If Carlsberg did race circuits, they’d look exactly like Portimao, a flowing rollercoaster of tarmac. If you ever have the chance to go – GO
The Autodromo Internacional Algarve, near Portimao in Portugal, is unique. The high-speed rollercoaster track layout is like no other. It’s no surprise that many World Superbike racers reckon this track provides the biggest challenge of their season. Incredibly it was built from scratch in just six months but from the moment you turn in the main entrance you can’t fail to be impressed with this no compromise state of the art motorsport facility.I find this place a bit too daunting, but don’t let that put you off, plenty of people absolutely love it and like all new international tracks the run off and safety is first class. I’m sure part of my problem is the Ducati 1198s and BMW S1000RRs I tested here were absolute rocketships so I’m looking forward to riding there in the future on something more manageable.
It’s a scary track and needs respect, but once you get the hang of the blind crests and tricky cambers it’s somewhere you can really let yourself go at. But it’s a tiring place too, there’s nowhere to relax at all. Don’t be fooled by what looks like a long start/finish straight because there’s a crest on that too and as you’re so fast out of the final turn, it’s no time at all before you’re on the brakes for turn one.
Start a lap of Portimao with Niall Mackenzie
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