The Track:

The track is characterised by its Mistral Straight. The length of the full track is around 3.610 miles. In 1986 the track was modified to shorten the circuit. This shorter circuit is known as the GP short circuit and its length is 2.369 miles.

See also: List of Formula One circuitsja:ポール・リカール

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