Racing circuits can definitely bring in a large crowd. There’s a lot to be excited about. You’re watching professional drivers take on some of the most complicated and intricate tracks that the league has to offer. There are too many to name that cover certain car companies—off-road circuits to even motorbiking.
There isn’t a shortage on the list for interesting circuits, but which ones are the most difficult? Below, we will cover ten of the most difficult racing circuits. Difficulty makes it more challenging, though more dangerous as well, and many of these have taken a number of lives with them throughout the years.
10 Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France
This one is well known for being an extremely difficult circuit, so much so that it has claimed a few lives. A little over 20 drivers have lost their lives on this track, and a car being thrown over the sides into a full crowd in the 1950s proved everyone involved was in danger.
Mercedes didn’t show up to compete on the circuit for decades, and Switzerland briefly banned motorsports because of the accident. Its been open since 1923, and it sees well over 263,500 people each year show up to watch the circuit that lasts for over a grueling 24 hours.
9 The Dakar Rally, South America
The Dakar rally comes every year, and the extremity of the circuit leaves it to claim a life every time the event is held. The circuit is more than difficult and spans numerous countries on its way down through South America.
It is open to amateur and professional participants, with amateurs making up 80 percent of the competition each year. Quads, motorbikes, SUV’s, trucks, and cars that are built for the off-road are heavily suggested for this race. If you show up with a car that has off-road modifications, you’re going to have a tough time getting through the necessary 500-560 miles a day.
8 Daytona International Speedway, Florida, US
A saddening 40 people have lost their lives at this circuit, with many of them being a result of having the cars smashed directly into the wall at high rates of speed. The circuit took two years to build along with $3 million.
It’s only 2.5 miles long with four long curves. The lap record for this circuit is 40 seconds, which should give you an idea of the general speed that meets the curves. It is the premier circuit and known to be NASCAR’s best. The circuit offers a Budweiser Party Porch for any fans interested during their visit.
7 Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Parco de Monza, Italy
This is known for being one of the fastest circuits there is, and that's still after numerous changes were made to make it slower and safer for everyone involved. For decades, the infamous circuit had an extra loop that made it as quick as it was deadly. Over 40 people have lost their lives at this circuit, as well as some falling deaths that have occurred from falling into the forest off the loops.
It’s a little over three and a half miles and features 11 turns which make the speed terrifying. The lap record here is 54 seconds, and that’s more than impressive.
6 Spa Francorchamps, Stevelot, Belgium
This circuit was built in 1923 and sits at over four miles long. It has 19 turns that make slow speeds crucial to overcome, which is something that 50 drivers weren’t able to do. This ranks it as one of the more difficult circuits in Belgium. This is a top choice circuit for Formula 1 racers and holds the World Endurance Championships.
The lap record here is 1:46, and that was set just last year. There are 70,000 avid motorsport fans that show up each year to watch these famous events since the track is classified as a 1 in FIA Grade.
5 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana, US
This track was extremely dangerous back in its early days. It wasn’t hard for drivers to get ejected from their cars and pinned to the walls. Over 50 drivers have lost their lives this way at the track, with crew members and announcers falling on it as well.
The Indy Speedway is home to the Indy 500, the Brickyard 400, and was even the former home of the U.S Grand Prix. It is 560 acres in total. It can hold up to 400,000 people in total, and that isn’t hard for them to accomplish. The speedway is over two and a half miles in length and features a total of 16 turns.
4 The Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany
This is one of the longest circuits on the list. It has a combination of technical corners that see a lot of high speeds. Years ago, drivers would often fly down an embankment or into the forest below. It is said that just under 70 racers have died at this circuit during its official events, but the fact that the circuit has claimed amateur motorcyclists and drivers, the number could be well into the hundreds.
The circuit can seat 150,000 people comfortably, and the track length is twelve miles long featuring 154 turns that could wipe a driver out at any moment.
3 The Isle Of Man, Douglas, Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is the deadliest circuit on this list, but not the most difficult. The high fatality rates here come from the mass number of people that start this together, and the average speed between all of them not going below 200 mph. Do you see what we mean? Conservative estimates that there have been at least 200 deaths here, and the only time the race was held and didn’t see a death was in 1982.
It is over 37-miles long with 219 turns making up that length. The fastest anyone has ever been able to complete it (alive) was in 16 minutes and 42 seconds.
2 Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Virginia, US
A lot of people are under the impression that this track is easy because of its size and the fact that it only has 17 bends to it. The third bend in this track is hated by almost every NASCAR driver who takes it on, and it is a well-known hotspot for watching intense crashes unfold.
It only sits at just over three miles, but the asphalt it’s made from has seen its fair share of accidents and wall crashes. The fastest anyone was ever able to complete a lap was 1 minute and 35 seconds, which was set in 2012.
1 Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Japan
This track lands the 10th spot for its “figure 8” layout. It may not seem too difficult, but, mind you, a lot of drivers are often under the impression they are going straight until the road jolts to a 90-degree angle. That quick of a direction change at those speeds can spell trouble, and it has.
The race sadly sees two crashes on average, and, yes, that's every race. It has claimed 25 lives, most notable being the infamous Bianchi crash. The Grand Prix circuit sits at just over three and a half miles and has 17 turns, making the figure eight layout feel like something Salvidor Dali would come up with.