Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Thanks to Chris Jenkins from Motorsportcircuitguide for this new review of Autodrome – The lost race circuits of Europe.

It's astounding to think that in these times of high land prices enormous, historic and much loved sporting venues are left to go derelict.

But it is a sad fact that Europe is littered with the derelict remains of motor racing circuits that for one reason or another have fallen into disrepair.
Autodrome takes the reader on a nostalgic trip around Europes greatest "lost" motor racing venues of all types - street circuits, great high speed bowls and winding parkland courses.

The author SS Collins has selected circuits that are now completely disused, and it's an even sadder fact that this is a non-exhaustive list of the more famous ones. Brooklands, Monza Oval, Reims-Geaux, Nurburgring Sudschleife, Crystal Palace, Keimola, Masarykring, Avus and Linas Monthlery are the featured circuits, the authors most readable narrative giving the reader a "then and now" background of each circuits history, a sense of the speeds and challenge of the circuit and the kind of cars and drivers that raced on them.

A selection of black and white & colour photographs of historic race action from the fabulous LAT archive help illustrate the circuits when they were alive, and diagrams detail how the circuit layout changed over time.
The main feature of the book is the stunning atmospheric photography of Gavin D Ireland, showing the circuits as they stand today in their state of faded grandeur.

Crumbling concrete, banked sections of track, faded advertisements, the remains of a poster, some old armco poking out of the undergrowth - the real sense of abandonment really comes across as you leaf through the pages. It's fascinating stuff, no doubt inspired by the series of short articles along similar lines published in Motor Sport magazine called "Track Visit". The book does a good job of expanding on the popular theme, and the excellent original photography really makes the book.

It's a shame that there aren't more photos taken from the same position as the older pohotgraphs, so that you can see exactly how time has aged the circuit, but this is a small criticism on what is a very enjoyable read. Autodrome will undoubtedly inspire visits to some of these amazing remains, and the more fans that make their own pilgrimmage, the better are the chances of survival for these wonderful temples of speed.

Visit them before it's too late.

Coming soon! Speedway – Auto racing’s ghost tracks
Around the world languish a number of long-forgotten raceways; windswept and abandoned, the derelict pit roads and crumbling concrete are all that remain of once great race tracks. From the NASCAR heartland of North Wilkesboro and Middle Georgia to the great European super speedways at Monza and Brooklands, these faded circuits are now monuments to the victories, defeats, triumphs and tragedies once played out before excited crowds.
With roots as diverse as Nationalist Socialism and Prohibition-era bootlegging, the histories of these places offer an insight to different times and attitudes, as well as the evolution of motor racing. Many of the characters who raced on these circuits had a profound impact on their sport; these circuits, which fostered and occasionally destroyed such great drivers, are revisited here – photographed as they are now, but also remembered in their prime by word and picture.
With over 175 images, this a unique and evocative look at some of auto racing’s ghost tracks.
Note that some of these circuits featured in the much acclaimed Autodrome – The lost race circuits of Europe, but in this edition are illustrated by many new photographs. More info.

No comments :

Post a Comment