Saturday, December 25, 2010

Circuit Paul Ricard

John Marine | 12/25/2010 02:15:00 AM |
There is a work of art you can race on in southern France. Circuit Paul Ricard has officially been known as the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track (or Paul Ricard HTTT) since 1999. It also has facilities for private jets. Circuit Paul Ricard is regarded as being very safe since there is lots of asphalt around. The off-track sections are multi-colored. The track has been around since 1969 and opened a year later. It serves as a test track for many teams as well as a good track for photo opportunities of race cars. It had been a competitive racing track for some time, even hosting rounds of the Formula 1 French Grand Prix. It even played host to motorcycle racing, including the Bol d'or endurance in 1999. This track is located in Le Castellet, France; not too far from the beautiful city of Marseille. Not a lot of real racing takes place here anymore except for FIA GT and the 8 Heures du Castellet that the Le Mans Series runs.

This blog entry is all about one of the most unusual-looking racing tracks you will ever see.

--- Circuit Paul Ricard ---
Here is a map of this course:
Paul Ricard HTTT
^ from: - Think of Circuit Paul Ricard as a technical race track that is also a work of art with all the colored runoff areas.

Circuit Paul Ricard is actually quite tough to race. I know having raced this track in "Ferrari Challenge: Trofeo Pirelli." That game has you racing on a shorter version of Paul Ricard as opposed to the full 3.610 mile (5.809 km) course.

When you see Circuit Paul Ricard, you usually note the colored runoff areas that give this track its unique character. Despite it being a work of art with all of the colored runoff areas, the track itself is pretty tough. I've played this course in "Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli." And let me tell you- this course is no joke! There is not much in the way of elevation changes. The track is pretty intense to race on whether with some form of touring cars, when F1 cars do testing there, or for when the Le Mans Series races this course. I think the final complex of turns, from Signes to the final corner at Vigne du Pont, is the toughest complex of corners. It is a good rhythm-based section that can be pretty tough to get right. If this section was a Gran Turismo license test, it would be a good challenge to run from Signes all the way to the Start/Finish line as a license test.

Here is a lap around the full course (the car is a Porsche 996 GT3 Cup Sport):

Track Records.

The track record, back when this track was a proper racing facility, was 1:39.914 by Keke Rosberg in a Williams-Honda F1 car in 1985.

Thanks for reading this blog entry! To learn more about Circuit Paul Ricard, visit Paul Ricard HTTT's official home page. You can learn more about Paul Ricard himself by reading this Wikipedia page on Paul Ricard.

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