Road Racing News

Historic Roads Circuits: Circuit De Charade, France

Established in 1958, the Circuit De Charade, located in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne Mountains in France, over a vast period of time, was one of the most challenging and technically demanding roads circuits of it’s era.

Unique for many aspects, including that it was based around an extinct volcano, the 3.975 Kilometres long roads venue, first hosted the French round of the Moto GP world championship in 1959.

It went onto hold the French Grand Prix title for the next five years, then regained the title in 1966 to 1967, and then again in 1972 and for the final time in 1974.

Known for it’s tight and twisty nature, ultra fast straights and it’s high altitude, Circuit De Charade provided one of the biggest challenges to Grand Prix competitors in the 60’s and early 70’s.

Star names to have competed around the roads circuit, which had in total 18 turns included John Surtees CBE, Jim Redman MBE, Phil Read MBE, Mike Hailwood and Bill Ivy.

photos-adherents-VOISIN Charade motos 1966 Agostini

Photo by Bernard Voisin

Plus fellow legends Barry Sheene, ten times TT winner Giacomo Agostini and Jarno Saarinen.

Described as a twistier, faster version of the iconic Nurburgring circuit, Circuit De Charade is rightfully regarded amongst France’s all time most famous motorsport venues.

Words by Stevie Rial

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