Tracks visited once but sadly never again | Column

J.G.
By J.G. Pasterjak
Jul 2, 2022 | race track, Column | Posted in Columns | From the April 2021 issue | Never miss an article

A column by our publisher, Tim Suddard, has been making the rounds on our online outlets recently. In this piece from last summer, Tim details some of his favorite race tracks. And although he missed a couple that I may have certainly included, it’s a solid list.

I won’t bore you with the exact same topic—I’ll wait a far more respectable amount of time before shamelessly ripping off a colleague’s idea like that—but Tim’s list did get me thinking about places I’ve driven that stuck in my memory.

The hook of my concept, however—which, I must remind you, is totally different from Tim’s concept—is that I’m focusing on places I may never get to drive again. Indeed, checking all the boxes on this list may be hard for anyone reading this, but I’ll tease you nonetheless.

I’ll start with the track that you’re most likely to be able to experience on this list: Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, located about half an hour west of Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Wait,” you say, “I’ve driven Hallett a bunch, and I live in [insert semi-major city within a 6-hour drive here].”

Yeah, but have you driven it backward?

No, not looking out your back window while in reverse, but clockwise—counter to the direction the track normally flows.

In my humble opinion, that’s the superior direction of travel for this central Oklahoma gem of a track. The uphill braking into the first turn, the hump before the final turn—it’s all just so good and so fun to attack. If you ever get the chance to attend any event on a clockwise Hallett, absolutely go for it.

Next up is a track you’re less likely to drive, but there’s still a shot, and I encourage you to take it if you get the chance. When Honda revealed the current version of the Civic Type R to North American journalists, its choice of venue was Montreal, and it wasn’t just the smoked meat that made an impression on me.

Circuit ICAR, located about 45 minutes northwest of downtown, sits on the site of a former international airport turned into a multipurpose automotive playground. Honda let us loose on the 2.1-mile road course in the new Type R, and it immediately became one of my favorite tracks. You wouldn’t think that a track laid out on featureless airport concrete would have a lot of character, but the main circuit at ICAR is a medium-speed delight with a combination of corners that provides a little bit of everything while never being overly busy.

No track with such little elevation change should have so much spirit—and no, Sebring doesn’t count, because its bumps account for about three Road Atlantas worth of elevation.

Still, our Canadian friends could—and should—get to ICAR if they have a chance. And once the borders open back up, it’s worth the road trip from the U.S., I assure you. But the next pick is going to be tougher for everyone.

Located on a rustic island in the middle of the Baltic Sea is, for reasons known only to the many goats that inhabit the island, an absolutely lovely and fun race track. The Gotlandring, located in the northern part of the Swedish isle of Gotland, was the site of BMW’s rollout of the M version of the 1 Series.

When I drove it, it was still under construction. The main circuit was completed, but the same couldn’t be said for the facilities and landscaping—plus, the construction equipment was still present in every view. It added an industrial, otherworldly quality that still couldn’t overshadow the extremely cool car and the amazing track.

So many modern tracks seem soulless and overly geometrically precise. Even though we were among the first people to ever drive on Gotlandring, it felt like a track that had been there forever. It seemed to flow through the natural terrain as though the corners were shaped by what the land allowed rather than a computer’s algorithm.

Today, Gotlandring looks just as striking in its more completed form. Windmills and solar panels have been installed between the corners, as Gotlandring strives to become one of the world’s least environmentally impactful race tracks. That’s a goal roughly parallel to “most pregnant virgin,” but every concession that motorsports makes to the overall well-being of the environment is a plus for the sport in general.

Finally, I’ll discuss the track that I know none of you will ever drive—because even I don’t remember exactly where it is, and I think it’s gone anyway.

When Subaru dropped the first U.S. version of the WRX STI, the press drive for that spectacular machine took place on Vancouver Island. During our journey around the central part of the island—straight-up one of the most beautiful places on Earth—one of our route directions took us off the road and onto an abandoned airfield where a no-fooling, national-level autocross course had been set up.

