A daunting road circuit with echoes from a previous era, Brno was still visited by the European Touring Car Championship up to 1986.
A daunting road circuit with echoes from a previous era, Brno was still visited by the European Touring Car Championship up to 1986. A new permanent circuit was built in 1987 in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to lure modern Grand Prix racing to the Czech Republic. The original venue was 18 miles of dusty, narrow roads south-west of the town, and was the longest circuit in use when it opened in 1930. Bernd Rosemeyer scored his first Grand Prix win here in 1935, but racing ceased with Hitler's occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1937. A reduced 11-mile circuit opened in 1949; omitting the challenging Ostrovacice section. That year, 200,000 spectators saw Peter Whitehead's victory in the Czech GP. Vaclav Hovorka's Maserati scored a home victory in 1950, but racing did not return until a Formula Junior race was held in 1962. The old pits and barriers still exist, providing a reminder of the past age. Although the new Automotodrom cannot compare to the original, the new track is demanding and a good example of a modern facility.