Beijing International Streetcircuit
|Major events||A1GP (Season 2006-07)|
|Length||3.04 km (1.894 mi)|
|Lap record||0:58.107 (136.3 km/h) (James Hinchcliffe, A1 Team Canada, 2006)|
Beijing International Streetcircuit is a street circuit in Yizhuang, a suburb 10 miles (15 km) to the south-east of central Beijing. It was first used on the weekend of November 10–12, 2006 for the third round of the A1GP. China became the only country to host two events in the 2006-07 A1 Grand Prix series.
It was announced in the Shanghai Daily on March 23, 2007 that, due to lack of funding, no further A1 Grand Prix races were scheduled to be held in Beijing. The report suggested that preparing the street circuit for the race cost about 20 million yuan ($2.6 million).
The FIA expressed safety concerns about the dual carriageway on this track before the event, so it was feared that it could have led to a "last minute" cancellation decision. However, clearance was given on the morning of November 10 for the use of the circuit for racing purposes. The tight hairpin at the end of the dual carriageway and also the backstraight was literally a 180 degree left turn. Later during the race, the turn was found to be far too tight for the race cars. They tried to negotiate safely by running wide but were still stopping at the mid corner, therefore the sessions were red flagged.
During qualifying, manhole covers on the roads were coming undone due to the racing cars' high downforce and low ride height. Some advertising banners also came loose around the circuit. It was announced the races would start behind the safety car, as the first corner was also deemed unsafe.
Circuit layout changes
As a result of safety issues and difficulties experienced during the first practice session for the inaugural race at the circuit—the A1GP cars found it difficult to negotiate the tight 180-degree Turn 8 hairpin—the circuit was revised overnight prior to practice on November 11, 2006. The straight leading up to Turn 8 was shortened and the turn was made less tight. The shorter circuit was created and creating another less tight hairpin halfway up the straight, bypassing most of the old straight. However, this corner was still not ideal as drivers ran wide despite the corner being wider, and had to avoid the pitlane entry barrier.
- "Beijing circuit shortened". autosport.com. 2006-11-10. Retrieved 2009-06-21.