47.3632750583334.8996877669444Koordinaten: 47 ° 21 '48 " N, 4 ° 53' 59" O

The Motor Racing Circuit de Dijon -Prenois was opened on 26 May 1972 as the Stade Automobile de Dijon -Prenois in the French Burgundy. The price is to be traversed in a clockwise direction about 15 kilometers northwest of the city center of Dijon, near the small suburb Prenois.

The original route of about 3.289 km grossly resembled an oval with a 1.1 km long and slightly uphill start- finish straight, two larger curves and a fluid succession of slight curve combinations in snake-like shape instead of a backstretch.

Before the reconstruction 1975 Formula 1 race was held here in 1974; after that there was now on the 3.801 km long route to 1984 a further five Grand Prix. Meanwhile, the track is mainly used for various national championships of France and Switzerland as well as numerous club and test events. A DTM race was held in Dijon 11 October 2009 for the first time, replacing the previous French round at Le Mans at the Circuit Bugatti.

  • 5.1 Winner of the Formula 1 World Championship races at Dijon- Prenois
  • 5.2 Winner of the DTM rounds


The precursor of the route

The motor sport tradition of the region was established already on 26 May 1927, the " six hours of Burgundy ", a sports car race in a variety of size classes on a nearly 18 -kilometer circuit on public roads between Dijon and Savigny- le -Sec. In the class up to 1500 cc won an air-sprung racing cars of the team of George Messier. Before and after the Second World War there were in Dijon itself a little over 2 km long, non-permanent street circuit at the Parc des Sports, which led down otherwise public roads and on the various inter alia 1946 race ( sports cars and Voiturettes ) to the "Grand Prix were discharged from Burgundy. "

From the 1950s were held on the track Côte d' Urcy on public roads near Dijon mountain race in different lengths; One of the initiators and participants of this race was a French racing driver and later President of the Section Bourgogne Franche -Comté the French automobile sports association FFSA, who died in November 2006 François Chambelland. In the 1960s there was also first circuit race at the nearby airport Dijon,. To build first published in 1968 Chambelland his suggestion, a permanent course in the city.

The " automotive stadium"

Began in 1969 under the direction of Chambelland as well as the collaboration of François Cevert and his brother Jean -Pierre Beltoise the plans for a Stade Automobile à Dijon, ie one "automobile stadium in Dijon ." In 1970, construction began. After about two years, the line was opened; However, under the slightly modified name Stade Automobile de Dijon, because they do not, as originally planned, was in Dijon, but outside of town near the self suburb Prenois. On June 4, 1972 there was the first big race of the European Championship sports prototypes. On July 7, 1974, the first Formula 1 World Championship race took place on this course than Grand Prix of France. Even here there were initial problems of space: the teams which have 30 registered cars could be accommodated only with difficulty in the paddock and in the pits. Therefore, route director François Chambelland decided and because of the relatively short distance that only 22 vehicles were allowed to start. The quick route also made ​​lap times possible under a minute; Niki Lauda about the pole position had brought in 58.79 seconds. Thus, it was in spite of the reduced field of participants much " traffic " accident-prone and related complications through numerous lapping over the course of a race.

After expanding by the Parabolique

In 1975, the course was therefore with a new section with the curve Parabolique (see also: Parabolika ) extended to about 3.8 km, the lap times initially extended by up to 13 seconds. In the revised route, there were in the same year not to Formula 1 World Championship scoring race for the Grand Prix of Switzerland, who won the Swiss driver Clay Regazzoni. From 1977 through 1984, Dijon -Prenois Formula 1 moved to the Paul Ricard Circuit ( Le Castellet in southern France at ) in the edition of the Grand Prix of France from, as of 1985 was driven exclusively on the Circuit Paul Ricard, from 1991 at the Circuit de Nevers Magny -Cours. Thus, the Formula 1 era for Dijon -Prenois was finally over. 1985, 1988 and 1989 was Dijon -Prenois after all, still the scene of an ever round of the Formula 3000 Championship. Winner of the first race in 1985 was Christian Danner, the last race of 1989 decided Érik Comas for themselves. The following year, Comas led uncatchable in the championship before the scheduled end of the season in October at Dijon- Prenois; the race was subsequently canceled.


In the 1990s, took over the Société d'Exploitation du Circuit Dijon -Prenois, a joint venture of regional companies, the development of the plant. In the following years, attempts have been made under the direction of the track director and ex- racing driver Danny Snobeck, about the construction of a 1.1 km long and eight meters wide kart track including seminars and restaurant building (2001 to 2003) and an extensive remodeling the pit facilities and the paddock to keep the plant attractive enough for other motorsport events. The current overall management of the course, the president of the development company, Yannick Morizot. Sales of the track owners for the year 2007 is estimated at 3.1 million euros.

