Zhuhai International Circuit

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Zhuhai International Circuit
Zhuhai International Circuit track map.svg
Zhuhai Circuit layout
Location Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
Time zone GMT+8
Coordinates 22°22′1.9″N 113°33′23″E / 22.367194°N 113.55639°E / 22.367194; 113.55639Coordinates: 22°22′1.9″N 113°33′23″E / 22.367194°N 113.55639°E / 22.367194; 113.55639
Opened November 1996
Architect Kinhill Engineers Pty Ltd
Major events FIA GT Championship, A1 Grand Prix, Formula V6 Asia, CSBK
Surface asphalt
Length 4.319 km (2.684 mi)
Turns 14
Banking No
Lap record 1:22.296 (Franck Montagny, Peugeot Sport, 2010, Intercontinental Le Mans Cup)
The circuit from the main grandstand.
The final corner and the pit lane entrance.

Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) is located at Jin Ding town in Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China.

Motorsport started in Zhuhai when it hosted a race on its street circuit in 1993, racing continued until 1996 when the motor racing circuit was constructed and became China’s first permanent motor race track[1] with Formula One in mind.

The circuit is designed by Australian company Kinhill Engineers Pty Ltd, the same group which created the Formula One circuit in Adelaide. The project manager for the project was Michael McDonough.[2]

The first international race held at the circuit was the BPR Global GT Series. The circuit soon became the hotbed of local motorsports with teams from Hong Kong and Macau setting up their bases inside the circuit garages.

Track layout[edit]

The original circuit contained 16 corners. But corners 7, 8 and 9 were eliminated after a track change request from FIM and made into one corner.

The circuit is 4.3 kilometres (2.67 mi) long and has 14 turns. 9 of them are right turns and 5 are left turns and the circuit runs clockwise only. The shorter straight is 500 metres (0.31 mi) long. The longest straight is the start/finish straight which is 900 metres (0.56 mi) long and 14 metres wide at its widest.[1] Alexandre Imperatori, A1 Team Switzerland's rookie driver, suggested that there are lots of overtaking places in the circuit because of the combination of straights, hard braking areas for hairpins, tight corners, followed by and accelerating for long straights.[3] The most successful driver on the circuit is the best one who can manage their brake wear.[4] Zhuhai International Circuit is an FIA Grade II certified circuit.

Lap records[edit]

The fastest qualifying lap ever at the circuit was set by a Lola-Zytek A1 Grand Prix car on the fourth round on December 16, 2007 during the 2007-08 A1 Grand Prix season. It was driven by Michael Ammermüller and managed a lap of 1:23.203. However, this is not considered the lap record since lap records are taken from racing laps and not qualifying.

The fastest unofficial lap ever at the circuit was set by a 2007 Panoz DP01 Champ Car on November 30, 2006. It was driven by Roberto Moreno, it managed a lap of 1:23.612 during a demonstration run.

Russian Age Racing's Aston Martin DBR9 at ZIC.

The fastest GT1 lap time is set by Christophe Bouchut in an Aston Martin DBR9, prepared by Russian Age Racing in 2005. His time was 1:30.661.

Event organizer[edit]

Zhuhai International Circuit Co Ltd is also a prominent motorsport event organizer and promoter in China. It has organized and promoted the FIA GT Championship in China and in 2007, it has also signed a contract with China Motorcycle Sports Association to promote the inaugural China Superbike Championship.

National races[edit]

Zhuhai International Circuit is the promoter of the China Superbike Championship, established in 2007 and sanctioned by the China Motorcycle Sports Association, CMSA.

ZIC also organizes the Circuit Hero and Circuit Hero GT race series, which allows citizens of the People's Republic of China to participate.

HTCC and MTCC[edit]

Paul Poon leads Kenneth Look in the rain at ZIC during a Hong Kong Touring Car Championship race.

The Hong Kong Touring Car Championship and the Macau Touring Car Championship both run the majority of their races at ZIC since they began.

Asian races[edit]

The Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) was held at the circuit from October 20, 2006 to October 22, 2006, when a record 33,000 people turned up to watch the races.

AFOS has been held at the circuit many times since its inception in 1994.

The Asian Formula Three Championship is also hosted by the circuit annually.

In addition, the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship race at ZIC in December annually.

Formula One ambitions[edit]

ZIC was included in the provisional 1999 F1 calendar. But the circuit subsequently lost its place in the calendar after failing to meet the international standards set by the FIA.[5] [6] F1 subsequently races in Shanghai International Circuit.

Endurance World Championship[edit]

In May 2004, the Endurance World Championship Zhuhai 6 Hours race was held at the circuit. This was the first time an international motorcycle race was held at the circuit. [7] The race was won by GMT 94 Racing.[8]

FIA GT Championship[edit]

In 1997, ZIC welcomed the new FIA GT Championship. In 1999, the circuit held the FIA GT Championship again, after that the circuit went quiet on the international scene for 5 years.

Maseratis leading the FIA GT Championship race at Zhuhai in 2004.

In November 2004, the circuit was fully renovated and once again the FIA GT Championship was staged. On 14 November 2004, the two Maserati MC12s of AF Corse scored a 1-2 at the track.

The FIA GT Championship was staged from October 21, 2005 to October 23, 2005 and the GPLK Corvette C5-R won the race. The GruppeM Porsches won GT2. The Hong Kong Le Mans Team and the Malaysian Proton R3 Amprex team also took part.

