The Gotland Ring under construction
Tuesday, 21st April 2009 by Alex Turnbull
The island of Gotland is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sweden, and is also home to the Gotland Ring, a motorsports racetrack carved into an old limestone quarry which, once finished, will be the longest racetrack on Earth.
Today about 3km of the Northern loop are currently in use1, but around 7km will be ready by next year. As well as the track itself, Google’s images let us see the absolutely massive wind turbines that form part of the operator’s vision to be the most environmentally friendly racing facility of its type in the world.
Although it’s far from complete at this stage, these images do also let us begin to see the profile of the Southern Loop, which will apparently be ready for “tarmac installation” next year, but won’t be ready for racing until 2012. As this diagram demonstrates, when finished the two loops will be joined, allowing drivers to race around one complete circuit totalling 28km.2
The land on which the track is being built belongs to a company called Nordkalk, and as the imagery makes quite obvious, it used to be a large limestone quarry. It looks like production of limestone is still in full flow here, judging by the activity going on at the nearby lake, and in fact much of the crushed stone needed for building the circuit was provided by the mining operation.
Gotland Ring does have a Wikipedia page, but it currently reads like a badly translated press release. Perhaps a kindly Swede could do a better job of translating the key points from the official site?