Rijeka, Croatia
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The links above provide you a way back to main part of the dictionary. Pages Preluk and Rijeka are only the add to my site, to give you some information about me, and some interesting facts about my home town and an old racing track only few kilometers from Rijeka. Rijeka has a great history organizing races almost a century ago.

riječki dvoglavi orao

Ambigram Rijeka

Udruga 051 Rijeka

RiRock, glazbeni internetski magazin

Racing in Rijeka area

Motor racing in Kvarner area (bay in which Rijeka is situated) have long tradition that goes as far as beginning of last century

 

Race start at Matulji vilage close o Rijeka. Racing event was caled  Abbazia - Monte Maggiore Opatija - Mountain Učka Race 1932
Race start at Matulji village close to Rijeka. Racing event was called "Abbazia - Monte Maggiore" (Opatija - Mountain Učka Race), 22. September 1929

 

Yet there are two locations that have special place in that field.

Preluk and Grobnik are symbols of past and present. Preluk, by many characteristics unique in the world when auto racing are concerned, can even be compared to Monte Carlo in that line. For four decades Preluk has been a host of numerous competitions, national and international, that have developed from Adriatic Prix.

 

Google earth picture of prelukPreluk is located in Kvarner Gulf (Kvarnerski zaljev in Croatian language), few km South West of Rijeka.

Temporary street course track 3.728 miles/6.000km in lenght hosted international races between 1937 and 1977, and bike races from 1969 to 1977. GT and sports car races were held between 1937 and 1959, Formula Junior in 1960, 1961 and 1963, and Formula 3 between 1964 and 1968. The track was closed in 1977 due to increased boycott by motorcycle riders because of safety hazards - so the local auto-club hurriedly built the Rijeka (Grobnik) track to ensure that they could continue to host the Adriatic GP (GP of Yugoslavia).

First edition of auto racing Adriatic Prix race was held in 9th July 1939, when this area was temporary in Italy. From the end of Second World War to June 24th 1991 this area was in Yugoslavia, and after 1990 separation of Croatia from Yugoslavia, this is part of Croatia. That's why, in old records this circuit was known like "Circuito di Carnaro" (Kvarner Circuit) or "Circuito di Abbazia" (Opatija Circuit).

But this was not the first race held on this 6000 meter long road course with level difference of 85 meter. Maximum gradient in uphill was 5.1% and downhill 3.6%. There is a record of local small races from 1931.

The track featured many gradients over the course, and these are as follows:-
0- 150m 0.0% (5m)*
150- 900m 3.5% (31.06m)
900-1930m 5.3% (85.46m)
1930-2065m 0.4% (90.00m)
2065-2715m -2.4% (71.40m)
2715-3865m -3.6% (30.00m)
3865-4015m -3.0% (25.50m)
4015-5015m -1.0% (16.00m)
5015-5445m -2.0% (7.00m)
5445-5645m -1.0% (5.00m)
5645-6000m 0.0% (5.00m)
* Meters above the sea level on the end of section

The Italians organized a race on Preluk racing track the same day as the French GP 1939, as Mussolini had denied the Italian Maserati works teams to start in France.

Circuito del Carnaro, Coppa Mussolini 9.06 1939

Circuito del Carnaro (Kvarner circuit), Coppa Mussolini 9.06 1939, situation plan on the circuit

From "David Venables book, The Racing Fifteen-hundreds, a history of voiturette racing from 1931 to 1940", and why this first race for Adriatic Prix was held in Preluk:

"Although Mussolini's edict prevented the Italian team being at Rheims (The Coupe de la Commission Sportive), the Maserati team was not deprived of a race that Sunday (9th July 1939) for as a consolation the team went to the North East coast of the Adriatic as far as the coastal holiday resort of Abbazia (Opatija) where the Circuit of Carnaro was being run on a 3.7 mile (6 kilometers) road circuit.
This made a change from the usual Italian short circuits and nine Maseratis appeared. The Works Maserati Team comprised two Maserati 4CL's for Gigi Villoresi and Franco Cortese and the 24 valve Maserati 6CM for Giovanni Rocco. Rocco's 6CM led Villoresi and Cortese at the start but then fell back with engine problems, leaving Villoresi and Cortese to complete the 93 mile (150 km) course in an easy demonstration. The pace was hard as five cars fell out including those of Paul Pietsch and Barbieri both of whom only lasted for one lap. To Villoresi, so soon after his brother's death (Emilio Villoresi, Monday 20th June while testing a Tipo 158 Alfa Romeo at Monza) that was a courageous act.

