A Circuit Lap
A lap in the temple of speed
The track begins in the area of level land which runs along the Santerno river where by means of a long and frenzied straight interrupted by a left bend we leave the pit and the glorious Racetrack Tower behind.
We now find ourselves thrown into the fastest part of the circuit (cars 330 km/h, bikes 290 km/h) but the imminent Tamburello brings us back to reality forcing us to brake sharply while staying in control which is necessary for taking the left-right turn where, using all the kerb available you tend to become unbalanced on exit and can find stability again only with careful acceleration.
Just when we think we can get our breath back we are faced with a short straight which offers no respite as in a flash we find ourselves at the sharp Villeneuve which due to the fast and mocking entry on the left we tend to underestimate the difficult exit on the right which pushes us to the outside of the track but which we must immediately compensate for, with no half measures, to bring the car back onto a smooth line towards Tosa.
From here we leave the level part and go into Tosa (theatre of great duels), the hilly area of the circuit of real and natural roller coasters. Tosa is a left turn with a long and tiring rise, where under the eyes of the spectators on the crowded hill the engine is required to make a draining effort, which, on reaching the brow of the hill, holds us for an instant with our eyes to the sky. The empty feeling at the brow leaves us quickly as we are brought harshly back to reality at the blind Piratella which, the only one of its kind, must be taken from memory as there is no point of reference.
The merciless Piratella takes us into a rapid and dizzying downhill slope to the two Acque Minerali curves flanked by the centuries-old trees of the homonymous Park.
It is essential to maintain your rhythm here: the entry on the right is taken at 230 km/h and a few metres after you must break suddenly in order to take the second right-hand curve on the right to take you out where a sharp realignment of the car allows us to face a nerve racking humpbacked slope.
The following straight puts the engine’s horse-power to the test once more and takes us to the unforeseen Variante Alta, a sharp right-left chicane where hitting the kerbs inevitably creates a swaying effect on the car on exiting.
We quickly regain control of the vehicle to take on a steep and hazardous downhill slope which leads into the legendary Rivazza where the spectators crowded on the hill of the same name admire the incandescence of the exhausted brakes.
Take the first left-hand curve of Rivazza steadily keeping an uneasy hold on the right side, you have to choke the throttle in order to be ready to regain control of the car, a necessary manoeuvre to take the second part of Rivazza quickly, which puts us on a short straight (the entrance to the pit-lane is also here should we need a rest, either for ourselves or for the car).
Leaving behind the rapid succession of ups and downs we arrive at the last part of the circuit which for cars concludes in the pursuit of speed with a bend that takes us to the finish line; alternatively motorbikes are forced to face the final challenging and anomalous entry to Variante Bassa which leads to the well-earned finish line through a sharp left-right chicane.