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Old 30 Sep 2019, 00:34 (Ref:3930980)   #1
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Rovals

This got rekindled in my mind with the piece on SC365 regarding the Blancpain America finale's venue, and its particular configuration.
https://sportscar365.com/sro/blancpa...yout-revealed/

Obviously, the great majority of the courses normally lumped into this category are in the States, but it isn't a uniquely American thing, with circuits like Rockingham (UK), Lausitzring, or even Brooklands, and the old Monza and Montlhery if we're stretching it.

I've made some of my thoughts on this known on several fronts in the comments for that article, but I thought it might be a worthy topic here.

Naturally, the most pressing items for this section of the forum in terms of rovals would be the aforementioned Blancpain America finale at Las Vegas, as well as next year's finale, and US round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, at Indianapolis.

Aside from what I said in response to that article, I guess my main sentiments are that I think a roval needs to either be particularly interesting or just go to the extreme (more in the Daytona or Talladega sense than the NASCAR Charlotte or California/Fontana sense). Don't make it too tight and fiddly, and not to put too fine a point on it, but I don't really see the point of a roval that doesn't use any of the banked corners.

So, what do you guys think about the chosen layout for Las Vegas? What alternate layout might you have preferred instead? What layout do you hope they choose for Indy next year? What are your thoughts on rovals generally? Are there any ones you particularly like? Do you hate them all, or are there just some that come off as especially terrible in your mind?

I'll take up the first reply with an extensive catalog of rovals with lap lengths, the number of corners for each layout, and lap records for major Sportscar and/or GT categories that have raced on them to help give you some idea of the nature of the course. And of course, feel free to look up track maps and such as you see fit.

As a final note here, I didn't include purpose-built ovals that just had a few chicanes added, but no infield section. So that's why Rafaela, or the World Challenge version of Charlotte from 2007, aren't listed.
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Old 30 Sep 2019, 00:36 (Ref:3930981)   #2
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Here's the listing of quite a few of the more significant rovals. Not being as familiar with the British GT field, I left both driver last names listed for the Rockingham lap records. For a few of the others as well, I took an educated guess as to which driver set the quick time. Also, not surprisingly, the Brooklands info is a bit more iffy; the year isn't an absolute certainty, and the lap speed is taken from a book I have, from which I calculated the lap time; the Grenzlandring speed is calculated, too.

Adelaide Int'l Raceway
1.498 miles (2.410 km), 9 turns
Record: Peter Brock, 51.100 (105.534 mph); Chevrolet Monza, 1982 (Group 5)

Atlanta Motor Speedway
2.522 miles (4.059 km), 15 turns
Record: P.J. Jones, 1:12.104 (125.918 mph); Eagle GTP Mk.III Toyota, 1993 (IMSA GTP)

AVUS
1.640 miles (2.639 km), 7 turns
Record: Bernd Schneider, 57.020 (103.543 mph); Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo2, 1992 (DTM)
3.032 miles (4.880 km), 7 turns
Record: Hans-Joachim Stuck, 1:30.050 (121.213 mph); Audi V8 Quattro, 1991 (DTM)
5.039 miles (8.110 km), 7 turns
Record: Volkert Merl, 2:02.130 (148.534 mph); Porsche 956, 1983 (DRM Group C)
5.157 miles (8.300 km), 5 turns
Record: Gerhard Koch, 2:13.500 (139.065 mph); Porsche 906, 1967 (Group 6)
11.987 miles (19.290 km), 5 turns
Record: Luigi Fagioli, 4:08.200 (173.865 mph); Auto Union Type C Streamliner, 1937 (F. Libre)
12.163 miles (19.573 km), 5 turns
Record: Hans Stuck, 4:31.100 (161.515 mph); Auto Union Type B, 1935 (F. Libre)

Brooklands
3.369 miles (5.422 km), 9 turns
Record: N/A
2.267 miles (3.648 km), 9 turns
Record: Raymond Mays, 1:44.913 (77.790 mph); ERA B, 1937 (Voiturette)

California Speedway
2.880 miles (4.635 km), 21 turns
Record: Didier Theys, 1:29.151 (116.297 mph); Dallara SP1 Judd, 2002 (GA LMP900)

Charlotte Motor Speedway
2.260 miles (3.637 km), 14 turns
Record: J.J. Lehto, 1:04.096 (126.935 mph); BMW V12 LMR, 2000 (ALMS LMP900)
2.250 miles (3.621 km), 12 turns
Record: Al Holbert, 1:04.920 (124.769 mph); Porsche 962, 1985 (IMSA GTP)