The utter absurdity of driving a fantastic course—press launch autocrosses can typically be a little hinky—in a fantastic car with the majesty of the Canadian wilderness being the only thing in sight is exceeded only by the fact that I can’t for the life of me find the place on Google Maps anymore, leading me to wonder if I imagined the whole thing.

I suppose if I did, I have a pretty good imagination. Now go find your own hidden tracks.

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L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
3/1/21 10:31 a.m.

I'll put Hallett on my list since my distance from there is a factor. I went there for a special gathering of Fiat 850 guys back in the early 90s. 

Second Creek (I may have been there twice) - it was quite fun and is quite gone now.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
3/1/21 10:34 a.m.

I'll throw in mine.

Riverside, the NASCAR layout, I remember it most because I went 130mph on a 125CC GP bike there. The downhill mile long back straight made this possible.

Stardust International Raceway; the track was defunct and falling apart but we used to sneak out there and ride our motorcycles around it at night.  Turn two was partially washed out but there was still a 3ft wide section of good pavement, which was just enough for a bike.

 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/1/21 10:37 a.m.

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember driving Second Creek. I also remember doing the Danny Collins Driving School there. 

All of that is gone now but I heard there is another new track in the area. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/1/21 10:58 a.m.
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember driving Second Creek. I also remember doing the Danny Collins Driving School there. 

All of that is gone now but I heard there is another new track in the area. 

High Plains Raceway is the replacement. I never drove Second Creek, only crewed there, but HPR has a whole lot more vertical going on and is pretty entertaining. Especially if you have some horsepower.

As for me, I got to drive Eagle Canyon before it was finished. I understand it got reconfigured before it opened, which is a real shame because it was really fun. 

 

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
3/1/21 11:11 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

Stardust International Raceway; the track was defunct and falling apart but we used to sneak out there and ride our motorcycles around it at night.  Turn two was partially washed out but there was still a 3ft wide section of good pavement, which was just enough for a bike.

IIRC Stardust became the Speedrome a.k.a LVIS which is now all under the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
3/1/21 11:14 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember driving Second Creek. I also remember doing the Danny Collins Driving School there. 

All of that is gone now but I heard there is another new track in the area. 

High Plains Raceway is the replacement. I never drove Second Creek, only crewed there, but HPR has a whole lot more vertical going on and is pretty entertaining. Especially if you have some horsepower.

High Plains is a looonger drift from where I am. If I were to fire up the 850 I would stick to Pueblo or maybe La Junta if they still use those tracks.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/1/21 11:26 a.m.

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember when RMVR ran at Steamboat Springs. It was the event of the year. Augie Pabst and even Zora Duntov showed up at those races. I also remember when they raced at Aspen Raceway which was right down the street from Hunter S. Thomson's Owl Farm. I wonder what happened to that place?

High Plains seems to be closer to Kansas than to the Rocky Mountains. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/1/21 11:26 a.m.
L5wolvesf said:
Keith Tanner said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember driving Second Creek. I also remember doing the Danny Collins Driving School there. 

All of that is gone now but I heard there is another new track in the area. 

High Plains Raceway is the replacement. I never drove Second Creek, only crewed there, but HPR has a whole lot more vertical going on and is pretty entertaining. Especially if you have some horsepower.

High Plains is a looonger drift from where I am. If I were to fire up the 850 I would stick to Pueblo or maybe La Junta if they still use those tracks.

HPR is in the boonies because of what happened to Second Creek :)

Pueblo is still up and running AFAIK, but it's not as fun as HPR in my experience. Never driven La Junta.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/1/21 11:28 a.m.

Texas World sad people who had driven it raved about it, I discounted it and skipped it for 2 years as I only heard great things from a handful of people but was fortunate enough to catch it in it's final two years. I wish that I had gone earlier as it was a brilliant track. It was fun it, had character and it had soul, it was everything that COTA isn't.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/1/21 11:29 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember driving Second Creek. I also remember doing the Danny Collins Driving School there. 

All of that is gone now but I heard there is another new track in the area. 

High Plains Raceway is the replacement. I never drove Second Creek, only crewed there, but HPR has a whole lot more vertical going on and is pretty entertaining. Especially if you have some horsepower.

