The Kazan Ring (Russian: КазаньРинг Каньон) is another Hermann Tilke-designed facility that many will not have heard of. Originally known as simply Каньон (Canyon-Tatarstan), the track is one of the more spectacular Russian venues, built with the confines of a former sand quarry.
Located on the outskirts of Kazan itself, the track features a flowing layout which features some admirable elevation changes and great spectator viewing from the banks which overlook the track.
The circuit hosts rounds of the major Russian two and four-wheeled competitions, including the Russian Circuit Racing Series. Local racing is also strong, with an Open Series run for competitors across the Republic of Tatarstan.
Construction on the track began in 2006, with the basic track layout completed by 2009, although this was essentially just the asphalt surface and little in the way of other facilities. After initial use for test drives and track day use, the circuit was finally completed at the end of 2010, when safety barriers and pit and paddock facilities were added, bringing the track up to FIA Grade 2 standards.
The 11-turn course features several long straights and a plunging 'corkscrew-esque' signature corner. Across the course the elevation changes by some 28 metres (hence its original name) and the spectator viewing is good, with vantage points at the top of the former quarry sides offering unobstructed views of the whole course. There are no dedicated stands however and creature comforts can only really be had in the paddock area.
The first competitions were held in 2011 and the circuit has since become firmly established as a venue for all of Russia's main championships.
Unusually, it also became a base for the competitors of the Red Bull Air Race when it visited Kazan in 2017 and 2018. On both occasions the competitors flew in their planes using the long back straight as a landing strip, before taxing into the main paddock area where temporary hangars were installed. A legacy of this event are the runway markings which still adorn the back straight.