Driving at high speeds in difficult conditions is hard enough. However, some race tracks around the world take dangerous driving to the next level with their high-speed straights, sharp bends and unsteady terrain. Some tracks are so dangerous many drivers have died while racing.
Below is a selection of some of the most dangerous race tracks around the globe:
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
In Stavelot, Belgium, this circuit has claimed the lives of 23 drivers since its opening in 1927. The Eau Rouge and Burnenville corners are infamous and present particular hazards to drivers. The corners are fast and filled with hills and twists. The original track layout was deemed too dangerous and was boycotted by the Formula One championship in 1969.
The 24-hour Le Mans endurance race is world famous but was home to the worst accident in motor racing history. The actual circuit is named the Circuit de la Sarthe. In 1955, a major accident claimed the lives of approximately 80 spectators and more than 100 were injured. Driver Pierre Levegh was killed. The circuit is incredibly fast with cars having reached nearly 260 miles per hour on the four-mile straight.
The Baja Peninsula
This off-road race takes place on an 800-mile course that starts and ends in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The first competitive race was run in 1967. Entry is open to a wide variety of vehicles — motorcycles, production cars, dune buggies, trucks and custom-built race vehicles. What makes the course so dangerous is spectators, seeking to add extra thrills to the race, will sometimes build ramps and other hidden obstacles, dig holes and divert water sources to create additional hazards to surprise drivers. In 2008, a driver was kidnapped for nine days of the race. He was eventually freed after an intense gun battle.
Monza is known as one of the most dangerous and demanding circuits in the Formula One championship. The combination of very high-speed straights and run-off areas deemed inadequate by many have claimed the lives of 52 drivers since the circuit was opened in 1922. The circuit is still regarded as unsafe for motorcycle racing, due to the increased possibility of motorcycle accidents that could claim the lives of their racers.
The Daytona Speedway is not complex in structure, consisting of an oval with banked corners. These are angles of 31 degrees and the start and finish straight is banked at 18 degrees. The combination of high speeds reached, steeply banked corners and with many competitors means the slightest error can throw a car into a wall at incredible speed. To date, 28 drivers have lost their lives on the Daytona track.
It isn’t a purpose-built track, but it’s home to the Formula One Monaco race through the streets around the harbor area of Monte Carlo and La Condamine. The twists and turns of the road course, coupled with the long straight through the tunnel that brings drivers into the dark from sunshine make this a very dangerous circuit.
If you consider yourself a thrill seeker and want to experience what it is like to be a race driver, many companies around the globe which offer experience days. where you experience what it’s like to be a race car driver. You can select from a vast range of cars and tracks to tailor the experience to your choice. You may even be able to experience one of the tracks mentioned above.