What city needs a street circuit?

Colin
By Colin Wood
Jun 29, 2022 | race track, Discussion, Street Circuit

Photograph Courtesy Porsche

Why set up a race circuit in a city? Public roads add a layer of difficulty for both driver and car alike that aren’t normally found at a dedicated race track, like varied road surfaces with differing levels of grip and a lack of runoff area that make mistakes costly.

You’ve just been tasked with finding a location for the next great street circuit™. Where is it located, and what series is it going to be used in?

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golfduke
golfduke Dork
6/28/22 12:48 p.m.

Boston, because I always vote for pure chaos. 

 

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
6/28/22 12:49 p.m.

San Francisco

wae
wae PowerDork
6/28/22 12:50 p.m.

NASCAR Cup Series using that loop road for the terminal pick ups and drop offs at DFW.

wae
wae PowerDork
6/28/22 12:53 p.m.
93EXCivic said:

San Francisco

With stadium trucks

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
6/28/22 1:02 p.m.

It's always fun when video game designers build the street circuits we'll never get.

With stadium trucks

It may not exactly be a sim racer, but Blur has you covered:

 

 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/28/22 1:06 p.m.
wae said:
93EXCivic said:

San Francisco

With stadium trucks

With diesel powered Hummers. 

(Which is about as likely as any car race in SF)

 

I have to say, in general, street circuits are very narrow, make for bad racing, hard to watch and based on sim driving, not enjoyable to drive (in the GRM AC racing series, we avoid them like the plague).

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
6/28/22 1:34 p.m.

Not Cincinnati... unless you want off-road truck!  (Yes, our streets are that bad and , no, we don't need another tax levy promising to fix them.)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/28/22 1:36 p.m.
wae said:
93EXCivic said:

San Francisco

With stadium trucks

Mustang vs Charger shootout.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/28/22 1:39 p.m.
aircooled said:

I have to say, in general, street circuits are very narrow, make for bad racing, hard to watch and based on sim driving, not enjoyable to drive (in the GRM AC racing series, we avoid them like the plague).

Yeah, I'm gonna go with none.  We've got more than enough of them already.

 

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
6/28/22 1:44 p.m.

Not a circuit but I'd love to see a rally sprint stage (dirt + asphalt sections) or Touge battle setup (Formula D would be bonkers as well) be run on Skyline Avenue in Duluth, MN. Twists, turns, through the woods and over look views with the twin ports as the backdrop. Would be one heck of a spectacle event IMO.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/28/22 1:53 p.m.

Philadelphia - which actually did host a road race through Fairmount Park over a century ago:   

More recently (a little more than a decade ago) the city did close a good portion of the area for the Philly Classic bicycle race, which while very popular among fans, was stopped due to lack of sponsor funding.  

A course layout could be up MLK Blvd on the west side of the Schuylkill River, cross the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, then down Kelly Dr. to the Art Museum.  It would be an... interesting... course... no idea where the pits could go... 

I give it a near-zero chance of ever happening, but anyone who has driven on these roads has definitely thought about it.

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
6/28/22 1:57 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

Disagree. Long Beach Grand Prix is one of my favorite races to attend, race on sim driving, and watch. 

What city needs one? None of them. 

What would I like to see one in? San Diego, specifically downtown. There are a bunch of roads through the industrial areas that could connect to make an interesting circuit, and you could have the main straight go down in front of the convention center.

drsmooth
drsmooth HalfDork
6/28/22 2:01 p.m.

The Love Canal district of Niagara Falls NY.. Not only does it have a hilarious name, but you could probably get away with building a permanent circuit there.. What else are they going to do with the land..

iansane
iansane Dork
6/28/22 2:15 p.m.

The elevation change in downtown Seattle would be brutal on a racecar. It'd be awesome.

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
6/28/22 2:31 p.m.

In reply to drsmooth :

Would it look anything like this?

John Prieve
John Prieve New Reader
6/28/22 2:38 p.m.

Every state should have at least one toll road open to the public like the Nordschleife.

jmabarone
jmabarone Reader
6/28/22 2:50 p.m.

I would love to set up a kart race in Stuart, VA.  I have a pretty good course layout in my head...natural curves, elevation changes, and some good areas for speed.  

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
6/28/22 2:57 p.m.

Jacksonville might be a pretty interesting place.  It's been over 25 years since I've been there, so it might be way too crowded to do it now somewhere around the waterfront.

stroker
stroker PowerDork
6/28/22 3:00 p.m.

Wasn't there somebody "seriously" pitching a F1 street race in NYC a couple of years ago...?

If I had to pick a city, I'd suggest Chicago or Minneapolis.

 

 

nlevine (Forum Supporter)
nlevine (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/28/22 3:04 p.m.
golfduke said:

Boston, because I always vote for pure chaos. 

 

They tried in 2016. Resulted in many legal actions... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Prix_of_Boston

Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself
Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself PowerDork
6/28/22 3:09 p.m.

The Blues Brothers have already answered this question.











 

tb
tb GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/28/22 3:10 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

This. You have basically described the circuit (with endless variations) that I have enjoyed for decades with everything from 50cc scooters to Vipers. The scenery and atmosphere is wonderful and there is a perfect mix of twisties, elevation changes, sweepers and straights.

 

The Ben Franklin Parkway is regularly closed for major events so continuing down to Logan Circle would add plenty of room for pits, or they could be squeezed into the South/East half of Eakins Oval.

 

It is incredibly dangerous, but the big dip just West of Lemon Hill Mansion is a life changing visceral experience when taken at speed.

Defined motorsports
Defined motorsports SuperDork
6/28/22 3:42 p.m.
iansane said:

The elevation change in downtown Seattle would be brutal on a racecar. It'd be awesome.

