Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari

The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari is a race track near the Italian town of Imola, 40 kilometres (24.9 mi) east of Bologna. It is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction. The circuit is named after Ferrari's late founder, Enzo Ferrari, and his son, Alfredo Ferrari, who had died in 1956. The circuit has a FIA Grade One license.[1]

It was the venue for the San Marino Grand Prix. For many years, two Grands Prix were held in Italy every year, so the race held at Imola was named after the nearby state. It also hosted the 1980 edition of the Italian Grand Prix, which usually takes place at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. When Formula One visits Imola, it is seen as the home circuit of Scuderia Ferrari, and masses of supporters come out to support the local team.

Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
Imola
LocationImola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Time zoneUTC+01:00
Coordinates44°20′28″N 11°42′48″E / 44.34111°N 11.71333°ECoordinates: 44°20′28″N 11°42′48″E / 44.34111°N 11.71333°E
FIA GradeGrade one
Major events
Length4.909 km (3.050 mi)
Turns17
Previous layout (1995–2006)
Length4.959 km (3.132 mi)
Turns17
Race lap record
Original layout (1973–1994)
Length4.933 km (3.065 mi)
Turns23
Race lap record
Websiteautodromoimola.it

History

The track was inaugurated as a semi-permanent venue in 1953, and it had no chicanes, so the run from Rivazza all the way to Tosa, through the pits and the Tamburello was totally flat out, as was the run from Acque Minerali all the way to Rivazza was just a long straight with a few small bends; and the circuit remained in this configuration until 1972.

In April 1953, the first motorcycle races took place, while the first car race took place in June 1954. In April 1963, the circuit hosted its first Formula One race, as a non-championship event, won by Jim Clark for Lotus. A further non-championship event took place at Imola in 1979, which was won by Niki Lauda for Brabham-Alfa Romeo. In 1980 Imola officially debuted in the Formula One calendar by hosting the 50th Italian Grand Prix. It was the first time since the 1948 Edition held at Parco del Valentino that the Autodromo Nazionale Monza did not host the Italian Grand Prix. The race was won by Nelson Piquet and it was such a success that a new race, the San Marino Grand Prix, was established especially for Imola in 1981. The race was held over 60 laps of the 5 kilometre circuit for a total race distance of 300 kilometres.

Imola has hosted a round of the Superbike World Championship from 2001 to 2006 and later since 2009. It hosts the final round of the FIM Motocross World Championship since 2018.

The World Touring Car Championship visited Imola in 2008 (Race of San Marino), 2008 (Race of Europe), and 2009 (Race of Italy). The venue hosted a round of the International GT Open from 2009 to 2011. The TCR International Series raced at Imola in 2016.

The 6 Hours of Imola was revived in 2011 and added to the Le Mans Series and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup as a season event until 2016. Since 2017 it hosts the 12 Hours of Imola, a round of the 24H Series.

The track was also used as part of the finishing circuit for the 1968 UCI Road World Championships, which saw Italian cyclist Vittorio Adorni winning with a lead of 10 minutes and 10 seconds over runner up Herman Van Springel, the second largest winning margin in the history of the championships, after Georges Ronsse's victory in 1928. In addition Adorni's countryman Michele Dancelli took the bronze and five of the top six finishers were Italian.[2] The circuit was also used for stage 11 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia, which was won by Ilnur Zakarin,[3] and stage 12 of the 2018 Giro d'Italia, won by Sam Bennett.[4]

The Tamburello corner

Despite the addition of the chicanes, the circuit was subject to constant safety concerns, mostly regarding the flat-out Tamburello corner, which was very bumpy and had dangerously little room between the track and a concrete wall which protects the Santerno river that runs behind it. In 1987, Nelson Piquet had an accident there during practice and missed the race due to injury. In the 1989 San Marino Grand Prix, Gerhard Berger crashed his Ferrari at Tamburello after a front wing failure. The car caught fire after the heavy impact but thanks to the quick work of the firefighters and medical personnel Berger survived and missed only one race (the 1989 Monaco Grand Prix) due to burns to his hands. Michele Alboreto also had a fiery accident at the Tamburello corner testing his Footwork Arrows at the circuit in 1991 but escaped injury. Riccardo Patrese also had an accident at the Tamburello corner in 1992 while testing for the Williams team. The death of Ayrton Senna on 1 May 1994 sealed the fate of the corner being run flat out ever again.

