• 23000+ Members! Dear Guest, join the community on the official RD Discord server today.   learn more

One To Watch | Awesomely Cool Video Content: Circuits Of The Past

Frankly, this is a pretty cool series of videos, and one I feel well worth sharing with our sim racing and motorsports community here at RaceDepartment.

The other day our founder and owner@Bram Hengeveld sent me a message with a link to a YouTube channel he stumbled across called 'Circuits of the Past', which has a pretty unique and rather awesome theme - exploring the world and checking out former racing venues that no longer actively host racing events.


Intrigued, I found a few spare minutes (which is way harder than it sounds) and fired up a video on my phone. A few minutes turned into a couple of hours, the phone was replaced by the big TV, and before I knew it I was hooked - and just can't help but want to share this channel with you all in the hopes that you too find it as enjoyable as we did.

The general idea is pretty simple but ingenious - find old race tracks, travel to them, look around the place and talk about it. Simple, but oh so very effective.


Just to clarify, RaceDepartment have no affiliation with this channel, are receiving nothing in return for showcasing these videos, and have no contact or partnership with either the channel or content creators - we just think it is something super cool, and worth putting on a few peoples radar.

You can find the 'Circuits of the Past' YouTube channel HERE.

Enjoy :)

footer.jpg
 
Last edited:
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

stenovitz

75RPM
Aug 22, 2014
88
104
48
Well, those YT videos are not exactly new? Watched them years ago I reckon, but maybe newly edited?
Been almost maniac about historic abandoned racing circuits for decades and hunted the most 'forgotten' on vacation trips round Europe and always got away with an excuse to leave the main path :D
Think first time for me was the old Charade circuit (think it was in '86) and a couple of weeks later on hometrip also Rouen-Les-Essarts.
And then 20 years later witnessing simracing modders actually being able to do some fine realistic jobs has been absolutely fantastic.
The last I visited (physically) was the defunked oval at Sitges south of Barcelona after being driving it like crazy in rFactor.

And speaking simracing that's been the main reason for me simracing the last couple of decades. To re-enter the abandoned and deceased tracks, both sim-wise and IRL.
So for me, the abandoned track history is two-sided for me.

BTW: hope I'll be able to simrace at the long time deceased but for drivers by that time infamous CDR in Colorado in a Scarab-Chevrolet soon :cool: Nobody speaks about CDR today. At least not here in Europe. So bring it back please :)
 
Last edited:

Eckhart von Glan

6000RPM
Premium
Dec 29, 2006
6,423
1,883
i own a great book on forgotten tracks called:
Autodrome: The Lost Race Circuits of Europe (Veloce Classic Reprint Series)
It's a must-read for anyone interested in the topic. A second book was in the works but seems to have been abandoned (which is sort of ironic considering then topic).

 
Jun 13, 2011
229
106
There are a lot of these kinds of videos on the net. Probably because there are so many forgotten circuits. ~10 years ago i was researching a lot to bring some of these forgotten circuits into simracing. There are so many hidden treasures, you just need to search for them. ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: stenovitz

Fat-Alfie

2000RPM
Premium
Oct 16, 2012
2,515
5,104
48
There's rather a nice PDF documenting 100s of historic circuits from around Europe here


No pictures, but lots and lots of descriptions.

I find it fascinating to read some of the descriptions and then trace the routes in Google Earth. I have probably found 9 or 10 future projects in that PDF - it's a real mine of information.
 

Mac117

10RPM
Apr 27, 2020
24
32
47
Great post this one! So many great circuits gone. Fortunately we can still virtually race in some of them!

I can't let the opportunity go without mentioning my favorite circuit; Circuito Guadalope in Alcañiz (Spain). Very fast and quite technical street circuit that was active from 1965 to 2003. A video for you to have a look:

 

testdriver77

100RPM
Nov 1, 2015
148
90
42
If u dont know but on YT there is a full movie called Grand Prix 1966.
This is in a very good quality and with very astonishing perspectives!
This is imo more interesting than some of actual movies!
Its very interesting to see the old tracks with race cars on it. Very interesting :cool:

 
Last edited:

Andrew Harper

2000RPM
Dec 1, 2014
2,569
1,901
46
There are a lot of these kinds of videos on the net. Probably because there are so many forgotten circuits. ~10 years ago i was researching a lot to bring some of these forgotten circuits into simracing. There are so many hidden treasures, you just need to search for them. ;)
I can't remember the name of the channel. Although I'm not a huge NASCAR fan someone did some great videos of abandoned or just completely vanished tracks. Most of which were just bonkers in speed and length! :)

I have watched most of these videos. I've been to Brooklands about half a dozen times when the Mazda RX7 club used to go there, got to park the car on the banking, a great experience and again the circuit and size of it just beggars belief. It's a cheap day out so if you are in the area please pay a visit and support the museum with a few pounds.

It saddens me the way the track was chopped up though, I sometimes wonder if that sort of thing would have happened to such a historic racing site now. Maybe it would've done being so close to major cities (and housing is needed).

Probably due to my age but the one video that did make me a bit emotional (just a tiny bit) was Hockenheim. A track I remember watching in the 90's as a true temple of speed with the V8's, V10's, and V12's screaming away.

To see it all gone, dug up and turned into a trading estate is a real shame, however land is valuable so I guess that's just the way it is sometimes.

These videos are cool though and I do enjoy them every so often, some incredible circuits.
 
Last edited:

Nick Hill

1000RPM
Premium
Oct 26, 2013
1,160
1,368
40
BTW: hope I'll be able to simrace at the long time deceased but for drivers by that time infamous CDR in Colorado in a Scarab-Chevrolet soon :cool: Nobody speaks about CDR today. At least not here in Europe. So bring it back please :)
I know CDR! I used to live in Castle Rock, so the CDR site was less than a 10 minute drive from my house. As I'm sure you probably know, you can still see the track layout really well on Google maps satellite view, but residential construction is rapidly encroaching. :cry:

I've been to the site a couple times, but you really can't see anything from ground level (or at least I couldn't). I haven't been down there in a few years...there is a possibility it's already houses at this point, sadly. If I get some time this weekend, I might drive down there (it's still only about 30 mins away for me) with a camera and see if I can see anything at all left.

The setting is absolutely amazing - the track abuts right up to some low foothills which must have reverberated the engine noise gloriously.

As for the YouTube channel, I'll definitely be subscribing! I'm a sucker for this stuff. I have a couple books by one time SCCA official historian Pete Hylton - "Ghost Tracks" and "More Ghost Tracks". Really fascinating stuff!
 
  • Love
Reactions: stenovitz

BillyBobSenna

100RPM
Premium
Dec 30, 2010
199
208
I am lucky enough to be able to drive every day on one of the greatest abandoned F1 tracks of all time.

This was Detroit's version of Monaco's Casino Hairpin.

DFACHjZWsAAHlHS.jpg

Detroit GP 1982

Capture.JPG

Detroit GP Track 2020

I feel like John Watson ever time I drive though this intersection.
 
Last edited: