WTCR Track Guide: #3 Slovakia Ring
Slovakia Ring is the venue for the third event of the 2020 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, a track with a reputation for being challenging and entertaining in equal measure. Here are all the key details of a driver and fan favourite.
In 100 words…. Opened in 2010 and located 40 kilometres east of the capital Bratislava, Slovakia Ring hosted the FIA World Touring Car Championship five times from 2012 and has been ever-present on the WTCR schedule. Its challenging nature, speed variations, elevations and array of corner configurations makes it popular among drivers and fans with tens of thousands attending each season. Described by inaugural WTCR title winner Gabriele Tarquini as “one of the best tracks in Europe”, the 200kph Turn 2 right-hander requires serious commitment. Néstor Girolami, Frédéric Vervisch and Ma Qing Hua were the winners in 2019 following three highly entertaining races.
Location: 800 Orechová Potôň 930 02, Slovakia
Track length: 5.922 kilometres
Race 1 distance: 9 laps (53.114 kilometres)
Race 2 distance: 9 laps (53.114 kilometres)
Race 3 distance: 11 laps (64.958 kilometres)
WTCR qualifying lap record: Gabriele Tarquini (Hyundai i30 N TCR), 2m09.312s (164.80kph), 14/07/18
WTCR race lap record: Gabriele Tarquini (Hyundai i30 N TCR, 2m11.061s (162.60kph), 14/07/18
Race 1: Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Audi RS 3 LMS
Race 2: Néstor Girolami (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 3: Ma Qing Hua (CHN) Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR
Race 1: Pepe Oriola (ESP) CUPRA TCR
Race 2: Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 3: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
View from the track by Gabriele Tarquini: “Slovakia for me always has very good memories and the Slovakia Ring is one of the most exciting to drive in the WTCR. In my personal list of circuits, it’s just down from Suzuka. I’m always happy to drive there because the characteristics of the corners are always completely different from one to the other. You have a very fast part of the track and a very slow part, so it’s always exciting. T2 is one of the fastest corners at 225kph and I remember well one year in WTCC when I lost the bonnet in the middle of the corner. It was amazing because I had no vision and I was in the middle of one of the fastest corners. But it was a good memory as well because I was able to finish the corner.”
Did you know? As well as being the venue of Norbert Michelisz’s first WTCR win, a feat he achieved in 2018, by taking victory in the third race at the Slovakia Ring last season, Ma Qing Hua became the first Chinse driver to win a WTCR race.