The result: 25 laps = 150 km
CIRCUIT OF CARNARO - Abbazia (I), 9 JULY 1939 VOITURETTE

Entry list: Pietsch, Villoresi, Cortese, Baruffi, Rocco, Romano, Barbieri, Plate, Lami, Pagliano, Bonomi.
Best time in practice - Villoresi (2:48.6 128.113 kph).
Fastest lap - Villoresi (130.120 kph, on lap 18)

1
L Villoresi - Maserati
 
  4
Cortese - Maserati
2
Rocco - Maserati
 
  3
Pietsch - Maserati
10
Barbieri - Maserati
 
  6
Romano - Maserati
7
Baruffi - Maserati
 
  5
E Platé - Maserati
Utrke preluk auto Gigi Villoresi
Starting grid of CIRCUIT OF CARNARO - 9 JULY 1939 race, and on the picture Luigi Gigi Villoresi on starting grid with his Maserati 4CL

 

Results of this race:

1 L Villoresi (Maserati 4CL 1.5L *) 1:10:51.2 Auto utrke Preluk
2 Cortese (Maserati 4CL 1.5L **) + 12.2
3 Romano (Maserati 6CM 1.5L) + 7:26.1
4 Rocco (Maserati 6CM 1.5L *) - 1 lap
DNF E Platé (Maserati 6CM 1.5L) ~4 laps mechanical
DNF Baruffi (Maserati 6CM 1.5L) ~3 laps mechanical
DNF Barbieri (Maserati 6CM 1.5L) 1 lap crash
DNF Pietsch (Maserati 6CM 1.5L ***2) 1 lap engine

Fastest lap: L Villoresi (Maserati) 2:45.2

* Entered by Officine Alfieri Maserati
** Entered by Scuderia Torino
*** Entered by C Lami

BTW, same Maserati 4CL car entered also Formula 1 races at 1950 and 1951. For 1953 season and later racer was replaced with Maserati A6GCM.

There are results of others auto races in period from 1950 to 1968. This info is courtesy of Tony Kaye.

1950... <1100cc Veselinovic (HR) Fiat 88.5kph
1950... >1100cc Maleric (SLO or HR) 90.7kph
1951... <1100cc Malagola (I)
1951... >1100cc Koresch (A)
1952... raced, but I have no specific data
1953... some junior formulae (I've seen the photo, but I have no specific data)
1954... <1300cc Otto Mathé (A) Porsche
1954... >1300cc Ernst Vogel (A) Porsche 116.27kph
1955... <1300cc Otto Mathé (A) Porsche
1955... >1300cc Ernst Vogel (A) Porsche no.140
1956... >1300cc Ernst Vogel (A) Porsche no.20
1956... <3000cc Franco Cortese (I) Ferrari no.44 121.4kph
1957... raced, but I have no specific data
1958... <1300cc Sep Liebel (A) Alfa Romeo
1958... <2000cc Ernst Vogel (A) Porsche no.144 131.25 (first time Villoresi's 128.113kph was bettered)
1959... <1300cc Charles Vögele (CH) Lotus no.121 115.4kph
1959... GT class race (raced, but I have no specific data)
1960... Formula Junior Sep Liebele (A) Stanguellini 117.65kph
1960... Sport class race Frazer (Rhodesia)
1961... Formula Junior Mario Zanarotti (I) Stanguellini 124.8kph
1962... raced, but I have no specific data
1963... Formula Junior Kurt Ahrens () Cooper 142.29kph
1964... Formula 3 1st heat Roman Dirschl (D) Lotus, 2nd Heat Hans Byczkowski (DDR) Wartburg
1965... Formula 3 Manfred Mohr (D) Brabham 139.05kph
1966... Formula 3* Patrick Dal Bo (F) Brabham 95.25kph (cancelled after 5 out of scheduled 12 laps due to heavy rain)
1967... Formula 3 David Walker (AUS) Cosworth
1968... Formula 3 Manfred Mohr (D) Tecno 149.169kph


Auto utrke Preluk Autoutrke Preluk
Some of rare pictures from Preluk racing track

 

This is Barry Collerson, one of the drivers, on the 1966 car race:

Barry Collerson: Mount Druit to Monza, Motor Racing on a Shoestring Budget"Our next meeting, the Adriatic Grand Prix in Yugoslavia, gave me my first experience of racing behind the Iron curtain, The colorful seaside town of Rijeka and Opatija and it is here that the Grand Prix is held, on a natural road circuit which starts on the beachfront and winds up a steep hill with a rock face on one side and a sheer drop to the sea, protected by a stone wall, on the other. Then comes a fast downhill straight, a hairpin, another straight bit followed by a series of downhill S bends and back to the pits on the waterfront. The circuit also boasts an uphill hairpin which is the tightest I have ever seen; during practice I think every driver had to select reverse gear to get round it at one time or another.
The general layout is not unlike Monaco, but it's much faster and longer, being almost four miles per lap.
We were paid our starting money in local currency and, as this money has little value on the exchange rate outside Yugoslavia, we decided to spend as much as possible while we were there. Our starting money, equal to about 45 Pound each, was a small fortune by local standards and we found it difficult to get rid of the local currency - I wish I suffered from this problem more often. We even lived it up by staying in a hotel, which was a change from living, sleeping and eating in the transporter.

