The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari aka Imola is located near the Italian town of Imola, 40 kilometers east of Bologna and 80 kilometers east of the Ferrari factory in Maranello. The circuit is named after Ferrari's late founder Enzo and his son Dino.
The first race event on the circuit was held in April 1953, with the GP Coni motorcycle race (125cc and 500cc Italian championship). The following year the first car races arrived in the form of the Coppa d'Oro Shell ('Golden Shell' race), which was open only to sports cars and would see Ferrari and Maserati compete for victory, the Ferrari of Magioli eventually proving victorious.
In 1981 the circuit was granted an Italian Grand Prix race alongside Monza under the guise of the nearby Republic of San Marino (as two Grand Prix were held in Italy at that time, the race held at Imola was named after the nearby state), an event it would host for the next quarter century.
Imola will forever be tainted by the Formula One tragedies of 1994, the blackest week-end in Formula One’s history. During Friday practice for the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Rubens Barrichello was lucky to emerge with relatively light injuries when he crashed his Jordan-Hart at the track. The following day, Roland Ratzenberger was killed when he crashed, and in the race itself, spectators were injured when debris from a startline collision went into the crowd. Then, Formula One's biggest star Ayrton Senna suffered fatal injuries when his car left the track at the Tamburello corner, and mechanics were injured in the restarted race when a wheel came loose from a Minardi.
Due to these devastating accidents, Formula One prompted major revisions to the layout of the circuit and Imola underwent a total reconstruction in the winter of 1994, emerging in much modified form.
After the reconstruction, Formula One events continued successfully for another decade and, between 1996 and 1999, the MotoGP also returned, meaning that for a brief period Imola was one more home to the top classes in two and four wheels. However, MotoGP departed in 2000, to be replaced a year later by the World Superbike Championships.
In August 2006, FIA dropped the San Marino Grand Prix from the F1 calendar unless major improvements were made to the Imola circuit. Due to this, Imola initiated major reconstructions, including new pit and paddock facilities, and the revised circuit was inaugurated in May 2008, hosting a round of the World Touring Car Championship for the first time ever.
The revived circuit has gone on to consolidate its position, continuing to host the World Superbike Championships but also reviving top class sportscars with the Six Hours of Imola, run to Le Mans rules as part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2011. Subsequently, a shortened three-hour race has formed a round of the European Le Mans Series.
In 2011 FIA awarded the circuit Grade 1 status once again, licensing it for Formula One competition. On 18 July 2016, Imola signed a deal to host the Italian Grand Prix from the 2017 season, taking the event away from Monza. However, on 2 September 2016, it was announced that Monza instead secured a new deal to continue hosting the race and the hopes for Imola vanished, at least for the time being.
Imola has for sure had its share of triumph, tragedy and controversy. Nevertheless, the circuit remains one of the most atmospheric and challenging circuits in Europe.
If you want to join us on this historic and epic track, we will be happy to help you fulfill your dream.