Sim racing offers a unique advantage: the ability to transport ourselves back in time to experience historic circuits that have undergone significant changes.
Many circuits worldwide have been altered due to various reasons such as lack of funds, safety concerns, or simply to introduce something new.
As a result, these old-school layouts are no longer accessible in real life. Fortunately, sim racing provides a time machine-like capability to relive these forgotten tracks.
Reiza, for instance, has already released historic versions of renowned circuits like Nurburgring, Spa, Silverstone, and Hockenheimring.
However, the potential for official historic circuit layouts in sim racing goes far beyond these examples. Let’s explore some of our top picks for these exciting possibilities.
Table of Contents
Key Concepts in This Article
- Sim racing can recreate historical motorsport circuits for modern users.
- Iconic tracks like Brands Hatch and Kyalami have evolved over time.
- Changes in tracks often stem from safety concerns and accommodation needs.
- Reims-Gueux and Le Mans circuits offer unique historical appeal.
San Marino – Imola (Pre-1994)
The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, commonly known as Imola, was once a staple on the Formula One calendar and is infamous for the tragic events of 1994. However, before major safety changes were made to the circuit in the aftermath of that fatal weekend, Imola featured a layout with high-speed sections and challenging corners.
Bringing back the pre-1994 layout of Imola in sim racing would allow fans to experience the historic track as it was before its tragic transformation. It would also serve as a reminder of the dangers that once existed in motorsport, and how far we have come in terms of safety measures.
Magny-Cours – Grand Prix Circuit
The French Grand Prix has seen many layouts in its history, but the earliest iteration from 1991 is arguably the most interesting. The original circuit at Magny-Cours featured a long straight leading into a hairpin with a chicane at the end.
This was followed by a series of challenging corners and chicanes before leading back onto the main straight.
The circuit was well known for its changeable weather conditions, which added an extra level of difficulty for drivers.
However, in 2003, the layout was drastically changed with the removal of some chicanes and a tighter hairpin. The new layout is still used today but many fans miss the challenge and character of the original track.
Brands Hatch – Grand Prix Circuit (Pre-1988)
Brands Hatch has a long and rich motorsport history, with its famous Grand Prix circuit hosting many iconic races.
However, the current layout used in modern-day racing is vastly different from the original version.
The original 4.2km layout was full of fast corners and elevation changes, making it both challenging and exciting for drivers.
But in 1988, a major overhaul was done to the circuit, resulting in a shorter layout with slower and more technical corners.
Being able to experience the pre-1988 version of Brands Hatch in sim racing would not only be a treat for fans of historic motorsports, but also a chance to appreciate the changes made over time.
Adelaide Street Circuit – Australian Grand Prix
The Adelaide Street Circuit is another iconic track that has undergone major changes over the years.
The original layout, used from 1985 to 1995, was a tight and challenging street circuit that saw many memorable moments in Formula One.
However, due to concerns about safety and the ability to accommodate large crowds, the circuit underwent numerous changes and eventually moved to a new location in 1996.
The current layout used for the Australian Grand Prix is no longer a street circuit but rather a permanent track.
Bringing back the original Adelaide Street Circuit in sim racing would not only be nostalgic for fans, but also allow them to experience the unique challenge of driving on a street circuit in all its glory.
Kyalami – Grand Prix Circuit (Pre-1987)
The original circuit at Kyalami in South Africa was known for its high-speed corners and long straights, making it a favorite among drivers. But after concerns about safety, the layout was drastically changed in 1988 to make the track slower and safer.
While the new layout is still used today, many fans miss the thrill and excitement of the pre-1987 version. With sim racing, we have the opportunity to travel back in time and experience this iconic circuit as it was in its heyday.
Overall, these are just a few examples of historic circuits that would be amazing to see in sim racing. With advancements in technology and attention to detail, sim racing has the potential to bring back these forgotten circuits and allow fans to experience them for themselves.
And who knows, maybe we will see even more historic layouts added in the future. The possibilities are endless in sim racing’s time machine. So buckle up, and get ready for a ride through history!
Le Mans 1932-1971
The Le Mans is renowned for its historic layouts, which have undergone changes over the years. From the iconic Spa layout in the Belgian valley, to the Mulsanne straight before chicanes were introduced, speed demons found heaven on this track.
The current configuration, with its 90-right Tertre Rouge and Indianapolis-Arnage sections, has remained since 1932. The long pit straight presents an exciting challenge at turn 1.
In 1972, the Porsche Curves and Ford Chicanes were added, while Maison Blanche became the only obstacle between Arnage and T1.
Many legendary battles have taken place on this track during the 24-hour race. It would be fantastic to see this historic ribbon of tarmac featured in racing games in the near future.
The historic Reims Gueux, once a French Grand Prix venue, takes sim racing enthusiasts on a nostalgic journey back in time.
The pit building, standing tall since the 1970s, offers a captivating glimpse into the motorsport past. With its iconic charm and Instagram-worthy shots, it’s a must-visit spot for road-trippers seeking a photo opportunity.
Spanning 7.8km, the circuit itself was a true test of skill and machines, featuring a blend of faster turns, slower hairpins, and long straights.
The challenging northern-most corner added an extra level of difficulty with its tricky braking and turning.
Among the petrol heads across Europe drawn to various sites like the Nürburgring and Spa, the pit building of Reims Gueux holds a special place, providing a unique and nostalgic experience through sim racing.
To Wrap Up
While modern-day racing circuits are exciting and challenging, it’s always fascinating to look back at the evolution of motorsports through the historic layouts.
With sim racing, we have the opportunity to relive some of these iconic tracks and experience the challenges faced by drivers in the past. It also serves as a reminder of how far we have come in terms of safety measures and technology.
So let’s continue to appreciate and celebrate the history of motorsports through sim racing, and who knows what other historic circuits will make a comeback in the future.