Saturday's programme consisted of several motor cycle events plus the two eight-lap qualifying heats for the Grand Prix. In my heat I managed to finish second, with Kurt Keller third, but I was lucky to finish, nursing my car to the chequered flag with 20lbs oil pressure and a run big-end bearing which took its toll on the big-end and con rod. Overnight we patched up the engine with a new set of bearings as a starting money special for the final on Sunday. However, the race became a farce when the heavens opened up just before the start making the already dicey circuit like a skating rink. The promoters wanted to abandon the race and after some argument the cars which had qualified were wheeled out onto the circuit to drive an exploratory lap, after which a vote was taken. The result was a deadlock, half the drivers (including Kurt and myself) voting to race while the remainder claimed it was too dangerous. Eventually a compromise was reached, the race being run over five laps instead of 12. Although run at a snail's pace, several drivers (including me!) still managed to spin on the treacherous surface, the eventual winner being Patrick Dal-Bo in the works entered Pygmee. Kurt, who loves the rain, upheld our team name by finishing third."

Barry Collerson's results in Europe 1966 can be found here:
http://www.formula2.net/F366_IndexE.htm

Moto utrke Preluk Moto utrke Preluk

 

Preluk, layout plan

September 14. 1947 on Preluk was held first race for Yugoslavian moto championship. There was a racers from all ex. Yugoslavian republics. All the best Yugoslavia can offer. Same day was also time to start with Yugoslavian auto championship. 130 drivers in all classes.
Results:

Motorcycles:
Category125 ccm

1. Danilo Širica , Croatia: 18,41 – 77,086 km/h
2. Šurbek Ladislav, Croatia:19,36,05 – 73,440km/h
3.Krhen Ivan , Croatia: 21,07 – 68,184 km/h

Category 250 ccm
1. Jakšić Antun, Croatia: 24,23 – 88,560km/h
2.Puhar Frane, Slovenia: 24,26,05 – 88,354km/h
3.Prigelhof Ivan , Croatia: 25,28 - 84,816km/h

Category 350 ccm
1. Mec Veljko, Croatia: 20,00,2/5 – 98,136 km/h
2.Trampuš Emil, Slovenia: 23,09,1/5 – 93,276km/h
3. Ponikvar Leo, Slovenia: 24,44 - 87,300 km/h

Category 500 ccm
1.Vukelić Ivan, Croatia: 21,47,4/5 – 99,072km/h
2. Keber Drago, Slovenia: 22,31 – 95,904km/h
3.Bogosavljević Mile, Serbia : 23,03,4/5 –93,456 km/h

Category 1.000 ccm
1.Vukelić Ivan, Croatia: 22,00,1/5 – 98,136 km/h
2.Parić Mate, J.A. : 22,30,1/5 – 95,976 km/h
3.Jungflajš Franjo, Croatia: 22,49,4/5 –94,608 km/h

Category sidecars 600ccm
1.Penzić Zvonko, Croatia: 25,05 -86,112 km/h
2.Tkalčec Drago, Slovenia: 28:14 – 76,500km/h

Category sidecars do 1.200 ccm
1.Kamenar Drago, J.A. : 23,59 – 90,061 km/h
2.Picek Ivan , Serbia : 26,58,2/5 – 80,064km/h
3. Zemljak Emil, Croatia: 29,01 – 74,412km/h

Cars
Category 500 ccm

1.Alibunar Franc, Slovenia: 22,23,2/5 – 64,296km/h
2.Pintar Slavko, Slovenia: 22,29,4/5
3.Lojze Frane, Slovenia: 22,51

Category 1.100 ccm
1.Viecoli Bruno, Croatia: 18,13 – 79,020km/h
2.Kren Zvonimir, Croatia: 20,23 – 70,632km/h
3.Grasić Janko, Slovenia: 20,25 – 70,524km/h

Category over 1.100 ccm
1.Malnarič Dušan, Slovenia: 22,47,3/5 – 94,752km/h
2.Ing. Vladmar Stane, Slovenia: 23,05,2/5 –93,528 km/h

Long time ago, on Jun 21, 1964 the first of nine motto Adriatic Grand Prix (Motorcycle GP of Yugoslavia) was held and for the first time the race counted for the world championship. A terrifying track. From one side rocks covered with strews, from other side sea or hundred meter of abyss. Track vas 6000 meter long.

Richard Morley on "Grand-Prix de l'Adriatique" 21/06/1964:

Opatija in what is now Croatia and only 50km or so from the Italian boarder, was another real road racers circuit which hosted the Yugoslavian Grand Prix on a number of occasions, as part of the FIM World Championship Series.
 Situated on the coast road the circuit was in the form of a large triangle with the longest side being the coast road on the seafront which followed a large sweeping bay before riders encountered the first right hand hairpin known locally as "sign postcorner". From here started the climb to the top of the circuit (named "the mountain") where there was another right hand bend, taken at some speed, before riders started their decent down to the fastest point of the circuit which included an S bend (taken flat outon a 250 if a rider was very bold!). They then encountered another lefthand then a tight right hand bend at the bottom of the mountain which returned them to the coast road and back to the start and finishing line situated on it.

 It was an idyllic setting with the race paddock near the start and finishing line one side of the coast road and a golden beach on the other. Parking in the race paddock in glorious weather in what appeared to have been a stone quarry cutout from the base of the mountain, we no sooner had a welcoming cup oftea provided by Vernon and Margaret Cottle than we were joined by Bert and Raymond, the two Stockport lads we had previously met at the Skofja Loka races. (...)

