The long street circuit of Pescara
Ask an average Formula One enthusiast what was the longest circuit that hosted an F1 Grand Prix and he will say the old Nürburgring. But the longest Formula One circuit ever was a beautiful street circuit near the Italian city of Pescara...
The Italian street circuit at Pescara, home town from Jarno Trulli, was operational from 1924 to 1961. It hosted the annual Pescara Grand Prix, which only counted for the Formula One World Championship in 1957. With a length of 25,579 km (15,89 Miles) it was the longest circuit that ever hosted a Formula 1 race.
The triangular circuit was very challenging and included two long straights and a spectacular twisty part trough the hills. The Start/Finish was in the outskirts of Pescara and after a typical "city circuit drive" you arrived at Villa Raspa where you was leaving the urban part, turning into the hill section which was only interrupted by a few villages.
Here was the Start/finish.
After long series of corners and many fast kinks trough the hills, only interrupted by the villages Spoltoire and Cappelle, the drivers arrived at a 4 Miles long straight who lead back to the urban part of the circuit.
One of the most beautiful passages of the track was the village of Cappelle.
At the last part of this straight there was a kind of speed trap called the Flying Kilometre. Over a distance from one kilometre they clocked the time and calculated the speed. In 1950 Fangio reached an average speed of 309 km/h (192 Mph.) at the Flying Kilometre.
At the end of the straight they arrived at Montesilvano, a suburb from Pescara, where they had to brake very hard for a right hand corner who lead to another long straight who brought them back to Start/Finish (Click here for a complete lap at the circuit).
The last race ever at Pescara was held in 1961. After questions about the safety of the track it was closed and there was never raced again. Today the public roads, who formed this great circuit once, are still there. Only two roundabouts have been added.
In the middle of the hills there is suddenly a monument that recalls to a past era.
© Text & photos: Herman Liesemeijer