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DATE News (chronologically)
10/03/06
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Is racing dead in Rio de Janeiro?  UPDATE #4 Here are some more images of the Hermann Tilke redesigned Rio de Janeiro track. The circuit will be reduced from its current 3.08-mile layout to just 1.67 miles, with a watersports park and indoor sports arena built on the northern portion of the track.

Also disappearing will be the 'roval' course, which has remained dormant since the last Champ Car visit in 2000. The circuit is set to close for the whole of 2006 while the alterations take place.

At 1.67-miles, only national-level racing will be possible at the shortened circuit, which will not be long enough to qualify for an F1 race license.

However, roads around a new velodrome, stadium and an aquatic park could still be utilized to form a temporary extension for top class racing. 

The image below shows what the course could look like at 4.8km in length.

Work on the Rio circuit is scheduled to take place throughout 2006, with the revised circuit opening in 2007 - the same year the city hosts the games.

Although a bit small for F1, with its 'urban" setting this would appear to be the perfect venue for Champ Car's return to Brazil in 2008.

09/04/05 Further analysis of this situation tells us that the cash-strapped city of Rio would not invest in a revamped circuit without certain understandings with Ecclestone. The city will not allow itself to be hoodwinked by Bernie. Remember they held fast against CART when Jorge Cintra went belly-up and could not pay CART. Neither did the city. We now believe F1 could leave Interlagos, and if they do, a Champ Car race there would have a greater possibility. Vice versa, if F1 does not go to Rio, then Champ Car should. BTW, the city of Rio is doing a lot to improve the Copacabana beachfront. Mark C.

09/03/05 According to eTracksonline, It seems that the Pan American Games organizers have realized that half a racetrack is no racetrack at all and hit upon a compromise. A full length circuit will be retained it seems, albeit with half of it having only temporary facilities and the various stadia built inside its perimeter. As Hermann Tilke has done the redesign, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that F1 could return, but I'd still rate it as an outside bet. A strange track will result - part full road course, part street course!

Rio de Janeiro's Nelson Piquet circuit at Jacarepagu√° looks set to live on for international races even after reconstruction demanded for the Pan American Games in 2007.

The circuit - host over the years to Formula One, MotoGP and Champ Car action - held its last race on the current layout in August, but plans drawn up by Hermann Tilke may mean the future is not as bleak as once feared.

While the circuit will still be partially demolished in favor of a complex for the upcoming athletics event, international racing may still be able to continue on a temporary course.

Hermann Tilke's proposals (below) show the main circuit reduced to a 3.1km circuit, similar to the current short course. However, roads around a new velodrome, stadium and an aquatic park could still be utilized to form a temporary extension for top class racing.

It is claimed that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIM motorcycle chiefs have been consulted over the revisions, which would see the course reach 4.8km in length.

Work on the Rio circuit is scheduled to take place throughout 2006, with the revised circuit opening in 2007 - the same year the city hosts the games.

09/03/05 Backing up our claim that the Rio rumor is just a ruse by Bernie Ecclestone to extract more money out of the Interlagos organizers is the fact that F1 would never race on a short 1.67-mile Mickey Mouse track. Champ Car might, but the FIA has a minimum track length requirement of at least 2-miles. 09/02/05 The word from Brazil is that Rio de Janeiro is getting serious about a bid for the Brazilian Grand Prix with F1 track designer Hermann Tilke having completed a design for a circuit to run around the sporting installations which are being built on the site of the old Jacarepagu√° circuit. The original plan was to build a 1.67-mile track, winding around new facilities at the Speedway Sports Complex. These include a National Aquatic Center, a velodrome and the Rio Olympic Arena, which will be used for the first time for the 2007 Pan-American Games. The initial plan was for the city to hold the 2012 Olympic Games but with that deal having gone to London, Rio is now looking for high-profile sport prior to a bid for the next available Games.

The Brazilian GP had been held at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo since 1990 although nowadays the city of Sao Paulo has only been paying for the upkeep of the Interlagos circuit and even then there has been a legal challenge because some local pressure groups insisted that public money is being wasted. Interlagos is an expensive venue because the circuit was built on unstable ground and so subsidence is a big problem each year. Grandprix.com [Editor's Note: We suspect Bernie is sniffing around Rio to make Interlagos organizers worry so he can extract the maximum amount of money out of the Sao Paulo government for fear they could lose the race. We do know that Champ Car is still trying to do something down in Brazil, with Interlagos now the only real possibility. Should Interlagos lose their F1 race, we suspect they will be a bit more eager to hold a Champ Car race than they currently are. Like Montreal, their focus is F1 and Champ Car would have to play second fiddle.]

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