Project info | A short history | Cars and drivers | A lap on the track
Present condition | Images | Screenshots | Keimola links | Downloads
The goal of the project is to model the legendary Finnish race track Keimola from the 60's and 70's for Grand Prix Legends racing simulator. This project was started by Olli "OPA" Suominen and Greger Huttu, and Jussi Kaskia joined in a bit later. This website is maintained by Jussi.
status of the project:
11. April 2001 - A new texture for the race control tower - now with glass windows! Download here and save in your "gpl\tracks\keimola" -directory.
7. March 2001 - Alternative grid lay-outs available on the downloads page. There's a modified grid where the front row starters can see the flag better, as well as 1 x 1 staggered grids for VROC.
24. February 2001 - The original Interserie program cover from 1972 is available on the downloads page. It is included in the original track files, but it was buried inside the dat-file. Now you can download it separately, in case you have no dat-extraction tools on hand.
New on the images page, a nice photo by Jaakko Penttinen of the start of a F2 race.
24. February 2001 - There have been a few reports of the original installer not working correctly in some cases. The appropriate ini-files were modified correctly and the track directory was created under GPL, but the track files weren't copied in there.
There is now a new installer on the downloads page. Thanks to Martin Granberg for fixing it. If you have the old version and don't want a new download, you can also get the track working by copying the track files manually:
22. February 2001 - T R A C K R E L E A S E D ! Get the file on the downloads page.
note from the team:
We would like to thank the following people:
Keimola motor stadium was opened on June 12th 1966 near Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Helsinki had been without a proper venue for motor racing ever since the legendary races in a park in the heart of the city were discontinued after some fatal accidents in 1963. Everybody agreed that the racing cars of the era had outgrown the narrow park roads, and a safer track was needed. A brand new "motor stadium", very modern and safe (at the standards of late 60's...) was built in Keimola, largely through the efforts of one man, a famous Finnish race driver and businessman Curt Lincoln.
The track was only used for a short period of time: although it was clearly the best track in Finland in it's time, it never became too popular with the public. There were many reasons: the location of the track was not ideal, the access roads and other spectator facilities were never built up to standards, the marketing was poor, the races were organized and promoted solely by amateur motor clubs, the races were televised and so on... The last nail to the coffin was the energy crisis in the 70's. Motor racing was banned for a few months and Keimola never recovered, and the track was shut down for good in 1978.
Formula 1 cars never laid rubber on Keimola. The track had it's share of famous F1-drivers, though. In '66 and '67 there was a Formula 2 race with a very impressive line-up: Jim Clark, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Dennis Hulme and Jochen Rindt among others. The reason for this was that Curt Lincoln's daughter was married to Jochen Rindt. Jochen did his father-in-law a favour and talked some of his fellow drivers into having a laugh driving a relaxed little race in exotic Finland...
Most other races were more or less local battles with smaller formula classes (F3 and the increasingly popular Formula V, a cheap class based on VW Beetle -technic), stock cars and motorbikes.
So nothing really spectacular happened until 1969 the track was invaded by brute force: Interserie. These were insane cars, possibly the most powerful road race cars to date. The cars were very much like the american Can-Am vehicles of the era, with the only real technical rule being the minimum engine capacity of 2.5 litres! These monsters raced in Keimola from 1969 to 1972. Keimola was in good company here: the rest of the Interserie-championship was driven on tracks like Nürburgring, Imola, Hockenheim and Silverstone.
The king on Interserie in Keimola was the Finnish driver Leo Kinnunen, mostly behind the wheel of Porsche 917:s. Kinnunen was the winner of the whole Interserie championship for three consecutive years, 1971-73. He swept the table in Keimola both in 1971 and 1972: pole, fastest lap and winner of both heats. Some other interesting names were on the roster too: Ronnie Peterson and Niki Lauda visited the track in 1970.
The absolute track record of Keimola is driven by Kinnunen in 1972 with a Porsche 917/10 TC: 1:11.74. The car produced officially 850 hp (DIN) from a 4.5 litre turbocharged engine, but the real figure was rumoured to be over a thousand hp...
At the center line the track was 3300 meter's long, but if you knew right driving lines, you could decrease the length by approximately 40 meters. The width of the track was from 9 meters to 15 meters. Altitude changes were small: the difference between the lowest and highest point of the track was only 14 meters. The track was driven clockwise. The start/finish line was at the middle of the long main straight, near the pits. After the main straight the drivers entered the Southcurve. It was easy and clear to drive. If you had the courage to enter the curve faster then the opponent, it was a possible place for overtaking. After the Southcurve drivers entered the pitstraigt. First there was short straight then fast left and then the real pitstraight. Pitstraight ended to Pitcurve, where track sweeped 180 degrees to left. After the Pitcurve there was very short straight, and then the VW-turn, a right hander, which got it's name from VW-commercials beside the track. At the apex there was a big platebox, size of a normal house, which was first a oil advert, but later when the sponsor changed it was painted orange, in to the colors of North State tobacco. After VW-turn the track slightly sweeped left and right. These small curbs were named as Curre's curves, after Curt Lincoln. After Curre's curves the track turned towards BP-turn. Just before the turn there was a little bump, which was hard to see from the drivers viewpoint and it distrackted the contolling of the car. Unlike the other turns, BP-turn was very accurate to drive. At this point, the track was downhill. The car had to be kept carefully on the right side of the road, and had to be turn quickly to the left, just after the turn, to the drop to Saunalenkki, the most famous turn of the track. The name came from Saunalenkki sausage adverts around the turn. At the bend, the track made a 180 degree turn to the right. The road was slighly outsidely banked, which made the driving even more hard. After Saunalenkki, begun the long main straight. A new lap was to start.
These pictures around the lap are taken by Harry Hammaren. They are scanned from the excellent book "Keimola, Moottoristadion joka melkein katosi" ("The Motor Stadium That Almost Vanished") by Heikki Siltala, Martti Alkio and Jari Debner. The book is available only in Finnish, but if you're fluent in our language, go get the book! It's a very good read about the history of the track and has lots of interesting pictures.
Today, 22 years after the gates were closed, the track is in very poor condition. When the track was closed, it wasn't take care of, and it was buried by heavy forest. In the late 90's part of the pits has become a tyre recycling point. Today the track is still there, but there are bushes growing in the cracks in the asphalt and all trackside objects are in deep forest. The track surface has been broken to prevent "moonlight races"; this was done after a local motorcycling youth nearly got killed after hitting a moose on the track!
Click here to see some photos of the track.
Click here to see the screenshots.