Current car racing series

A lasting benefit of course is the proximity to Switzerland. Some Swiss championship races in different motorsport disciplines have been and are therefore performed at Dijon- Prenois; since the serious accident at the 24 - hour race at Le Mans in 1955 with 84 dead no more circuit races are allowed in Switzerland itself. Thus, already from 1973 to 1975 each year two Swiss Formula 2 championship races at Dijon- Prenois took place. As one of the few remaining international events of recent times, the FIA Historic Racing Championships guesting regularly with races in different classes of historic racing cars, 1998 and 2006, there were also guest performances by the FIA GT Championship in 1998 with World Championship status in 2006 won the German Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12 with a.

In December 2008, the organizers of the DTM took on the race calendar for the first time Dijon -Prenois. Where the penultimate race of the season was held on the weekend of October 11, 2009; instead of the former French venue Bugatti circuit. One reason for the change was not communicated. The plant is currently homologated by the FIA ​​for all types of circuit races, except for the Formula 1 and holds up to 35,000 spectators.


With average speeds of over 200 km / h, the track was one of the quickest and most liquid of the formula 1 Unlike many modern retort stretching the course of the hilly landscape has been adjusted so that there are differences in height of up to about 30 meters already in the first variant. This must be some track pieces are "blind" down because the further course of the road is not seen by sinks and rises. This is true for example for the combination of curves S de Sablières, the Virage de la combe and added Come after reconstruction in 1975 Parabolique. This curve with a radius of only 50 meters also includes the vertex on a gentle rise, which decreases at corner exit, in the course of the road is still rising to about 15 percent and is therefore technically very demanding. For many drivers the route and, with its eight corners and corner combinations as a " roller coaster ". However, some time average speeds of over 200 km / h were achieved through the technical progress of the racing car after the rebuild again; both of the formula 1 as well as in sport prototypes. 1984 drove Alain Prost in the McLaren - TAG Formula 1 in the race with 1:05.257 minutes and an average speed of almost 210 km / h the still valid absolute lap record. 1990, also still existing record for sports prototypes with 1:08,973 min was set up (on average about 203 km / h) by Jean -Louis Schlesser in a more than 900 -hp Sauber C11 Mercedes in a world championship sports car races of the "Group C".

During the renovation in 1975 had been largely dispensed with, especially in the new part of the track to run-off areas of grass or gravel, the areas beyond the curbs were concreted or asphalted instead a large area; a concept that has been used until decades later obligatory for new or rebuilt tracks. This allowed the cars when overtaking also use route parts in addition to the 10 to 12 meter wide regular road, leading to the legendary duel resulted between René Arnoux and Gilles Villeneuve to 2nd place at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1979, when both around long for the enthusiasm of the audience (also in the curves ) rode side by side. Villeneuve prevailed until the last curve Courbe de Pouas and drove about two tenths of a second ahead of Arnoux across the finish line. Such duels are, however, in damp or wet track conditions is not possible because then especially the concrete run-off areas are extremely slippery.

For Keke Rosberg, the route is likely to have a special meaning, because he brought them here in his World Cup 1982, the only win of the season.

More race events

From the start, the route for national motorcycle championship races from France and Switzerland, was used. On June 5th In 1977, with the Formula 750 World Championship held the only international motorcycle racing, the Frenchman Christian Estrosi could decide on a Yamaha for themselves. On Wednesday before the race weekend it was, however, come with a free training for all participants of the main and support races in a serious accident, the consequences of which the 21- year-old Frenchman Thierry van Wormhoudt died about a month later. The organizers had opened on this day the same route for machines of different power classes; a high-risk and otherwise completely unusual procedure. So it was at the beginning of the final stretch of a collision between the 750 cc Yamaha Dutchman Boet van Dulmen and the much slower 125 cc Honda van Wormhoudts who wanted to turn in the pit lane just right. Apparently van Dulmen had kept the climb of the Courbe de Pouas the driving before him Honda for a larger machine whose lee he would straight for the following long can exploit. He himself survived the collision with arm and leg fractures. Observers criticized the lack of security measures on that day. So until an ambulance had arrived from Dijon to the accident half an hour.

From 1990 to 2000 Dijon -Prenois was a regular venue for the FIA ​​European Truck Racing Championship, a European Championship series for highly modified tractors.

The track is also regularly used for cycling events, such as for the Trophée National de Cyclisme, the French school and university championship. 2006 a total of 150,000 visitors were counted for all events.


  • " ... Not the shortest circuit (Long Beach and Monaco are even shorter ), but nowhere is there such a short lap times. Dijon is a very strenuous course, because the surface will become very uneven over the years. The driving skills demanding digits are the last two right turns before the long straight. The penultimate hangs and requires a great effort for the fourth gear, followed by a small hill and the last right turn, which is absolutely fully cycled, which means about 260 Tempo. It is one of the worst cyclone curves of the European race tracks. " ( Niki Lauda in 1982 after his Formula 1 comeback with McLaren)


Winner of the Formula 1 World Championship races at Dijon- Prenois

Winner of the DTM rounds

References and Notes