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San Luis or Sportive Argentina
Let’s immediately admit it: I do not follow much GT1. However, some could pardon me for
discovering today what could have been done a few years earlier.
Watching the GT1 race in San Luis, on Circuito Portrero de los Funes’ track, I discovered a
simple track, yet also magnificent. Inevitably, it is one of the greatest tracks I could see in the
last few years. And many of you know that I am not really elitist with tracks or trying to find
the positive points above all.
This half-permanent track has been used since 2008 with FIA GT and has been renovated on
the occasion. It has been done in an old-school way, classical and yet still very efficient, for it
follows the local roads around a lake. The result is magnificent for the track as well as the
landscape. Offering numerous ups and downs as well as a tasty mix of blind, smooth and fast
corners and close walls ready to penalize mistakes, the circuit is simply one of the most
telegenic and photogenic ones existing. But it is above all a challenge for drivers. Throughout
the track, there are few hills as well as old and recent buildings.
Since then, nothing is preventing the vast majority of drivers, teams and fans from
appreciating the circuit. Its “natural” conception is putting it near Spa and Bathurst, two tracks
whose reputation is no longer to be built. The 1987 original track has been rebuilt and slightly
modified in 2008 – the result being magnificent despite adding two chicanes, but in the end,
even the 6.270 km length is not a problem. Besides, here is a map of the circuit.
On F1’s side, the last Argentinean GP was held on 1998, and then the Buenos Aires track has
been slightly let down and abandoned in spite of its prestigious past. Argentina has a glorious
past in competition, notably with Fangio, and if a track such as San Luis could have been
visited in the 1960s and 1970s, the trend is not to come back in Argentina. Bernie would say
that the economy is too much random in the country, and that the local market is no longer
what he used to be. It’s a shame, for the track could have earned its place well, with its
beauty, its original track and also its country. Unfortunately, there are choices on which we
cannot have an influence.