Team Lotus was the motorsport sister company of English sports car manufacturer Lotus Cars. The team ran cars in many motorsport series, including Formula One, Formula Two, Formula Ford, Formula Junior, IndyCar, sports car racing. More than ten years after its last race, Team Lotus remained one of the most successful racing teams of all time, winning seven Formula One Constructors' titles, six Drivers' Championships, the Indianapolis 500 in the United States between 1962 and 1978. Under the direction of founder and chief designer Colin Chapman, Lotus was responsible for many innovative and experimental developments in critical motorsport, in both technical and commercial arenas; the Lotus name returned to Formula One in 2010 as Tony Fernandes's Lotus Racing team. In 2011, Team Lotus's iconic black-and-gold livery returned to F1 as the livery of the Lotus Renault GP team, sponsored by Lotus Cars, in 2012 the team was re-branded as Lotus F1 Team. Colin Chapman established Lotus Engineering Ltd in 1952 at Hornsey, UK.
Lotus achieved rapid success with the the 1954 Mk 8 sports cars. Team Lotus was split off from Lotus Engineering in 1954. A new Formula Two regulation was announced for 1957, in Britain, several organizers ran races for the new regulations during the course of 1956. Most of the cars entered that year were sports cars, they included a large number of Lotus 11s, the definitive Coventry Climax-powered sports racer, led by the Team Lotus entries for Chapman, driven by Cliff Allison and Reg Bicknell; the following year, the Lotus 12 appeared. Driving one in 1958, Allison won the F2 class in the International Trophy at Silverstone, beating Stuart Lewis-Evans's Cooper; the remarkable Coventry Climax-powered Type 14, the Lotus Cars production version of, the original Lotus Elite, won six class victories, plus the "Index of Performance" several times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. As the Coventry Climax engines were enlarged in 1952 to 2.2-litres, Chapman decided to enter Grand Prix racing, running a pair of Lotus 12s at Monaco in 1958 for Graham Hill and Cliff Allison.
These were replaced that year by Lotus 16s. In 1959 – by which time the Coventry Climax engines had been stretched to 2.5-litres – Chapman continued with front-engined F1 cars, but achieved little, so in 1960 Chapman switched to the milestone mid-engined Lotus 18. By the company's success had caused it to expand to such an extent that it had to move to new premises at Cheshunt; the first Formula One victory for Team Lotus came when Innes Ireland won the 1961 United States Grand Prix. A year earlier, Stirling Moss had recorded the first victory for a Lotus car at Monaco in his Lotus 18 entered by the independent Rob Walker Racing Team. There were successes in Formula Junior; the road car business was doing well with the Lotus Seven and the Lotus Elite and this was followed by the Lotus Elan in 1962. More racing success followed with the 26R, the racing version of the Elan, in 1963 with the Lotus Cortina, which Jack Sears drove to the British Saloon Car Championship title, a feat repeated by Jim Clark in 1964 and Alan Mann in the 1965 European Touring car Championship.
In 1963, Clark drove the Lotus 25 to a remarkable seven wins in a season and won the World Championship. The 1964 title was still for the taking by the time of the last race in Mexico but problems with Clark's Lotus and Hill's BRM gave it to Surtees in his Ferrari. However, in 1965, Clark dominated again, six wins in his Lotus 33 gave him the championship. While innovative, Chapman came under criticism for the structural fragility of his designs; the number of top drivers injured or killed in Lotus machinery was considerable – notably Stirling Moss, Alan Stacey, Mike Taylor, Jim Clark, Mike Spence, Bobby Marshman, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt and Ronnie Peterson. In Dave Friedman's book "Indianapolis Memories 1961–1969", Dan Gurney is quoted as saying, "Did I think the Lotus way of doing things was good? No. We had several structural failures in those cars, but at the time, I felt it was the price you paid for getting something better." When the Formula One engine size increased to three litres in 1966, Lotus was caught unprepared because of the surprising failure of the Coventry Climax 1.5-Litre FWMW Flat-16 project, which prevented Climax from developing a 3-Litre successor.
