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POR - PORTUGAL
MONSANTO & MONTE CLAROS
Not to be confused with Lisboa (WTCC 2014)
Description First race in this area was a hillclimb raced in 1910 on a section 1506 m - 0.938 mi long of Estrada de Pimenteira. Even there were more than 30000 spectators, this event was hosted only two more times, in 1913 and 1922. Serra de Monsanto (= Holy Hill) street track was used from 1953 to 1959 and it used also a section of Lisbon-Cascais motorway. In 1959 it was a little shortened, but I don’t know what changes were made. It hosted Portugal GP in 1954, 1957 (both for Sportscar) and 1959 (F.1). It was a dangerous circuit even according to 1950s standard because it was very bumby and uneven.
From 1961 to 1971 a shorter circuit was used, known as Monte Claros, because it was not possible to stop the traffic for a weekend on the motorway.
In 1980 there were rumors about a remake of the track in order to host a Portugal F.1 GP in 1982.
Location Parque Forestal De Monsanto, Lisboa - Lisboa - Portugal continental
Location  
Latitude - Longitude + 38°43'11"     - 9°11'57"
38.719722     -9.199167
UTM Coordinates X = 482685.94  -  Y = 4285693.405  -  Zone 29S
Aerial photo / Map (*)  Google Maps  -    Bing Maps  -    Flash Earth
Altitude AMSL 140 m - 459 ft
Inauguration 1953
Closing 1971
Designer  
Sources and links (Translation) (**)
(1) English forums.autosport.com (...)Autosport.com Bulletin Board --> The Nostalgia Forum --> Monsanto Park
(2) English www.racingcircuits.netMotor Racing Circuits Database
(3) English www.silhouet.com/motorsport/tracks/monsanto.htmlThe GEL Motorsport - Tracks Around The World
(4) Spanish www.thef1.com/foro/historia/viewtopic.php?p=25133#25133MotorSport February 2005 (pages 58-61)
(5) Italian Autosprint 33/1980 (page 56)
(6) Portuguese Portuguese História Automobilismo Português /2004 (page 84)Author: José Barros Rodrigues - Published by: ACP - year: 2004 - ISBN: 972-8868-00-6
Description

(*) NOTE: a complete and detailed view of the circuit can be found (if available) on Street View by Google Maps and/or Bird's Eye and 3D views by Bing Maps for Enterprise (former Microsoft Virtual Earth): both can be reached using their own link in Aerial photo / Map cell.

(**) For on-line not-English speaking sources, click on each small flag and you open the corresponding Google Translator page with automatic translation.

Monsanto
Description  
Years 1953÷1957
Direction Clockwise   Clockwise
Progetto Proposal NO
No longer operational YES
Car Circuit YES
Motorbike circuit  
Type Street course
Inauguration 1953
Closing 1957
Last update of this page August 31st 2003
Info last update  
Designer  
Distinctive points Estrada de Queluz - Algés - Clover Leaf Hairpin - Autoestrada - Estrada do Alvito - Cruz das Olivieras, Curva González o Lake Hairpin - Estrada Monte Claros - Riding School Corner - Windmill Bend - Estrada Dos Marcos - Pits Hairpin
length 5633  m 18479  ft 3.5  mi   (3)

Monsanto
Description  
Years 1959
Direction Clockwise   Clockwise
Progetto Proposal NO
No longer operational YES
Car Circuit YES
Motorbike circuit  
Type Street course
Inauguration 1959
Closing 1959
Last update of this page August 31st 2003
Info last update  
Designer  
Distinctive points Estrada de Queluz - Algés - Clover Leaf Hairpin - Autoestrada - Estrada do Alvito - Cruz das Olivieras, Curva González o Lake Hairpin - Estrada Monte Claros - Riding School Corner - Windmill Bend - Estrada Dos Marcos - Pits Hairpin
length 5439  m 17846  ft 3.38  mi   (3)

Monte Claros
Description Street track used from 1961 to 1971. Its street were mainly used also for Monsanto circuit in 1950s.
Years 1961÷1971
Direction Clockwise   Clockwise
Progetto Proposal NO
No longer operational YES
Car Circuit YES
Motorbike circuit  
Type Street course
Inauguration 1961
Closing 1971
Last update of this page January 27th 2005
Info last update  
Designer  
Distinctive points Estrada do Alvito - Cruz das Olivieras, Curva González o Lake Hairpin - Estrada Monte Claros - Riding School Corner - Windmill Bend
length 2729  m 8953  ft 1.696  mi    

Monsanto 1959

Monsanto 1959


Monte Claros 1961÷1971

Monte Claros 1961÷1971


Location: + 38°43'11", - 9°11'57"
If the aerial photo is not visible, you have to zoom out by clicking (maybe more then once) button ’-’ in top left corner

PHOTOS

705


Photos by Barry Boor, taken on June 5th 2002 (already posted on Atlas F.1 - The Nostalgia Forum and here published with author’s permission). Comments by Barry Boor slighty modified (but photos 10-11, from MotorSport); Italian translation is mine

(....) It took but a few minutes to drive along to the point on the motorway where the Grand Prix circuit joined it. Apparently this motorway has been rebuilt since 1959 so we were hardly travelling the same stretch of road but, no matter, we were in the right place.

