Rudskogen Motorsenter - the central place of circuit racing in Norway
Rudskogen Motorsenter is the biggest permanent race track in Norway and the central place of circuit racing in that Nordic country. The race track near Rakkestad, in southern Norway, was built in 1990 and totally rebuilt between 2006 and 2011, when the Norwegian government financed the construction of the modern 3.237-km long circuit, designed by Hermann Tilke.
Since then, the Rudskogen is the venue of the few Norwegian premium events, for example the annual Rudskogen Motorfestival and two editions of the Scandinavian Gatebil Festival.
While Sweden had F1 Grand Prix, Norwegians had no proper race track
In the country where rallying and rallycross are among the national sports, the circuit racing never had a status like in other European countries. While the neighbors in Sweden had few big race tracks and they even hosted the Formula One Grand Prix during the 1970s, Norway’s racing enthusiasts were always more focused on other motorsport disciplines, so the first big race track with the paved surface was completed in 1990.
Thierry Boutsen was the godfather of Rudskogen circuit
On May 20, 1990, Belgian F1 driver Thierry Boutsen was the godfather of the newly-built Rudskogen circuit with a 1.9-km long track that featured 10 turns. The owners of the circuit were the various local and national organisations, including the Norwegian Automobile Federation. In the next couple of years, the former racer and current businessman Harald Huysman became the majority shareholder and he expanded the Rudskogen facility with a new karting circuit.
Hermann Tilke designed a new Rudskogen circuit
In 2006, Rudskogen was chosen to receive government funding with an idea to convert the circuit into a national center for circuit racing for bikes and cars. The famous designer of F1 tracks Hermann Tilke was invited to design the completely new layout of the facility and he created the 14-turn 3.237-km long track. The Rudskogen Motorsenter also has 1.2-km long karting circuit that was built under highest international standards.
The main circuit rolls between hills and through the forest, with an elevation difference of 42 meters. The track features two straights, and the longer one has 640 meters in length, which was enough for Formula One car to reach the speed of almost 300 km/h.
Motorfestival and Gatebil are the main events
The F1 cars visited Rudskogen few times, during the annual Motorfestival. In 2012, Sebastien Buemi was the guest with Red Bull F1 car, while in the 2013 edition the guest was Marc Gene with Ferrari’s F138 car. He set the fastest lap time and current record of Rudskogen of 1 minute 9.507 seconds.
Since the opening of Tilke-designed race track, Rudskogen hosted many Norway’s national championship and races from neighboring countries, with Gatebil festival attracting the most visitors, but is still waiting for its first major international event. In the meantime, the schedule is full of racing festivals, track days, training days and other corporative events. The circuit is especially popular among the drifters.
Video : Gatebil festival at Rudskogen
Address: Rudskogen Motorsenter, 1890 Rakkestad, Norway
Phone: +47 69 22 68 10
Official website: www.rudskogen.no