They started the season fielding the hastily prepared and uncompetitive two-litre Coventry-Climax FWMV V8 engine, only switching to the BRM H16 in time for the Italian Grand Prix, with the new engine proving to be overweight and unreliable. A switch to the new Ford Cosworth DFV, designed by former Lotus employee Keith Duckworth, in 1967 returned the team to winning form. Although they failed to win the title in 1967, by the end of the season, the Lotus 49 and the DFV engine were mature enough to make the Lotus team dominant again. However, for 1968 Lotus had lost its exclusive right to use the DFV; the season-opening 1968 South African Grand Prix confirmed Lotus's superiority, with Jim Clark and Graham Hill finishing 1–2. It would be Clark's last win. On 7 April 1968, one of the most successful and popular drivers of all time, was killed driving a Lotus 48 at Hockenheim in a non-championship Formula Two event; the season saw the introduction of wings as seen on various cars, including the Chaparral sports car.
Colin Chapman introduced a spoiler on Hill's Lotus 49B at Monaco. Graham Hill won the F1 World Championship in 1968 driving the Lotus 49. Around the same time, Chapman moved Lotus to new premises at Hethel in Norfolk. A new factory was built on the site, the former RAF Hethel bomber base, the old runways were converted into a testing facility; the offices and design studios wer
British Superbike Championship
The British Superbike Championship known for sponsorship reasons as the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, is the leading road racing superbike championship in the United Kingdom, is acknowledged as the premier domestic superbike racing series in the world. The championship is managed and organised by MotorSport Vision, who own many of the circuits the series meets at; the Series and Race Director is Stuart Higgs, with event marshals provided by the Racesafe Marshals Association. The series races over twelve rounds from April to October, with the series concluding in a three-round'Showdown,' where the top six riders are awarded points based on their podium finishes from the previous nine rounds and compete over three rounds and seven races for the title; the Showdown format was introduced in 2010 in order to prevent a rider from making a runaway victory in the championship. From 2008, the championship followed the Superbike World Championship in appointing Pirelli as the single control tyre supplier.
The British Superbike Championship began in 1988, with bikes conforming to 750cc TT Formula I regulations, which the championship used through to 1993, when Superbike regulations were adopted. Niall Mackenzie was the most successful rider of the 1990s, with three titles. Other past champions include Australian Troy Bayliss and Steve Hislop. Chris'the Stalker' Walker has finished as runner up 4 times. Many riders from the series have gone on to race in the Superbike World Championship or MotoGP; the 2006 British Superbike Championship was won by Ryuichi Kiyonari, in what was one of the most exciting climaxes to a British Superbike season in years. Kiyonari fought off the challenge of Ducati powered Leon Haslam and Gregorio Lavilla at the final round in Brands Hatch in front of a capacity crowd and a reported 1.5 million live TV viewers, with Kiyonari and Haslam each winning one race, Lavilla crashing and having an engine problem in both races. The 2009 British Superbike Championship was dominated by the Yamaha of Leon Camier who set a new record of 14 race wins in a season at event eight of twelve, such was his domination of the championship, beating the previous record of 13 by Niall Mackenzie in the 1997 season.
Guintoli and Richards all missed races, allowing Stuart Easton of Hydrex Honda and Simon Andrews of MSS Colchester Kawasaki to challenge. It was claimed that BSB was the biggest supported British racing series, During 2009, 368,000 people attended BSB events across the country and 8,000,000 fans watched 310 hours of television on the live Eurosport and delayed ITV coverage For 2010, the Privateers cup was replaced by the Evolution Class. MSVR stated that "It will be open to anyone in the series from the official manufacturer-backed teams through to independent entries and will allow homologated machines with full Superbike racing rolling chassis to retain the important visual impression but engines will have to be built to stringent "Stock" regulations. Along with standard engines a series specified control ECU device that eliminates any form of traction control, launch control and anti-wheelie devices will be compulsory"Qualifying was altered, with the "Roll for Pole" only setting the grid for race one of each weekend.
This is due to the race two grid being set by the fastest laps of each rider in race one. Introduced is a "second chance" system if a rider crashes on lap one, that rider will only drop eight places from where they started the first race. At the pair of triple-race meetings, the same rules apply for race two, but will be applied for race three; the biggest rule change was the dividing of the championship into two parts, similar to the system used in two major automobile racing series in the United States – the NASCAR Playoffs, National Hot Rod Association's Countdown to the Championship. The first nine meetings form the "Main Season" of the championship, before the final three meetings make up "The Showdown"; the championship change has been introduced after Leon Camier clinched the 2009 title with four races to spare, thus introducing a crescendo of competition. The normal FIM point-scoring system still applies, with 25 for the winner and a single point for 15th. At the end of the Main Season, all riders drop their two worst scores, which must be from events they have at least qualified for.