We dropped off the motorway onto a link road that runs into the park. The shape of the gentle right (Photo No.6), then left (7) curves looks pretty accurate when compared to the circuit map but may be in a slightly different place to the original. Once into the park the first thing one finds is a roundabout (8) which of course, was not there in ’59. However, from the other side of this roundabout the next mile and a half (2.4 km approx) or so are absolutely spot-on to the original track.

Later, as the circuit runs down towards the bottom left corner, where it joins the Estrada dos Marcos (Windmill bend?), the road has been widened (I think). A problem occurred at the very bottom of the track as there is a one-way system now in operation between the 2 roundabouts not shown on the map (23 and 1), and it goes the wrong way.

(....)

Once round the bend (Pits hairpin), there is one of the best fish restaurant in Lisbon. At that point, there is another roundabout (1) and this, I think, would have been just about where the start/finish point was on the circuit.

Once across the roundabout I was surprised to find the road (Estrada de Queluz, 2 - 3) dropping down VERY steeply as it approached the corners that lead back onto the motorway. About half-way down this section (3), I had to get out again because the traffic is routed off to the left. The road, however, does continue down its original path, ending in a tight left-hand bend (4) which in 1959 led into a right hander (Clover Leaf hairpin) back onto the straight. The road here has been altered so that although cars still turn around onto the motorway at this point, it cannot be the original piece of road.

(....)

So what did I learn? Well, number one is that trees grow an enormous amount in 43 years! It is going to be very had to tie in what I have on my camera with the photos that I have seen from the race in 1959. Where there was scrub land beside the track, there is now forest. In several places on the original circuit it was possible to see right down to the river but now that can only be seen from one point - entering the double right hander at the bottom of the circuit (Pits hairpin?).

The section of road from the exit off the motorway (6) round to the bottom corner (Pits hairpin?) must have been very exciting in a narrow-tyred 2.5 litre F1 car. The bends are not tight and would, I imagine have been very fast; as would the run downhill from the start.

(....)

Some things should be mentioned: the images are stills taken from a video camera in a moving car (with a few exceptions) so they are not as clear as still photos - apologies for that.
(....) The numbers on the previous map indicate where each image is taken from. One or two may be in slightly the wrong place but not far out, I hope!
There are several roundabouts that obviously were not there in 1959 - I have excluded them from the map.

Finally, it must be remembered that the trees in the park were planted around 1940 (info courtesy of Carlos Guerra) so when the Grand Prix was run there, they had been growing for a maximum of 19 years - probably some for considerably less time - whereas they have had another 43 years more time to grow, hence the fact that the track is almost entirely tree lined.

All images except 24 and 26 are looking in the direction the cars travelled. The two aforementioned look back up the road (....)

Photos by Barry Boor - June 5th 2002
Click on thumbnail to open original large photo

1234
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I think this crossing is just about where the start/finish point wasDownhill just after start lineDownhill just after start lineClover Leaf hairpin and motorway entrance

5678
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MotorwayMotorway exitEstrada do Alvito

9101112
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Estrada do AlvitoCruz das Olivieras or Lake hairpin. It was renamed Curva González (González Corner) because Froilán González had here an accident during 1954 Portugal GP for sportscar. Here Jack Brabham had a terrifying accident too, in Portugal F.1 GP 1959, when lapping Mário de Araújo Cabral: he became airborne and he was chucked out just before the car hit with a concrete telegraph pole. Rolling over and over in the road, he he was skimmed by Master Gregory by mere inches. He miraculously escaped with only a heavily bruised knee.sCruz das Olivieras or Lake hairpin. It was renamed Curva González (González Corner) because Froilán González had here an accident during 1954 Portugal GP for sportscar. Here Jack Brabham had a terrifying accident too, in Portugal F.1 GP 1959, when lapping Mário de Araújo Cabral: he became airborne and he was chucked out just before the car hit with a concrete telegraph pole. Rolling over and over in the road, he he was skimmed by Master Gregory by mere inches. He miraculously escaped with only a heavily bruised knee.sEstrada Monte Claros

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Riding school corner

17181920
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Estrada dos Marcos

21222324
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Estrada dos MarcosEstrada dos MarcosEstrada dos MarcosThis photo look back up the road

2526  
705705  
Pits hairpinPits hairpin. This photo look back up the road  


Updates
Date Track layout Years Description by Map by Thanks to Note
October 25th 2005 Monsanto 1959 Guido de Carli     Update Description
October 25th 2005 Monte Claros 1961÷1971 Guido de Carli     Update Description
January 27th 2005 Monsanto 1959 Guido de Carli     Update Description
January 27th 2005 Monsanto 1959 Guido de Carli     New Description without map
September 27th 2003     Guido de Carli     Update Description
August 31st 2003 Monsanto 1959 Guido de Carli Guido de Carli   New Description with map
August 31st 2003 Monte Claros 1961÷1971 Guido de Carli Guido de Carli   New Description with map
August 31st 2003 Monsanto 1959 Guido de Carli     New Photos (on this site)
July 14th 2003 Monsanto 1953÷1957 Guido de Carli     New Description
Not all eventual updates issued in last years are already visible in this list

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