Lånkebanen

Lånkebanen is a road racing circuit situated near Hell in Lånke, Stjørdal, Norway. The venue opened in 1987 as the first asphalt track in the country. It is used for a variety of motorsports, including rallycross, go-kart and motorcycle racing. The venue also features a designated hillclimbing and a motocross track on the slopes below, and a harness racing oval. Lånkebanen is owned by the Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF).

Lånkebanen
Lånkebanen map.svg
LocationLånke, Stjørdal, Norway
Coordinates63°24′18″N 10°55′12″E / 63.405°N 10.920°E / 63.405; 10.920
Capacity13,000
OwnerNorwegian Automobile Federation
Opened1988
Major eventsFIA European Rallycross Championship (2011–)
FIA World Rallycross Championship (2014–)
SurfaceAsphalt (63%)
Gravel (37%)
Length1.019 km (0.633 mi)
Turns7

The venue also serves the National Driving Teacher School and is used for testing by SINTEF and Q-Free. At an international level the venue is used for rallycross races. Lånkebanen has featured a round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship since 2011. It has since the inauguration of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2014 hosted World RX of Norway.

HistoryEdit

Lånkebanen was devised during the 1980s. At the time there were no road racing circuits in the vicinity of Trondheim. Lånkebanen would be situated close to the National Driving Teacher School and SINTEF. The former allowed for the track to be used for their teacher training, while the latter was to use the track for research. The circuit was also devised to be used for racing.[1]

By 1987 the country was experiencing a book of proposals to build motorsport venues, with twenty-five detailed proposals having been issued. The Ministry of Transport and Communications decided that year that Lånkebanen would be the only such venue to receive investment subsidies. The ministry was concerned that most of the plans would simply make matters worse for other neighboring venues, particularly as many new tracks would take away revenue from existing slippery road circuits. The ministry stated that Lånkebanen would be used as a trial to gain experience from state-subsidizing and building of new tracks.[1]

Lånkebanen opened in 1987 as the first combined center for motorsports and driver training.[2] That year the track was used for a trial for slippery courses for truck and bus licenses. The authorities wanted this to become an obligatory part of the training, but lack of suitable venues throughout the country had made the courses optional.[3] Lånkebanen was also the first asphalt race track in the country. It was supplemented by Rudskogen in 1990.[4]

During the 1990s a hillclimbing track was built on the hillside below on the north side of the main track. The motocross track was built in 2002 and 2003, after Stjørdal Cross & Enduro Klubb was founded in 2002. The club hoped for a revival of motocross in the Trondheim area, after all the tracks in the area had been closed during the 1990s. The land below the road circuit was leased from a local farmer to make way for the new venue.[5]

NAF operates two conventional slippery road course tracks in Trøndelag, one at Orkanger and one at Ogndal in Steinkjer. By the late 2000s the Orkanger track no longer met the demands and NAF therefore considered what to do with the situation. As Lånkebanen met the needs, it was proposed in 2009 that the Orkanger and Ogndal tracks be closed and that Lånkebanen take over the responsibility. After an expansion of the Orkanger venue in 2012, the plans were placed on hold, but resumed the following year.[6]

In 2014 NAF commenced work on a major upgrade to Lånkebanen. Operations was taken over to a separate limited company, NAF Lånkesenteret AS, which received two full-time employees. A new building facility was constructed and a permanent power supply was installed. The largest investment was the building of a new driving center.[6]

FacilitiesEdit

Lånkebanen is situated at Lånke in Stjørdal, 6 kilometers (4 mi) from the village of Hell. The venue is situated on National Road 705, 7 kilometers (4 mi) from Trondheim Airport, Værnes and Hell Station. By road it is about 40 kilometers (25 mi) from Trondheim.[7]

The venue consists of a main asphalt course. For rallycross this is modified so that the course is 63 percent asphalt and 37 percent gravel. In rallycross configuration, the track is 1,019 meters (3,343 ft) long and 15 meters (49 ft) wide.[7] In addition to featuring the road course, Lånkebanen features both a hillclimbing and a motocross track, situated on the hillside below the main circuit.[5]

The venue serves as the training track of the National Driving Teacher School.[1] The sole school offering driving teacher education in Norway, it has since 2004 been part of Nord-Trøndelag University College.[8] It is also used for trials for Q-Free, a Trondheim-based manufacturer of user road charging systems.[6]

Facilities include a combined clubhouse, office, canteen and classroom building. It features four tracks for slippery courses as well as possibility for simulating traffic situation on the track. It has a capacity for 5,500 car candidates and 400 motorcycle candidates per year.[6]