From this points order, the first six riders in the championship standings will be elevated to a new base level and become the Title Fighters for the final three events and seven races of the championship. The playoff format is similar to the 2007-10 NASCAR Playoff format used in their premiership, based on a six-rider format and modified in the bonus points; each Title Fighter will start The Showdown with 500 points, plus additional points for each podium position they have obtained in the Main Season. Using the first nineteen races of Camier's 2009 campaign, Camier would have had 547 points due to his fifteen wins and a second place out of the first nineteen races of the season; the standard points scoring format from the Main Season continues for The Showdown, with all points scores from the final seven races counting. All riders outside of the Title Fighters continue to race for the BSB Riders' Cup, continuing to add to their points total from the end of the Main Season; this applies to the new Evolution class.
For the 2012 season, MSVR announced a number of changes to the technical regulations to enhance the spectacle of the British Superbike Championship. The championship was to be limited to 16 two-bike teams; this was intended to be a way to reward the teams that have raced in BSB, year out. Teams within the c
Willhire 24 Hour
The Willhire 24 Hour was an endurance race for production cars held at Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit in Norfolk, England between 1980 and 1994. Over the years, the race included both saloon cars. Latterly, it was contested by competitors running in the FIA Group N specification National Saloon Car Cup; the race was run by the British Racing and Sports Car Club, responsible for the aforementioned series. The race was sponsored by Willhire Vehicles Rentals, a local car rental company, after its owner Roger Williams was approached to sponsor a motor racing event at the circuit. Williams talked about sponsoring a 6- or 24-hour event as a joke, but the offer was accepted and the United Kingdom's first 24-hour race was founded; the race was first held in 1980. The 1989 event was 25 hours long to mark the 25th anniversary of the Willhire company; the final event was held in 1994. The Willhire 24 Hour was won by a number of drivers who went on to have success in other forms of racing. In 1986, the winning car was co-driven by BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Mike Smith and Lionel Abbott, who became the first two-driver team to win the race.
The full list of winners is given below. Other notable drivers who competed in the past other than those listed below include Martin Brundle, Steve Soper, John Cleland, Kieth O'dor, Tiff Needell, James Thompson and Gerry Marshall. Snetterton's experience in hosting a 24-hour race was proven to be beneficial when subsequently, the track became a host of some British Touring Car Championship night races from 1999, Willhire-sponsored endurance races in 2002, 2003 and 2004, but full 24-hour racing did not return until 2003, when the 2CV 24 Hour Race moved to Snetterton. However, national 24 hour endurance racing would not return until the introduction of the Silverstone Britcar 24-Hour in 2005, taking place at Silverstone Circuit; the 2005 Britcar event is sometimes referred to as the Britcar Willhire 24 Hour Race
A11 road (England)
The A11 is a major trunk road in England. It runs north east from London to Norwich, although after the M11 opened in the 1970s and the A12 extension in 1999, a lengthy section has been downgraded between the suburbs of east London and the north-west corner of the county of Essex, it multiplexes/overlaps with the A14 on the Newmarket bypass. All this part is now a minor road, thus the A11 now starts at Aldgate, just inside the eastern boundary of the City of London. The first stretch is Whitechapel High Street, east of the junction with Mansell Street. In a complex reworking of the roads since the days of the Aldgate gyratory system, it is two-way, but the east-bound section is part of the ring-road that retained a one-way system south of this junction, but the west-bound section is for local access and you have to U-turn to avoid entering the congestion charging zone. East of Aldgate station, the A11 enters the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the East End of London, it becomes Whitechapel High Street, again part of the Aldgate one-way system.
