Le Luc – Circuit du Var
Le Luc is a small but fun circuit located on the French Riviera near Toulon. This 2.4km track was initially a F1 test track in the 80s for AGS, a F1 team located at the circuit. When the team ceased to operate in F1, it was decided to create a racing school where F3 and F1 cars could be driven, which is still the case today! The circuit however has changed hands and can be hired by clubs.
You exit the pitlane on the left hand side of the main straight and the line is on the right for oncoming cars. The long straight is followed by an interesting left kink directly followed by a slow right hander. Obviously you want to carry as much speed as possible in the straight line, as long as possible, while then slow down somewhat to take the “very late apex” right kink quite quickly while not getting carried away to the right hand side as you have to be on the left part of the track for the slow right corner and its short straight.
The next right hander is usually full throttle and leads into a straight allowing interesting speeds when arriving on a left bend. This is the first of 3 corners, left-right-left, that can be taken quite fast when realising that nearly a straight line can be drawn between them using the curbs. Basically you try to extend the previous straight line as much as possible. The technical bit is however the exit of the last of these 3 corners, as you have to brake before entering a technical section. You want to hit the curb on the left while getting carried away until the middle of the track while trail braking as the section that follows is in fact a double right hander. Important is not to follow the curbs but to enter that double right hander somewhat offset between the left and the middle of the track, to hit a first late apex on your right, to exit on modulated throttle the first right corner up until say 2/3rd of the track width to carry on your smooth arc into the second right corner with a late apex. All this serves only one purpose: fast in, carrying on speed between the corners, while most importantly being able to apply full throttle early on at the exit for the following uphill straight.
Once uphill, you will notice there is a blind right kink. It can be taken quite quickly, but its apex is often later than anticipated and you don’t want to run on curbs at the exit. Being blind and quite quick means you have to go off throttle before that kink while trying to have some reference points. Late apex is clearly the approach to have in the first laps. You don’t want anyway to have an early entry or apex on that corner as you will end up on the grass at high speed on the exit. Follows then a quick straight line, downhill, leading into a slow right corner. This right corner is important as it dictates your speed on the main straight, so you want to build some speed. It is however downhill so again you have to brake probably earlier than usual, in a straight line, turn in late, carry some speed into the inside line of the corner to avoid getting carried to the left (dirty and off camber), seeking for a late apex and straightening the car before your exit onto the left hand exit curb. You don’t want to have an early entry on that corner.
You are then back onto the main straight, pitlane entry is on your left.
Words kindly provided by Claude Gonzales.