As for me, I got to drive Eagle Canyon before it was finished. I understand it got reconfigured before it opened, which is a real shame because it was really fun. 

 

I haven't driven Eagle Canyon yet but I did see a few vintage events there. I lot of guys in that club drive 914s. I really need to get my Miata back on the road so I can do some time trials there. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/1/21 11:30 a.m.
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember when RMVR ran at Steamboat Springs. It was the event of the year. Augie Pabst and even Zora Duntov showed up at those races. I also remember when they raced at Aspen Raceway which was right down the street from Hunter S. Thomson's Owl Farm. I wonder what happened to that place?

High Plains seems to be closer to Kansas than to the Rocky Mountains. 

The Woody Creek (aka Aspen) track is a private club track, has been for some time. You can get on it occasionally but rarely. It's probably on the list of "tracks I have driven but will not drive again" just because it's just a PITA to get time there.

HRP is worth the visit. Denver's not really in the Rockies anyhow, it's really in Kansas. It's just Colorado adjacent.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/1/21 11:31 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
L5wolvesf said:
Keith Tanner said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember driving Second Creek. I also remember doing the Danny Collins Driving School there. 

All of that is gone now but I heard there is another new track in the area. 

High Plains Raceway is the replacement. I never drove Second Creek, only crewed there, but HPR has a whole lot more vertical going on and is pretty entertaining. Especially if you have some horsepower.

High Plains is a looonger drift from where I am. If I were to fire up the 850 I would stick to Pueblo or maybe La Junta if they still use those tracks.

HPR is in the boonies because of what happened to Second Creek :)

Pueblo is still up and running AFAIK, but it's not as fun as HPR in my experience. Never driven La Junta.

I thought Second Creek was the boonies. At least it was until the built the airport. 

Is that what happened to Second Creek? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/1/21 11:34 a.m.
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:
Keith Tanner said:
L5wolvesf said:
Keith Tanner said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember driving Second Creek. I also remember doing the Danny Collins Driving School there. 

All of that is gone now but I heard there is another new track in the area. 

High Plains Raceway is the replacement. I never drove Second Creek, only crewed there, but HPR has a whole lot more vertical going on and is pretty entertaining. Especially if you have some horsepower.

High Plains is a looonger drift from where I am. If I were to fire up the 850 I would stick to Pueblo or maybe La Junta if they still use those tracks.

HPR is in the boonies because of what happened to Second Creek :)

Pueblo is still up and running AFAIK, but it's not as fun as HPR in my experience. Never driven La Junta.

I thought Second Creek was the boonies. At least it was until the built the airport. 

Is that what happened to Second Creek? 

Eaten by suburbia AFAIK. Airports and racetracks make good neighbours, but suburbs don't get along with either. Unfortunately, Second Creek didn't get developed before the 2008 housing crash so it's still just a vacant lot, but the lesson was learned. HPR is not going to get turned into a strip mall in our lifetimes.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/1/21 11:41 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to L5wolvesf :

I can remember when RMVR ran at Steamboat Springs. It was the event of the year. Augie Pabst and even Zora Duntov showed up at those races. I also remember when they raced at Aspen Raceway which was right down the street from Hunter S. Thomson's Owl Farm. I wonder what happened to that place?

High Plains seems to be closer to Kansas than to the Rocky Mountains. 

The Woody Creek (aka Aspen) track is a private club track, has been for some time. You can get on it occasionally but rarely. It's probably on the list of "tracks I have driven but will not drive again" just because it's just a PITA to get time there.

HRP is worth the visit. Denver's not really in the Rockies anyhow, it's really in Kansas. It's just Colorado adjacent.

I remember pulling a dead rattlesnake off the track when I was a corner worker at Aspen. I wonder if they still have those. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/1/21 11:52 a.m.

Two off the top of my head: Bridgehampton and Road Atlanta with the Dip. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
3/1/21 12:00 p.m.

In reply to L5wolvesf :

The Stardust Raceway was a completely separate facility located on the west edge of town in the vicinity of Buffalo Drive and Flamingo Blvd.