The A11 passes through past Whitechapel station and the Royal London Hospital. It becomes Mile End Road at the eastern end of Whitechapel Road, at Mile End Gate, the former toll gate for the turnpike, passing Stepney Green Underground station, with Stepney to the south, Mile End Underground station. Next, it becomes Bow Road. There is a dual carriageway flyover over the Bow Interchange roundabout, a junction with the A12. However, at the end of the flyover, the A11 crosses into the London Borough of Newham and becomes a western extension to the A118. Following the opening of the A12 extension in 1999, the A11 was re-numbered to make it seem a less important road and encourage traffic to use the new dual carriageway between there and Leytonstone; this is the western limit of the downgraded section. The A11 number won't reappear until Stump Cross in deepest Essex; the road enters Cambridgeshire, with the road number A11 re-appearing at M11 Junction 9A, the A11 is now a trunk road. It follows the route of a Roman road for the remainder of its length.
The A11 went through Newmarket. The Newmarket bypass, opened to traffic in July 1975, is a dual carriageway; the western end is the A11, but most of its length is a multiplex/overlap with the A14. The A11 re-appears north-east of Newmarket, remained a dual carriageway until Barton Mills, Suffolk; the road bypasses Barton Mills before entering Norfolk in the Thetford Forest, passing the 113-foot-tall Elveden War Memorial. This section of the road opened as a dual carriageway on 12 December 2014; this completes the dualling of the trunk road between London. The upgrading of the final section of single carriageway between Barton Mills and Thetford means the road is dual carriageway all the way to Norwich; the road continues northeast bypassing Thetford and Wymondham. The A11 ran through the centre of all three towns giving rise to congestion which became the focus of delays on the route, it passes the Snetterton Circuit motor racing venue. On entering Norwich, it is called Newmarket Road, it terminates at the St Stephens Street roundabout near the city centre.
Various sections of the A11 between the junction the M11 in Cambridgeshire and Norwich have been upgraded to dual carriageway. The Roudham Heath to Attleborough section was dualled in 2003 and the Attleborough bypass was dualed in 2007; the single carriageway road between Thetford and the Fiveways roundabout is now dual carriageway and opened in December 2014. Proposals to dual 14.8 km of the road between the Fiveways Roundabout at Barton Mills, bypassing Elveden to the North and joining the western end of the Thetford Bypass had been discussed for many years without any developments being made. Draft Orders together with an Environmental Statement were published in Autumn 2008; the Labour government's Secretary of State for Transport announced the scheme would be brought forward by 18 months to 2010 with an open date of 2013 in November 2008 in response to the Financial crisis of 2007-2008. Supporters expressed concern in September 2010 that the scheme would be cancelled as part of the coalition government's comprehensive spending review noting that the report from the public inquiry had not yet been signed off by the Department for Transport.
The Highways Agency has published an official map of the proposed scheme and a Google overlay map is available. The original cost estimate was £30 million rising to £60 million in March 2007 and to £113-£157 million by August 2008; the project received strong support from local business groups and local government and was expected to reduce journey times by 3 minutes off-peak and up to 25 minutes at peak times. Environmental campaign groups believed that in a time of economic downturn it would be better to invest in local public transport rather than on costly road schemes. On 20 October 2010, the government approved the scheme; the Elveden Bypass opened during Easter 2014 with one lane in use each way. The full dual carriageway between Barton Mills and Thetford was opened on 12 December 2014 by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin; the A11 started at the Bank of England in the City of London, next to Bank Underground station, went eastwards along Cornhill and Leadenhall Street, past Aldgate Pump and along Aldgate.
Hence leading to the current A11 starting point at Aldgate. From Bow Interchange, A118 becomes a dual carr
British Touring Car Championship
The British Touring Car Championship is a touring car racing series held each year in the United Kingdom organised and administered by TOCA. It was established in 1958 as the British Saloon Car Championship and was renamed as the British Touring Car Championship for the 1987 season; the championship running Next Generation Touring Car regulations, has been run to various national and international regulations over the years including FIA Group 2, FIA Group 5, FIA Group 1, FIA Group A, FIA Super Touring and FIA Super 2000. A lower-key Group N class for production cars ran from 2000 until 2003; the championship was run with a mix of classes, divided according to engine capacity, racing simultaneously. This meant that a driver who chose the right class could win the overall championship without any chance of overall race wins, thereby devaluing the title for the spectators – for example, in the 1980s Chris Hodgetts won two overall titles in a small Toyota Corolla prepared by Hughes Of Beaconsfield, at that time a Mercedes-Benz/Toyota main dealer when most of the race wins were going to much larger cars.
