Park History News February 19, 2016February 19, 2016 The Phoenix Park â€“ This is Dublinâ€™s playground and one of its most famous landmarks â€“ the largest urban enclosed park in Europe, with a circumference of 11km (7m) and a total area of 712 hectares (1,760 acres). Situated 3km (2m) west of the City centre. Ornamental gardens, nature trails, and broad expanses of grassland, separated by avenues of trees, including oak, beech, pine, chestnut, and lime. Deer roam the forested areas, and horses romp on polo fields and once a year we turn this wonderful park into a MOTOR RACING CIRCUIT. The rolling grasslands and clear roads of Phoenix Park have long been a draw for sports and sportspeople alike including running, cycling, polo, cricket, soccer and hurling. From motor racing to cycling, polo, cricket, soccer and hurling, the wide expanses allow for a broad range of activities. â€“ The Park residences include Dublin Zoo, Ãras an UachtarÃ¡in, Ashtown Castle, Farmleigh, the American Ambassadorâ€™s home, Garda Headquarters, and more. â€“ The Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed Park in Europe and hosts almost 250 events annually. Motor racing has taken place in the Phoenix Park since 1903, and during the period 1929 -1931 the Park was the venue for the first ever Irish Grand Prix which led to the annual motor racing event that continues to this day. The Motor Races were originally the model for Albert Park in Melbourne which also set up its own race meeting.Â Today, that meeting is the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. During the 1990â€™s, a number of sponsors used the Phoenix Park Motor Races to promote their involvement in Formula 1, bringing World Champion Jacques Villeneuve to the circuit in 1996, and Damon Hill in 1997. The rich history of the Park has seen memorable racing by John Watson, Derek Daly, Eddie Jordan, all of whom became international names. Motorsport Ireland, the governing body for motor sport in Ireland is involved in the organisation of this event in conjunction with the Phoenix Park Motor Racing Committee. This committee is made up of selected personnel from various motor racing clubs, with combined experience of 70 years of organisation of this prestigious event. The event is FREE to spectators and the revenue required to run the Park is generated through Competitor Entry Fees, Sponsorship and Corporate Hospitality. Motorsport Ireland is fully conscious that the circuit, which consists of three public roads in the Phoenix Park, is not primarily there for motor racing. However, at the same time over the past 100 years the Phoenix Park has become synonymous with motor racing worldwide. Obviously, a major part of the budget required to run this event is the circuit build to the high standards of safety that are required. The track is very suited to both historic racing cars and several of the modern racing classes. An event of this nature incurs a substantial amount of organisation and financial backing. The fact that it is also a free event to spectators makes matters more difficult.