Anneau Du Rhin
The circuit is located in the Elsace and has four different layouts. The competition 3km layout which we use combines a very technical first sector with a very fast and sweeping middle and last sector, providing lots of entertainment.
The circuits infrastructure scores well on some points such as a very picturesque paddock and snack bar. The petrol heads will find an extensive car collection hidden away in between the different farmhouses housing amongst others three Bugatti's, Ferrari racers and Porsche classics.
On track it's a bit mixed. The different layouts provide safe runoff area's in some crucial points in all the sectors, which allow you to re-join safely. On the other hand there are walls near to the track which are only separated by mere yards of grass. Gravel traps are in place only in the high speed turns, but in some places they won't stop you from hitting the wall.
A lap of the track starts from the pit exit (marked by chequered flag on our map). The first tight right hander has a very late apex that you can recognize by the middle of the inside curbing. The following corner is a left hander that looks tighter than it is. The black tire markings on the inside curbs show an early entry and an early exit that lines you up parallel to the outside white line. The track becomes very wide at that point and allows you to accelerate smoothly. Caution with the white line though in the wet, as for the black tire markings that can make it very greasy. You keep parallel to the white line and brake late into the following left hander. You stay outside until halfway around the corner and cut across. The late braking will line you up perfectly for the late entry because otherwise it's very easy to wander to the inside too soon. The apex can be spotted as being in between the beginning and the middle of a very short inside curb near the end of the corner. There's space on the exit to accelerate aggressively from the apex to the outside curbing. Then you cut across in a straight line to the braking point for a right hander that tightens on the exit. A late entry is required once more and you have to wait before going on the throttle until you face the apex since a lot of Lotus's tend to understeer badly in this right hander. On the exit there's a little bit of outside curbing that leads onto a bit of track from one of the other layouts that rejoin our layout, you can use this for accelerating out of the corner allowing a smoother exit and you can be on the throttle quite a bit sooner. Make sure you start wandering to the right hand side of the track soon enough to line you up for the sweeping bends, as there is a pothole where you run off track and into the grass on the exit of the last of the late apex corners.
As you prepare yourself for the very fast left-right-left combination, you'll feel a bit of a bump in the track where the surface rises just a little bit, that is a perfect reference point to give the car a tap on the brakes and turn in smoothly for the lefthander. In the dry the inside curb can be used and will widen the track for you since you can't see the apex on the entry, and with the high speed every time you take it your entry will be a little bit different from the previous lap. Stick to the left hand side long enough to allow you to be as smooth as you can in the right hander, leading up to a small kink to the left. This corner will be taken differently depending on your line through the long right hander afterwards. If you stay outside longer through the long right hander and use one late apex, you need to line up for braking as soon as you can on the left hand side, meaning you'll have to compromise your line through the last, fast left hander. If you want to make the long right hander a double apex corner and trail brake past the first apex, you can be a bit more aggressive in the last, fast left hander. The exit of the long right hander is reasonably wide and allows early acceleration as long as you allow the car to flow to the outside.
Then on the long straight you keep to the left and ignore the kink to the left as you shouldn't acknowledge it as a proper corner, the shorter trajectory is more important as it does not influence your acceleration. The very fast right hander you will approach around 120mph and depending on your car you'll lift or tap the brakes before it. When you exit the corner, use the whole width of the track and go right up against the outside curb, allowing the car to flow and twitch less. Straight after you need to brake heavily for a double apex right hander, they're a bit too much apart to make one corner out of it, so you'll have straightened the wheel in between for only a millisecond. You can use the inside curbs, but not the outside curb in between the right handers, because it's very small and there's a drop of +/- 10cm on to the grass, so the car can bottom out if you go too wide. You only need to lift off to enter the second right hander and make sure you keep to the outside long enough, as it is very easy to stray to the inside too soon. Let the car exit onto a bit of run off area, but be mindful as there will be cars exiting the pit lane on your left hand side very close to you. (but assistance from the pit lane will be provided) Then you will arrive quickly to the first corner again where you can brake late to facilitate your late entry and apex.
Words kindly provided by Ward Vrancken.