Spanish GP

Circuit Flashback – Pedralbes, home of Spanish GP 1951

When you think of motor racing in Barcelona many think of the current Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. However, motor racing has a far greater history in Barcelona than you might think.

Before the new circuit was built in the 80’s in Barcelona, the former home of the race was at Montjuic Park. Most people would know this as the home of the Olympics in 1992, but it hosted many races up until the 70’s, when a crash by Rolf Stommelen caused five deaths.

Alongside the Montjuic Park circuit which many people know was the Pedralbes Circuit, which hosted the Spanish Grand Prix in 1951 and 1954, before also being taken off the calendar as being ‘unsafe’ following the Le Mans crash in 1955. Eighty three people died at Le Mans that year after a crash threw large pieces of debris into the crowd.

The Pedralbes Circuit was a favourite of drivers and spectators alike, given the elevation changes and fast straights and sweeping corners making up the near four mile lap. Juan-Manuel Fangio holds the lap record on the circuit, winning the race in 1951, although couldn’t make it stick for the second race in 1954 with Mike Hawthorne winning by over a minute with Fangio a lap down in the three hour race.

Today you are still able to walk around the circuit, with the exception of the first corner, which is now a major intersection. It really is an interesting walk around a different part of Barcelona not everyone visits.

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

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