The Speedrome / LVIS / LVMS is 20 miles Northeast of the Stardust Raceway location.

I've been here for 43 years and driven or ridden all of the LVMS configurations.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/1/21 12:24 p.m.

In reference to that track on Vancouver Island?

Probably this one:

https://islandmotorsportcircuit.com/

 

TheRX7Project
TheRX7Project HalfDork
3/1/21 1:09 p.m.

One of my local Autocross clubs used to do a higher-than-normal-speed AX (not quite a HSAX) on the Milwaukee Mile road course, with slaloms and some other assorted cone magic to keep the speeds from getting too high.

I did that for my first autox ever, and it was awesome. Then the club went into hiatus and stopped renting the Mile because the price got too steep.

I'm hoping to drive it again sometime, but I'm still a little afraid to do a real track day there (which does happen). One day.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/1/21 1:16 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

Texas World sad people who had driven it raved about it, I discounted it and skipped it for 2 years as I only heard great things from a handful of people but was fortunate enough to catch it in it's final two years. I wish that I had gone earlier as it was a brilliant track. It was fun it, had character and it had soul, it was everything that COTA isn't.

TWS is it for me..

never got to drive it in anger.. but worked my first weekends as a corner worker and did a bunch of "parade laps" there.

Mazdeuce and I went by in the R63 in 2016 and it's forever immortalized with the video I took. Very special track that I'll forever miss.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
3/1/21 1:17 p.m.
Stefan (Forum Supporter) said:

In reference to that track on Vancouver Island?

Probably this one:

https://islandmotorsportcircuit.com/

 

It wasn't a track, it was an airport. And I actually just got an email from a guy at Subaru who was on that launch, and we've been going back and forth piecing things together.

First, I was wrong about the date. it was actually the 2009 launch of the revamped WRX, not the STi. We drove from Nanaimo to Tofino, and that Tofino Long Beach airport is a prime suspect at the moment.

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/1/21 1:24 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

So you enjoyed my part of the world as I’m in Qualicum Beach roughly a block from the old Island Highway. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
3/1/21 1:35 p.m.
Rons said:

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

So you enjoyed my part of the world as I’m in Qualicum Beach roughly a block from the old Island Highway. 

Literally one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, and I keep promising my wife I'll take her there someday. There used to be a huge parrot sanctuary not far from you that we drove past on the Subaru thing, and we always wanted to go check it out, but apparently they hit some hard times and had to close within the last few years. 

Still absolutely on our list someday once Canada starts letting us back in, though. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/1/21 1:50 p.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

Texas World sad people who had driven it raved about it, I discounted it and skipped it for 2 years as I only heard great things from a handful of people but was fortunate enough to catch it in it's final two years. I wish that I had gone earlier as it was a brilliant track. It was fun it, had character and it had soul, it was everything that COTA isn't.

TWS is it for me..

never got to drive it in anger.. but worked my first weekends as a corner worker and did a bunch of "parade laps" there.

Mazdeuce and I went by in the R63 in 2016 and it's forever immortalized with the video I took. Very special track that I'll forever miss.

I did two events there. My first ever track weekend in the V wagon and my first Time Trial weekend in my Civic. Camped up on the walkway that last weekend without a tent. It was run down and needed a cash infusion it was never going to get, but it was a good place to go hang out with your buddies. 

bmw88rider (Forum Supporter)
bmw88rider (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/1/21 2:05 p.m.

In reply to spacecadet (Forum Supporter) :

Wrecked my first race car there and flagged many events there as well. It definitely had the spirit of a club track and had many good times there. Many multi-car pileups at turn 4 coming up the hill into the back 40 part of the track. 

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
3/1/21 3:39 p.m.

My dad did his first SCCA driver’s school at TWS in 1969.  I didn’t get to do my first event there until 2015.  I went to a Texas Race of Champions event there in 1985, and Nat’l Council of Corvette Clubs event in 1986.

It was a great drivers track, but not enough hard braking zones to make a great ‘racing’ track. T1 and T7 really took commitment for a fast lap time, and the T8 and T9 section, most people never figured out.  I always seemed to make some time there compared to most others.