In 1990, the BTCC introduced a class for cars with an engine displacement up to 2.0 litres which would be adopted by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and become the Super Touring regulations that were used in various championships in Europe and around the world. In their first year, these cars were run alongside a second class which continued to allow larger engines and was once again dominated by the Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500, however from 1991 they became the only cars eligible to compete; the new one-class system was popular with manufacturers from the beginning with six manufacturer supported teams from BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Vauxhall entered in the championship. During the first seasons, the cars were not fitted with aerodynamic aids such as a front splitter or a rear wing which were allowed from 1995 after Alfa Romeo caused controversy a year earlier, when they entered the 155 fitted with a rear wing - an item, delivered with the road-going version of the 155, however unfitted in its boot.
The continuously high number of manufacturer-backed teams meant rapid development on the cars and growing costs to compete which caused several manufacturers to withdraw from the championship until the 2000 season, when only Ford and Vauxhall remained in the championship. To this day, the'super touring era' during the 1990s is still looked at as the most successful period of the BTCC; the high number of manufacturer-backed teams provided close competition and hard-fought racing on track and many spectators at the circuits. In order to reduce the costs to compete in the championship, the organisers introduced new regulations for the 2001 season; the BTC Touring regulations cut costs but both manufacturer and spectator interest was low. The Super 2000 rules were adopted for the 2007 season; the 2000s saw cheaper cars than the Supertouring era, with fewer factory teams and fewer international drivers. In 2009, the BTCC released details of its Next Generation Touring Car specification, to be introduced from 2011.
The introduction of these new technical regulations were designed to reduce the design and running costs of the cars and engines as well as reducing the potential for significant performance disparities between cars. The NGTC specification aimed to cut costs by reducing reliance on WTCC/S2000 equipment, due to increasing costs/complexity and concerns as to its future sustainability and direction; the cars used are a mix of 2.0 L saloons such as the Toyota Avensis and Chevrolet Cruze, station wagons such as the Subaru Levorg as well as hatchback cars such as the Honda Civic and Ford Focus, based on models from a variety of manufacturers, using NGTC regulations. S2000 cars continued running in the Jack Sears Trophy until the 2014 season. BTCC teams are a mixture of manufacturer entries and independent teams such as BTC Norlin, Motorbase Performance. In 2010, following Vauxhall's decision to pull out of the series, there were two new works teams,: Chevrolet, run by RML. In 2005, Team Dynamics became the first independent outfit to win the BTCC drivers and team championships.
This included finishing all 30 championship races that year, something no other driver had achieved before and only equalled by Adam Morgan some 10 years in 2015. This ended Vauxhall's run of 4 victories in the drivers and teams championships between 2001 and 2004. Neal and Dynamics were victorious in 2006, before Vauxhall won the 2007 title with Italian Fabrizio Giovanardi. Team Dynamics achieved the first overall independents race win in the'Supertouring' era when Neal won a round of the 1999 BTCC at Donington Park, earning the team prize-money of £250,000; as a result of Matt Neal's championship victories, the fact that Team Dynamics were designing and building their own S2000 Honda Civic Type R, they were no longer entered into the Independents category, were classed as neither an "independent" or "works" team until the 2009 season, when the Manufacturers championship was renamed Manufacturers/Constructors Championship to allow both Team Aon and Team Dynamics to compete with at the time the sole works entry of Vauxhall.
As of the 2014 British Touring Car Championship, all cars are built to
Judd is a name brand of engines produced by Engine Developments Ltd. a company founded in 1971 by John Judd and Jack Brabham in Rugby, England. Engine Developments was intended to build engines for Brabham's racing efforts, became one of the first firms authorised by Cosworth to maintain and rebuild its DFV engines, but has since expanded into various areas of motorsport. Judd has provided engines for many major series, including Formula One and other smaller formula series, sports car racing, touring car racing, they have been associated with manufacturers such as Yamaha, MG, Honda, although they have been a privateer-engine supplier. As a result of Jack Brabham's long standing relationship with Honda, Judd was hired by them to develop an engine for the company's return to Formula Two in association with Ron Tauranac's Ralt team. After the demise of Formula Two at the end of the 1984 season, Judd continued to develop new engines for Honda; the first was a turbocharged V8 engine built for Honda's CART campaign.
