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Splash & Go writes:
"Bailout the Banks"
Posted by Uptight Motorsports Nerd on September 4, 2013
Viewed 221 times


The year was 1954. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza was undergoing a makeover. The garages were updated, some stands were built, and the oval was made more intense. Monza's oval was built with the rest of the track, but had relatively mild earth embankments for corners. The new oval would be banked with concrete supports - for some reason. The revamped outlived its usefulness after 15 years. Years of sitting idle have turned the high-banks into a modern ruin. The concrete supports have buckled, the asphalt is mostly gravel now, and the wooden planks supporting the guard rail (yes, they really used wood for that) have rotted. The occasional push to demolish the oval for all time lurks in the darkness. Preserving the ruins (if I may call them what they are) as a matter of historical significance will only take us so far. If the oval is to be saved, it needs to take on a purpose.

To provide a sense of scale for the oval, its measurements should be taken into account. Each straightaway is 1,000 meters (3,281 feet - longer than Daytona's backstretch) long and the turns have a radius of 358 meters (1,175 feet - wider than Talladega-s turns). While there is no exact banking angle published, I would make an educated guess of 30° because that is the steepest asphalt could be laid with 1954 technology. Suffice to say, NASCAR would not race here without restrictor plates.

*I've found some sources that claim the straights are only 875 meters and the turn radius is 320 meters, but if they were accurate, the track would be measured about 500 meters shorter than it officially is.

With NASCAR not planning to race in Italy during the foreseeable future, it would seem reasonable to resurrect the oval with much lower banking. With the new/old oval being part of a roval, it would have to conform to strict regulations laid out by the FIA.

As written in Appendix O of the FIA International Sporting Code:
"In curves, the banking (downwards from the outside to the inside of the track) should not exceed 10% (with possible exceptions in special cases, such as speedways). An adverse incline is not generally acceptable unless dictated by special circumstances, in which case the entry speed should not exceed 125 kph[sic]."

One now sees why Hermann Tilke's tracks are so boring. A 10% slope is only 5.7°. The banks lose some of their charm when reduced to a Pocono-esque angle; however, this may be a necessary sacrifice if racing is to return to the oval.

Who would use this oval anyway? Touring cars and sports cars may use the track as a roval. Formula 1 would be less likely to use the roval. The oval may be of use to IndyCar if they're ever interested in returning to Europe. To preserve racing history, we may have to embrace revisionism.

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