Circuito da Boavista is an inactive street circuit in Porto, Portugal. The venue hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix on six occasions between 1951 and 1960. On two of these occasions, in 1958 and 1960, the Portuguese Grand Prix was held as part of the Formula One World Championship. Starting in 2005, a shortened version was used for touring car races, but no events have been scheduled since 2013.
Varying forms of racing around the perimeter of the Parque da Cicade has gone on since the 1920s. In the aftermath of World War II, a regular 7.4km circuit had been laid out, including part of a divided highway and through part of the town. This first Portuguese Grand Prix was held for sports cars on this circuit in 1951, and the race was held in most years of the decade. In 1958, the first Formula One Grand Prix was held on the track, and another was held in 1960.
Subsequent to that event, both the Portuguese GP and racing at Boavista were suspended. The Grand Prix was later resurrected, 24 years later at Estoril, near Lisbon. But Porto would not see racing for 45 years, until a shortened version of the circuit was used for the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2005. This race continued in alternate years until 2013, when financial issues caused the event to be halted.
The 1951 layout measured 7.4km, and ran counter-clockwise. Start/finish and the pits were on opposite sides of a divided main road, Estrada da Circunvalacao, with the track on driver's left. Just after the start, the cars made a left by short-cutting a roundabout, made trickier by the roundabout being paved with cobblestones. A short paved straight (actually a gentle right hand bend) along the waterfront led to a second roundabout with cobblestones, with the cars going left onto the paved Avenida do Boavista, a 2km straight divided thoroughfare that eventually lent it's name to the circuit. the cars then made a tight left onto Avenida do Doutor Antunes Guimaraes, a fairly narrow residential street. After about a kilometer on that road, another tight left put them on Rua do Lidador, an even narrower residential street. After a right and left bend on that street, the cars merged back onto the Estrada da Circunvalacao. But that road runs alongside a hill, and in the 2km before returning to start/finish, the drivers had to negotiate several bends of both directions, with varying degrees of arc and radii. The drivers were pretty much unanimous in feeling that this last stretch made the circuit worthwhile. One other little challenge to this circuit was due to the pits being located on the outside of the track, the drivers had to negotiate the long way around the cobblestone roundabout just to exit the pits, something that caught out a few drivers first learning their way around.
Use of the old circuit ceased in the mid 1960s. Part of the layout was resurrected in 2005 for a touring car race, held in odd-numbered years until 2013. The start/finish and pit complex were moved about 200 meters east, with the pits now on the inside of the course. The Avenida da Boavista straight lost about 1⁄3 of it's length, now turning left on Avenida do Parque. It followed this road until making another left onto Rua da Vilarinha, which took the course back to Rua da Vila Nova, where the track made a right. The cars went one block, made a tight left on Rua Jose Savaina, then almost immediately another left back on Estrada da Circunvalacao, just after the old Turn 10.
Avenida da Boavista is now a divided road, and a pair of chicanes are used to jump the cars from one side to the other, splitting the straight roughly into thirds. The new configuration measures 4.80 km/2.983 miles.
The following is a list of Formula One World Championship events held at the Circuito da Boavista:
|Year||Event||Winning Driver||Winning Constructor|
|1958||Portuguese Grand Prix||Stirling Moss||Vanwall|
|1959: Not Held|
|1960||Portuguese Grand Prix||Jack Brabham||Cooper-Climax|
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|