There’s something about visiting a new circuit which brings back a bit of the excitement of it all. We all can get bogged down in familiarity and to a certain extent playing it safe and visiting a new circuit, a new part of the world, a new culture can certainly help to make the overall experience far more interesting.
I’ve always loved Imola (or the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola to use it’s full name), it was one of those circuits that I used to hammer around on the likes of GTR2 back when I was younger. A challenging set of narrow but incredibly fast corners makes this easily my favourite of the Italian circuits on offer. I’ve never been a huge fan of the almost oval-esque Monza…too many chicanes for my liking!
I was intrigued to see how Imola would come across in real life and had been on my bucket list for quite some time. Luckily the opportunity presented itself that I would finally be able to visit for the European Le Mans Series yearly visit.
It’s got that typical Italian circuit charm going for it – a little bit run down in comparison to most circuits but at the same time oozes character in a very typically Italian fashion. The circuits location is unusual to say the least, you don’t really go through an entrance at any point. The circuit just seems to be placed around a small village. You’ll spend your time walking through recreational parks, or even housing estates whilst navigating your way to the various corners of the circuit. I can’t say that I have walked alongside a river before entering a gate to gain access to the track before! It’s a very odd experience.
Of course, I can’t talk about Imola without mentioning Ayrton Senna. Visiting the memorial is one of those things you have to do when visiting this circuit. It’s a very eery feeling seeing all the flags, messages and pictures all attached to the fence on the outside (and inside) of Tamburello where the champion met his unfortunate end.
It was fun to explore the circuit and discover ‘new’ angles (or at least new to me) and hopefully come away from the track with something different. The race featured a rather heavy rain shower towards the end which certainly allowed for some more ‘soggy’ images to be made…
It was a great experience and I certainly look forward to visiting again in future. Next up is the return of British GT at Oulton Park, one of my favourite circuits in the United Kingdom. Hopefully I’ll be dried out by then…