Many racing fans are eagerly awaiting this year’s edition of the Darlington Motor Speedway due to the awesome line-up of vehicles and action sports events that the sportfans can look forward to. As well as the return of the world-famous Mud Crab Triathlon, the biggest news of all is that this year’s race will be held on a temporary street course for the first time in the event’s history! Find out more about the 2019 edition of the DARLINGTOWN MOTOR SPEEDWAY in our review below.
The Biggest Name In Motorsports Joins The ‘Chase For The Cup’
The biggest name in motorsports is set to join the “Chase For The Cup” this year as Michael Schumacher’s comeback story comes to an end. The seven-time Formula One champion will retire at the end of this season and the race on which he is set to make his grand finale will be the 100th running of the event he helped create.
So, what is the Darlington Motor Speedway?
The original motor speedway was built in 1962 and has been a regular stop on the Formula One calendar ever since. For many years, the track was known simply as “Darlington,” but in 2017 it adopted its current name as a tribute to the men and women who helped make the track the special place it is today.
Located in the English county of Durham, just outside of London, the track is actually a combination of both asphalt and concrete. The asphalt is mostly used for the turns and the concrete is used for the straightaways. The result is a unique track that combines the two together in a wonderful way. The asphalt also makes the track extremely durable and forgiving, which is important if you want to have a good time on your bike.
In 2021, the track will undergo a major overhaul as it transitions to a 6.5-kilometer (4.1-mile) “inner-city” road course, similar to circuits like Silverstone and Spa Francorchamps. This new configuration will make the track significantly more challenging for drivers and fans alike. We’ll have to wait and see what the 2021 Formula One season brings, but for now let’s take a look at how the 2018 season went and what to expect this year.
A Historic Year For Schumacher
The history-making 18th season of the Darlington Motor Speedway was certainly special, especially considering the epic comeback story that was written in the most recent edition of the Formula One magazine.
Michael Schumacher, the seven-time Formula One champion, returned to the sport after a 15-year retirement, driving for Mercedes-AMG in a farewell to racing before officially hanging up his helmet. Not only did Schumacher get to race at his favorite track, he also got the chance to drive some of the greatest cars in the history of the sport.
In honor of Schumacher’s return, the track renamed its grandstands the “Michael Schumacher Grandstand” and put up display boards throughout the facility, showing the German’s face and the number seven, his trademark number in Formula One. The boards were placed near spots he’s famous for scoring championship points, including the first turn, the esses, and the mid-field before the final corner.
The Most Spectacular Car Collection
The thing about the Darlington Motor Speedway is that no two days are the same. On one hand, you have the tradition of seeing legendary drivers like Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart, and Alain Prost take the track; on the other, you have the excitement of seeing drivers battle it out for championship points.
This year was no exception as fans saw some amazing racing, with the highlight being the incredible comeback season by Schumacher. He is widely considered to be the greatest driver of all time and it was a pleasure to watch him do his thing again. His rivalry with Formula One rookie and the legendary Fernando Alonso was captivating to say the least.
The Greatest Show On Dirt
With all the changes that came with the transition from a street track to an inner-city road course, there was a lot to look forward to, especially when it came to watching the mud fly. The mud was certainly a sight to behold, as the track transformed into a huge pool of slippery, gooey mud that would swallow up even the most expensive machinery. Luckily, the mud didn’t stop there, as rain showers later turned the track into a skating rink, perfect for any speed enthusiast.
A Legendary Driver Ends His Retirement
Besides all the amazing one-offs, this year also saw the end of an incredible career for Michael Schumacher. The German, who turned 45 in June, announced his retirement from racing at the end of this year, giving him an incredible 19 seasons in total dedicated to racing. He made his final appearance in the British Grand Prix where he finished 12th. Despite the result, it was an amazing send-off for one of motorsports’ greatest ever. Fans have now got an opportunity to watch his farewell in full before he officially retires from the sport in January 2021.
What Does The Future Hold For Darlington?
It’s always exciting when a famous sporting venue is renovated, especially when it comes to motorsports. The thing is that when you bring in new money and new ideas, things can get a little chaotic. The transition from a street track to an inner-city road course wasn’t easy and it took a while to get everything sorted out. Once everything settled down, it became clear that the new layout provided a whole new strategic angle for drivers to contend from.
The layout works so well because the turns are taken at a steeper angle, leaving the drivers with more elevation changes, which means more energy. It’s less straight-forward driving and more thinking out-loud while driving, which should make for some interesting viewing. We’ll have to wait and see if the changes pay off in the form of better results and more exciting races. Until then, let’s take a look back at some of the greatest moments from this year’s edition of the world-famous Darlington Motor Speedway.