Algarve International Circuit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Autódromo de Algarve.svg
LocationPortimão, Algarve, Portugal
Time zoneGMT
FIA Grade1
Major eventsFIA Formula One (testing), Superleague Formula, GP2 Series, A1 Grand Prix Grand Prix of Nations, Portugal, World Series by Renault, FIM Superbike World Championship, FIA GT Championship Algarve 2 Hours, FIA GT3 European Championship Algarve 2 Hours, Le Mans Series 1000 km of Algarve, FIA WTCC Race of Portugal, Euroseries 3000
LMS Circuit
Length4.648 km (2.905 mi)
Race lap record1:30.681 (France Nicolas Lapierre, ORECA Team Matmut, 2010, Peugeot 908 HDI FAP, LMP1)
GP Circuit
Length4.692 km (2.915 mi)
Race lap record1:31.404 (Republic of Ireland Adam Carroll, A1 Team Ireland, 2009, A1GP)
Motorcycling Circuit
Length4.658 km (2.894 mi)
Race lap record1:42.774 (Italy Max Biaggi, Aprilia Alitalia Racing, 2010, SBK)
BMW Z4 (E89) in Portimao
B09/60 Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 driven by Stefan Mücke in the 1000km do Algarve Race of the Le Mans Series 2009

The 100,000 capacity Algarve International Circuit (Portuguese: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve), commonly referred to as Portimão Circuit, is a 4.692 km (2.915 mi) race circuit located in Portimão, Portugal. With a total cost of €195 million (approximately $250 million), the project includes a karting track, technology park, five-star hotel, sports complex and apartments.[1]

Construction was finished in October 2008 and the circuit was homologated by both the FIM on 11 October 2008 and the FIA two days later.[2]

The circuit was designed by Ricardo Pina, Arquitectos. In October 2010 the teams agreed to add the Portimão Circuit to the Formula One testing roster along with Bahrain.[3]

In September 2013, the company that manages the circuit, Parkalgar Serviços, was taken over by Portugal Capital Ventures, which is a Portuguese state-owned venture capitalist, effectively placing the circuit under state management. The sale was forced by the debts accumulated by Parkalgar Serviços, believed to be approximately 160 million Euros.[4]

The circuit[edit]

The circuit hosted the final round of the World Superbike Championship on 2 November 2008.[1] On 9 June, the track was confirmed to host a round of the 2008-09 A1 Grand Prix season. The race was set for the weekend of 12 April 2009. On 10 October 2008, the Le Mans Series announced a 1000 km night race to be held at Algarve on 2 August 2009.[5] On 5 November 2008, the FIA GT Championship announced and 7th round of the 2009 season will be held at Algarve on 13 September 2009.[6] A Formula One test session, with the McLaren and Honda teams participating, was scheduled for 15–17 December 2008. Ferrari also ran at Algarve.[7][8][9][10][11] Toyota also tested at the circuit on 20 January 2009 in the first outing of their new TF109 chassis.[12] The circuit will also host the final round of the 2009 GP2 Series season in September 2009.[13] From 2010 it will host a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.[14]

On April 4, 2009 Max Mosley stated that based on the quality of the circuit it could integrate the Formula One championship under the guise of the Portuguese Grand Prix, as long as a commercial agreement with the Formula One Management is achieved.[15]

The circuit resembles old Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, mainly because of its constantly undulating nature. A1 Team Portugal's driver Filipe Albuquerque observed that there are big downhill slopes and right-hand turns after the main straight. He also commented that the track is good for overtaking because the circuit width. A1 Team New Zealand's driver Earl Bamber observed that there are many special turns with personality. He commented that the new circuit is a little bit dangerous like the old school circuits with a roller coaster ride. A1 Team France's driver Nicolas Prost commented that the asphalt is new and the circuit has little grip.

It has been confirmed that one of the corners of the circuit was named after former World Supersport rider Craig Jones who was killed in a motorcycle crash at Brands Hatch in 2008.

The First Episode of The Grand Tour "The Holy Trinity" was shot here in 2016.

Craig Jones memorial[edit]

The circuit is the site of a statue in tribute to Craig Jones, representing Jones on his motorbike after passing the finishing line. This statue will be the main part of a monument, already partially built, which also includes the architectural arrangement of the main access roundabout to the racetrack, created by Paula Hespanha and Portuguese architect Manuel Pedro Ferreira Chaves. This monument is a landscape sculpture, representing the main straight of a racing circuit, which extends up to the car park of the main grandstand.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Algarve International circuit launched". Archived from the original on 2008-04-11. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  2. ^ "FIA homologa Autódromo do Algarve". Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  3. ^ "Portimao set to join F1 testing roster". Autosport. 2010-10-12.
  4. ^ "Autódromo do Algarve passa para as mãos do Estado Português". Sul Informação. 2013-09-23.
  5. ^ "The 2009 calendar is ready!". Le Mans Series. Archived from the original on 19 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "FIA GT 2009 calendar announced". Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  7. ^ "McLaren vai estrear Portimão em Novembro". Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  8. ^ "Portimão: autódromo recebe McLaren Mercedes". Archived from the original on 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  9. ^ "McLaren plant Test in Portugal". Archived from the original on 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  10. ^ "McLaren confirm maiden Algarve test". Autosport. 2008-10-24. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  11. ^ "Honda to join McLaren in Algarve". 2008-10-24. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  12. ^ "Toyota to hold low-key TF109 unveiling". 2008-11-26. Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  13. ^ "Algarve to host 2009 GP2 finale". 2008-10-30. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
  14. ^ English, Steven (2009-06-24). "WTCC to Zolder and Algarve in 2010". Haymarket Publications.
  15. ^ "Fórmula 1: Max Mosley diz que Autódromo do Algarve pode integrar calendário". 2009-04-04. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04.

External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • Track maps and history at
  • 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial, partially built, in the main access of the Algarve Motor Park - YouTube [1]
  • “Craig Jones remembered with statue honor” in Algarve resident (30 October 2009) [2]
  • “Craig Jones memorial removed” in Algarve resident (5 November 2009) [3]
  • (in Portuguese)Paula Hespanha expõe estátua de Craig Jones” in Jornal Hardmusica (October 2009) [4]
  • (in Portuguese) “Memorial Craig Jones em Portimão” in Atrox Mobilis – Motos e Mobilidade (22 October 2009) (contains a 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial) [5]

Coordinates: 37°13′19″N 8°37′46″W / 37.22194°N 8.62944°W / 37.22194; -8.62944