Portimão: the track explained!
After last month’s thrilling season-opener at Spa-Francorchamps, the FIA World Endurance Championship is back for round two at a new location: Portimão’s Algarve International Circuit.
Next week will mark the first time that the WEC has raced on Portuguese soil since the World Championship began back in 2012. However, Portimão has been a regular fixture on the ELMS calendar since 2016 where it has proved a hit with both drivers and fans alike.
Completed in 2008, the Algarve International Circuit features 15 corners over 4.653 kilometres in a succession of very steep climbs and descents. It is a very fast track, which is both demanding and technical for drivers. In 2020, the Algarve International Circuit gained its FIA Grade 1 rating, allowing Portimão to host the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix in October 2020 and then again in May 2021. And next week, the WEC will makes it first visit too.
But what can the drivers expect from the WEC’s newest addition?
Turn 1 is the first challenge of the circuit. After a pit straight of almost a kilometre and braking downhill, the cars enter this first right turn uphill. It is followed by two more right turns -the first which is fast and the second slower.
Turn 4 is the first left turn, to a new elevation which controls entry into the second straight of the circuit, before the track descends again to the hairpin turn 5. Then follows a curve to the left (turn 6) uphill, before two turns to the right (7 and 8) and further drops leading to turn 9. It’s then another climb that takes the cars into turns 10 and 11, a blind double right. Thereafter, there is a further descent and turn 12 is taken flat out, before two more, slower turns (13 and 14).
Turn 15 takes the form of a long curve to the right (accelerating over nearly 300 metres) en route to the climb leading to the pit straight in the form of a plateau which then descends towards the first bend.
In addition, the circuit also features a go-kart track, off-road park, hotel, apartment complex, technology park and sports complex.
Broadcast information for the 8 Hours of Portimão will be revealed next week but don’t forget to download the official FIA WEC app where all the action including behind-the-scenes footage will be shown live.
Click HERE to read some more Portimão-based stats.