Car racing is a sports record that goes back to the time of the invention of the automobile. The very first form of this now popular sport was once a reliability trial, to prove the new workability of a new model. As this sport became popular, the need for a specific facility also arose. 

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Following are the few largest race tracks by the capacity of the audience it can accommodate.

1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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indiana polis_©  www.snaplap.net

The Circuit Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located in Indiana, USA. It has been active since 1909. Famous for conducting the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and the Brickyard 400. The Circuit Indianapolis Motor Speedway has also hosted the IRL IZOD IndyCar Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup, FIM MotoGP, FIA Formula One, etc.  At present, the rectangular oval track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is 2.500 mi (4.023 km) long. But the length changes as per the road course of the race. It has a capacity of  257,000 permanent seats. Making it the highest-capacity sporting facility. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the third-oldest, permanent automobile race track in the world. 

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indianapolis speedway_©  ftw.usatoday.com 

2. Circuit de la Sarthe

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Circuit de la Sarthe_©  mycarheaven.com

The Circuit de la Sarthe is located near Le Mans, France. It has been active since 1923. Famous for conducting the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race. The Circuit de la Sarthe has also hosted the French Grand Prix and MotoGP races.  It is the longest car racing track. At present, the circuit de la Sarthe is 13.629 km (8.469 mi) long. It has a capacity of 234,800 permanent seats. The unique feature about The Circuit de la Sarthe is that the circuit consists of local public roads in addition to the private sections.

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de la sarthe_©www.snaplap.net
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de la sarthe_©www.snaplap.net

3. Adelaide Street Circuit

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adelaide_©www.snaplap.net

The Circuit Adelaide Street Circuit, also known as the Adelaide Parklands Circuit, is located near Adelaide in South Australia. It has been active since 1985. The Circuit Adelaide Street Circuit has also hosted the  Formula One Australian Grand Prix, American Le Mans Series endurance race. At present, the Adelaide Street Circuit is 2.349 mi (3.780 km) long. It has a capacity of 210,000 permanent seats. 

4. Shanghai International Circuit

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Shanghai-International-Circuit_©www.snaplap.net

The Circuit Shanghai International Circuit is located near Shanghai, China. It has been active since 2004. Famous for conducting the Chinese Grand Prix. The Circuit Shanghai International Circuit has also hosted the V8 Supercars, A1GP, GP2 Asia. At present, the Shanghai International Circuit is 3.387 mi (5.451 km) long. It has a capacity of 200,000 permanent seats. The interesting fact about The Shanghai International Circuit is that The track layout was inspired by the Chinese character Shang (上), the first character in the name of the city Shanghai.

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Shanghai-International-Circuit_©www.snaplap.net
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Shanghai-International-Circuit_©www.snaplap.net
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Shanghai-International-Circuit_©www.snaplap.net 

5. Texas Motor Speedway

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Texas Motor Speedway_©www.forbes.com

The Circuit Texas Motor Speedway is located near Denton County, Texas. It has been active since 1996. Famous for conducting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The Circuit Texas Motor Speedway has also hosted the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NRA 500, AAA Texas 500,  NASCAR Nationwide Series, O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge. At present, the circuit Texas Motor Speedway is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) long. It has a capacity of 181,655 permanent seats. The Texas Motor Speedway is the fifth biggest sporting venue in the USA.

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Texas Motor Speedway_©www.forbes.comindycar1909.com 

6. Bristol Motor Speedway

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Bristol Motor Speedway_©www.top10hq.com

The Circuit Bristol Motor Speedway is located in Bristol, Tennessee.  It is a short-track auto racing venue, active since 1960.  The Circuit Bristol Motor Speedway has also hosted the NASCAR Cup Series, Food City Dirt Race, Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, NASCAR Xfinity Series, Food City 300, etc. It also hosts truck races. At present, the circuit Bristol Motor Speedway has a length of  0.533 mi (0.858 km)  in concrete surface Oval and 0.533 mi (0.858 km) in Temporary dirt oval. It has a capacity of 162,000 permanent seats. The Bristol Motor Speedway stands out from other car race tracks because it also conducts other sports like drag racing, American football, etc.

7. Suzuka Circuit

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Suzuka Circuit_©mycarheaven.com

The Suzuka Circuit is located in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan. It has been active since 1962. The Suzuka Circuit has hosted the FIA Formula One, Japanese Grand Prix, FIM Endurance World Championship, Suzuka 8 Hours, Super GT, 1000 km Suzuka, etc. At present, the Suzuka Circuit is 3.609 mi (5.807 km) long. It has a capacity of 155,000 permanent seats. The unique feature of The Suzuka Circuit is that it has a figure 8 layout. The layout is such that the back straight passes over the front section. Very few circuits have such a layout. 