(...)Eager to try out the bike with the longer swing arm, I and Lewis Young, with a couple of other riders, started riding around the circuit, a public road open to normal traffic!  After a few laps I saw a policeman standing where the road going up the hill intersects with the road going down to the left in the direction of Trieste (sign post corner); he was frantically waving his hands in the air and I thought "oh shit!", only to see that he was stopping traffic coming down the road so we wouldn't have to stop! Great fun was had by all. (...)

(...)On pole for the very first time but next to Morrie Lowe on his TSS Bultaco, I knew there would be a desperate sprint when the flag dropped to sign post corner and the climb up the mountain. In some ways I felt the pole position was the wrong end of the starting line in that immediately after the start the circuit followed the coast road through a series of fast left hand curves for about 1 km  to sign post corner. This meant that I had to ride on the outside of these curves for some time before arriving at the hairpin, this did not worry me too much as I knew I had no chance of out accelerating Morrie to the hairpin which ever end of the starting line I wason! As anticipated, although initially marginally ahead of the pack at the start for a 100 M's or so, Morrie came through on the inside of me and then crossed ahead to take the inside line for the approaching hairpin, so that I could not squeeze back up the inside of him as we braked hard for the bend. I was more than happy with this position and was expecting a tow from Morrie up the mountain when suddenly whilst still braking for the hairpin, a rider (on a Benelli I think)? shot through between us completely out of control and very nearly took me out. Touching fairings he shot forward in the direction of Trieste hitting the temporary barrier head on with him and his bike then bouncing back onto the track for what appeared to me at the time, as having another go at taking me out! By the time I had recovered and ridden around the fallen rider and his machine, a dozen or so riders had passed and were well on their way up the mountain. So much for mypole position! Fortunately without any damage to myself or my bike I continued as best I could and by the penultimate lap had climbed back to 3rd position. Then I over did things coming down the mountain under very heavy braking for the final hairpin I over shot the bend but fortunately found a gap between the straw bales leading on to a slip road. Turning the bike around I was soon back on the trackand quite relieved to take 5th place after all the excitement of tha trace! Arriving back at the paddock I was greeted by Morrie with a big grin on his face, he had not only won the race but had, out of the corner of his eye, seen most of the incident at the first hairpin. "did you hit him he asked"? when I had explained how I had succeeded in avoiding the fallen rider and his bike he told me that I had been lucky as the unfortunate rider had already been taken of to hospital with a suspected broken leg and collar bone. The track Marshals suspected that the throttle on his bike had stuck wide open which could well explain why he went past at such speed with both brakes hard on! Morrie was followed home by the Czech rider Milan Chaluphik (Jawa) and Les Allan (Bultaco?)(...)

(...)There was much more chopping and changing of position for me riding in this race as my 256cc Parilla was faster through the hairpin bends and tight curves than some 350cc Manx Nortons, 7R AJS or Aermacchi's and other 350s, but these bikes were in most cases quite a bit faster than the Parilla on the long straights and particularly the climbs, nevertheless another top 12 finish was good enough for me as I could not realistically expect to finish any higher in this class.

 The race was won byFrantisek Srna (Jawa) followed home by Nikolai Sevostianov (CKEB) from the USSR and Miroslav Cada (Jawa). Morrie also went on to win the 500 cc race on his Manx Norton.


During all this years famous racers like Giacomo Agostini, Angel Nieto, Mario Lega, Dieter Braun, Ulrich Graf, Ricardo Tormo, Kim Newcombe, and Takazumi Katayama come there to show their courage.

Racing Preluk Giacomo Agostini Racing Preluk Giacomo Agostini 1966 Giacomo Agostini
Giacomo Agostini during the race on Preluka racing circuit
Track 1966
Giacomo Agostini

 

Jugoslavian Grand Prix 1969

 

Preluk racing
Richard Morley 1964
Preluk racing track
Down, far, far away, you can see start-finish strait and pit area or on other side, mountain side protected with straw bales
Preluka racing tack Preluka racing tack
Preluka racing tack
Racing track Preluk - Opatija - Rijeka, 1969
Series of esses where Ulrich Graf crashed after his Kreidler suffered a rear tire failure while travelling at a speed of about 130 km/h, on the fifth lap of the 50 cm3 Grand Prix of Yugoslavia. On one side is the sea, on other rock face.
This picture is from 1969 Adriatic Grand Prix (Velika Nagrada Jadrana, 14/09/1969)

 

Jugoslavian Grand Prix 1974

 

 

Takazumi Katayama is still speed record holder on this track, Utrke Peluk Takazumi Katayama Preluk racing track
                   Takazumi Katayama is still speed record holder on this track, with 161,555 Kmh
 

 

This lasted till Jun 27 1977 when, long expected and announced, suspension of all Road course motto Grand Prix races was confirmed. This decision was legitimate considering speed and safety of drivers and audience. From then on, races could be held only on motordrome, the proper racing circuits.

