Sunday, February 12, 2012

Potrero de los Funes Circuit

John Marine | 2/12/2012 04:06:00 PM | | |
(UPDATED: March 13, 2014)

The Potrero de los Funes circuit in Argentina was created in 1987 and rebuilt in 2008. It is a 3.896-mile (6.27-km) course built around Lago Potrero de los Funes within an extinct volcano. It is a semi-permanent course that boasts 23 corners and offers some spectacular views from TV replays. The moment I saw FIA GT1 highlights from around this course, I instantly loved just how beautiful this track is. I honestly think this is a track Formula 1 should be racing. After all, F1 is thinking of returning to Argentina with a supposed venue to be planned in or near Buenos Aires. However, this track within distance of San Luis, Argentina is a track of great character and charm. This track is only a few miles/kilometers shorter than Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. This blog post is a look at the recently-rebuilt Potrero de los Funes Circuit.


MAR 13 2014 - a few edits

--- Potrero de los Funes Circuit ---

Here is a look at Circuito de Potrero de los Funes:

Lago Potrero de los Funes Circuit
^ from: (best I could find) - Built around Lago Potrero de los Funes, this course boasts a configuration sure to make almost any F1 driver can dream racing around.

It was said that this track once held a Turismo Carretera race in 1987, and it was no longer raced because two spectators were killed during that race in 1987. The track was rebuilt and hosted racing again in 2008. TC2000, Turismo Carretera, FIA GT, and the FIA GT1 World Championship racing both have raced here before. This track is in a beautiful setting. Some people have likened this track to Argentina like Monte Carlo to Monaco. The roads are wide with various elevation changes and challenging corners. This track is more like the combination of a proper race track and a temporary course. It is a great-looking circuit that would be great for almost any kind of racing. Formula 1 would be great around here for an Argentinian Grand Prix. Strides would have to made to make this track just a bit more appealing to the likes of F1 to make a race there happen. Besides- can you imagine today's F1 cars running hot laps around this track? Heck, even Roush-Fenway Racing's NASCAR team took some exhibition laps around this track with some of their machines!

This course has a lot of corners that would greatly challenge the Grand Prix-type racer. I honestly think that when you challenge a course like this, you are racing a classic Formula 1-type race track. It has a variety of corners that will test you. Turns 3 and 4 are pretty sharp. It is around Turn 5 when you begin to view the lake itself (or at least be around it). After going uphill to Turn 9, you start to really see Lago Potrero de los Funes come into the horizon. The most decisive section is the complex of turns from Turn 15 to Turn 19. This is a track where you really need to think ahead in attacking each corner.

Here is a video lap of this fantastic course. This video was done in a NASCAR stock car and was uploaded in 2009:

How do you like it?

Lap Record.

The lap record here was set by Marcel Fassler in a Corvette C6.R in 2008. His time was 2:13.236 around this course.

Could F1 Race at Potrero de los Funes Someday?

There is a rumor going about that Formula 1 wants to return to Argentina. F1 previously raced around el Autódromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez. I've read/heard that a track is to be built in the Buenos Aires area. However, I would really love to see Potrero de los Funes Circuit be used for F1 racing. This track just seems to have so much more character than most modern F1 courses. Why not race this course? I mean... it's a long-enough track, it has intense corners... this is an F1 Grand Prix track! Only that F1 has never raced at this track. Unless someone thinks this track isn't good enough to run a modern F1 race in Argentina, this track should definitely be used for Formula 1 racing.

From what I have read, Potrero de los Funes is an FIA B-Grade circuit. It means that almost any series can race there, except F1. A lot would have to be done to fully enhance this course to one A-Grade course. Maybe since this track is far from Buenos Aires, you don't really have that sort of attractive factor of being within distance of a major city. This track and this location (from what I've read) is being aggressively marketed so that Formula 1 could race this track). I'm sorry, people- this track has modern F1 written all over it. I couldn't care less about anything super-exotic or anything like that... this track would be great for Formula 1 racing. It has the character and charm of a classic F1 track. Or is today's F1 too good to be raced on a track like Potrero de los Funes? Even this track's long length is more than sufficient for a modern F1 race. F1 Argentinian Grand Prix at Potrero de los Funes... MAKE THIS HAPPEN, FORMULA ONE!!!

This track has a website, but every time I pull it up, I get nothing. If you want to see pictures of this course, here are some links you can check out:

"TC2000 and FIA GT1" -
"New FIA GT Circuit in San Luis - Argentina" on

Thank you for reading!

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