The 100,000 capacity Algarve International Circuit (Portuguese: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve), commonly referred to as Portimao Circuit, is a 4.692 km (2.915 mi) race circuit located in Portimão, Portugal. With a total cost of €195 million (approximately $250 million), the project includes a karting track, technology park, five-star hotel, sports complex and apartments.
Construction was finished in October 2008 and the circuit was homologated by both the FIM on 11 October 2008 and the FIA two days later.
The circuit hosted the final round of the World Superbike Championship on 2 November 2008. On 9 June, the track was confirmed to host a round of the 2008-09 A1 Grand Prix season. The race was set for the weekend of 12 April 2009. On 10 October 2008, the Le Mans Series announced a 1000 km night race to be held at Algarve on 2 August 2009. On 5 November 2008, the FIA GT Championship announced and 7th round of the 2009 season will be held at Algarve on 13 September 2009. A Formula One test session, with the McLaren and Honda teams participating, was scheduled for 15–17 December 2008. Ferrari also ran at Algarve. Toyota also tested at the circuit on 20 January 2009 in the first outing of their new TF109 chassis. The circuit will also host the final round of the 2009 GP2 Series season in September 2009. From 2010 it will host a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
On April 4, 2009 Max Mosley stated that based on the quality of the circuit it could integrate the Formula One championship under the guise of the Portuguese Grand Prix, as long as a commercial agreement with the Formula One Management is achieved.
The circuit resembles old Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, mainly because of its constantly undulating nature. A1 Team Portugal’s driver Filipe Albuquerque observed that there are big downhill slopes and right-hand turns after the main straight. He also commented that the track is good for overtaking because the circuit width. A1 Team New Zealand’s driver Earl Bamber observed that there are many special turns with personality. He commented that the new circuit is a little bit dangerous like the old school circuits with a roller coaster ride. A1 Team France’s driver Nicolas Prost commented that the asphalt is new and the circuit has little grip.
It has been confirmed that one of the corners of the circuit was named after former World Supersport rider Craig Jones who was killed in a motorcycle crash at Brands Hatch in 2008.
© GAVRA Racing 2018.