Sicily's Almost Forgotten Circuit: Enna Pergusa

Enna Pergusa Chrysler Viper GTS-R.jpg
When it comes to Italian racing circuits, Monza and Imola are usually the first two that come to mind, with tracks like Mugello or Vallelunga also ranking among the more popular examples. All of them are situated on the Italian mainland, but Sicily has its own racing history - and not just with the legendary Targa Florio: Enna-Pergusa is a circuit that not many sim racers know of, although veterans of the GTR series should be very familiar with it.

Situated to the southeast of Enna, the village of Pergusa sits atop Lago di Pergusa - and it is this lake that the circuit loops around. Originally vaguely oval-shaped, the track has seen the addition of a few chicanes over the years due to safety reasons, although they do not take away from the Autodromo di Pergusa's charm.

While the Variante Vivaio and Variante Piscine that follow the start/finish straight are rather slow, the Chicane Proserpina and Chicane Pineta are relatively fast and demanding - if you have raced in GTR or GTR2, flashbacks of the immovable tire stacks placed as cut preventions in said chicanes will likely cause you flashbacks to massive AI pileups.

Enna Pergusa Track Map racingcircuits.info.png

Image credit: racingcircuits.info

Many Chicanes, Still Fast​

Despite the chicanes, Enna-Pergusa remains a fast circuit, and getting the line through these chicanes spot-on to carry as much speed as possible through them is crucial to be quick there. Mistakes are easy to make and can be costly - especially at Pineta, which used to be called Chicane Schumacher until 2004, as the quick left-right combination will spit out your car into the adjacent guardrail without mercy if you get it wrong.

Enna used to host a multitude of events, including the World Sportscar Championship until 1981, European F3 (until 1984) and Formula 3000 (until 2003), as well as the European Touring Car Championship (until 2003) and the FIA GT Series, which raced there in 2002 and 2003. The latter is the reason for the tracks inclusion in GTR and GTR2. Currently, the only major event hosted at the circuit is a round of the Italian GT Championship.


The F3000 event used to be run as the Mediterranean Grand Prix and was originally contested in Formula 2 until 1985, when F2 was replaced by F3000. The list of winners includes numerous prominent names from racing history, such as John Surtees (1963), Jackie Stewart (1967), Jochen Rindt (1968) and, for more recent examples, David Coulthard (1993), Gil de Ferran (1994) and Juan Pablo Montoya (1998), the Colombian being the final winner of the event. F3000 continued there until 2003 as the Euro Formula 3000 series from 1999 onwards.

Not Many Adaptations​

Unfortunately, the circuit is not widely available in sim racing. As mentioned above, it is included in GTR and GTR2 - but that is it for official versions of the circuit. Its simplicity, as is often the case, lends itself well to racing especially in lower-powered cars, but the GT1 vehicles of the GTR era also offer great action including slipstreaming battles.

However, GTR2 is rather cheap these days should you not own it already, and the 16th Anniversary Patch helps considerably by implementing countless fixes, adjustments and improvements to make the sim well-suited for the current age.

Your Thoughts​

Have you raced at Enna before? Would you like to see it make a return in a modern sim? Let us know your memories and thoughts in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

How "forgotten"?
Apart from the GTR2 release official track version, splendid mod versions in rF1, AC, Race07, etc. have offered and made available free of charge during the years.
Track surely has a nice flow, and mostly used for shorter races, its strength really comes to surface in endurance events, especially in sims modelling tyre degradation.

Myself as a bithday gift in 2012 took on holiday trip to Sicily with my girlfriend (now wife), mostly cultural trip primarily on the western part of the island, Trapani region, but also a day with trip to mid island, hereby Enna, and ofcourse couldn't resist an excuse to visit the vulcanic lake and, hence, the track itself :inlove:

And another day when leaving a one day stay in Palermo, taking a country side trip at the slopes of Targa Florio.

But maybe most stimulating for me, was on the way to Catania leaving with another plane from the island (entering our stay at Trapani) to visit the real hidden gem of Sicily:

Autodromo di Siracusa

(track name just edited in order not to confuse with American "Syracuse" track).

Though couldn't enter the newest track layout, being half demolished by then, it still delivered historic wingspan.

Siracusa consists of the old Gran Premio di Siracusa, mainly a city circuit with activities in 1950s to early 60s. And then the more modern purpose-built closed race track; a high speed, few corners but crests, delivers so much joy in high speed cars.
 
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Empty Box once called Enna Pergusa "Russian Roulette with Tire Barriers". Truer words were never spoken :roflmao: Some crazy chicanes (with strangely-angled kerbs and big tyre stacks) that you can yeet through at tremendous speed if you get it just right.

