Portimao circuitThe Algarve International Autodrome takes its name from the region in which it is situated.
The Algarve is situated in the south of Portugal and the circuit was inaugurated in November 2008 for the last round of the World Superbike series. The facilities extend to 300 hectares and are set in the hills around Portimao. The 4692 metre track is full of rises and falls that make it technically demanding. There are many blind curves and some where the slope surprises drivers on the way out. The main straight is just under a kilometre long and spills into the first two right handers before the brakes are called for at turn 3. This is a slow right hand hairpin where drivers often experience understeer.
The track continues uphill towards turn 4, a quick left curve with a hidden exit, that leads to a short straight. At the end of the straight is a left hand hairpin, a point where the fast section of the track begins. Curves 6 and 7 are taken at full pelt before braking once again for turn 8, a right hander that tightens as it winds down. From there the track dips and then rises sharply, making the left hand turn 9 much harder to deal with. The most difficult braking point is turn 10, another right hander. The track here falls away and so drivers cannot see the exit.
The circuit again goes downhill for the straightforward turn 11; something that cannot be said about the fierce braking needed to take turn 12. The track ends with two long right handers. The first calls for quick reactions as the exit is totally different to the entry in terms of how the track slopes; the second, the one that leads to the finish line, is very uneven.