This was last race on this track. FIM-a decided that this track was not safe (no wonder), and racing there was forbidden. The track, when bikes were concerned, had the same reputation as Isle of Man, and was killed off the year after the Grand Prix of Isle of Man. On this last race, Angel Nieto come first in clas of 50 ccm, Pier Paolo Bianchi in class of 125 ccm Mario Lega on Morbidelly came first, ahead of second placed Takazumi Katayama and 9 Yamaha drivers in 250 ccm class, and Takazumi Katayama win in 250 ccm class.

 

Preluk racing track

 

 

 

And I'd like to take this opportunity to mention the riders who lost their lives on Preluk circuit.
Josip Vitanovic (HR), 1951
Billie Nelson (GB), 1974
Urlich Graf (CH), 1977
Giovanni Ziggiotto (I), 1977

 

 

 

 

 

Statistics from 1946 to 1977 - Preluk track

1946: First race after the War that counted for the Championship of the Republic of Croatia

1947: The race counted the first championship of Yugoslavia. Results unknown. All winners are from Zagreb but I don't have any more details.

Date Circuit 125cc 250cc 350cc 500cc 1000cc Sidecars 600cc Sidecars 1200cc
01/09/1946 Opatija No available records
14/09/1947 Opatija Danilo Šircia
YU - Puch
Anton Jakšić
YU - Puch
Veljko Metz
YU - DKW
Ivan Vukelić
YU - BMW
Ivan Vukelić
YU - BMW
Zvonko Penezić /
Franjo Vuković

YU - BMW
Drago Kamenar /
Bočić

Yu - BMW
12/09/1948 Opatija Nedjeljko Lukić
YU - DKW
Ivan Kralj
Yu - DKW
Jerko Babić
YU - DKW
Đorđe Nalović
YU - BMW
Drago Keber
YU - BMW
Aleksandar Vidić /
Slobodan Stojanović

Yu - BMW
 
31/07/1949 Opatija Ludvik Pangerc
YU - Puch
Radmilo Milenković
YU - DKW
Stevo Cabraja
YU - Velocette
Stevo Cabraja
YU - Velocette
  Branko Regvart /
O. Tomsić

YU - BMW
Đorđe Nalović /
Milan Todosijević

YU - Vincent-HRD

 

1950: The race become international under the name of Adriatic Prix (Nagrada Jadrana)

Date Circuit 125cc 250cc 350cc 500cc Sidecars 600cc Sidecars plus 600cc
25/06/1950 Opatija Adriano Selec
I - Puch
Benoit Mussy
CH -Moto Guzzy
Ernst Vogel
A - AJS
Benoit Mussy
CH -Moto Guzzy
Aleksandar Vidić /
Slobodan Stojanović

Yu - BMW
 
07/06/1951 Opatija Ladislav Šurbek
YU - Puch
Benoit Mussy
CH -Moto Guzzy
Leopold Zochlinger
A - AJS
Benoit Mussy
CH -Moto Guzzy
  Slavko Bardarić /
Davor Šeat

YU - Norton
22/06/1952 Opatija Nikola Šnjarić
Yu - Puch
Lanfranco Baviera
I - Moto Guzzi
Leopold Zochlinger
A - AJS
Leonhardt Fabi
A - Norton
  Slavko Bardarić /
Davor Šeat

YU - Norton
31/05/1953 Opatija Nello Pagani
I - FB-Mondial
Angelo Marelli
I - Moto Guzzi
Rupert Hollaus
A - Norton
Nello Pagani
I - Gilera
Roland Benz / ?
CH - Norton
Rudolf Koch /
Adolf Flach

D - BMW
Date Circuit 125cc 250cc 350cc 500cc Sidecars 500cc Sidecars plus 500cc
13/06/1954 Opatija Angelo Marelli
I - MV Agusta
Angelo Marelli
I - Moto Guzzi
Leonhardt Fabl
A - AJS
Leonhardt Fabl
A - 350 AJS
Roland Benz /
K.Hufschmid

CH - Norton
Roland Benz /
K.Hufschmid

CH - Norton
12/06/1955 Opatija František Bartoš
CS - ČZ
Hans Baltisberger
D - NSU
Leonhardt Fabl
A - AJS
František Štasny
CS - Java
Edgar Strub /
Gunter Borgesdiek

CH/D - Norton
Edgar Strub /
Gunter Borgesdiek

CH/D - Norton
10/06/1956 Opatija Adelmo Mandolini
I - ?
Hans Baltisberg
D - NSU
František Štasny
CS - Java
František Štasny
CS - Java
Florian Camathias /
Maurice Bula

CH - BMW
 
16/06/1957 Opatija Stanislav Malina
CS - ČZ
Giovanni Rocchi
I - Moto Guzzi
Alano Montanari
I - Moto Guzzi
Alano Montanari
I - Moto Guzzi
Fritz Hillebrand /
Manfred Grumwald

D - BMW
 
15/06/1958 Opatija Werner Spinnler
CH - Ducati
František Štasny
CS - Java
František Štasny
CS - Java
Gerold Klinger
A - BMW
Florian Camathias /
Hilmar Cecco

