Rally RACC Catalunya
Catalonia, one of the regions of Spain, is well-known for its association with car racing.
The Catalan city of Montmeló is the site of the Circuit de Catalunya, a Formula one racetrack. Construction on the track began in 1989, with the goal of completing it in time for the 1992 Summer Olympics to be held in Barcelona, which is just south of Montmeló. Work was completed on schedule, with the first event taking place there in September of 1991.
The track is noted for its many different types of corners and its very long straightaways, which demand a wide range of skills from drivers. The unpredictable Catalan weather can also add to the challenge of this track; wind conditions may change significantly over the course of a long race, forcing the drivers to adjust their strategies on the fly. The circuit is often used for testing cars, giving drivers many opportunities to familiarize themselves with the venue.
The Circuit de Catalunya has hosted some of the most famous car races in Spain. For example, the 1991 Spanish Grand Prix is remembered for the heart-pounding duel for second place between Ayrton Senna of Brazil and Nigel Mansell of the UK, who drove the entire length of the front straightaway right next to each other before Mansell was able to take the lead. Five years later, the German driver Michael Schumacher also made history on the circuit with his extraordinary winning run during a severe downpour of rain during the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix.
Region Catalonia is also strongly associated with rally driving. From 1991 to 2004, the Costa Brava area was home to the annual Rally RACC Catalunya, part of the World Rally Championship series. Since 2005, the event has been held on the roads near the Catalan town of Salou.