Daytona Int'l Speedway
3.560 miles (5.729 km), 17 turns
Record: Oliver Jarvis, 1:33.685 (136.799 mph); Mazda RT24-P, 2019 (IMSA DPI)
3.560 miles (5.729 km), 17 turns
Record: P.J. Jones, 1:33.875 (136.521 mph); Eagle GTP Mk.III Toyota, 1993 (IMSA GTP)
3.870 miles (6.228 km), 14 turns
Record: Mario Andretti, 1:50.989 (125.526 mph); Porsche 962, 1984 (IMSA GTP)
3.840 miles (6.180 km), 11 turns
Record: Bob Wollek, 1:42.155 (135.324 mph); Porsche 935 L, 1983 (IMSA GTX)
3.810 miles (6.131 km), 11 turns
Record: Mark Donohue, 1:41.250 (135.467 mph); Ferrari 512 S/M, 1971 (WSC Group 6)

Grenzlandring
5.700 miles (9.173 km), 5 turns
Record: Toni Ulmen, 2:35.454 (132.000 mph), Veritas RS 2000 BMW, 1951 (S2.0)

Homestead-Miami Speedway
2.300 miles (3.701 km), 11 turns
Record: Darren Law, 1:11.806 (115.311 mph); Riley Mk.XI Porsche, 2010 (GA DP)
2.300 miles (3.701 km), 11 turns
Record: Didier Theys, 1:10.108 (118.103 mph); Dallara SP1 Judd, 2002 (GA LMP900)
2.210 miles (3.556 km), 14 turns
Record: Ricardo Zonta, 1:14.298 (107.082 mph); Mercedes-Benz CLK LM, 1998 (FIA GT1)

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
2.530 miles (4.071 km), 13 turns
Record: N/A, 2020 (FIA GT3)
2.439 miles (3.925 km), 14 turns
Record: Ryan Dalziel, 1:17.603 (113.145 mph); HPD ARX-03b, 2014 (IMSA Prototype)
2.534 miles (4.078 km), 13 turns
Record: Scott Pruett, 1:22.191 (110.990 mph); Riley Mk.XXVI BMW, 2013 (GA DP)

Iowa Speedway
1.300 miles (2.092 km), 9 turns
Record: Michael Valiante, 41.624 (112.435 mph); Riley Mk.XI Lexus, 2007 (GA DP)

Kansas Speedway
2.370 miles (3.814 km), 9 turns
Record: Scott Pruett, 1:09.745 (122.331 mph); Riley Mk.XXVI BMW, 2013 (GA DP)

Las Vegas Motor Speedway
2.500 miles (4.023 km), 16 turns
Record: N/A, 2019 (FIA GT3)
2.250 miles (3.621 km), 12 turns
Record: Allan McNish, 1:06.628 (121.571 mph); Audi R8, 2000 (ALMS LMP900)
2.150 miles (3.460 km), 11 turns
Record: Wayne Taylor, 1:10.198 (110.260 mph); Ferrari 333 SP, 1998 (IMSA WSC)
1.940 miles (3.122 km), 11 turns
Record: Butch Leitzinger, 1:05.117 (107.253 mph); R&S Mk.III Ford. 1997 (IMSA WSC)

Lausitzring
2.817 miles (4.345 km), 14 turns
Record: Jan Lammers, 1:38.173 (103.299 mph); Dome S101 Judd, 2003 (FIA SCC LMP900)

Mallory Park
1.350 miles (2.173 km), 6 turns
Record: Les Aylott, 46.000 (105.652 mph); Ardua Ford, 1971 (Group 6)

Michigan Int'l Speedway
1.900 miles (3.058 km), 11 turns
Record: Klaus Ludwig, 1:05.016 (105.205 mph); Ford Mustang GTP, 1984 (IMSA GTP)
3.000 miles (4.828 km), 15 turns
Record: Denny Hulme, 1:32.500 (116.757 mph); McLaren M8B Chevrolet, 1969 (Can-Am)

Montlhery
4.850 miles (7.805 km), 22 turns
Record: Helmut Marko, 2:30.300 (115.856 mph); Porsche 917 Spyder, 1971 (Group 6)

Monza Combined
6.276 miles (10.100 km), 19 turns
Record: Pedro Rodriguez, 2:48.100 (134.406 mph); Ferrari 312 P, 1969 (WSC Group 6)
6.214 miles (10.000 km), 11 turns
Record: Mike Parkes, 2:46.900 (134.035 mph); Ferrari 275 P2, 1965 (WSC Group 7)

