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In the summer of 2010 I visited the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit in the Czech Republic. I made a photo tour around the 18 Miles long pre-war version of the street circuit. Underway I also visited the new Brno Circuit, were preparation works for the WTCC were in progress. Here my report…
Brno-Masaryk Circuit 2010
Afer a short visit to Prague I drove in the morning from Thursday July the 29th to the direction of Bratislava, where I should stay the weekend, before I would travel to my main destination Budapest. But halfway Prague Bratislava I would leave the motorway to visit the old and new Brno-Masaryk Circuit.
According to my prints the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit was close to the motorway I just leaved. To be sure that I was where I thought that I was, I asked by a fuel station. But they misunderstood my question and told me the way to the new circuit. I decided to drive further to the old pits, which is still there, to be sure that I’m on the right way.
The old pit looked almost complete with two (!) control towers. A few pit boxes in the middle were demolished to create a passage to the company at the former paddock.
A lap at the 1930s version of the Brno-Masaryk Circuit
After I made pictures of the old pits I started the lap at the original version (1930-1948) of the 18 Miles long former street circuit which was originally driven anticlockwise (In 1949 they changed the driving direction). But soon I discovered that this was 2010 and not 1930…
I could not find the first angle of the roughly rectangular circuit! Short after the old pits everything was changed. Every time I tried to find this angle I found brand new streets and buildings. I decided to drive the circuit in the opposite direction.
The last leg of the Brno-Masaryk Circuit, for me now the First, was very quick with long straights and fast kinks, interrupted twice by a small village. It sounds easy isn’t it? It also looks easy on the map. But in real it wasn’t easy because there where huge elevations and most fast kinks where on the top of a hill. You had to turn in this corners blind and a little mistake means you get punished the whole long straight after.
An authentic part of the Brno-Masaryk Circuit…
Close to the village of Ostrovacice (one of the angles of the Brno-Masaryk Circuit) I was supprised about what I found. Between the woods I discovered an original part of the original road which was untouched because of the construction of a new road. Here was also the original tunnel where the course crossed the highway.
Because of the Construction of a new highway this original road ends a few hundred metres after the tunnel. To connect the farms they constructed a new part to this road, but the original one ended in the bushes.
Satisfied with the pictures from this untouched part of the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit I continued my way in the opposite direction. This leg, which lays parallel to the start/finish leg, was a very twisty part of the circuit with also a lot of elevations. Where the start/finish leg was a challenge for the engine, this leg was a challenge for the driver. That made the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit a street circuit with a lot of diversity. On this part of the track they also built the new permanent circuit. And off course I need to visit that one too…
The new Brno Circuit
The First entrance, by the main grandstand, I knocked on was closed. So I looked at the next entrance, to the paddock. After I drove trough a tunnel underneath the new race track, over an access road which looked also like a circuit, I arrived at the entrance to the paddock. I parked my car and went to the porter, who told me that the circuit was closed for public today.
Dissapointed I want to go back to my car to continue my lap on the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit. But the porter asked me if that Mazda MX3 was my car. Because it is my car I answered yes. Than he asked me which engine was under the hood, he was a connoisseur. I told him that it is the version with the V6 engine and he told me that he has had a similar car.
After a little chat about cars he said: “Officially the circuit is closed for public now, but you may go trough because of your Mazda”. Isn’t that a good one? Because of my car I could enter the paddock where they where busy with the preparations for WTCC races the following weekend.
I could walk trough the pits where I heard the crewmembers from the diverse racing teams talking English and Italian to each other. I could even enter the track where someone was painting the lines on the Start/Finish Straight!
Toughts on the new Brno Circuit
The new Brno circuit looks pretty impressive and is situated in a beautiful rolling landscape. I drove this circuit several times at a computer game but it never was my favourite circuit. In the simulation I found it boring with too much similar corners. But those who drove on the real track do like the circuit. Now I have seen it in real I better understand them. There are huge elevations in the track which you can’t feel in the simulation, but in real you will.
Back to the Brno-Masaryk Circuit
After this visit I continued my lap on the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit. It was very difficult to take pictures of the twisty part, with it’s narrow roads and many hairpins close to each other. At some places I could park the car on an unpaved path to take a picture. Only at one place I succeed to give a reasonable view of the flow of this series of corners.
As I told before, the first angle of the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit has been sacrificed to modernity. Searching for the second angle I was confused about the location. I decided to ask some locals but they only speak Czech. With the few Czech words I know I tried to explain them that I was following the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit (stare autodrom).
But no one could help me to find the right way. On gamble I photographed some sites that could be the second angle. But none of them was the right one as I discovered at home. Because I spent already four hours to photograph the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit, I decided to call it a day, and go further to Bratislava.
So, my lap at the old Brno-Masaryk Circuit ended in a strange way. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the first two angles of the circuit. But nevertheless, I have a beautiful series of pictures which is given a good impression about a lap at this fantastic street circuit.
A circuit which has everything you can imagine! Huge elevations, fast corners, slow corners, long straights and beautiful series of corners who look endless. Unfortunately, this kind of circuits belong to the past.
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