This weekends Formula E round sees the championship roll into Uruguay, and more specifically, the coastline resort of Punta del Este. Not, you’d agree, the most iconic motorsport destination. However, it’s inclusion as an ePrix this year got us thinking- what are the most iconic mixes of sea breeze and petrol fumes? Oversteering sandcastles? Sunburn and burnouts?
From 1976 to 1983, Formula One paid visit to the west coast of the United States, and as much as we long to see an F1 car tackle Laguna Seca’s Corkscrew, the location was in fact Long Beach, under the daunting skyline of Los Angeles. The track itself was, unsurprisingly, twisty, with many remembering it’s pair of hairpins that clip either end of the coast-curved home straight.
In 1976, Clay Regazzoni took victory for Ferrari, before America had probably it’s proudest race to date in the sport one year later, with Mario Andretti taking victory on home soil ahead of Niki Lauda. The Austrian however did however enjoy stateside, seaside success in the event’s penultimate running in 1982, before John Watson took the win one year later.
Despite F1’s absence, the track is still active, running as one of IndyCar’s highlight events year in, year out.
Undulating, flowing, and bloody quick, Philip Island is one of the world’s finest examples of racetrack heaven. The view of crashing waves in the background really does nothing to deter from that either.
Reopened in 1985, the circuit soared in popularity, especially amongst the two-wheel variety of petrol heads, with it’s fast and smooth layout sitting well in the two-wheeled saddle as well as the four.
Formula One has never visitied the track, yet funnily, it has hosted an ‘Australian Grand Prix’ with the running in 1928 of the 100 Miles Road Race. Not sure that one counts, mind.
Never mind being just a seaside track, the streets of Monaco offer up arguably the coastline circuit to end all coastline circuits.
First ran in 1929, the principality has since hosted 72 grands prix, with each and every one being one of the highlights on the international sporting calendar. But, back to its coast, there are two unlucky fellows who defied the barriers and went for a dip in the harbour.
In 1966, Lotus’ Paul Hawkins claimed a set of bragging rights that still to this day stand true, with the Aussie chap going deep-sea diving following an argument with the inside barrier to the chicane. Prior to Hawkins, double World Champion Alberto Ascari did likewise nine years previously, dropping through the depths along with his Ferrari in a similar fashion to Hawkins.
So, Toto, Monisha, Claire… take note and listen; sod the KERS, 2015 might be a good time to add the ‘armband’ button to the steering wheel.
With merest mention of the word “Daytona”, you’re immediately taken to the hustle and bustle of the NASCAR circuit and the “good ol’ boys” at the Daytona 500. But the foundations of NASCAR and it’s prestigious event are, quite literally, built in sand.
Motorsport first came to Daytona beach with attempts at land speed records from 1927, and by 1936 automobile racing started to occur. This built into such a popular sport that “Big Bill” France oversaw the foundation of the National Association for Stock Car Racing in the late ’40s, with Daytona as it’s jewel in the crown.
By the late ’50s it had become necessary to move away from the sand due to safety concerns, but by that point the brand new Daytona Speedway was erected ready for use. The first Daytona 500 took place in 1959 and the sport hasn’t looked back since.
What do you think? Do you have any favourite seaside racetracks we’ve forgotten? Let us know in the comments below – we want to hear from YOU!