Dijon-Prenois

Dijon-Prenois is a 3.801 km (2.362 mi) motor racing circuit located in Prenois, near Dijon, France. The undulating track is noted for its fast, sweeping bends. Opened in 1972, Dijon-Prenois hosted the Formula One French Grand Prix five times, and the Swiss Grand Prix in 1982. The non-championship 1975 Swiss Grand Prix was also held at Dijon.

Originally, the circuit was shorter, and straight after the first GP the circuit was found too short for Formula 1, so an uphill hairpin was added to give the track its current length. Circuit Dijon-Prenois still hosts various racing events including a Lotus Cup Europe round.

I’m going to start this lap when I exit the last corner and onto the main straight. Build up the speed and start thinking about braking as you see the bridge crossing the track. Start carefully and brake later and later during the day as you see fit. The first corner is a very long right-hander. I personally have two apex’s, there are 4 separate bits of inside curbing, take the first one briefly and let the car flow wide again. Stay wide and then cut across again for the third and fourth bit of inside curbing. Keep to the right hand side of the track as you exit the first corner.

Prepare for a very fast left-right combination. As you go in to the left-hander, take a lot of inside curb and the apex is at the end of this curb. Then gently turn in to the right-hander, there are again two separate bits of inside curb, your apex is at the second bit. Keep ‘hugging’ that bit and right at the moment you have to straighten the wheel, brake for the next left hand drop. Stay in the middle of the circuit on the entry, but go over the inside curb as you move towards the apex right at the bottom of this drop. You can go wide on the exit, as it is all tarmac.

Keep the wheel straight; you’ll end up on the left hand side of the track. Heavy braking is needed for the next uphill right hairpin. Enter very late and go up towards the apex in as much of a straight line as you can. It’s a blind crest and the car can snap a bit, as it gets very light here. Use every bit of track on the exit to minimize this. Cross to the right hand side of track, medium braking for the next double left-hander (treat it as one corner!). On the entry take a lot of inside curb, it is very accessible. From that moment on, you let the car flow to the outside and ignore the second of this double left-hander.

Next up is a very cool right-hander, you can feel the circuit drop at the point where you need to commit to the corner and it really grabs you. The outside curb can be used on the exit. The final corner is a very difficult right-hander of the Zandvoort genre. Brake, keep to the outside, and move gently towards the apex. As you exit again, there is a lot of asphalted space on the outside, if you feel like it’s going to be a tight exit, use this as a plan B. Then, you’re on a very long main straight where you can take a breath and prepare for another lap.

Words kindly provided by Ward Vrancken

Valet PROElise-shopLotus CarsB.R.M ChronographesStand 21 RacewearAvon TyresSELOC Lotus EnthusiastsThe Lotus ForumsLotus Drivers ClubMidlands Lotus Owners ClubClassic Team LotusNorth Yorkshire Lotus Owners ClubLotus Historic Register GermanyClub Team Lotus BelgiumScottish Elises