CH - BMW
 
14/07/1959 Opatija Gilberto Milani
I - Paton
Adelmo Mandolini
I - Moto Guzzi
Alfredo Milani
I - Norton
Alfredo Milani
I - Norton
Jo Rogliardo /
Marcel Godillot

F - BMW
 


1960: The race become the Adriatic Grand Prix (Velika Nagrada Jadrana)

1961: The 50cc race is part of the 5th race of the European Cup FIM for the 50cc

Date Circuit 50cc 125cc 250cc 350cc 500cc Sidecar 50cc
12/06/1960 Opatija   Hans Fischer
DDR - MZ
Werner Musiol
DDR - MZ
Hans Pesl
D - Norton
Rudolf Glaser
D - Norton
Jo Rogliardo /
Marcel Godillot

F - BMW
09/07/1961 Opatija Hans-Georg Anscheidt
D - Kreidler
Werner Musiol
DDR - MZ
Silvio Grassetti
I - Benelli
Silvio Grassetti
I - Benelli
Ron Miles
AUS - Norton
Fritz Scheidegger /
Horst Burkhardt

CH/D - BMW
17/06/1962 Opatija Rajko Piciga
YU - Tomos
Laslo Szabo
H - MZ (125cc)
František Štasny
CS - Java
František Štasny
CS - Java
František Štasny
CS - Java
August Rohsiepe /
Lothar Bottcher

D - BMW
Karel Bojer
CS - ČZ (175cc)
23/06/1963 Opatija Peter Eser
D - Honda
Sven-Olof Gunnarsson
S - Honda
Pavel Slaviček
CS - Java
Pavel Slaviček
CS - Java
Sven-Olof Gunnarsson
S - Norton
 
21/06/1964 Opatija Janko Florian Štefe
YU - Tomos
Friedhelm Kohlar
DDR - MZ
Morrie Law
NZ - Bultaco
František Srna
CS - Java
Morrie Law
NZ - Norton
 
20/06/1965 Opatija Hans-Georg Anscheidt
D - Kreidler
Karel Bojer
CS - ČZ
Gilberto Parlotti
I - Morini
Nikolaj Sevastanov
SU - CKEB
Agne Carlsson
S - Matchless
 
19/06/1966 Opatija Rudolf Kunz
D - Kreidler
Helmut Bischoff
DDR - MZ
Paolo Campanelli
I - Aermacchi
Renzo Pasolini
I - Aermacchi
Silvio Grassetti
I - Bianchi
 
18/06/1967 Opatija Peter Eser
D - Honda
Laslo Szabo, junior
H - MZ
Luigi Taveri
CH - Honda
Silvio Grassetti
I - Benelli
Silvio Grassetti
I - Benelli
 
16/06/1968 Opatija Rudolf Kunz
D - Kreidler
Laslo Szabo, junior
H - MZ
Silvio Grassetti
I - Benelli
Silvio Grassetti
I - Benelli
Giuseppe Mandolini
I - Moto Guzzi
 


1969: The Adriatic Grand Prix become part of World FIM championship

Date Circuit 50cc 125cc 250cc 350cc 500cc Sidecars 500cc
14/09/1969 Opatija Paul Lodewijkx
NL - Jamathi
Dieter Braun
D - Suzuki
Kelvin Carruthers
AUS - Benelli
Silvio Grassetti
I - Jawa
Godfrey Nash
GB - Norton
 
24/05/1970 Opatija Angel Nieto
E - Derbi
Dieter Braun
D - Suzuki
Santiago Herrero
E - Ossa
Giacomo Agostini
I - MV Agusta
Giacomo Agostini
I - MV Agusta
 


1971: Grand Prix was not held due to some bureaucratic problem (changing of the organization)

1972: The Adriatic Grand Prix become the Yugoslavian Grand Prix ( Velika Nagrada Jugoslavije)

1973: Raced after the tragical GP of Nations and the TT, the Yugoslavian GP is also judged dangerous and is hit by boycott of the teams Yamaha, Harley and MV Agusta

1974: Otello Buscherri, winner on Malanca on 125, is disqualified to have used his 7th speed gear. The British Billie Nelson is killed on the race of the 250cc. He crashed his 250 cm3 Yamaha into the crowd injuring several spectators, two of whom gravely. Nelson died same night in hospital.

1977: The race, which ended in a complete disaster with Urich Graf and the Italian Giovanni Ziggiotto killed and nineteen other riders injuried, was eventually the last held there and the World Championship moved to the circuit of Rijeka. Yugoslavian promoters had received an ultimatum from the International Federation before the race, if they did not improve the safety of the street track, the Grand Prix of Yougoslavia would not be held in the circuit of Opatija anymore. Ulrich Graf crashed after his Kreidler suffered a rear tire failure while travelling at a speed of about 130 km/h, on the fifth lap of the 50 cm3 Grand Prix of Yugoslavia. He was sent into the rocks skirting the track and died shortly afterwards in a local hospital. The engine of Zigiotto's Harley Davidson seized during saturday practice for the 250 cm3 class, the Italian was hit by Swedish Per-Edvard Carlsson whies eithero was following him. Ziggiotto succumbed to his injuries in a hospital of Rijeka eleven days later, on 29 June 1977; Carlsson was also injured.