Ontario Speedway
2.940 miles (4.731 km), 13 turns
Record: Michael Keyser, 1:43.604 (102.158 mph); Chevrolet Monza, 1976 (IMSA GTO)

Phoenix Int'l Raceway
1.510 miles (2.430 km), 13 turns
Record: P.J. Jones, 49.669 (109.445 mph); Eagle GTP Mk.III Toyota, 1992 (IMSA GTP)

Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway
1.289 miles (2.074 km), 9 turns
Record: Andrea Montermini, 48.716 (95.254 mph); Ferrari 333 SP, 1997 (IMSA WSC)

Pocono Raceway
2.800 miles (4.506 km), 9 turns
Record: Pete Halsmer, 1:20.701 (124.906 mph); Porsche 962, 1985 (IMSA GTP)

Rockingham Motor Speedway
1.940 miles (3.122 km), 12 turns
Record: Johnston/Adam, 1:16.075 (91.804 mph); Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 2016 (BGT GT3)
2.050 miles (3.299 km), 13 turns
Record: Attard/Sims, 1:22.280 (89.694 mph); BMW Z4 GT3, 2015 (BGT GT3)
1.950 miles (3.138 km), 14 turns
Record: Mullen/Marchos, 1:20.379 (87.366 mph); Ferrari F430 GTC, 2006 (BGT GT2)
2.450 miles (3.943 km), 15 turns
Record: Balfe/Derbyshire, 1:36.869 (91.051 mph); Mosler MT900R, 2003 (BGT GT)
2.560 miles (4.120 km), 16 turns
Record: McKellar/Erdos, 1:39.352 (92.761 mph); Saleen S7-R, 2002 (BGT GT)

Talladega Superspeedway
4.000 miles (6.437 km), 18 turns
Record: Peter Gregg, 1:52.364 (128.155 mph); Porsche 935, 1978 (IMSA GTX)

Texas Motor Speedway
2.324 miles (3.740 km), 13 turns
Record: Allan McNish, 1:12.716 (115.056 mph); Audi R8, 2000 (ALMS LMP900)

Texas World Speedway
1.920 miles (3.090 km), 10 turns
Record: Wayne Taylor, 55.057 (125.543 mph); R&S Mk.III Oldsmobile, 1996 (IMSA WSC)
3.000 miles (4.828 km), 14 turns
Record: Denny Hulme, 1:31.600 (117.904 mph); McLaren M8B Chevrolet, 1969 (Can-Am)

Hope you enjoyed some of the drivers and machines that set some of those benchmarks.

Last edited by Purist; 30 Sep 2019 at 01:01.
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Old 30 Sep 2019, 02:14 (Ref:3930985)   #3
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This is great. I like how it even includes Mallory and Rockingham. Both of which I’ve driven and loved. Mallory is just a great place to race and I always loved Rockingham. It’s a shame it’s gone. I’ve done at least a couple of those layouts.

Brooklands is cool, I knew about that, but I don’t really know about the rival AVUS versions.
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Old 30 Sep 2019, 10:34 (Ref:3931039)   #4
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I love going to Daytona. The combination of the twisty infield (with close viewing) and the awe-inspiring banking is just great. Seeing cars go three wide round the banking at night is one of the great sights in motorsport.

I am definitely going to Indianapolis for the IGTC next year. Great chance to see the Speedway and to properly explore the venue.
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Old 30 Sep 2019, 14:52 (Ref:3931088)   #5
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Speed-King should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridSpeed-King should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridSpeed-King should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridSpeed-King should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I have a hard time seeing AVUS as a roval, with only one corner being banked and the rest of the track utilizing public roads.

As far as my favorite and least favorite rovals are concerned, I can only speak from gaming experience: I remember quite liking Talladega back when I was playing GT Legends. Las Vegas, on the other hand, was really not very much fun back in the Sportscar GT-days. I must have destroyed hundreds of virtual cars (mostly TRG 911 RSRs) at the tire chicane on the front stretch.
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Old 1 Oct 2019, 00:13 (Ref:3931202)   #6
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SK, well I did say a few of my choices might be a stretch, so fair enough if that's your sense on Avus.

Yeah, the way SCGT hems that in makes the Las Vegas chicane look pretty diabolical. I've thought the Talladega course could be interesting, though it's a bit hard to tell the speed through there visually with the models I've seen that don't have as much context with regards to whatever surroundings there were.

AOR, I get that with Daytona. As for Indy, I guess we'll see how the GT3s go. I hope those guys use the longer layout that incorporates the Oval Turn 1 banking.