1994 San Marino Grand Prix

Imola-pitlane
The old pitlane, June 2006.

In the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, during Friday practice Rubens Barrichello was launched over a kerb and into the top of a tyre barrier at the Variante Bassa, knocking the Brazilian unconscious, though quick medical intervention saved his life. During Saturday qualifying Austrian Roland Ratzenberger crashed head-on into a wall at over 310 km/h at the Villeneuve corner after his Simtek lost the front wing, dying instantly from a basilar skull fracture. The tragedy continued the next day, when the three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna lost control of his car and crashed into the concrete wall at the Tamburello corner on Lap 7. He succumbed shortly after impact as a piece of the car had pierced his helmet and skull. In two unrelated incidents, several spectators and mechanics were also injured during the event.

GrandPrix Circuit San Marino Changes
Diagram showing the differences between the 1994 and 2006 circuit layouts.

In the aftermath, the circuit continued to host Grands Prix, but revisions were immediately made in an attempt to make it safer. The flat-out Tamburello corner was reduced to a 4th gear left-right sweeper, and a gravel trap was added to the limited space on the outside of the corner. Villeneuve corner, previously an innocuous 6th gear right-hander into Tosa, was made a complementary 4th gear sweeper, also with a gravel trap on the outside of the corner. In an attempt to retain some of the quickness and character of the old circuit, the arduous chicane at Acqua Minerali was eliminated, and the Variante Bassa was straightened into a single chicane. Many say that the new circuit configuration is not as good as it used to be as a result of the new chicanes at Tamburello and Villeneuve.[5][6]

Another modification made to the Imola track is that of Variante Alta, which is situated at the top of the hill leading down to Rivazza and has the hardest braking point on the lap. The Variante Alta, formerly a high-kerbed chicane, was hit quite hard by the drivers which caused damage to the cars and occasionally was the site of quite a few accidents. Before the 2006 Grand Prix, the kerbs were lowered considerably and the turn itself was tightened to reduce speeds and hopefully reduce the number of accidents at the chicane.

Imola2007
Imola during reconstruction, March 2007.

The Grand Prix was removed from the calendar of the 2007 Formula One season.[7] SAGIS, the company that owns the circuit, hoped that the race would be reinstated at the October 2006 meeting of the FIA World Motorsport Council and scheduled for the weekend of 29 April 2007, provided renovations to the circuit were completed in time for the race, but the reinstatement was denied.[8]

Recent developments

Since 2007, the circuit has undergone major revisions. A bypass to the Variante Bassa chicane was added for cars, making the run from Rivazza 2 to the first Tamburello chicane totally flat-out, much like the circuit in its original fast-flowing days. However the chicane is still used for motorcycle races.

Imola2008
The new pitbox and start/finish straight, April 2008.

The old pit garages and paddock have been demolished and completely rebuilt while the pitlane was extended and resurfaced. The reconstruction was overseen by German F1 track architect Hermann Tilke.

In June 2008, with most of the reconstruction work completed, The FIA gave the track a "1T" rating, meaning that an official Formula One Test can be held at the circuit; circuits require the "1" homologation to host a Formula One Grand Prix.[9] As of August 2011, the track received a '1' FIA homologation rating after an inspection by Charlie Whiting.[10]

In June 2015, the owners of the circuit confirmed they were in talks to return to the Formula One calendar should Monza, whose contract was scheduled to run out after the 2016 season, was unable to make a new deal to keep hosting a round of the world championship.[11] On 18 July 2016, Imola signed a deal to host the Italian Grand Prix from the 2017 season.[12] However, on 2 September 2016, it was announced that Monza secured a new deal to continue in hosting the race,[13] and Imola's officials took legal action against this decision citing that its contract has been breached[14]. On 8 November 2016, they withdrew their case.[15]