It was first used on the CART circuit midway through the 1986 season, fielded by Galles Racing and driver Geoff Brabham. It was badged as the Brabham-Honda, scored a fourth-place finish at the 1986 Michigan 500. In 1987, the engine was used for the first time at the Indianapolis 500. Brabham scored second-place finishes in 1987 at Pocono and Road America, as well as a third at the season finale at Miami; the engine became known for its superior fuel mileage. However, it was at a decided power disadvantage compared to the top engine of the time, the Ilmor Chevrolet. In 1988, Truesports with driver Bobby Rahal took over as the primary team, the "Honda" name was dropped from the powerplant. During the 1988 season, Rahal took advantage of the engine's reliability in the 500-mile races, finishing fourth at Indy and second at the Michigan 500, he scored the first and only Indycar victory for the Judd engine, at the Pocono 500. His ten top-10 finishes led to a third-place finish in the season points standings.
Judd continued to build upgrades to the AV into the early 1990s after Honda had stopped badging the engines. When Honda moved into the new Formula 3000 series, Judd again developed the company's engine. Based on the architecture of the AV, the new BV V8 was a aspirated variant, would form the basis for the Judd CV Formula One engine. After the company's departure from Formula One, Judd returned to Formula 3000 in 1995 with the development of the 3-litre KV V8 engine. Judd built the engines that every Formula 3000 team used, although Zytek was tasked with maintaining the over 80 engines after they were built. Judd stopped production of the KV and the Formula 3000 series ended in 2004. In 1988, in conjunction with March Engineering, Judd made the move into the reintroduced aspirated variant of Formula One, which would replace turbocharged cars in 1989. By using the existing BV V8 as the starting point for their new F1 engine, Judd saved cost while at the same time producing a customer engine that could compete on track and in the marketplace with the Ford-Cosworth V8s that were standard equipment for the teams competing to the new rules.
The first Formula One engine developed by Judd, the CV, was built to the 3.5 litre engine formula for aspirated engines. The engine was expanded to 3.5 litres. March Engineering were the first team who signed to use the Judd CV. Reigning World Constructors' champion Williams was forced to turn to Judd, after they lost their supply of Honda engines for 1988. In addition, Ligier bought CVs for use in the 1988 season. Judd powered cars finished in podium positions four times during their debut season, with Williams' lead driver, Nigel Mansell, scoring Judd's first podium when he finished second at the 1988 British Grand Prix. During the 1988 season the 600 bhp Judd V8 was the fastest of the non-turbo engines, the Marches of Ivan Capelli and Maurício Gugelmin recorded higher speeds through the speed trap than the Cosworth DFR- and DFZ-powered cars with Gugelmin recording the fastest'atmo' speed trap of the season when he hit 312 km/h during qualifying for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. At the 1988 Japanese Grand Prix Capelli's Judd powered March 881 became the first aspirated car to lead a lap of a Grand Prix since 1983, when he passed the McLaren of two time World Drivers' champion Alain Prost for the lead on lap 16 of the 51 lap race.
For the 1989 season, Judd developed the all-new narrow-angle Judd EV, with a more compact, 76 degree, vee angle, rather than the more conventional 90 degrees of the Judd AV/BV/CV, the Cosworth DFV series. Construction of the CV continued as a cheaper alternative for smaller teams, however. Team Lotus and EuroBrun were the only CV customers, with Lotus finishing sixth in the Constructors' Championship. EuroBrun was the only team to continue with the CV unit into 1990, but Life bought CV units to replace their failed in-house W12 engine design; the previous Judd CV was designed with a conventional 90-degree engine block. Following the 1988 season it was decided that a narrower vee-angle would be adopted to give a more compact engine.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a motor racing circuit in Montreal, Canada. It is the venue for the FIA Formula One Canadian Grand Prix, it has hosted the FIA World Sportscar Championship, the Champ Car World Series, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. The venue hosted the Champ Car World Series Grand Prix of Montreal from 2002 to 2006; the Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One racing, which had taken place for 30 years at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, was dropped from the 2009 Formula One calendar and replaced with the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. On November 27, 2009, Quebec's officials and Canadian Grand Prix organizers announced a settlement with Formula One Administration and signed a new five-year contract spanning the 2010–2014 seasons; the 2011 edition took place on June 12 at 1:00 pm and was the longest World Championship Grand Prix due to a lengthy rain delay. Named the Île Notre-Dame Circuit, the circuit was built and finished in 1978.
