The new-look Paul Ricard circuit

2018-08-31T11:38:06+02:00August 31st, 2018|2018-2019, Bol d’Or 2018|

The 59 teams racing the Bol d’Or will discover a totally resurfaced and slightly modified track.

The Paul Ricard circuit underwent a major two-month refurbishment and track safety update this past winter in preparation for hosting the Formula 1’s 2018 French Grand Prix. 10,000 tons of asphalt were used to resurface the track and pit lane, and four corners have been modified. The track has been widened at the entry of La Verrerie, the Virage du Camp at the western end of the circuit and the Virage du Pont leading onto the start-finish straight, while the Virage de Bendor has been re-shaped and shortened. As a result, the overall track length for the Bol d’Or will be slightly reduced, from 5,791m to 5,673m.

This explains the lap times posted during the first set of tests for the 2018 Bol d’Or. Even at this early stage, YART Yamaha’s 1:55.037 best lap this week was quicker than Markus Reiterberger’s record 1:57.253 lap in qualifying in 2015 for BMW Motorrad.

Several riders responded to the circuit director’s invitation to comment on the new track and surface after this week’s tests in the run-up to the Bol d’Or. Vincent Philippe (Suzuki Endurance Racing Team), Kenny Foray (ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance), David Checa (Team SRC Kawasaki France), Mike Di Meglio (F.C.C. TSR Honda France) and Sébastien Gimbert (Honda Endurance Racing) pointed out a few problems they had encountered on the new track, notably an issue with stability when exiting the Sainte-Baume corner leading onto the long Mistral straight.

The staff at the Paul Ricard circuit are working to find solutions to the safety-related issues raised by riders ahead of the Bol d’Or. A round of private tests is scheduled for Tuesday 11 September.

Paul Ricard track map