Circuito del Jarama
|Time zone||GMT +1|
|Major events||Formula One Spanish Grand Prix
Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix
FIA European Truck Racing Championship
World Touring Car Championship
|Length||3.850 km (2.392 mi)|
|Lap record||1:16.44 (Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari 312T4, 1979)|
The Circuito del Jarama (Circuit of Jarama), formerly known as Circuito Permanente del Jarama (Permanent circuit of Jarama) is a 3.850 km (2.392 mi) located north of Madrid, Spain which was home to the Spanish Grand Prix nine times between 1968 and 1981.
Designed by John Hugenholtz (who also created Suzuka), the circuit was built by Alessandro Rocci in 1967 north of Madrid in arid scrub land. It had a short straight and most of the course consisted of tight, twisty corners so overtaking was extremely difficult. An example of this came when Gilles Villeneuve, worthy driver though he was, successfully defended his lead for the entirety of the 1981 Spanish Grand Prix despite a tail of four cars significantly faster than his (Villeneuve's turbocharged Ferrari 126CK, while powerful and fast on the straight, did not have as efficient ground effect aerodynamics as his pursuers - Jacques Laffite (V12 Ligier-Matra), John Watson (McLaren-Ford), Carlos Reutemann (Williams-Ford), and Elio de Angelis (Lotus-Ford) and was thus much slower through the turns). This victory was to be the last one of Villeneuve's career.
In 1987, Jarama hosted Round 2 of the inaugural World Touring Car Championship for Group A cars, the 1987 Jarama 4 Hours. The race was won by Roberto Ravaglia and Emanuele Pirro driving a Schnitzer Motorsport BMW M3. Pole position for the race had been taken by triple Le Mans 24 Hour winner Klaus Ludwig in a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth turbo with a time of 1:31.434, while the fastest lap was by England's Andy Rouse (also in a Sierra Cosworth) with a time of 1:33.710.
The circuit was lengthened in 1991.
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