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Coordinates: 45¬į44‚Ä≤50‚Ä≥N 3¬į02‚Ä≤20‚Ä≥EÔĽŅ / ÔĽŅ45.74722¬įN 3.03889¬įEÔĽŅ / 45.74722; 3.03889

Charade Circuit/Circuit Louis Rosier/Circuit Clermont-Ferrand
Circuit Clermont Ferrand.png
Location Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne, France
Time zone GMT +1
Major events Formula One (1965, 1969, 1970, 1972)
Length 8.055 km (5.005 mi)
Turns 48
Lap record 2:53.4, 166.751 km/h (New Zealand Chris Amon, Matra, 1972)

The Charade Circuit (also known as Circuit Louis Rosier and Circuit Clermont-Ferrand) is a motorsport road course in the Auvergne mountains in France near Clermont-Ferrand, the home of Michelin and Patrick Depailler.

Built in 1958 around the sides of an extinct volcano, the originally 8.055 km (5.005-mi) long Charade was described as an even twistier and faster version of the N√ľrburgring. Some drivers like Jochen Rindt in the 1969 French Grand Prix complained of motion sickness, and wore open face helmets, just in case.

The French Grand Prix motorcycle racing events were held at Charade from 1959 to 1967, and 1972 to 1974.

In 1964, the VI Trophée d'Auvergne Formula 2 race podium was a sign of things to come: Denny Hulme, Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt showed their skill before the track hosted the 1965 French Grand Prix.

In 1966 John Frankenheimer made the film "Grand Prix" in front of 3000 locals who posed as race spectators watching actors like Yves Montand and Françoise Hardy.

In total four Formula One French Grands Prix were held at Charade: 1965, 1969, 1970 and 1972. Due to drivers cutting corners, a stone thrown from Emerson Fittipaldi's Lotus hit Helmut Marko in the eye during the 1972 French Grand Prix, ending his F1 career, as well as the one of the circuit. The stones also had caused ten deflated tyres, but luckily no big crashes. The French Grand Prix moved to the new Paul Ricard Circuit.

Formula 3, sports car racing, and touring car racing as when as Rallying and hillclimbing continued there until the 1980s when the original layout was criticized. Due to the layout on the side of a mountain it was not possible to build larger runoff areas, a similar problem as at the old N√ľrburgring. In 1980, three marshalls were killed, and in 1984 the drivers protested. The last race on the 8km track was held on September 18, 1988.

A 3.86 km (2.4-mi) abbreviated version of the circuit is still in operation, hosting races like Formula Three.


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