Address: Adria International Raceway, Località Smergoncino, 7, 45011 Adria RO, Italy
PH: +39 0426 941
Circuit type: Permanent road course
Adria Raceway will probably never enter the pantheon of great circuits thanks to its tight and twisty nature, though there are plenty of other circuits that can only look on with envy at the pit and paddock facilities, which are truly first class.
The circuit near Venice opened in 2002 after several years of planning. Initially, the course was to have featured a completely different design on a plot on the opposite site of the Canal Bianco. However, the eventual location presented its own challenges, being a rather small plot on which to create an international racing circuit. The designers did what they could, creating a circuit which twists back on itself in several places, with the straights connected by a series of hairpin bends.
With a distinct lack in elevation changes and few high speed corners, the result is a track that is unlikely to set many drivers' pulses racing, though it does require a certain amount of finesse on braking and good traction in order to get a good lap time. Two further circuit variants were also created; a short course which cut out the back straight section and a second testing loop (known as the 'Dog Bone' thanks to its shape) which could be artificially watered for wet weather simulation. Both short courses could run simultaneously while the main course was homologated to Formula One Testing standards.
The circuit's standout feature – and perhaps the reason why it gained some prestigious fixtures in its early years – is the covered paddock area. In a giant-sized hall, the race transporters can be parked directly behind the pit boxes, providing an air-conditioned area in which to work and entertain guests. When not in use for racing the hall is unsurprisingly used an exhibition venue, providing a considerable amount of the circuit's income each year.
The German DTM touring car championship was the first international series to visit Adria, hosting races in 2003 and 2004. In the inaugural year, victory went to Dutch driver Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz). In 2004, eventual champion Mattias Ekström (Audi) managed to win the race at the compact circuit before the DTM abandoned its Italian fixture for several years.
In the DTM's place came the FIA GT Championship, hosting a three-hour race in 2006 and then switching to a two hour night race in 2007 and 2008. Somewhat unexpectedly, the DTM returned in 2010, though the race was mainly memorable for the gigantic crash of Alexandre Premat, who flipped his Audi on the start-finish straight after contact from the Mercedes of Maro Engel. Despite cartwheeling with parts flying in numerous directions, the Frenchman emerged unscathed.
In 2012, the circuit underwent its first modifications when a new first corner hairpin was installed for use by motorbike racers. This brought the first turn closer to the pit and paddock and in turn increased the amount of run-off available for the first corner. The original track remains unaltered for continued use in four wheeled competition, though the changes did effectively spell the end of the use of the 'Osso di Cane' test track, thanks to the new corner cutting across it rather abruptly.
In recent years, Italian national championships have been the highlights of the racing calendar, with Formula Two and Formula Abarth among the visitors. Track days and driver training events make up the remainder alongside manufacturer days and general testing.
Adria International Raceway is located near the town of the same name in the Italian Rovigo province. The nearest international airport is Venice's Marco Polo Airport, around a 70 minute drive to the north.
The circuit can be found a short distance from the SS309 coastal road, accessed directly from provincial route 45. Ample parking is available on site.