My last race there, in 2018, I lost the brakes going into T1 on the third lap, and was still in some traffic.  Luckily, the two cars in front of me were really dicing and I backed off a little early to not get caught up in anything if they touched.  The right front brake line had come loose and rubbed on the wheel.  Pumping the brakes did just enough to allow me to throw the car sideways and drift T1, but left me with nothing by the time I limped it around to the pits!

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
3/1/21 4:40 p.m.

Everyone loved Second Creek but I thought it was garbage.  Other than being close to Denver it had nothing going for it.  Short, tight, unreasonably high consequences for an off on many parts of the track.  HPR is much, much better.

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
3/2/21 4:23 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to L5wolvesf :

The Stardust Raceway was a completely separate facility located on the west edge of town in the vicinity of Buffalo Drive and Flamingo Blvd.

The Speedrome / LVIS / LVMS is 20 miles Northeast of the Stardust Raceway location.

I've been here for 43 years and driven or ridden all of the LVMS configurations.

Then I learned a couple things.

I was under the impression Stardust and Speedrome etc were the same.

Between 1980s and early 90s I raced a lot at LVIS - but only 1 config.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/2/21 4:43 p.m.
docwyte said:

Everyone loved Second Creek but I thought it was garbage.  Other than being close to Denver it had nothing going for it.  Short, tight, unreasonably high consequences for an off on many parts of the track.  HPR is much, much better.

I loved Second Creek, but back then I only had small cars. I did the drivers school with my Honda CRX and later drove it with my stripped down '64 MG Midget race car. 

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
3/2/21 4:49 p.m.
docwyte said:

Everyone loved Second Creek but I thought it was garbage.  Other than being close to Denver it had nothing going for it.  Short, tight, unreasonably high consequences for an off on many parts of the track.  HPR is much, much better.

For an H-Production Fiat 850 it was great and even better in the rain

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
3/2/21 6:29 p.m.

Any of you Colorado gang ever drive at the old Mountain View Motorsports Park? Not sure what it looks like now but it's still visible as a ghost track right at the intersection of I-25 and hwy 34 north of Denver. Showed up there with a Consulier many years ago and gave some guy $50 (I think he worked there or owned it or something) and we drove it around all afternoon. Pretty cool little track. It almost made my list but I ran out of room.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/2/21 6:56 p.m.

Looks like it only lasted a few years and closed in 2005. Same year we lost Second Creek and PPIR. Not a good year for Colorado racetracks.

Never drove it myself.

 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
3/3/21 8:29 a.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

Yes, drove it a few times with the PCA.  It was a fun track, heading down the Dragon was good times as long as you made the turn at the bottom.  I was living in Loveland at the time and it was great because it was less than 30 minutes away.  Sadly it was where Miller Motorsports Park could've been built but the town and Larry couldn't come to an agreement.  Track has sat dormant ever since.  The gate is usually open and I've ridden my dirt bike around the track a few times, weeds/small trees as high as me growing mid track now.

Keith, I just don't think losing 2nd Creek and PPIR (at that time, it's reopened) were that much of a loss.  2nd Creek was falling apart, had no facilities and no run off.  PPIR has great facilities but is one of the most boring tracks to drive ever.  If you don't get around someone on the oval part you're not gonna pass them.  The infield is tight and slippery.  The track reminds of of being Chevy Chase and being stuck on a rotary.  Look kids, Big Ben...over and over again. Mtn View was fun but needed a large cash infusion to keep it going...

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
3/3/21 10:08 a.m.

I've been to Road Atlanta once. It was a stroke of luck for a Champcar 14 hour event, I was in the area for work, two of my friends had their teams there, one of them stopped by my house to pick my gear up for me, and I crewed for them. One of the teams were shortmanned and exhausted in the late hours of the race and I got to take a car I've never driven out on a track I've never been on before at night and had an absolute blast doing so. 

I've never been able to get back to Road Atlanta again as a spectator or a driver. The track schedule seems to align with any major function I have going on during a weekend every single year. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/11/21 11:37 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Looks like it only lasted a few years and closed in 2005. Same year we lost Second Creek and PPIR. Not a good year for Colorado racetracks.

