There is a saying, that you can get from any Wikipedia article to the article about Adolf Hitler in just seven clicks. I’ve never managed that. When I read something in Wikipedia, I always find ten interesting hyperlinks, open them and find ten new interesting hyperlinks. The result? I have a hundred interesting tabs open all the time.
Back in my late teens, when this story takes place, Wikipedia still wasn’t mainstream, at least not in Finland. But I was a keen reader already back then, and ended up finding information about all kinds of things on the web.
One day I happened to be reading about Finnish race drivers, and constantly stumbled upon mentions about Keimola motor stadium. I was curious about this, as I had visited almost every corner of Finland without running into it. And yet it seemed, that every Finnish racing legend had started from there.
I started googling, and found lots of stories and pictures. It became evident, that the place had been closed down years ago. It was somewhere in Vantaa, but nobody seemed able to tell, what had been built in its place.
A long and exhausting map search finally found a pair of Petrol Stations called Keimolanportti (Keimola Gate), and I was surprised to find out, that nothing had been built in its place. The most legendary race track in Finland had just been abandoned and left on its own for more than 30 years ago.
In the summer of 2008 I made a rare visit to Southern Finland to see a football game with two of my friends. I asked them, if they were up for an adventure, and they said yes, so we made a stop at Keimolanportti and entered the woods.
At first we only found trees and dirt roads, but then there was a rusty gate – and behind it a forgotten world. The asphalt was broken, plants had taken over everything and most of the structures had been demolished, but we were definitely on track.
I just love the idea of equipping mobile phones with cameras back in the early 2000’s. I mean, the things were completely obsolete. These images always looked good on screen, but when you bought the hugely expensive cable, which only worked with one phone model, and saved your snapshots on your computer, the reality really hit you. Now, 12 years later it hits you even worse.
This is obviously the final straight. The asphalt has been deliberately broken to stop illegal racing, which took place years after the track was closed.
The tower was the landmark of the racing circuit. It was damaged by fire, when a huge pile of used tires, which was stored at the race track, caught fire.
We spent around an hour roaming around the old track. It was getting dark and late, and we still had several hundred kilometers ahead of us, so the adventure was short this time.