Algarve's International Racing Circuit

Visit Autodromo do Algarve

The Algarve's International Racing Circuit

The Autodromo do Algarve opened on time, ready for the last round of the World Superbikes Autodromo do Algarveon the 2nd November 2008.  The track was built in what appeared to be record time and has already been inspected and cleared by the FIA to run Formula 1 cars.  Nestling in the hills, just behind Portimao and just off the A22 motorway, it is truly a spectacular circuit for competitors Main Grandstand at Autodromo do Algarveand spectators alike, as there are some serious gradients and blind bends to cope with.

We visited the circuit for the first time to see the World Superbikes.  Getting in wasn't bad at all.   Having set off from near Burgau at 8:30, we had parked by 9:30 and were full of optimism for the day.  However there was a bad sign - we had Pits at the Autodromo do Algarvetaken one of the last parking places and yet the dual carriageway of traffic coming in was constant, the police were out in force blowing whistles and were generally trying to push traffic into already full car parks!

The next job was to find a programme: we walked up and down for at least 15 minutes and never found one.  As we are not Superbike aficionados, this turned into a real problem as we VIP building at Autodromo do Algarvenever knew who was racing or who was in the lead.  The racing looked good but it was only when we got home that we found out who had won.  The next problem was finding something to eat and drink, unfortunately there was nothing available in our section.  This turned out to be the biggest problem of all.  Every track I have been to sells tickets which enable you to walk round and spectate from different parts of the track and the grandstands are extra.  At the Autodromo, you buy a ticket for one section and it includes the grandstand so it was very frustrating to see a food Entance building at Autodromo do Algarvestall open in the next section but there was no way into it!

By 1 pm the queue to get in was as large as ever, the police were still blowing their whistles as hard as they could and we could see that chaos was sure to ensue when the last race finished so we decided that discretion was the order of the day and we beat a retreat before the second Superbike race.

The circuit is great and I'm sure that when they get things organised and more car parks are open it will be super.  F1 testing is happening in December (Ferrari & McLaren) and is also scheduled for January 2009 (Toyota & Renault) and it only costs 10 Euros to watch.  I will certainly give that a go, at least I don't need a programme to follow that!  For further details of the track and the full racing programme go to www.autodromodoalgarve.com