Address: Autódromo Municipal Juan Manuel Fangio, Av. Jorge Newbery 8498, 2000 Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
PH: +54 341 452-6000
Circuit type: Permanent road course
The Autódromo Ciudad de Rosario, also known as Autódromo Municipal Juan Manuel Fangio, has had something of a stop-start existence, having taken more than a decade to be established and only recently re-opening following a period of closure.
Plans for a circuit were first suggested as far back as 1961, when the Automobile Association of Rosario requested that a parcel of land be put aside for the construction of a permanent facility, to supercede the temporary course at Parque Independencia which has been used since the 1930s. Permission was eventually granted by the Rosario authorities in 1967 but initial works uncovered issues with flood risks which would require remedial works, bring the project to a halt.
Throughout the next decade nothing further happened, but by the 1980s, enthusiasm picked up and. with the backing of the city's automotive sector, construction was reactivated. The project was completed and the Autódromo Municipal de Rosario was inaugurated on November 21 in the same year. The short 1.4 km circuit was a roughly triangular blast with just five corners to serve the local racing scene.
After a decade of use, the city agreed a private concession on the circuit with Daniel Sancho, who was keen to bring top level racing to the track. To facilitate this, the course was extended for the 1993 season to its current 2.590km, with a new extension built to the north featuring a sweeping first turn. The changes brought the prestigious TC 2000 to the circuit for the first time, with Juan María Traverso taking victory in a Renault Fuego GTA.
The TC2000 cars would continue until 1997 before moving to pastures new, after which the new South American Touring Car Championship took over. Following the failure of the super tourers the track was left without a headline act and in 2001 the city rescinded the concession and took the track back under its control. A new 'enterprise zone' was created and Gonzalo Suárez Ordóñez was announced as the director of a new project which would see the track extended once again to 3.2km which associated upgraded facilities.
Winds of change would blow through the city's administration and would ultimately lead to the abandonment of these plans. After several years of limited track action, in 2004 the Top Race championship arrived for the seventh round of the season. A small slice of history was made when Julio Catalán Magni took the first victory for the Citroën Xsara in the category in race one, while Gustavo Tadei took race two Chevrolet Vectra.
The event proved a one off and the track then fell largely silent for several years. In 2006 the city launched a tender process for the provision of a new concession for the track but received no bids. Then in 2009, the track was closed completely, only for the city to overrule its decision in 2011 and launch a new project to completely renovate the facility, which has by this stage become semi-derelict.
Works, which included a total regrading and repaving of the entire circuit, with new run-off areas and a refurbished control tower among the works carried out. An extended pit lane, which was now entered ahead of the final corner, was also installed at this time.
The work was completed in early 2012 and the circuit's new chapter began - under the revised name of Autódromo Municipal Juan Manuel Fangio - with the visit once again of the Super TC 2000 series on April 22 of that year. Mariano Werner took victory in a Toyota Corolla.
The Super TC2000 stars remain the headline act at Rosario today, supported by the Fiat Punto Abarth championship, while the circuit has also been used as an overnight halt on the Dakar Rally.
The Autódromo Municipal Juan Manuel Fangio is located at Rosario in Santa Fe Province, Argentina. The nearest airport is the city's international airport "Islas Malvinas", around 9 minutes drive from the track along Av. Jorge Newbery.
The track is located on the north-western outskirts of the city, on the corner of Av. Jorge Newbery and García del Cossio. The circuit is a short distance from highway 9 and the city ring road and can also be reached by public transport - bus services 110, 112 red, 112 black, 115, 146 red and 146 black all stop nearby.