Dubai is one of the most impressive cities in the world. The Dubai Autodrome is just as impressive. It usually plays host to a variety of races including the 24 Hours of Dubai and various other races. It's hosted rounds to the GP2 Asia series and the now-defunct A1GP. As part of the Motor City complex, you get a nice view of downtown Dubai in a few locations (including the Burj Dubai). Like if you face the west while driving, you get a little view of downtown Dubai in the far distance after Turn 12. Perhaps the biggest characteristic of the Dubai Autodrome are all of the cranes in the distance building up Dubai and the Dubai MotorCity complex. The character of a fast-growing city makes at least today's Dubai Autodrome very interesting and intriguing. Dubai is really a city that's come from out of nowhere (since its inception in June 9, 1833) to become one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. The track for the most part is complete, but there are still lots of facilities and buildings in and around the Dubai Autodrome under construction. Probably still being built as you read this blog entry. Dubai is a magnificent city, and the Dubai Autodrome is a magnificent race track.
So let's talk about the track!
--- Dubai Autodrome ---Here is a look at the track map I'll be featuring. It is the Grand Prix circuit of Dubai:
^ from: gdecarli.it (it was the best I could find, because the others were completely useless. Then too, I didn't want to use Wikipedia images) - The 3+ mile course is very much a Grand Prix-style racing track with a wide variety of challenges. The outer perimeter of the course in red is the Dubai Autodrome Grand Prix configuration.
(most information provided by Wikipedia)
The configuration I'll discuss is the Grand Prix circuit, which is 5.39 kilometers (or 3.35 miles) long. It consists of over 16 turns. The track record (according to Wikipedia) for the GP course is 1:41.220, set in 2008 by Kamui Kobayashi then racing in GP2 Asia. It's not a Hermann Tilke design. Instead, it was made by Clive Bowen. There are grassy portions of the course along with a great deal of asphalt sections.
One Lap Description.While not the longest straight of the Grand Prix course, you start off blasting down the backstretch and into Turn 1. The road into Turn 1 goes progressively downhill. After the right-hander at Turn 1 is an easy-going set of corners. Turn 2 turns the road from a sweeping right into a sweeping left. It's a brief uphill trudge to get to Turn 3. Turn 3 is a smooth right-hander that leads into an equally smooth Turn 4. A moderately sharp left at Turn 5 is followed by a sweeping right-hand corner. It's important to get Turn 5 correct because it sets you up for Turn 6. The radius decreases sharply as you head into Turn 7 from Turn 6. A very fast left Turn 8 is followed up by a moderately sharp Turn 9. After Turn 9, it's full-speed ahead! Facing the east-northeast, you'll be pulling some of the fastest speeds you'll ever reach on track. After going full speed down the backstretch, be ready to take on the sharp right hairpin at Turn 10. A sharp left follows for Turn 11. The road leading to the much less sharp hairpin at Turn 12 features a high-speed chicane before the arrival of Turn 12, a double-apex right-hand corner. The best view of Downtown Dubai comes after clearing Turn 12 (not that this is anything important). Turn 13 is a smooth and fast left-hander. After Turn 13, however, make sure you are in good position to properly tackle Turn 14. Best to head outside heading into the corner and attack the inside. Turn 15 is a moderate sharp right-hander. Finally, the right-hander at Turn 16 awaits. The road heading into Turn 16 goes a bit downhill. Head straight for the Start/Finish line and do it all over again for however many laps or time is left!
Here is a video lap recorded back on November 27, 2009. I wanted to find the most recent usable video to showcase how this track looks:
^ (NOTE: you may need to turn the volume down if it's too loud for you.)
No doubt, this is one of the most amazing courses in the Middle East. While it may not be overly lovely and overly high-end like Bahrain or the Yas Marina Circuit, this is still a quality racing facility capable of hosting almost any kind of Grand Prix motor racing.
To learn more about the Dubai Autodrome, visit www.dubaiautodrome.com. Thank you for reading! :)
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