 
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How "forgotten"?
Apart from the GTR2 release official track version, splendid mod versions in rF1, AC, Race07, etc. have offered and made available free of charge during the years.
Track surely has a nice flow, and mostly used for shorter races, its strength really comes to surface in endurance events, especially in sims modelling tyre degradation.
Rips from the GTR2 official track, so yes... forgotten ;)
 
Premium
Nothing is forgotten! I am using Enna Pergusa in AC within the 2003 FIA GT Championship and somewhere else i can`t remember now.

But to be honest. The track isn`t very funny or spectacular to drive at all. Because of the high number of highspeed paired with chicanes it`s hard to avoid crahses with the AI sometimes.
 
Rips from the GTR2 official track, so yes... forgotten ;)

Wasn't Simbin okay with converting content from their older games to their newer games though? As long as the person using such mods has both titles? I guess RACE 07 is okay, if that's the case. There was a letter to the modding community years ago, saying that such converts are allowed if there's a DVD check. Of course, nowadays there's Steam, so I'm guessing if we have both GTR2 and RACE 07 in the library then it's okay for us to download, for example, Enna Pergusa from GTR2 to RACE 07.

Obviously, conversions to (and from) non-Simbin titles aren't allowed, as has also been stated in the letter.
 
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NANI NANI!!!
I know that it is not THE simulator with hyper-realistic physics, or with dynamic weather or other things that if you do not have in your game today you cannot even consider yourself human (some people think that if you do not have the most realistic game you have no right to ENJOY).
Anyway... it's also in NFS SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED
 
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I believe someone even managed to do a version of Enna for F1 Challenge, back in the days.

It´s a bit sad to see of all those old italian tracks that once hosted F1 races to be forgotten by the sim "GT3 generation":

- Enna-Pergusa
- Parco Valentino
- Pescara
- Syracusa
- Posillipo
- Modena
- Bari
- Circuito Montenero

You will ever be in the hearts of the real racing lovers...
 
I wouldn't mind a sort of idealized version that omits Proserpina and Zagaria, because the opening complex and Pineta sort of render those other 2 redundant.

Of course, I know GPL has the original, un-chicaned layout. It also has a number of other classic Italian circuits.

Italotracks has made Posillipo, and so far as I know, is working on Pescara and Montenero.
 
It's in Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends too, but as that's largely content that's from the Shift games and by Slightly Mad too, it's less surprising.
 
I wouldn't mind a sort of idealized version that omits Proserpina and Zagaria, because the opening complex and Pineta sort of render those other 2 redundant.

Of course, I know GPL has the original, un-chicaned layout. It also has a number of other classic Italian circuits.

Italotracks has made Posillipo, and so far as I know, is working on Pescara and Montenero.

You are correct, it's been a while (too long) since I updated with respect to Pescara, but I'm hard at it! :D
When I've done it'll be Livorno and San Remo.

I've made over 250 buildings and have the AI all sorted and almost unbeatable for the AMS version. Still to do are lots of trackside objects, terrain mapping, vegetation... then my focus will go to the AC version and its shaders textures, AI, CSP stuff etc.

Here's a screenshot of Spoltore to prove that Pescara is alive and well (but please ignore textures / mappings / visuals for now :))
pesca.jpg
 
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You are correct, it's been a while (too long) since I updated with respect to Pescara, but I'm hard at it! :D
When I've done it'll be Livorno and San Remo.

I've made over 250 buildings and have the AI all sorted and almost unbeatable for the AMS version. Still to do are lots of trackside objects, terrain mapping, vegetation... then my focus will go to the AC version and its shaders textures, AI, CSP stuff etc.

Here's a screenshot of Spoltore to prove that Pescara is alive and well (but please ignore textures / mappings / visuals for now :))
View attachment 670333
I very much appreciate the progress of your work! Thanks is so a little word!
Been enjoying since early versions, but this really starts getting real authentic!
 
This track is indeed a pure chaos in GTR2, and I will always remember it from there.

It was the most dangerous track in that game, with some AIs crashing full speed into those barriers, which made for some adrenaline-inducing racing.
 
Premium
NANI NANI!!!
I know that it is not THE simulator with hyper-realistic physics, or with dynamic weather or other things that if you do not have in your game today you cannot even consider yourself human (some people think that if you do not have the most realistic game you have no right to ENJOY).
Anyway... it's also in NFS SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED
While I know that the game existed, I never had the chance to drive it because I don't like arcade games too much (ok, well, apart from Forza Motorsport and GT, which are sim-arcade-ish).

Can anyone elaborate on why the dashboard and the internal trims of the car become "foggy" (sorry I don't know how to better call that effect..) when the speed increases?
 

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