References

  1. ^ "List of FIA licensed circuits" (PDF). FIA. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  2. ^ Fotheringham, Alasdair (19 May 2015). "Giro d'Italia stage 11 preview: Organizers bring back 1968 Worlds finish circuit in Imola". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  3. ^ O'Shea, Sadhbh (20 May 2015). "Giro d'Italia stage 11: Zakarin motors to win on F1 track in Imola". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  4. ^ Arthurs-Brennan, Michelle (17 May 2018). "Sam Bennett breaks into early charge to win stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  5. ^ BBC (17 February 2006). "Circuit Guide - Imola". BBC News. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  6. ^ The Guardian (3 March 2003). "Imola, San Marino". London. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  7. ^ "San Marino loses Grand Prix race". news.bbc.co.uk. 29 August 2006. Retrieved 27 March 2008.
  8. ^ "Imola hopes to get back on 2007 calendar". f1.gpupdate.net. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Imola receives '1T' FIA rating". en.f1-live.com. 30 August 2006. Archived from the original on 21 July 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
  10. ^ "F1: Imola Eyes Return With Top FIA Rating". 5 September 2011. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Exclusive: Imola begins talks to save Italian Grand Prix". Motorsport.com. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  12. ^ Cooper, Adam (18 July 2016). "Imola signs agreement with Ecclestone for Italian GP". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  13. ^ Parkes, Ian (2 September 2016). "Monza secures new three-year F1 deal to host Italian Grand Prix". Autosport.com. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  14. ^ Rencken, Dieter; Barretto, Lawrence (6 September 2016). "Imola taking legal action over Monza's new Italian GP deal". Autosport.com. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  15. ^ Rencken, Dieter; Barretto, Lawrence (8 November 2016). "Imola withdraws legal action over Monza's F1 Italian GP". Autosport.com. Retrieved 9 November 2016.

External links

1995 San Marino Grand Prix

The 1995 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 30 April 1995 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola. It was the third race of the 1995 Formula One season.

Following the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna at Imola the previous year, the track was heavily modified for 1995. New chicanes were built at Tamburello and Villeneuve corners, Acque Minerali chicane was removed and replaced by a right-hand corner, Rivazza was eased and the final corner became a single chicane, rather than the 5th-gear sweep previously.

Williams-Renault driver Damon Hill scored an emotional victory at the track at which his teammate Senna died a year earlier, while the Ferraris of Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger finished second and third respectively.

1996 City of Imola motorcycle Grand Prix

The 1996 City of Imola motorcycle Grand Prix was the twelfth round of the 1996 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. It took place on 1 September 1996 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

1996 San Marino Grand Prix

The 1996 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 5 May 1996 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. It was the fifth round of the 1996 Formula One season. The 63-lap race was won by Damon Hill driving for the Williams team after starting from second position. Michael Schumacher finished second driving a Ferrari, despite his front-right brake seizing halfway around the final lap, with Gerhard Berger third driving for the Benetton team. Jacques Villeneuve retired near the end of the race after being hit by Jean Alesi.

1997 City of Imola motorcycle Grand Prix

The 1997 City of Imola motorcycle Grand Prix was the eighth round of the 1997 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. It took place on 6 July 1997 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

1997 San Marino Grand Prix

The 1997 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Italy on 27 April 1997. It was the fourth race of the 1997 Formula One season. The 62-lap race was won by Williams driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen after he started from second position. Michael Schumacher finished second for the Ferrari team with his teammate Eddie Irvine third.

1999 San Marino Grand Prix

The 1999 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 2 May 1999 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy. It was the third race of the 1999 Formula One season. The 62-lap race was won by Ferrrari driver Michael Schumacher after he started from third position. David Coulthard finished second for the McLaren team with Stewart driver Rubens Barrichello third.

2002 San Marino Grand Prix

The 2002 San Marino Grand Prix (formally the XXII Gran Premio di San Marino) was a Formula One motor race held on 14 April 2002 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The race, contested over 62 laps, was the fourth race of the 2002 Formula One season and was won by Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari. Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello finished second, and his brother Ralf Schumacher finished third in a Williams-BMW. It was the first one-two finish of the season for Ferrari.

2003 San Marino Grand Prix

The 2003 San Marino Grand Prix (formally the XXIII Gran Premio Foster's di San Marino) was a Formula One motor race held on 20 April 2003 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, with the race taking place on Easter Sunday. It was the fourth round of the 2003 Formula One season The 62-lap race was won by Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher for the Ferrari team after starting from pole position. Kimi Räikkönen, driving for McLaren, finished second with Rubens Barrichello third in the other Ferrari. The remaining points-scoring positions were filled by Ralf Schumacher (Williams), David Coulthard (McLaren), Fernando Alonso (Renault), Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) and Jenson Button (BAR). Schumacher's victory for Ferrari was his and the team's first of the season.

Schumacher and his brother Ralf raced despite the death of their mother Elisabeth before the Grand Prix. The brothers led the field at the start with Ralf leading having overtaken Michael and held the lead until the first round of pit stops.