Never drove it myself.

 

I never drove Second Creek but my wife and I did visit. It seemed like there was no real infield, as everything was situated outside the track. 

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
3/11/21 7:58 p.m.

Someone more artistic than me can probably turn this into a country song 

Like Kenny Rogers singing "to all the girls I've loved before "

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass Reader
3/13/21 9:42 a.m.

Did 6 laps at The 'Ring a decade ago...Im dying to go back and do more!

Rented a 320, 2009. Slow as heck, but so much fun!

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
3/13/21 9:49 a.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

Ranfurly's circus in the Bahama's  The first year they ran Vintage speedweeks  the track ran around the traffic circle with the water fountain in the center.  
     No they couldn't shut off the fountain so it leaked on the race track. Nice tall curbs nearby to provide excitement if you slide on the water trickle. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
3/13/21 10:29 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

I'll throw in mine.

Riverside, the NASCAR layout, I remember it most because I went 130mph on a 125CC GP bike there. The downhill mile long back straight made this possible.

Stardust International Raceway; the track was defunct and falling apart but we used to sneak out there and ride our motorcycles around it at night.  Turn two was partially washed out but there was still a 3ft wide section of good pavement, which was just enough for a bike.

 

I love/hate Riverside. My first race there with my National license.  We Jaguars (XK 120-150 ) had been put in DProduction which those years was the "hot" class.   Lotus Super 7.  Datsun 2000, Jenson Healey, Yenko Corvair,  etc  

 The factory teams were really aggressive.  I squeezed out one good lap in qualifying and was 4th on the grid. The starter had been laying down the law about jumping the start and wanted the pack really bunched up  ( very slow start)   
  The Torque of that big six gave me a great jump on everyone and I was lengths ahead by turn 6 .  I went for the brakes and it was like stepping on an over ripe plum  pump pump pump pump   And then something started working but by that time I was too deep too fast into the corner. The turn used 1 inch thick steel to hold back the dirt behind. I threw the Jag sideways and scrapped around the corner rubbing off paint and causing quite a spark show. Still in first place but with no brakes I knew I was done. So I let the pack by and coasted around to the pits.  

     

sir_mike
sir_mike New Reader
4/2/21 6:36 p.m.

Marlboro raceway in Maryland in the late 60's before they closed it.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
4/2/21 6:41 p.m.

My Local track was Ascot , and I went to Riverside a couple times , 

and then OCIR for the BugIns......

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
4/2/21 7:15 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

My Local track was Ascot , and I went to Riverside a couple times , 

and then OCIR for the BugIns......

We must have been close - Ascot was a semi-regular place to spectate for me as was OCIR and Lion's a couple times. I raced at RIR a number of times.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
4/2/21 8:17 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

Holtville.  It was a B17 training base east of San Diego. Long neglected and in rough shape. A track was laid out there, avoiding the worst of the pavement heaves. Still leaving plenty of rough joints between sections.   
    It's the track I found out about the strength of Jaguars. Hap Richardson had an updated Jaguar XK120 that could thunder right over those joints without getting upset or slowing down.  Not even the Corvettes could deal with  those frost heaves as well. 
Light sports racers would be tossed and bounce on the edge of control. Returning to the pits to repair damage or loosened  bolts etc. 

newold_m (Forum Supporter)
newold_m (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/3/21 12:14 a.m.

Reno-Fernley... Did a driving school many years ago and it was a neat track, little bit of all and lots elevation changes. Was quite a drive from Bay Area, and definitely closer to Fernley, NV than Reno. It's permanently closed now.

edmagoo
edmagoo New Reader
4/5/21 2:44 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I summered at my grandmother's beach house around the corner from Bridgehampton but I didn't know it existed. Nevertheless I eventually ran a few track days there in my street car and it felt like my home track. Then I built a race car and my first rookie race was at Bridgehampton in drying rain conditions. There were a few teething problems so I was really looking forward to my first real race at Bridgehampton. We lined up on the starting grid in the pit lane but got waved off for noise restrictions too late in the evening. They offered us extra laps at the next race at Pocono in compensation  (gee, thanx). That was the last season last race at Bridgehampton.