A43, the basic version of Mallory looks like a fun little blast. I have more mixed feelings about Rockingham; at least when it comes to higher-performance racing cars, the lap just seems a bit too busy. Taking out the Oval Turn 1 chicane does help some with that.

Avus probably would have flown under the radar for me, too, if not for the stuff I found on 1920s and '30s GP and Sports Car racing some time back.

As a general note, I may amend the entries for Brooklands, Lausitzring, and Montlhery. There could be a bit more info on Brooklands in one of a couple books I have. With Lausitzring, there are some discrepancies on lap lengths and how long one or two of the layouts might actually be. Regarding Montlhery, even if only three or so of the layouts saw regular enough use to get proper length and record data, the facility had about 9 possible layouts in addition to just the straight oval, to say nothing of how various iterations of chicanes play into all that.
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Old 1 Oct 2019, 02:20 (Ref:3931211)   #7
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The good thing about Mallory is that the bit that makes the oval a roval has gradient. The drop back down from the top onto the start finish straight is called devils elbow and is good fun.

I always ended up being quite good at Rockingham and it is the only place anyone ever asked me for my autograph!
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Old 1 Oct 2019, 15:00 (Ref:3931303)   #8
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Here's an honourable mention for Phakisa Freeway, probably the only paved oval in Africa, and only used once. Even the road course barely touches the oval, just using the pitlane.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phakisa_Freeway
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Old 1 Oct 2019, 23:07 (Ref:3931375)   #9
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Well, it and the version of the Motegi road course that IndyCar used in 2011, which used the oval pit lane instead of the road course one.

I suppose, if you're looking for something that perhaps blurs the lines a bit, besides Avus, maybe the Nurburgring Betonschleife fits the bill.

A43, yeah, that dip there at Mallory gets your attention on the onboard.

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Old 2 Oct 2019, 12:10 (Ref:3931440)   #10
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There's also the pseudo-oval that CART used to race on in Rio de Janeiro:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aut%...on_Piquet#CART

Though that's probably more like a reverse roval, starting out as a road-course and then being turned into an improvised flat oval.

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Old 8 Oct 2019, 21:13 (Ref:3932786)   #11
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Sorry for going dark. Internet went down at the house for 6 days, just came back up.
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Old 11 Oct 2019, 06:38 (Ref:3933222)   #12
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Alright, having been basically delayed a week by the Net outage, I'll try this again.

Here's an update to the first listing, with new material for Brooklands, Lausitzring, Monza, and Montlhery. I've also decided to include the first few layouts of one more circuit that wasn't initially in there.

Brooklands
3.369 miles (5.422 km), 9 turns
Record: Raymond Mays, under 2:27.370 (over 82.300 mph); ERA B, 1937 (Voiturette)
2.267 miles (3.648 km), 9 turns
Record: Raymond Mays, 1:44.913 (77.790 mph); ERA B, 1937 (Voiturette)

Enna-Pergusa
3.030 miles (4.876 km), 14 turns
Record: Arturo Merzario, 1:21.760 (133.415 mph); Alfa Romeo T33/TT/12, 1975 (WSC Group 6)
3.010 miles (4.844 km), 10 turns
Record: Jo Bonnier, 1:26.400 (125.417 mph); Lola T210 Ford, 1970 (Group 6)
2.983 miles (4.800 km), 6 turns
Record: Mario Casoni, 1:17.400 (138.744 mph); Ford GT40, 1966 (WSC Group 7)

Lausitzring
2.840 miles (4.570 km), 14 turns
Record: Rene Rast, 1:35.241 (107.349 mph); Audi RS 5 Turbo, 2019 (DTM)
2.161 miles (3.478 km), 12 turns
Record: Lucas Auer, 1:16.193 (102.104 mph); Mercedes-AMG C 63, 2017 (DTM)
2.139 miles (3.442 km), 12 turns
Record: Jamie Green, 1:17.489 (99.374 mph); AMG-Mercedes C Class, 2005 (DTM)
2.817 miles (4.533 km), 14 turns
Record: Jan Lammers, 1:38.173 (103.299 mph); Dome S101 Judd, 2003 (FIA SCC LMP900)