Date Circuit 50cc 125cc 250cc 350cc 500cc Sidecars 500cc
18/06/1972 Opatija Jan Bruins
NL - Kreidler
Kent Andersson
S - Yamaha
Renzo Pasolini
I - Aermacchi
Janos Drapal
H - Yamaha
Alberto Pagani
I - MV Agusta
 
17/06/1973 Opatija Jan de Vries
NL - Kreidler
Kent Andersson
S - Yamaha
Dieter Braun
D - Yamaha
Janos Drapal
H - Yamaha
Kim Newcombe
NZ - König
 
08/09/1974 Opatija Henk van Kessel
NL - Kreidler
Kent Andersson
S - Yamaha
Chas Mortimer
GB - Yamaha
Giacomo Agostini
I - Yamaha
   
21/09/1975 Opatija Angel Nieto
E - Kreidler
Dieter Braun
D - Morbidelli
Dieter Braun
D - Yamaha
Pentti Kerhonen
SF - Yamaha
   
23/05/1976 Opatija Urlich Graf
CH - Kreidler
Pierpaolo Bianchi
I - Morbidelli
Dieter Braun
D - Yamaha
Olivier Chevallier
F - Yamaha
   
19/06/1977 Opatija Angel Nieto
E - Bultaco
Pierpaolo Bianchi
I - Morbidelli
Mario Lega
I - Morbidelli
Takazumi Katayama
J - Yamaha
   

 

And on the end, you can enyoy racing on that circuit on PC game GTR2 and GT Legends

 

 


 

After 20 minutes drive, north, on sport airfield, in an area known as Grobnik lays the Grobnik field.

Google image of Rijeka - Grobnik racing track
Google image of Rijeka - Grobnik racing track

 

Grobnik field started to be a big construction site and in only 15 months of 1978 the race-track was built on this field by strict international rules. September 14. 1978, only 3 days before first race for GP of Yugoslavija, new track was oppened.
Length: 4.168,75 m,
Length in turns: 2.017,63 m,
Width: 10 m,
Start/finish straight width: 15 m,
Number of turns: 15,
Marshall posts: 25,
Driving direction: Anti-clockwise

Layout of Rijeka - Grobnik racing track
Layout of Rijeka - Grobnik racing track

 

Last Grand Prix race of 1978. world championship was scheduled in FIM calendar to take place on September 17 in Grobnik. Many have doubted but it was held indeed! Nevertheless, everyone came, even those that have already had the title. It is registered that the winners of first Grobnik race-track were: Ricardo Tormo (50 ccm, Spain, Bultaco), Angel Nieto (125 ccm, Spain, Minarelli) and double winner Greg Hansford (250 and 350 ccm, Austria, Kawasaki) who had the first overall record on that race track - 153,110 km/h.

Grobnik racing trackYears have gone by and «Grobnik beauty» has not changed, infrastructure update was too slow and it could not keep up the pace with other race-tracks in the world any more. Some great world aces kept coming back to Grobnik year after year. Aces like Lazzarini, Stefan Dörflinger, Nieto, Luca Cadalora, Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, John Kocinski, Eddie Lawson, and Wayne Rainey raced on 25 year old asphalt.

By 1990, 13 races for world championship took place and the last one on June 17, 1990 was held in Rijeka. Last big international race before brutal aggression on Croatia took place on May 12, 1991 and it was called Opatija Prix.

But still today, on Grobnik field you will find a wonderful motorcycle track and fantastic grip. I know of no other track which also offers appropriate grip in the rain. You'll only find that in Rijeka! The racing circuit is very smooth to ride. It is just a 20 kilometers from the holiday resort of Opatija. The Grobnik circuit, knows how to welcome you. A gorgeous fast track with a great possibility to experiment different lines. An inviting place with a nice atmosphere, a perfect organization and a delightful hospitality.

From the year 1978 when it was built until now, the race-track meets strict Grobnik racing trackworld standards of auto motto federation (FIA and FIM) and has license for all auto motto races except F1.
Every year more and more race-car drivers, even world-known, visit motordrome Grobnik. Motordrome is used daily for training practices, testing and various events and demonstrations. It is used over 300 days a year. Almost all car producers are present such as Mercedes, Audi, Subaru, Suzuki, Aprilia etc.

 

Grobnik racing trackGrobnik racing track

 

 

Statistics from 1978 to 1990 - Rijeka track

1978: The New Track is build in only 15 months due to the use of the Army and the prisoners, on Grobnik, an sport airfield 10km North of Rijeka. It's now on the Grobnik Track that the race of Yugoslavia GP is held.

1981: Michel Rougerie (France) is killed. He fell in the second lap of the 350 Class race, being in 10th place at the moment. He picked himself up off the ground and, while trying to walk away from the track, his team-mate of team Pernod-Yamaha, Roger Sibille wasn't able to avoid and struck him at full speed. Rougerie was hit at the chest and died instantly.

