One thing that sim racing can do is bring life to tracks that never saw the light. We asked the community what abandoned circuit concepts they’d like to see in sim racing.
Oran Park, Wilkesboro Speedway and the Hanoi Street Circuit, what do all of these tracks have in common? The answer is of course: they don’t exist anymore, but they can still be driven on a racing game. The first two on iRacing and the unraced Vietnam GP track on F1 2020.
One of the great things about sim racing is that it provides a means to bring to life possibilities that can never actually be done in the real world. There have been many tracks that have been closed for a number of reasons and in the case of Hanoi, ones that never came to fruition. All of this got us thinking.
What are some tracks that are not possible to race in the real world that could be salvaged within sim racing? We asked the community to contribute whilst also putting our own suggestions in here. These are our and your picks for tracks that cannot be raced that we’d like to see revived in sim racing.
A few members of the OverTake community suggested the Port Imperial Street Circuit, which was a proposed street venue set to host the Grand Prix of America for the 2013 F1 season. It unfortunately never ended up happening for a number of reasons, but it’s clear the track had a lot of potential.
In the video below, the original uploader couldn’t follow the exact layout due to traffic laws but caught the most interesting aspects of the track. The uphill climb and long sweeping corners would certainly not have been typical of a street circuit.
In recent years, F1’s presence in America has increased exponentially and new additions in the forms of Miami and Las Vegas have joined the F1 schedule with their own street circuits. These tracks have not been loved by fans, and the Port Imperial Street Circuit seems like it could have been immensely popular in comparison.
Some videos of the track crudely modded into the original rFactor exist. But the creations really weren’t high quality. So if someone could better recreate the circuit, it would certainly be a very enjoyable track to drive.
Donington F1 2010
For the 2010 F1 season, the British Grand Prix was set to move to Donington Park from long-time home Silverstone. The venue of Ayrton Senna’s magical first lap in the 1993 European Grand Prix – where he went from fifth to the lead in the wet – was subsequently due for a makeover.
Whilst Redgate to McLean’s would remain the same, Coppice was set to be reprofiled and the esses removed. Along with that, an infield section and a new primary pits would be made between Coppice and the Melbourne Hairpin.
Unfortunately, Donington couldn’t get the funds to rebuild the circuit and it retains the same configuration it has had since 1986. Whilst the slower speed proposal change to Coppice was certainly a downgrade, the rest of the track was incredible. The flowing infield entry and the very steep return to the old circuit would have been a very unique experience.
The proposal for the track was clearly constructed on rFactor Pro but has never been available for public release. F1 abandoned the intended change for the British GP venue and reverted back to Silverstone, but could we one day drive it in sim racing?
Las Vegas Formula E
Whilst we have already referenced Las Vegas earlier in this article, this isn’t the F1 track but rather the Formula E track. Whilst technically not raced in real life, this layout was used in the landmark Vegas eRace sim racing event. The drivers competed on rFactor 2, but the track was never released to the public.
That’s a shame, because unlike the upcoming F1 track, this circuit is actually very interesting to drive. The start of the lap is on the Las Vegas Strip, and it passes through many landmarks in the city. Including the valet parking areas for the Excalibur and Luxor casino hotels and even on Las Vegas’ version of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Surprisingly, it makes for some rather interesting middle speed corners, the last corner being perhaps the most satisfying to get right. The corner coming off the Brooklyn Bridge seems particularly challenging too. It’s just a shame we can’t drive it and find out for ourselves.
The Vegas eRace back in 2017 was won by now-Mercedes esports driver Bono Huis, who took home $200,000 from a $1,000,000 prize pool. The event was never held again, unfortunately, and thus this track is locked away on some long forgotten server cloud. So let’s get it back!
London F1 GP
There have been many proposals for a London F1 street circuit, one is even making the rounds running alongside the ExCeL, which hosts the Formula E London ePrix. But, back in 2012, then-McLaren teammates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button teamed up with Santander to show off a concept for a London street circuit that passed all the major landmarks.
It starts on the Mall looking straight towards Buckingham Palace, looping back round with some fast esses. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament feature towards the end of a DRS straight, and perhaps the most interesting point of the track, the last corner squeezes into one lane under Admiralty Arch.
It is genuinely a very interesting track, and whilst it was demonstrated on what can only be assumed to be rFactor Pro, it never materialised further from the concept. The track wasn’t just sacrificing a decent layout to have the famous landmarks, or merely following a road grid with too many 90 degree corners.
Out of all London F1 race concepts, this one is by far the best. So we challenge modders out there to create this track, not the London track from GRID that we’ve seen countless times. It has to be this one!
Circuit of Wales
For fans of MotoGP, this track’s name may be familiar. Intended for 2015, the host venue for the British round of the MotoGP World Championship was supposed to move from Silverstone to a brand new purpose built circuit near the Welsh town of Ebbw Vale.
What was proposed was a 3.5 mile undulating track which was up to FIM and FIA international safety grade standards. Not only was MotoGP intended for the circuit but also World Superbikes, World Touring Cars, British Touring Cars and British GT.
Unfortunately, the plan fell through and in many ways, it’s a real shame. The track has some incredible sections featuring high speed flicks and also a rollercoaster drop towards the end of the lap reminiscent of the Algarve circuit.
Whilst Silverstone is the home of British motorsport, Wales doesn’t really have an international permanent racing facility to call its own. It’s unfortunate that this circuit fell by the wayside.
What are some unraced tracks you would love to drive on a sim? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!