Address: Botniaring, Kauhajoentie 688, 66300 Jurva, Finland
PH: +358 400 661 994
Circuit type: Permanent road course
Following a recent extension, the Botniaring has transformed itself from a relatively short and twisty circuit into Finland's longest and fastest raceway. The circuit, located at Jurva, hosts motorsport from April to October but remains open throughout the autumn and winter months for driving training, including on ice and snow.
The track originally opened in 1989 with a short 1.627 miles (2.618 km) course which twisted back and forth inside a roughly rectangular layout. It did nonetheless prove good for tight, exciting racing battles, even if its length meant it would only ever accommodate Finnish racing championships and club events. The infield could also be bypassed with a short section of straight to create an 'oval', though in reality this was several straights linked by near 90 degree corners and was rarely used for racing events.
From 2011 onwards, planning began to extend the circuit to create the longest track in the country. Preliminary plans were scrutinised by drivers and teams and a virtual version created so it could be tested in a simulator, with feedback then incorporated into the final design. Work to create the circuit extension began in 2012 and was complete for the 2013 racing season.
As well as a longer multi-layout course, the new development included full test and training facilities, allowing anyone to evaluate their driving skills in safe conditions with their own cars or motorcycles every week on an open training day. The test track is also used for the automotive and tyre industry for the development of vehicles.
The full track now measures 2.494 miles (4.014 km) and also has a high speed chicane, which is one of a kind in Finland. As the track was extended the tarmac was renewed on the older section as well, so the whole track is very smooth and in good condition overall.
Facilities are good for such a small venue, even boasting a restaurant which serves the track users, local residents as well as tourists traveling from a distance. The restaurant remains open to all even if the track is reserved.
Today the circuit continues to host Finnish road racing competitions, including the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, Nordic racing and a 12 hour night endurance race - though being held in July, there's actually not a great deal of running in the dark thanks to the long summer hours!
The Botniaring is located in Jurva, near to the city of Kurikka in Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland. The nearest airport is Vaasa Airport, which is around 45 minutes' drive to the north and offers connections to Helsinki and Stockholm, plus a range of other seasonal European destinations.
By road, from Vaasa, head south on E8 until you reach the turnoff to the left for route 685, signposted for Kauhajoki and Jurva. Continue along this road until you reach the circuit, which is signposted on the left hand side.