The FIA GT Championship race has been postponed to 25 March 2007 from October 2006, in order to keep clear of the Shanghai F1 Grand Prix in early October and the Macau Grand Prix in the middle of November. The race was won by All-Inkl.com racing's Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT, driven by Christophe Bouchut and Stefan Mucke. GT2 class was won by AF Corse's Ferrari F430 GT2, with Dirk Müller and Toni Vilander at the wheel.

A1 Grand Prix[edit]

A1 Team China racing at Zhuhai International Circuit in the 2007 A1GP race at ZIC.

Zhuhai International Circuit staged the fourth round of the 2007-08 A1 Grand Prix season on December 16, 2007. The Sprint race was won by Michael Ammermüller of Team Germany and the Feature race was won by Narain Karthikeyan of Team India. On October 13, 2009, Executive Deputy General Manager of Zhuhai International Circuit, Stewart Tan said he welcome A1 Grand Prix return to the circuit on November 15, 2009.[9] However, the series has more races were cancelled, with an announcement made on 5 November 2009 stating that the races in China and Malaysia was not taking part.[10]

Le Mans Intercontinental Cup[edit]

Intercontinental Le Mans Cup race start at ZIC.

On 10 June 2010, the ACO announced that the Chinese round of the 2010 Le Mans Intercontinental Cup - The 1000 km of Zhuhai, will be held at Zhuhai International Circuit on 7 November.[11]

On 13 November 2011, the ACO organized the 2011 6 Hours of Zhuhai at Zhuhai International Circuit as the finale of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup season.

Super GT ambitions[edit]

In 2004, the GT Association, the organizer of Super GT, announced on 23 May that an All-Star race in China, scheduled for 4 to 6 October at ZIC.[12] But on 5 August 2004, JGTC announced that the race was cancelled, for reasons related to the Chinese organizer.[13]

Champ Car[edit]

A multi year deal was announced in 2006 that brought one of the American racing series to China. On 30 November 2006, Roberto Moreno made history as he took the 2007 DP01 Champ Car on track at the Zhuhai Circuit, marked the first time and also the last time a Champ Car had run in China.[14]

Then the series had problems with its promoter, which settled in a court in the US, and replaced them with a new promoter. The new promoter did not have enough time to organize the race on the original May date and so the race was provisionally moved to October 2007. When the series failed to get F.I.A. approval for the October date the 2007 race was cancelled. The series was looking to race in Zhuhai for the 2008 season until the unification with Indy Racing League but most of the speculation had died down.

Ownership[edit]

On 2 October 2003, Dragon Hill Corporation Ltd, part of LBS Bina Group, exercised its option to buy Lamdeal Investment Ltd, which is involved in managing Zhuhai International Circuit Ltd (ZICL), for US$1. LBS managing director, Datuk Lim Hock San said LBS believed in the potential of the ZIC circuit land, adding the acquisition "has come at an appropriate time. Upon completion of the exercise of the option, Dragon Hill will hold 100% of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of Lamdeal and Lamdeal will own 60% of ZICL," he said. [15]

Track rentals[edit]

Since 2005, the circuit has become a hive of track activities, with a large number of auto-related launches and events held at the circuit, as the battle for car sales in China heat up. Auto dealers and manufacturers try to lure more customers by allowing them to drive freely on the track and pampering them off it.

Karting[edit]

ZIC Kart Circuit.

A kart circuit was added to the ZIC facility in 2004.

In 2011, Sunny Racing Club was established and have since acquired a reputation for close and competitive racing at low-cost. The club uses a one make Sunnny Kart chassis and 2-stroke 100cc Yamaha engine.

Simulations[edit]

GTR2 has the circuit simulated based on the 2004 FIA GT Championship season.

Transportation[edit]

When Tangjiawan Station of the Guangzhu MRT opens in 2012, visitors will have direct rail access to the ZIC.

The ZIC has a bus stop which is served by routes 3, 3A, 10, 10A, 66, 68 and 69 of the Zhuhai bus network.

It is also served by the Guangzhou–Zhuhai Intercity Mass Rapid Transit, as Tangjiawan Station is within walking distance of the circuit's west grandstand.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Zhuhai wins place on calendar". a1gp.com. 2007-08-01. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  2. ^ "F1 track under starter's orders". SCMP. 1993-11-12. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  3. ^ "Zhuhai to provide overtaking feast". a1gp.com. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  4. ^ "Braking set to be key in China". a1gp.com. 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  5. ^ http://www.globalmotorsport.net/f1/races/china/
  6. ^ http://www.espn.co.uk/china/motorsport/story/154305.html
  7. ^ "City gets motor sport world championship". zhet.gov.cn. n.d. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  8. ^ "Endurance, riders and teams". fimendurance.com. n.d. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  9. ^ "A1GP to return to Zhuhai". a1gp.com. 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  10. ^ Vince Pettit (2009-11-05). "A1GP – The final nail in the coffin?". thecheckeredflag.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  11. ^ ACO expands Le Mans Intercontinental Cup 11th June 2010 Autosport.com
  12. ^ "All Star Race announced for China and USA". supergt.net. 2004-05-26. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  13. ^ "Zhuhai Event Cancelled". supergt.net. 2004-09-02. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  14. ^ "Champ cars to hit Zhuhai track next year". peopledaily.com.cn. 2006-12-01. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  15. ^ "LBS exercises option to buy Zuhai Int'l Circuit for US$1". The Star (Malaysia). 2 October 2013. 

External links[edit]