LuxInterior Reader
June 23, 2014 6:52 p.m.

I'm considering living in California next year. What can you tell me about track days in CA?

I live in Denver. We have three tracks within a 2 hour drive (HPR, PPIR, PMP). Here it's pretty easy to get onto a road course. In the summer, tracks hold 2 - 5 open lapping days for cars per month. Usually there's a club event or two in each month. Of course, not much happens in the winter. Average track days cost $150. Expensive ones are ~$200.

Looking at web sites for California tracks, It's pretty clear that access is going to be harder to come by. How much harder?

BoxheadTim UltimaDork
June 23, 2014 6:57 p.m.

Depends on the tracks and which part of CA we're talking about.

LuxInterior Reader
June 23, 2014 7:06 p.m.

San Diego is my intended city. So driving some long hauls will be involved. So buttonwillow, thunderhill, willow springs, speedway. I'll haul my butt up to sonoma or laguna seca if that's a possibility.

Cone_Junkie SuperDork
June 23, 2014 7:14 p.m.

redline track events and speed ventures are the two organizers I use. Should be plenty of dates between those two to keep you busy.

Just about every track is a couple hours away from SD, but we have an awesome venue for Auto-X. Come visit us at Qualcomm Stadium

Infineon is a 10 hour drive if you want to go to Sonoma, at least if you want to tow at quasi-legal speeds.

Autoclub (California) speedway is the closest, probably 1.5 hours away.

BoxheadTim UltimaDork
June 23, 2014 7:16 p.m.

You know that Thunderhill is about 1 1/2h or so North of Sonoma?

I don't know much about the SoCal tracks but especially Thunderhill seems to be fairly easy to get into - there seem to be a few people organising trackdays there on a regular basis.

Laguna Seca is spectacular, but fairly expensive and strict on noise. Sonoma also has organized trackdays but I haven't been there - don't know how often they run.

Re prices, from what I've seen $200 is more the floor than the ceiling for a day.

codrus HalfDork
June 23, 2014 8:19 p.m.

California has lots of tracks, unfortunately none of them are close to San Diego.

Thunderhill is more north-east of Sonoma. It's about 90 minutes north of Sacramento if that's what you meant?

As for price, Thunderhill weekdays can be had for mid/low hundreds. Trackmasters is doing a $140 day to drive the new west course at Thunderhill, for example, with only 3 run groups. Don't expect to find Sears Point or Laguna days in that range, though. They're premium tracks in premium locations.

OTOH, once you do an honest accounting of all of the other costs associated with a track day, an extra $100 for the track fee really isn't all that much.

amg_rx7 Dork
June 23, 2014 8:29 p.m.

I lived in San Diego for a year before moving to San Fran Bay Area. The tracks in So-Cal are:
- Buttonwillow
- Willow Springs (they actually have 3 tracks on premises)
- Auto Club Speedway
- Chuckwalla

Plenty of fun to be had down there before a longer tow up north. Up north we have:
- Laguna Seca
- Sonoma Raceway
- Thunderhill

Go to each track's web site and you can see which organization is running an event. Contact the organization and become a member. NASA and SpeedVentures does a lot of easily accessible events. TrackHQ is a decent forum for the so-cal locals.

Depending where you are in SD, you're looking at 3-4 hours to get to the tracks. Cars and Coffee in Irvine on Sat mornings are also a worthwhile event.

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Grassroots Motorsports

Follow Us to the Nürburgring

10 hours ago in News

Follow along as James Clay from BimmerWorld contests his first ADAC Zurich 24-Hour race at the Nürburgring.

You Need This: 2005 Lotus Elise

10 hours ago in News

A Lotus Elise looks so right in British Racing Green.

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

12 hours ago in New Car Reviews

We're big fans of the Mazda MX-5. Now Mazda went and put a retractable fastback on their fourth-generation car. So, ...

From the GRM Vault: Test Driving BMW's E30 M3

15 hours ago in Articles

We tested BMW's E30-chassis M3 back in 1989. Here's what we thought.

Project Ramp Truck: Installing Sound Deadening

16 hours ago in Project Cars

Time to cut down on heat and road noise making its way into the cab.

Eric Foss Sets Fastest Time Ever at the Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge

1 day ago in News

47 of the country's fastest cars battled it out for track supremacy.

Who Wants to Design the Next GRM T-Shirt?

1 day ago in News

Blipshift is involved, so you know that it will be cool.

Reader's Ride of the Week: Improving Upon the Ultimate Driving Machine

1 day ago in News

This E36-chassis M3 just keeps getting better.

What Was the Most Powerful Car at the Grassroots Motorsports Dyno Day?

1 day ago in News

What if we told you it was an Audi?

Up to the Challenge

4 days ago in Articles

Torque: It's how Glen Bunch's vintage Dodge keeps pace with today's machines.

This Friday: The Ultimate Track Car Showdown

5 days ago in News

Come watch some of the country’s top track cars duke it out for fame, glory and some tasty prizes.

You Need This: Metallic Brown Toyota Celica

5 days ago in News

This looks a lot like one that we had in our fleet back in the day.

OUR SPONSORS

Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More
PjOfFI0xRU8ylvwJdvzeVOfqsS6fnd0Z