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Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

Circuit Hermanosrodrigues.png
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez


The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez (or in English "Rodríguez Brothers Racetrack") is a 4.421 km (2.747 mi) race track in Mexico City, Mexico, named for the famous Rodríguez brothers.

Built in a public park in 1962, the circuit hosted its first Formula One Grand Prix the same year, as a non-Championship race. The following year the Mexican Grand Prix became a full World Championship event. The circuit remained part of the F1 calendar through 1970, when spectator overcrowding caused unsafe conditions. When the track re-opened in 1986, the circuit boasted a new pit complex, as well as improved safety all around. The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez (as of 2006) has been the only venue for the Mexican Grand Prix.

The circuit is located within the public park of the Magdalena Mixhuca in northeast Mexico City. The circuit is owned by the Government of the City, but is currently operated under concession by Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento, S.A. de C.V. or CIE, through OCESA, one of CIE's subsidiaries. CIE also organizes the NASCAR and Desafío Corona races in this circuit and rents the circuits to other parties, including race organizers, automobile clubs and track amateurs for fees that are controversial due to their disproportionately high amounts compared to other ex-F1 courses.

The circuit itself has a very bumpy surface, mostly due to Mexico City's location on a geologically active region. Furthermore, with an elevation of 2,285 m,(7,500 ft) the thin air makes breathing more difficult for both the drivers and their cars. The circuit got its name shortly after it opened when Ricardo Rodríguez tragically lost his life there in practice for the non-Championship 1962 Mexican Grand Prix (Ricardo's brother Pedro would also lose his life behind the wheel years later).

The circuit has an extremely fast final corner (the peraltada) before a long start/finish straight, and thus reminded some of Monza; however, unlike Monza's parabolica curve, the peraltada curve is slightly banked, allowing even more speed through the corner. It was at this corner that Rodríguez crashed, although it is unclear whether this was due to excess speed or suspension failure. After the last F1 Mexican Grand Prix in 1992, a baseball stadium was built on the innerpart of this curve. When the Champ Car series began using the track in 2002, the peraltada curve was partially bypassed by a series of sharp turns entering and exiting the baseball field; re-entering the peraltada halfway through.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series started racing at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in the 2005 season, with a chicane on the main straightaway to slow the cars down. They also introduced a curve between the short course and the Ese del Lago to bypass the latter, but avoiding the stadium detour. Martin Truex Jr. won the race in 2005, and Denny Hamlin won in 2006. For the 2007 race, the chicane was removed to increase passing oppurtunities down the front straight and into turn 1, and Juan Pablo Montoya from Bogotá, Colombia, won the race.

The A1 Grand Prix series started racing at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in the 2007 season using the full-track configuration used by Formula 1. Alex Yoong from Malaysia won the sprint race and Oliver Jarvis from the United Kingdom won the feature race.

The oval track

In the Autódromo, it's also possible to make an oval track, thanks to a flat turn that goes from the middle of the main straightaway to the beginning of the backstretch. The oval is raced in anti-clockwise direction, as opposed to the road course.

The oval configuration of this Mexico City facility is arguably the most dangerous racetrack in Mexico, because of the limited visibility at the exit of Turns 2 and 4. This is because the Foro Sol baseball stadium is located inside turns 1 and 2; and several trees are located inside turns 3 and 4.

During the 2006 season, two horrific accidents occurred in the oval track during NASCAR Mexico T4 Series events, which took several drivers out of the race and even required some of them to be taken to the hospital.

The oval configuration is used at least twice a year, with two double-feature events featuring the NASCAR Mexico Corona Series and the NASCAR Mexico T4 Series.

Formula One history

Note: Pink background indicates non-Championship year.

Season Date Winning Driver Winning Team Report
1992 March 22 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault Report
1991 June 16 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault Report
1990 June 24 22px-Flag of France.png Alain Prost Ferrari Report
1989 May 28 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Report
1988 May 29 22px-Flag of France.png Alain Prost McLaren-Honda Report
1987 October 18 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda Report
1986 October 12 22px-Flag of Austria.png Gerhard Berger Benetton-BMW Report
1970 October 25 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil).png Jacky Ickx Ferrari Report
1969 October 19 22px-Flag of New Zealand.png Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford Report
1968 November 3 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Graham Hill Lotus-Ford Report
1967 October 22 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Jim Clark Lotus-Ford Report
1966 October 23 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png John Surtees Cooper-Maserati Report
1965 October 24 22px-Flag of the United States.png Richie Ginther Honda Report
1964 October 25 22px-Flag of the United States.png Dan Gurney Brabham-Climax Report
1963 October 27 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Report
1962 November 4 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Trevor Taylor/Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Report

Champ Car history

Season Date Winning Driver Chassis Engine
1980 October 26 22px-Flag of the United States.png Rick Mears Penske Cosworth
1981 October 18 22px-Flag of the United States.png Rick Mears Penske Cosworth
2002 November 17 22px-Flag of Sweden.svg.png Kenny Bräck Lola Toyota
2003 October 12 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Paul Tracy Lola Ford-Cosworth
2004 November 7 22px-Flag of France.png Sébastien Bourdais Lola Ford-Cosworth
2005 November 6 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Justin Wilson Lola Ford-Cosworth
2006 November 12 22px-Flag of France.png Sébastien Bourdais Lola Ford-Cosworth
2007 November 11 22px-Flag of France.png Sébastien Bourdais Panoz Cosworth

NASCAR Nationwide Series history (formerly Busch Series)

Season Date Official Race Name Winning Driver Make Model
2005 March 6 Telcel MOTOROLA Mexico 200 presented by Banamex Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2006 March 5 Telcel Motorola Mexico 200 presented by Banamex Denny Hamlin Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
2007 March 4 Telcel Motorola Mexico 200 Juan Pablo Montoya Dodge Charger

A1 Grand Prix history

Season Date Winning Driver Winning Country Chassis Engine
2007 March 25 Oliver Jarvis Team Great Britain Lola Zytek

Current Races

Records


The Autódromo is unique in the sense that there is a baseball stadium inside Turn 14. The stadium, called Foro Sol is home to the Diablos Rojos del México, and also hosts music concerts.

Artists like Madonna, The Rolling Stones, U2, and Paul McCartney are just a few of the names that have played there.

The Coca-Cola Zero Festival will be held at the racetrack on April 12, 2008. (http://coca-colazero.com.mx/) Acts include The Smashing Pumpkins, The Mars Volta, My Chemical Romance, My Morning Jacket, Belanova, Bright Eyes, Kinky, Miranda, La Gusana Ciega, Jumbo, Division Minuscula, Timo Maas, Quiero Club, The Faint, Chetes, Le Baron, and Austin TV.

Trivia

  • Pope John Paul II gave mass to nearly 2 million faithful at the Autódromo in 1999.
  • Mexique is one of the racing circuits available for the Formula Dé board game.
  • 1/4 mile drag racing events are also held here on occasion, on the main straightaway.
  • The Government of Mexico City organizes a marathon and bicycle races on the circuit.

External links



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