Montlhery
2.116 miles (3.405 km), 15 turns
Record: Michel Ferte, 1:20.430 (94.711 mph); Venturi 600 LM, 1994 (FIA GT1)
4.847 miles (7.800 km), 21 turns
Record: Helmut Marko, 2:30.300 (116.096 mph); Porsche 917 Spyder, 1971 (Group 6)
3.927 miles (6.320 km), 15 turns
Record: Johnny Servoz-Gavin, 2:17.900 (102.518 mph); Matra M630 Ford, 1968 (Group 6)
2.071 miles (3.333 km), 8 turns
Record: Gijs van Lennep, 1:23.600 (89.182 mph); Porsche 906, 1966 (Group 6)
4.837 miles (7.784 km), 15 turns
Record: Jean Behra, 2:50.000 (102.431 mph); Maserati 300S, 1956 (Sportscar)
3.904 miles (6.283 km, 9 turns
Record: Jean Behra, 2:16.000 (103.341 mph); Gordini T24S 3.0, 1954 (Sportscar)
7.800 miles (12.552 km), 34 turns
Record: Achille Varzi, 5:20.100 (87.723 mph); Auto Union Type A, 1935 (GP 750 kg)
7.767 miles (12.500 km), 24 turns
Record: Louis Chiron, 5:06.000 (91.376 mph); Alfa Romeo Tipo B/P3 2.9, 1934 (GP 750 kg)

Monza Combined
6.276 miles (10.100 km), 19 turns
Record: Pedro Rodriguez, 2:48.100 (134.406 mph); Ferrari 312 P, 1969 (WSC Group 6)
6.214 miles (10.000 km), 11 turns
Record: Mike Parkes, 2:46.900 (134.035 mph); Ferrari 275 P2, 1965 (WSC Group 7)
4.281 miles (6.889 km), 14 turns
Record: Hermann Lang, 2:32.400 (101.126 mph); Mercedes-Benz W154, 1938 (GP 3.0L S/4.5L)
4.350 miles (7.000 km), 29 turns
Record: Bernd Rosemeyer, 2:56.400 (88.775 mph); Auto Union Type C, 1936 (GP 750 kg)
4.319 miles (6.950 km), 27 turns
Record: Tazio Nuvolari, 2:49.800 (91.569 mph); Alfa Romeo 8C-35, 1935 (GP 750 kg)
2.678 miles (4.310 km), 14 turns
Record: Hans Stuck, 2:13.600 (72.162 mph); Auto Union Type A, 1934 (GP 750 kg)
6.214 miles (10.000 km), 11 turns
Record: Luigi Fagioli, 3:13.200 (115.789 mph); Alfa Romeo Tipo B/P3 2.6, 1933 (F. Libre)
4.263 miles (6.860 km), 10 turns
Record: Luigi Arcangeli, 2:29.000 (103.000 mph); Maserati Tipo 26M 2.5, 1930 (F. Libre)

The full extent of the chicanery at Montlhery in the 1960s into the '70s is too much of a mess to readily suss out, with various pieces not matching up or making sense.

Although the combined course length is the same, the pre-War and post-War layouts at Monza are not the same. As an example, the current Parabolica is an opening corner, while the 1922-38 version was pretty much semi-circular.

Last edited by Purist; 11 Oct 2019 at 06:47.
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Old 18 Oct 2019, 06:11 (Ref:3935326)   #13
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First look around the Las Vegas course. It's perhaps more open in some respects than I was worried it might be; however, at least preliminarily, they want the cars below the tri-oval banking by the start/finish line, which the drivers think won't help the racing.

SC365 articles are giving a marginally longer lap length than what was originally out there, with an increase to 2.51 miles around; I don't know how they're getting that the course only has 12 turns though.

Onboard:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUChsRkiKvs

I still think the chicane should have been left farther down toward Oval Turn 1, like how it was when the ALMS ran there.

As to next year's IGTC, hopefully they see fit to run the Indy layout that does include Oval Turn 1; since it's longer, and will be an endurance race, it would actually be a closer fit to the FIA's charts to run the longer configuration. Even then, it's still short of the technical minimum listed in Appendix O.
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Old 18 Oct 2019, 12:39 (Ref:3935407)   #14
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And they have had to modify the layout for starts and the finish of the GT4 race. I believe the races start on the backstretch to avoid a start and dive in to the chicane. And the GT4 race ends with them going wide as the finish line is within the braking area for Turn 1, their solution is to have finishing cars go around the chicane.
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Old 19 Oct 2019, 02:56 (Ref:3935553)   #15
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I saw that in the notes.

Watching Qualifying for the GT3s, I'm even more convinced they should have stuck with the old chicane and treatment for the tri-oval. And as for starts and restarts, the ALMS had it right at Texas; just skip the chicane on the first lap when they're bunched and getting up to speed.

Honestly, I'm wondering how they got the track width and lane shift in the tri-oval approved by the FIA; I'm not sure how you realistically get two cars side-by-side through there, and it's supposed to be a "straight".
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