In what has proven to be the venue's main event over the decades, the FIA Formula One Canadian Grand Prix had been part of the Formula One World Championship for 10 years, it was held at Mosport Park near Toronto on 8 occasions and in 1968 and 1970, the Mont-Tremblant circuit in Quebec. With safety concerns with Mosport blighting the 1977 event, it was decided to move the race to the new circuit in Montréal. In 1982, it was renamed in honour of Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, father of Jacques Villeneuve, following his death earlier in the year; the circuit is located in a part of the city of Montréal known as Parc Jean-Drapeau. The park is named after the mayor of Montréal, responsible for the organization of Expo 67; the race circuit lies across Île Sainte-Hélène and Notre Dame Island, a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River most of, built up for the Expo in 1967. Saint Helen's Island was artificially enlarged for the Expo'67 fairgrounds and a prominent remnant of the fair, the Biosphere can be seen during television coverage of racing events.
Half of the track – from the hairpin turn until after the pit area – runs alongside the Olympic Basin, a huge rectangular basin, created for the rowing and canoeing events of Montréal's 1976 Summer Olympics. Barriers run close to the circuit and many experienced drivers have been caught out by them. A famous part of the circuit is the wall on the outside of the exit of the final chicane before the start/finish straight. In 1999 the wall, which bears the name Bienvenue au Québec giving it the nickname "Mur du Québec", ended the race of three Formula One World Champions, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve along with FIA GT champion Ricardo Zonta. Since the wall has been nicknamed "The Wall of Champions". In recent years 2009 world champion Jenson Button and four time World Champion Sebastian Vettel have fallen victim to the wall. Changes made in 2005 to the curbs on the final chicane were controversial amongst drivers in the run-up to the Grand Prix; the curbs were made higher and more difficult for the drivers to see, making it more challenging.
On June 23, 2006, the Canadian Press reported that the city of Montréal had awarded exclusive rights to stage the two allowed race weekends on the track to Normand Legault, promoter of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix. The deal was for 2007 to 2011, with an option for 2012 to 2016. Legault decided to replace the Champ Car race with races from the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Series and NASCAR's Nationwide Series – the latter series' first race north of the Canada-United States border. On August 4, 2007, Kevin Harvick made history by winning the first NASCAR Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in what was one of the most controversial NASCAR races as Robby Gordon claimed to have won the race; the NASCAR races have affected the circuit layout. An expansion of the pit lane took place, since a NASCAR pit lane must accommodate a minimum of 43 cars; the 2008 race made history as the first NASCAR race to run on rain tires. In 2017, due to the new safety requirements imposed by the FIA, the circuit had new Tecpro barriers installed, after removal of older tire barriers by May 2017.
With the 2017 technical regulations, experts predicted the F1 cars to be quicker by three to five seconds a lap in June at Montréal. The introduction this 2017 season of faster Formula 1 cars has forced the FIA to revise the safety features of every F1 circuit. 2017's F1 event saw a change to the exit of the last chicane with its angle modified, because the FIA found it was dangerous. The complex of turns one and two has become known as the Senna'S'. From a bird's eye view turns one and two together can represent an'S' shape. Since the pit-exit was redesigned merging into turn two, the'S' shape is not so evident on first glance; the fast Droit du Casino corner is after the bridge underpass and is known as a'quick kink' before Turn 9 and the rush to a passing zone at the Hairpin curve. Turn 10 at Île Notre-Dame is the best example of a 180° hairpin turn design with full wheel lock during F1 competition; the various lines taken entering the hairpin curve can predict overtaking on the apex, or exit during race competition.
Braking too late can see racecars offline into the runoff area, many spinning in front of packed grandstands. Many overtakes can be seen at this location due to engine drivers' racecraft. Entering turns 12 & 13 drivers encounter one of the best passing zones completing th