As a consequence of the race, Räikkönen increased his lead in the World Drivers' Championship, over teammate David Coulthard to 13 points with Schumacher climbing to third. In the World Constructors Championship, McLaren increased their lead to 16 points with Ferrari overtaking Renault for second.

2005 FIA WTCC Race of San Marino

The 2005 FIA WTCC Race Of San Marino was the fourth round of the 2005 World Touring Car Championship season. It was held at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. The two races were won by Fabrizio Giovanardi and Dirk Müller.

2006 San Marino GP2 Series round

The 2006 San Marino GP2 Series round were a pair of motor races held on 22 and 23 April 2006 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola as part of the GP2 Series. It was the second round of the 2006 GP2 season.

2009 Imola Formula Two round

The 2009 Imola Formula Two round was the seventh and penultimate round of the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship season. It was held on 19 and 20 September 2009 at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari at Imola, Italy. The first race was won by Kazim Vasiliauskas, with Mirko Bortolotti and Andy Soucek also on the podium. The second race was won by Andy Soucek, with Robert Wickens and Miloš Pavlović also on the podium. Soucek's third place in race one earned him the championship, as Wickens and Mikhail Aleshin had insufficient points to overhaul the Spaniard's point tally.

2011 Imola Superbike World Championship round

The 2011 Imola Superbike World Championship round was the eleventh round of the 2011 Superbike World Championship. It took place on the weekend of September 23–25, 2011 at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy.

2011 International GT Open

The 2011 International GT Open season was the sixth season of the International GT Open, the grand tourer-style sports car racing founded in 2006 by the Spanish GT Sport Organización. It began on 30 April at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari and will finish on 30 October, at Circuit de Catalunya after eight double-header meetings.

2016 GT3 Le Mans Cup

The 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup was the inaugural season of the GT3 Le Mans Cup. It begun on 15 May at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari and finished on 23 October at the Autódromo do Estoril.

2018 TCR Italy Touring Car Championship

The 2018 TCR Italy Touring Car Championship is the fourth season of the ITCC to run under TCR regulations and the 32nd season since the national touring car series was revived in 1987 as the Campionato Italiano Turismo. The series will begin at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in April and conclude at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in October.

6 Hours of Imola

The 6 Hours of Imola (Italian: 6 Ore di Imola) is an endurance race for sports cars held at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy.

FIA WTCC Race of Europe

The FIA WTCC Race of Europe was a round of the World Touring Car Championship, which was held at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari near Imola in Italy during the 2008 season.

A round at the newly rebuilt Imola circuit was added to the 2008 calendar as replacement for the Race of Sweden which had been cancelled following a request from the Swedish National Sporting Authority after the WTCC failed to reach a commercial agreement with the event's promoters. As there was already a Race of Italy in the 2008 calendar this round was named the Race of Europe. Incidentally, Imola had previously hosted an additional round of the championship in 2005, under the title of Race of San Marino. Monza was dropped from the 2009 calendar, so the Imola round became the Race of Italy.

FIA WTCC Race of Italy

The FIA WTCC Race of Italy is a round of the World Touring Car Championship that has taken place in Italy every year since its inaugural running in 2005. It currently held at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Monza near Milan, Lombardy.

The Race of Italy was the first round of the WTCC after its return in 2005. It was held at Autodromo Nazionale Monza between 2005 and 2008 before switching to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola for 2009 in order to avoid clashing with the Formula One calendar. A round of the WTCC had already been held at Imola twice, firstly in 2005 when it was known as the 2005 FIA WTCC Race of San Marino and then in 2008 as the 2008 FIA WTCC Race of Europe. In December 2009 it was confirmed Monza would return to host the Italian round of the WTCC, where it has continued to be run since. When the provisional 2014 calendar was released in November 2013, Italy had been dropped from the schedule having hosted a race in every season of the championship since it began in 2005.Gabriele Tarquini is the only driver to have won his home race, having won race two of the 2008 Race of Italy and race one of the 2009 Race of Italy.

FIA WTCC Race of San Marino

The FIA WTCC Race of San Marino was a round of the World Touring Car Championship, which was held at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari near Imola in Italy during the 2005 season.

In addition to the Race of Italy at Monza, a round at Imola was held during the 2005 season. As Imola held the San Marino Grand Prix despite being located in Italy, the Imola round of the WTCC was called the Race of San Marino. Imola also held an additional round in 2008, although this was called the Race of Europe.

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