I WANT MY LAST BRIDGEHAMPTON RACE BACK!

The Bridgehampton sim racing on youtube almost makes me want to build a sim rig even though it looks like they have WAY too much traction through the sand off the edges of the track.

By the way, twenty some odd years later the back gate is open to turn three (flag station 4 is still there) and the old track all the way back to the beginning of the main straight is kinda sorta not quite closed to the public if you were to accidentally make a wrong turn...

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/8/21 5:34 p.m.

In reply to TheRX7Project :

Old thread, but...  The Midwestern Council is doing a HPDE/HSAX on the Milwaukee Mile roadcourse this weekend Fri/Sat/Sun.  I'm not a huge fan of the track since there's enough concrete around you to be unforgiving, but the Friday evening HSAX (standing start time trial) should be fun.

Cedricn
Cedricn New Reader
1/2/22 12:38 p.m.

I was very surprised when i read this in the mag, few people outside of sweden knows about Gotland ring, except for the ones being there at the rare car launches. 

Now its actually completed after many years of wait, 7.3km of a very special track, the new part a bit more biased to the gt3 crowd with faster bits, though including a pretty sketchy jump. I really need to get there with my car, being on an island it do makes the logistics more challenging. 

 

Heres the full track in a 964RS

https://youtu.be/43jB7ePdbT0

 

Heres another one with the full track map

https://youtu.be/I_OsxK_CDvQ

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/2/22 1:27 p.m.

I went to Brands Hatch one day while in London.  I sort of hung around, and had a few conversations, including one with a fellow who was organizing an HPDE that evening.  He offered to get me in a car as a passenger -- but I ended up worried about getting back to London, using the public transit that had got me there.

I regret I didn't stay . . . I'm sure someone would have helped me get back.  It looks like a cool track.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/2/22 5:55 p.m.

I got to do a few laps at Watkins Glen  about 20 years ago. Would sure like to try again.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
1/3/22 1:18 a.m.

The 3 tracks that I'm going to mention that I've only been to once are all still open.

mosport now known as Canadian tire motorsports park was there in 2001 alms race.

knoxville raceway in Iowa the most well known sprint car track and home of the Knoxville nationals. This was just a weekly show back in 2002 but that meant 30 410 sprints and another 30 360 sprints plus 20 or so dirt trucks. This was my first time seeing 410s in person.

Lake Erie speedway this was actually the Friday before we were at Knoxville. We were on a family road trip down east and making good time when we noticed we were close enough to make Knoxville. This was the first year the track was open.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/3/22 3:20 p.m.

Sort of related: autocross sites that are no more. 

We used to run night events in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. The site was right on the water and about the size of a postage stamp. You paddocked across the street so, technically, some "real" race cars drove on public streets that evening.

I believe there's now a hotel on that location, but those autocrosses were just fun as they just had a very chill vibe. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
1/3/22 3:29 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Sort of related: autocross sites that are no more. 

We used to run night events in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. The site was right on the water and about the size of a postage stamp. You paddocked across the street so, technically, some "real" race cars drove on public streets that evening.

I believe there's now a hotel on that location, but those autocrosses were just fun as they just had a very chill vibe. 

Yes. That was the parking lot of the old courthouse, which was actually built over the water. When big, fast cars ran you could feel the whole deck jiggle a bit. Tiny lot, but really fun to run there.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/3/22 4:35 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

Grand Bahamas V8 Vintage speed week around Ranfurley Circus.  Ranfurley  Circus was  a traffic circle around the two main streets in the downtown area.  Noted by a leaking fountain  and the steep curbs.   
     While Vintage speed weeks was held for several years only once ( 1984) did it include the fountain.  
 Remarkably only one car went off track there but it sure scared the bejesus out of all of us. The smart line was to apex at the leak and then sliding  you could be hard on the throttle as you slid to the exit.   I found that if I let my rear tire just kiss the curb  it would throw the front tires just enough to straighten out and the whole main straight was full throttle.   
    If you apexed at what should have been the proper Apex you hit the water then you were busy catching the  car at the exit. You then wasted 1/4 of that main straight trying to catch your sideways car.   Some who couldn't keep up with the steering wound up spinning down the wide main straight. 