Below the motorsports venue is Lånke Travbane, used for harness racing. Built in 1983, it features a 535-meter (1,755 ft) long and 10-meter (33 ft) wide oval gravel track. It is owned by Lånke Travlag, a local chapter of the Norwegian Trotting Association.[9] There have been proposals that it would be a suitable site for motorcycle speedway racing.[5]

EventsEdit

Domestic competitions in rallycross have been conducted at Lånkebanen since 1989, with an annual Norwegian Championship round.[10] From the late 1990s hillclimbing became popular in Trøndelag. Along with two venues in Trondheim, Lånkebanen started hosting annual competitions.[11] The venue is also used for go-karting.[12]

The international competitions are marketed as "Rallycross in Hell".[13] Lånkebanen hosted its first tournament of the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 2011. The first competition broke even, but the following year the event lost 400,000 Norwegian krone (NOK) of a 1.4-million revenue.[14] The 2013 edition of the competition drew 7,500 spectators.[13]

In 2014 the rallycross structure was changed and the FIA World Rallycross Championship was inaugurated. Lånkebanen was selected to host the World RX of Norway as part of the annual tour. The event doubles as a European Championship round. The first season saw 13,650 spectators and the organizers make a NOK 1.2 million profit of a 4.8 million revenue.[13]

FIA European Rallycross Championship record
Season Date Supercars S1600 Touring cars Ref
2011 24–25 June   Mats Lysen   Ildar Rakhmatullin   Lars Øivind Enerberg [15]
2012 23–24 June   Tanner Foust   Ildar Rakhmatullin   Lars Øivind Enerberg [16]
2013 15–16 June   Liam Doran   Reinis Nitišs   Lars Øivind Enerberg [17]
2014 14–15 June   Ken Block   Jānis Baumanis   Tom Daniel Tånevik [18]
2015 20–21 August   Tommy Rustad   N/A   Christian Sandmo [19]
2016 11–12 June   Kevin Hansen   N/A   Philip Gehrman [20]
2017 10–11 June   Robin Larsson   N/A   Lars Øivind Enerberg [21]
FIA World Rallycross Championship record
Season Date Driver Car Report
2014 14–15 June   Reinis Nitišs Ford Fiesta report
2015 20–21 August   Timmy Hansen Peugeot 208 report
2016 11–12 June   Andreas Bakkerud Ford Focus report
2017 11–12 June   Johan Kristoffersson Volkswagen Polo report

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Wormnes, Are (14 July 1987). "Kø for å anlegge motorbaner". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 40.
  2. ^ Wormnes, Are (8 October 1988). "Svidd gummi og tryggere trafikk". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 10.
  3. ^ "Glattkjøringskurs" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 28 November 1988.
  4. ^ Svardal, Geir (19 October 1990). ""Action" på egen asfalt". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 2.
  5. ^ a b c By, Torgeir (8 January 2003). "Motocross-folket får bane på Lånke". Adresseavisen (in Norwegian). p. 25.
  6. ^ a b c d Larsen, Bjørn Helge (20 February 2014). "Høy aktivitet på Lånkebanen". Stjørdals-Nytt (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 21 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b "World RX of Norway" (in Norwegian). FIA World Rallycross Championship. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Statens trafikklærerskole, Stjørdal". Norwegian Social Science Data Services. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Travet i Nord-Trøndelag" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Norwegian Trotting Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  10. ^ "NM i rallycross, 3. runde på Lånkebanen" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 6 August 1989.
  11. ^ Vestmo, B. (21 June 2000). "Bare for de tøffe gutta". Adresseavisen (in Norwegian). p. 13.
  12. ^ Bakke, Geir (12 July 2000). "Suser av gårde i 90 km/t". Adresseavisen (in Norwegian). p. 41.
  13. ^ a b c Lorentsen, Olav (22 August 2014). "Publikumsrekord ga million-overskudd". Trønder-Avisa (in Norwegian). p. 29.
  14. ^ Skaufel, Kjetil (25 September 2012). "EM-festen gikk 400.000 i minus". Trønder-Avisa (in Norwegian). p. 25.
  15. ^ "FIA European Championship for Rallycross Drivers 2011 – Round 4". Rallycross Online. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  16. ^ "FIA European Championship for Rallycross Drivers 2012 – Round 5". Rallycross Online. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  17. ^ "FIA European Championship for Rallycross Drivers 2013 – Round 5". Rallycross Online. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  18. ^ "FIA European Championship for Rallycross Drivers 2014 – Round 3". Rallycross Online. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  19. ^ "World RX of Norway - Hell". www.fiaworldrallycross.com. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  20. ^ "World RX of Norway - Hell". www.fiaworldrallycross.com. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  21. ^ "World RX of Norway - Hell". www.fiaworldrallycross.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018.