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El Pinar

Flag of circuit's country
  • Timeline
  • 2017 to date
  • 2014-16
  • 2009-2013
  • 1999-2008
  • 1975-98
  • 1956-72

2017 to date

  • Circuit No. 1

    Unknown

  • Circuit No. 1 with extension

    Unknown

  • Circuit No. 2

    1.317 miles / 2.120 km

  • Circuit No. 2 with extension

    Unknown

  • Circuit No. 3

    1.665 miles / 2.680 km

  • Circuit No. 3 with extension

    Unknown

  • Circuit No. 4

    1.150 miles / 1.850 km

  • Circuit No. 5

    1.305 miles / 2.100 km

  • Circuit No. 5 with extension

    Unknown

  • Circuit No. 6

    1.305 miles / 2.100 km

  • Circuit No. 6 with extension

    Unknown

  • Circuit No. 7

    1.317 miles / 2.120 km

  • Circuit No. 7 with extension

    Unknown

Circuit Info

Address: Autódromo Víctor Borrat Fabini, Ciudad de la Costa, Departamento de Canelones, Uruguay

PH: +598 2408 5592

Circuit type: Permanent road course

Website: http://www.auvo.com.uy

Circuit History

The Autódromo Víctor Borrat Fabini at El Pinar - named in honour of the local racing great who was instrumental in its construction - is Uruguay's most important racing circuit and the home of AUVO, (Asociación Uruguaya de Volantes), the national racing association. Active throughout the year with a busy calendar of events, the circuit has recently been extended, providing racers with a new combination of corners to master for the first time since the mid-1970s.

The circuit is located in in the Department of Canelones, around 30 km east of the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. This close proximity has been one of the secrets of its ongoing success, alongside its favourable location relative to Argentina and Brazil, whose major series have paid visits on numerous occasions, boosting El Pinar's importance as a regional racing hub.

The circuit was built in 1956, opening in October of that year, meaning that AUVO was one of the few private institutions in South America to own and operate its own racing facility. In its original form it was triangular in outline, with a series of infield twists and turns adding variety to the rear of the paddock area. The perimeter course measured just over 1.6 miles

A crowd of around 8,000 turned out for the inaugural event, a Formula Libre event, featuring a field made up of local and Argentine drivers. The event was named in honour of Juan Manuel Fangio, who had travelled across from Europe in a break from his Formula One activities to be the guest of honour. The event consisted of two 25-lap heats and a 50-lap final, with Asdrúbal "Pocho" Fontes running out the overall winner in his Maserati 4CLT powered by a V8 Chevrolet engine.

In 1957 the circuit hosted the 6 Hours of El Pinar for the first time, which in time would develop into one of the most important endurance races in South America. Throughout the rest of the decade and into the 1960s, the circuit continued to develop and thrive as the central hub for AUVO's racing activities, becoming ever more-important with the eventual demise of the Punta Fría circuit at Piriápolis.

In 1973, AUVO decided the facility needed a renovation, with plans to upgrade safety facilities including the installation of new pit lane wall to separate it from the racing circuit for the first time. In addition, plans were laid for an extension of the infield loop, which would increase the overall length and allow for a variety of new layout options.

The changes would also allow anti-clockwise running of all circuit variations for the first time, with competitors using the normal gird area and heading towards the Curva del Parador on the first lap, regardless of whether this featured on the layout used for the rest of the racing action.

The timing of the renovations, as it turned out, couldn't have been worse, with the oil crisis sending costs soaring upwards. Bitumen suddenly became seven times more expensive and thus more finances needed to be raised, prolonging the construction considerably. The remainder of 1973 and the whole of 1974 was lost to racing, with AUVO switching events to other regional circuits during this period.

In April 1975 the revised circuit was finally ready for action, with a re-inauguration event featuring the Brazilian Division III championship, followed two weeks later by the Argentine Formula 4 championship. Among the youthful drivers on the grid were future Formula One drivers Miguel Angel Guerra and Eliseo Salazar.

Other categories that would visit in the following years included the Codasur Formula 2 series from Argentina, which brought its home-built Formula One machinery between 1975 and '77, later followed by the SudAm F3 championship, which was also a regular visitor in 1980s and 1990s. Argentina's TC 2000 category also paid a visit, while the short-lived South American Touring Car championship brought its grid of Super Touring racers for a popular one-off event in 1999.

At the end the 1990s, the first significant circuit modification was made, when a new and faster Gota de Agua curve was built, allowing a straighter run onto the back straight and increasing considerably the available run-off area. In 2009, minor modifications were made to the pit lane entry/exit, while the Curva del Parador was renamed in honour of Gonzalo Rodriguez to commemorate the 10th anniversary of death the country's greatest international star. 'Gonchi' had provided one of the circuit's most memorable moments in 1996, when he brought his F3000 car across from Europe and gave an enthusiastic crowd a demonstration of exuberant car control.

Safety concerns ended anti-clockwise running at the end of 2013 but already there were plans for another significant upgrade of the circuit's facilities. Formula One circuit designer was brought in to advise on a new circuit extension on newly-acquired land adjacent to the Veloz curve. At the AUVO awards ceremony in December 2014, the first plans for the revised track were revealed, with Tilke estimating that a total of 10 circuit variations could be used, with the main layout achieving FIA Grade 2 status.

AUVO began raising the necessary funds to make the changes a reality, though it wasn't until 2016 that works could officially begin on a revised scheme, penned by AUVO itself although broadly similar to that which Tilke proposed, albeit slightly smaller in scale. Improvements to the paddock and spectator areas were also green-lighted.

Construction of the extension continued into the early part of 2017, with an expected inauguration in April. The works have been conducted so as not to disrupt early season testing on the original course.

Getting There

The Autódromo Víctor Borrat Fabini is located in the El Pinar suburb of Ciudad de la Costa, in the Department of Canelones, Uruguay. The nearest airport is Carrasco International Airport, which is the country's largest and only a 13-minute drive away.

The track is handily located close to the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. From the centre of the city, head east along Av. Italia towards Ciudad de la Costa. Then take Av de las Américas north for a short distance until you reach the intersection with Ruta Interbalnearia. Head eastwards until you reach the Indianapolis turning (many of the roads in the area are named after famous racing circuits) and follow signs to the track entrance.

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