Spletzair
Spletzair
4/30/22 7:57 p.m.

Racing motorcycles F1 Bridgehampton was my favorite. Ran the old Laconia both ways. Summit Point was fun but a long drive. Finally got to run Lime Rock in my Mustang. Right in my backyard. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
4/30/22 8:14 p.m.

Went to a lot of VW. Drag races and swap meet , 

that track in North Las Vegas , 

the old Irwindale

OCIR in Orange County 

Firebird outside  Phoenix

Baylands

LAcounty racetrack in Palmdale

Formosa raceway near Backersfield 

Ascot  for oval and figure 8

and I went to a swap meet at Imola once.....

Gearhead49
Gearhead49
7/2/22 3:44 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

I would offer two tracks and comment on one.  The car clubs were allowed to race on the closed Stapelton airport before it got redeveloped.  I did a PCA club race there in 2001 and it was a very unique experience.  They were required to paid over the old runway numbers so you had an interesting adhesion change going from the regular concrete to those painted squares.  It was a unique, safe and fun experience.  The most epic track I drove several times before it closed for good was Bridgehampton.  Probably the most dangerous and awesome lap you could drive out in the sand hills of the Hamptons.  Eventually the locals pressured it into closure and it is now a golf course.  But it was epic.  And my comment on others who have posted about Second Creek.  Probably the worst facility and track I have ever driven.  It made Nelson Ledges look good.  More of an autocross track then a real track.  Similar to Waterford Hills.  But simply awful place. 

livinon2wheels
livinon2wheels GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/3/22 7:36 a.m.

After reading thru many but not all of the comments, I have to add mine to the list...3 years ago I fulfilled a bucket list wish to drive the Nurburgring in a bmw setup for track use. The reality almost lived up to the dream and in some ways surpassed it. The reality of closing speeds from the rear approaching or possibly exceeding 100mph in some places made keeping an eye on your mirrors paramount, which of course divides your attention from watching where you are going...but when you are sharing the track with a hundred or so of your craziest German and English friends who are not necessarily paying attention to you in your futile attempt to learn the track in a day, it becomes necessary to drive very defensively. Hence, mirror watching was a major thing. Nevertheless, it was an experience I will never forget. That track is stupidly narrow in places, most places actually, compared to tracks stateside, and the underpowered Bimmer could have easily used another 100 or so horsepower and it would have been a lot more entertaining. If you have not made the trip to drive that track once it is totally worth it. Expensive yes, memorable oh yes, I want to go back but pretty sure that it was a one time deal for me. VIR is a lot more accessible to me. If you can afford to do a true track day as opposed to touristenfahrten (i know I goofed the spelling of that word) which is the German word for track time free for all where you can run into people, lose your license, and your assets all in the same day. I chose that approach with an instructor for a lap who just happened to be the European motorcycle record holder there, he was quite British and under his instruction I went much quicker than I would have alone. He was a great asset. The roads that circumscribe the track itself are quite narrow and heavily traveled, not a great place for rude displays of horsepower or other hoonery. The roads are patroled by the German police and they have no sense of humor, so I am told. I never crossed paths with one in an official capacity so I can't speak to that from experience, and I am pretty sure I don't want to. You probably don't either.

This isn't a race track, but its close to one so I guess that counts....its Pacific Coast Highway which I visited in fall of 2016 where I had the great joy of getting a driving lesson from a very hot german chick in a new Z28 Camaro. My miata was somewhat challenged to keep up any time the road opened up but in the corners I could just keep up. We eventually ran up on a landslide, all too common there I am told, and had to turn around. We exchanged hellos and pleasantries and mutual congratulations on driving skills...had she not had a certain german male along with her, my evening might have turned out differently. But thats another story. The next day I went to Laguna Seca and due to some construction work being done to the track surface, no one was being allowed to drive on it that day....so thats one I missed out on that I probably wont get to go back to. I really wanted to do the corkscrew just once.

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