If Carlsberg made race circuits...

Ascari. A track made in heaven

Posted: 15 October 2010
by mark forsyth
Snaking ribbon of perfection
DNA test disaster-zone
So much grip, so much camber, so few bumps
...and so much space
...but not always a lot of run-off

I should have filed this blog an hour earlier but I became distracted by the human circus that is the Jeremy Kyle show. It’s a shameful admission, I know, but I’m a firm believer in the policy of honesty being the best. Enjoying the luxury of working from home, I was only making myself a bacon sandwich with the TV on in the background when excited cries of ‘Freak, Freak!’ from Mrs MF drew my attention to this (see pic). I thought she was hurling insults at me for cutting my streaky bacon mid-morning snack into diagonals… Just thought I’d share the visual experience with you, in case you were at work and missed it.

Orthodontic disasters aside, I thought I’d tell you about the best race circuit in the know universe. You’re never going to see it on TV, you’re unlikely to do a track day there unless you can afford the €200,000 family membership fee. You’re not even allowed to spectate there unless you’re a member of the very expensive, super-exclusive club. 

It’s called Circuit Ascari and it nestles amongst the mountains on the road between Marbella and Ronda in southern Spain. The track itself is just off the main road but hidden behind massive oak gates and some of the neatest dry stone walling you’ll ever see (in Spain). We've just got back from riding the new (and impressive) Triumph Speed Triple at Ascari and I think it's fair to say that this private Spanish track is the best circuit I have ever ridden in my life. Even better than Mallory Park. Yes, that good.

The track is the secret love child of the extremely wealthy man of Ascari supercar fame. He built it, largely, I suppose, because he could. The track incorporates aspects of all sorts of circuits around the World and while these specific corners may not be faithful facsimiles of those turns, after a few laps you definitely start recognizing the ‘feel’ he was trying to reproduce.

I ‘felt’ Laguna’s corkscrew; maybe not as pronounced, maybe not as pant-shittingly steep, but it’s definitely there. There’s also the ‘ring’s Carousel – viciously steep positive camber and that same feeling of suspension-flattening never-ending cornering. Then there’s wide open, pinned-in-fifth right handers that you’d only find at Silverstone or Monza, the exit of Spa’s Eau Rouge... and the rest? Just awesomely grippy, incredibly smooth, fast, flowing and deeply technical.

I probably spent over an hour on track but this three and a half mile circuit still had the better of me and I just didn’t want to stop. Shame I can’t afford to go back to get some more practice in…how about if 200,000 of us put one Euro each in to the pot?

Any takers?

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Triumph, Speed Triple, Ascari

Discuss this story

MF, have you been taking your medication?

Posted: 15/10/2010 at 13:13

No, Robin, I haven't

Posted: 15/10/2010 at 13:29

Hi Mark. Excellent description.. both of the circuit and the freaks. Did you get to see anything of the man himself when you were there?.. or of his car/bike collection? I here it's quite impressive. Didn't he have a slight 'incident' on his Desmosedici on that track?

Posted: 15/10/2010 at 14:30


No, sadly not. We saw his underground toy store (the size of a multi-storey car park) from the outside and heard of its contents but the man himself wasn't about. Was just talking to Whitham about the place and apparently Foggy's big mates with the owner. Maybe we'll be able to wangle another visit? I certainly hope so...

From what we could gather the Dutch owner isn't at the circuit very much. Personally, if it was me, I'd have my house slap-bang in the middle of the track...

Posted: 15/10/2010 at 14:56

WTF ? Who's the tooth monster ..

Another sleepless night ...

Posted: 16/10/2010 at 05:12

It's Casey Stoner's brother

Posted: 16/10/2010 at 14:55

"It's Casey Stoner's brother"   PML!!!!!!!

Posted: 18/10/2010 at 12:04

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