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suzuka Circuit_©www.redbull.com
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Suzuka Circuit_©www.dailysportscar.com

8. Istanbul Park

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istambul park_©thesportsrush.com

The Circuit Istanbul Park is located near Northamptonshire villages, England. It has been active since 1948. The Circuit Istanbul Park has also hosted the FIA Formula One, Turkish Grand Prix, GP2, DTM, 1000 km, etc. At present, the circuit Istanbul Park is 3.317 mi (5.338 km) long. It has a capacity of 155,000 permanent seats. One interesting fact about Istanbul Park is that, unlike most race tracks, Istanbul Park is one of the few Formula One circuits where races are conducted anticlockwise. 

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istambul park_©www.dailysabah.com

9. Silverstone Circuit

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Silverstone_© mycarheaven.com 

The Silverstone Circuit is located near Le Mans, France. It has been active since 1923.it is known for British Grand Prix. The Silverstone Circuit has hosted the FIA Formula One, FIM MotoGP, British Grand Prix, FIM Superbike World Championship, FIA GT1 World Championship, etc.  At present, the Silverstone Circuit is 3.660 mi (5.891 km) long. It has a capacity of 150,000 permanent seats. The Silverstone Circuit has historic significance. The site of this circuit was once a World War II air force bomber station. The three former airfield runways now lie within the present tracks.

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silverstone_©www.redbull.com

10. Nürburgring

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Nurburgring_©mycarheaven.com

The Circuit Nürburgring is located in Nürburg, Germany. It is a motorsport complex around the village of Nürburg. The Nürburgring circuit has hosted the Formula One, German Grand Prix, European Grand Prix, DTM, 24 Hours Nürburgring, 1000km Nürburgring, etc.  At present, the circuit Nürburgring is 3.199 mi (5.148 km) long. It has a capacity of 150,000 permanent seats. 

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nurburgring_©www.redbull.com
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nurburgring_©www.redbull.com

References

WorldAtlas. (n.d.). Largest Motor Racing Venues in the World. [online] Available at: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/motor-racing-venues-in-the-world-by-capacity.html    [Accessed 5 Jun. 2021].

Red Bull. (n.d.). The world’s greatest racing circuits. [online] Available at: https://www.redbull.com/in-en/worlds-best-racing-circuits   [Accessed 5 Jun. 2021].

‌James, N. (n.d.). Ranking the Top 25 Circuits in the History of Formula 1. [online] Bleacher Report. Available at: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1958704-ranking-the-top-25-circuits-in-the-history-of-formula-1. [Accessed 5 Jun. 2021].

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Lee, K. and Silvestro, B. (2020). 25 Racetracks You Have to Drive Before You Die. [online] Road & Track. Available at: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/news/g6531/most-iconic-racetracks-in-the-world/?slide=17   [Accessed 5 Jun. 2021].

My Car Heaven. (2020). Famous Race Tracks – Top 10 Racetracks Around The World. [online] Available at: https://mycarheaven.com/2020/04/top-10-racetracks-around-the-world/ [Accessed 5 Jun. 2021].

automobile.fandom.com. (n.d.). Autopedia. [online] Available at: https://automobile.fandom.com/wiki/  [Accessed 5 Jun. 2021].

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RacingCircuits.info. (n.d.). Home. [online] Available at: https://www.racingcircuits.info/  [Accessed 5 Jun. 2021].

Top10HQ. (2021). Top 10 Largest Sports Venues in the World. [online] Available at: https://www.top10hq.com/top-10-largest-sports-venues-world/. [Accessed 5 Jun. 2021].

‌www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. (n.d.). Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [online] Available at: https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/events/indy500/history/indy-500-traditions-faqs/faqs

Eduwik- Online Courses for Architects & Designers

‌SnapLap. (2016). Shanghai International Circuit – First Chinese Formula One Track. [online] Available at: https://www.snaplap.net/shanghai-international-circuit/  [Accessed 6 Jun. 2021].

SnapLap. (2017). Adelaide Street Circuit – From Australian Grand Prix to Clipsal 500. [online] Available at: https://www.snaplap.net/adelaide-street-circuit/  [Accessed 6 Jun. 2021].

Author

Gargi is an Architect by degree and a tinker by heart. As a recent graduate, she is yet to find out what alley of architecture she would like to explore further in her life. Writing is a tool for her to analyze and discuss her exploration.

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