1983: Rolf Rüttimann is killed during 125cc race. He crashed at about 160 km/h into the guard-rail in a left bend in front of the pits during 23rd lap of the 125 cm3 race held on 12 June. He ran in the last positions at the moment of the accident: his motorcycle passed over him and he hit with his head under the guard rail, and was immediately taken to Rijeka hospital. He died some days later.

1990: German Reinhold Roth suffered severe injuries in a June 1990 racing accident and retired from competition. While battling against Àlex Crivillé in the Grand Prix of Yugoslavia 250 cm3 race, Roth crashed into the back of amateur rider Randy Milner, who was proceeding at a very slow pace, thinking that the race was going to be red-flagged because of the rain. Roth was without oxygen support for minutes after he suffered massive head injuried to which he never recovered. Milner was severely injured as well.
Eros Manferdini was killed during the round of the European Motorcycle Championship class 250 cm3 held at Rijeka on 27 May 1990. Shortly after the start of the race, Finnish rider Päiväläinen hit the straw bales near the side of the track on first turn, sending the bales into the path of the other competitors and causing a multiple pile-up. Manferdini fell down and died at the scene, hit by Reinhold Roth, six other riders were severely injured in the accident, bikes and straw bales caught fire.

Date Circuit 50cc 125cc 250cc 350cc 500cc Sidecars 500cc
17/09/1978 Rijeka Ricardo Tormo
E - Bultaco
Angel Nieto
E - Minarelli
Greg Hansford
AUS - Kawasaki
Greg Hansford
AUS - Kawasaki
   
17/06/1979 Rijeka Eugenio Lazzarini
I - Kreidler
Angel Nieto
E - Minarelli
Graziano Rossi
I - Morbidelli
  Kenny Roberts
USA - Yamaha
 
15/06/1980 Rijeka Ricardo Tormo
E - Bultaco
Guy Bertin
F - Motobécane
Anton Mang
D - Krauser
    Rolf Biland /
Kurt Waltisperg

CH/LCR - Yamaha
31/05/1981 Rijeka Ricardo Tormo
E - Bultaco
Loris Reggiani
I - Minarelli
  Anton Mang
D - Kawasaki
Randy Mamola
USA - Suzuki
 
18/07/1982 Rijeka Eugenio Lazzarini
I - Garelli
Eugenio Lazzarini
I - Garelli
Didier de Radiguès
B - Chevallier/Yamaha
  Franco Uncini
I - Suzuki
 
12/06/1983 Rijeka Stefan Dorflinger
CH - Kreidler
Bruno Kneubühler
CH - MBA
Carlos Lavado
YV - Yamaha
  Freddie Spencer
USA - Honda
 

 

Date Circuit 80cc 125cc 250cc 350cc 500cc Sidecars
17/06/1984 Rijeka Stefan Dorflinger
CH - Zündap
  Manfred Harweh
D - Real/Rotax
  Freddie Spencer
USA - Honda
 
16/06/1985 Rijeka Stefan Dorflinger
CH - Krauser
  Freddie Spencer
USA - Honda
  Eddie Lawson
USA - Yamaha
 
15/06/1986 Rijeka Jorge Martinez
E - Derbi
  Sito Pons
E - Honda
  Eddie Lawson
USA - Yamaha
 
14/06/1987 Rijeka Jorge Martinez
E - Derbi
  Carlos Lavado
YV - Yamaha
  Wayne Gardner
AUS - Honda
 
17/07/1988 Rijeka Jorge Martinez
E - Derbi
Jorge Martinez
E - Derbi
Sito Pons
E - Honda
  Wayne Gardner
AUS - Honda
 
11/06/1989 Rijeka Peter Õttl
D - Krauser
  Sito Pons
E - Honda
  Kevin Schwantz
USA - Suzuki
 
17/06/1990 Rijeka   Stefan Prein
D - Honda
Carlos Cardús
E - Honda
  Wayne Rainey
USA - Yamaha
Alain Michel /
Simon Birchall

F/GB - LCR/Krauser

 

1991: In May the Political situation is highly critical in Yugoslavia. The race of the European Cup in Opatija happened but the race of the Yugoslavian GP in June was canceled and replaced by Spain.

 

Fast lap on Grobnik racing track with Luca Tommasini, racing onboard camera

 

 

Test run with Croatian Moto Champion Loris Valjan on CBR600RR HRC

 

Demo drive Ferrari FXX at Grobnik 

 

 Demo drive Ferrari Enzo at Grobnik

 

Demo drive Porsche 997 GT3 at Grobnik

 

Riječka povijest općenito
History of Racing, Preluk - Opatija - Rijeka
Prapovijest - 1400
1600 - 1650

1700 - 1750
1800 - 1825
1850 - 1875

1900 - 1925
1950 - 1975
Riječki grbovi i zastave (heraldika)

O Rijeci na engleskom jeziku
1400 - 1600
1650 - 1700
1750 - 1800
1825 - 1850
1875 - 1900

1925 - 1950

1975 - Danas
Riječka vlast kroz stoljeća


Natrag na vrh stranice