Less than 20 kilometers from Marosvásárhely/Targu Mures is Romania’s latest permanent circuit and Transylvania’s first, the Transylvania Motor Ring. The circuit’s birth wasn’t an easy delivery: After the initial announcement in 2006, the building of the race track was not finalized until 2018, and the owner – the Maros/Mureș County Council – now awaits the circuit’s formal approval by the racing authorities to finally receive the green light to host international competitions.
The largely flat-finished circuit measures 2.304 miles (3.708 km), varies in width between 11 and 14 meters, and has a finishing straight of about 700 meters. The track boasts modern amenities, including a race building featuring 11 double garages, offices for race officials and teams, a medical center, media facilities and a restaurant.
“This is a unique circuit in the whole country, considering the technical facilities, the pit lanes, garages, paddocks, stables and overall configuration of the racetrack,” Levente Kovács, vice-president of Maros/Mureș County Council, tells TransylvaniaNOW.
Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș and the whole of Maros County is strongly connected with motorsports, so the initiator of this project, the then President of Maros County Council, Emőke Lokodi, formulated the idea of a racetrack for official competitions built upon the ideas and demands from motorsports professionals in this area.
“Since the 1960s, motorcycle and car competitions have been organized In Marosvásárhely. The city produced well-known motorsports professionals such as the Tóth brothers (Gyula and Attila), who won eight national titles in motorcycle-with-sidecar competitions. More recent names include Pop Florian, who is known for his motocross titles, and Csaba Gálfi, who is part of our team,” Thomas Moldovan, the manager of the Transylvania Motor Ring, tells TransylvaniaNOW.
Before the idea of the permanent racetrack was put on paper, competitions were organized on Marosvásárhely’s streets or at the airport. In 2006, under the leadership of Emőke Lokodi, the County Council officially started working on the racetrack project, keeping in mind the mid- and long-term benefits of having a permanent race circuit in Transylvania.
Many years passed before the first layer of asphalt was finally poured by the construction company. In 2018, the racetrack was finally inaugurated, 12 years after the initial announcement, at a special event that attracted 11,000 spectators, Thomas Moldovan tells TransylvaniaNOW.
Since then, Transylvania Motor Ring has become the venue for a variety of events. “At the moment, we have 10 national car championships, track day events, corporate events, and team buildings. We can’t organize competitions until after the formal approval of the racetrack,” Thomas Moldovan tells TransylvaniaNOW.
The owners and management are attempting to place the racetrack among Europe’s top circuits. To receive formal approval, certain modifications must be completed. “The protective barriers were built according to the safety standards applicable more than 10 years ago. Meanwhile, they have been modified, so we have to bring our racetrack up-to-date to the latest safety standards to receive approval on the motorcycle competition side,” Moldovan explains.
After the upgrade, Transylvania Motor Ring will host at least six – three car and three motorcycle – international competitions each year, which will be a huge leap forward. Meanwhile, the owners have been approached by a variety of parties to use the circuit to test Formula 1 cars.
To reach that final goal of putting Transylvania Motor Ring on the agenda of European sporting competitions, the owners have their eyes on European funds. By winning the support of sports federations to push for the development of the circuit to meet the latest racetrack standards, the door seems to be open for accessing a EUR 3 million grant. A chunk of this would be used to finalize the development of the existing racetrack, a roughly EUR 1 million investment, Moldovan explains to TransylvaniaNOW.
The remainder of the funds would be used to build an enduro-cross track or dirt park in Csittszentivány/Sântioana de Mureș, where the Maros County Council has a generous 24 hectares of land at their disposal. Considering the high demand for such a dirt track in this area – there is a huge community of enduro-cross motorists and ATV riders – the track will likely meet the high demand for riding in a controlled area, both day and night.
Watch the grand opening video below:
Title image: Cars preparing to hit the race track. Image credit: Transylvania Motor Ring’s official Facebook page