GT did it. And it's still one of my favorite tracks. 

f1carguy
f1carguy New Reader
6/28/22 4:05 p.m.

This is all downhill and lots of fun. Sorry not a city cuicut but a regular German back road!

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
6/28/22 4:17 p.m.

Venice.  As in Italy.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
6/28/22 4:19 p.m.
drsmooth said:

The Love Canal district of Niagara Falls NY.. Not only does it have a hilarious name, but you could probably get away with building a permanent circuit there.. What else are they going to do with the land..

California Speedway sits on the old Kaiser Steel Superfund site so why not?

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/28/22 4:22 p.m.

Pittsburgh, PA. Bridges, tunnels, decent scenery.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/28/22 4:32 p.m.

I could think of a few really good road rally stages here in the Austin area. They historically ran a hill climb series here back in the day. There was also Aqua Fest downtown too which had Motorcycle, Car, and Boat racing all rolled into one. 

 

Setup a circuit here instead of COTA. Watch the Californians that bought up downtown flip their lids.  

drsmooth
drsmooth HalfDork
6/28/22 6:24 p.m.
racerfink said:

In reply to drsmooth :

Would it look anything like this?

Not quite!! Not enough liquid oozeing from the ground. 

I was at that race, the track itself was pretty good for a street circuit! Paddock was in the convention center (now the casino) there was a 'tunnel', and the parking garage made for some great spectating!! Plus they had no problem sending tow trucks out under green to retrieve stranded cars so yellows were minimal! All the races and Qualifying are or were on You Tube for all the classes there that weekend. Sport Trucks, Super Vee, and Porsche Turbo cup. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
6/28/22 6:26 p.m.
bmw88rider said:

I could think of a few really good road rally stages here in the Austin area. They historically ran a hill climb series here back in the day. There was also Aqua Fest downtown too which had Motorcycle, Car, and Boat racing all rolled into one. 

 

Setup a circuit here instead of COTA. Watch the Californians that bought up downtown flip their lids.  

San Antonio is more of a deserving city for racing fans than Austin. A street circuit that passes through the Pearl brewery and into the river walk region would be excellent. Bring out the paddle tires in case it rains. 

Anyone remember the horrible Baltimore street circuit? TBH that's a great argument for why street circuits typically suck. They are like one of those types of government people like, meh in theory, terrible in practice. 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/28/22 6:52 p.m.
golfduke said:

Boston, because I always vote for pure chaos. 

 

Ya. Indy car got sucked in to that and in typical Boston fashion it got all screwed up and the people that pre purchased tickets only got there money back because Indy car stepped up while the promoter and who knows how many others walked with the $$$$.  No sanctioning body will come back here after that.  

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
6/28/22 7:15 p.m.

All of them.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/28/22 8:25 p.m.

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

I came to say Pittsburgh, for the bridges, tunnels and elevation. 

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/28/22 8:27 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

I participated in 2 of the 3 years that Baltimore held a race, other than the chicane near the light rail track crossing, I actually enjoyed the course a decent amount. 

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
6/28/22 9:48 p.m.
DirtyBird222 said:
bmw88rider said:

I could think of a few really good road rally stages here in the Austin area. They historically ran a hill climb series here back in the day. There was also Aqua Fest downtown too which had Motorcycle, Car, and Boat racing all rolled into one. 

 

Setup a circuit here instead of COTA. Watch the Californians that bought up downtown flip their lids.  

San Antonio is more of a deserving city for racing fans than Austin. A street circuit that passes through the Pearl brewery and into the river walk region would be excellent. Bring out the paddle tires in case it rains. 

Anyone remember the horrible Baltimore street circuit? TBH that's a great argument for why street circuits typically suck. They are like one of those types of government people like, meh in theory, terrible in practice. 

Austin used to have SCCA races (and other sanctioning bodies for the most part) in Austin.  The River City Road Races.

And San Antonio had the IMSA cars run around the Tower of the Americas area in the late 80's, early 90's.

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
6/29/22 12:25 a.m.

My thunder has already been spoken for regarding the Philly layout and circuit. Shame that a sponsor never was found after Parx Casino and TD Bank yanked their sponsorships at various times. Hey Red Bull, this would be a good event to throw some backing behind!

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass Dork
6/29/22 8:42 a.m.

Anywhere in NC..because Im selfish.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/29/22 9:09 a.m.
stroker said:

Wasn't there somebody "seriously" pitching a F1 street race in NYC a couple of years ago...?

 

 

It was in Weehawken, NJ - with the NYC skyline in the background.  About 10 years ago and it seemed like it was pretty serious.  From what I understand, the politics changed and funding went dry.  The Drive did a video about it back in 2012:

(2) F1 Making Of: Red Bull RB7 Flat Out in New Jersey - /SHAKEDOWN - YouTube

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
6/29/22 10:42 a.m.
Defined motorsports said:
iansane said:

The elevation change in downtown Seattle would be brutal on a racecar. It'd be awesome.

GT did it. And it's still one of my favorite tracks. 

Is the GT track 1:1 street width or is it generous? The streets where this track would lay are relatively tight with a bunch of obstacles. I'm could be wrong but I think the GT track also flies over railroad tracks. Then again... I try to avoid driving in downtown Seattle/anywhere near downtown Seattle so I might be wrong. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/29/22 11:36 a.m.

The main road through our neighborhood features a grass median and, for this part of Florida, some curves and elevation changes. After civilization collapses, we can run side-by-side eliminations. Just watch out for the rocks and trees. 

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/29/22 12:06 p.m.

This did not work in Baltimore...  

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
6/29/22 1:08 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

The main road through our neighborhood features a grass median and, for this part of Florida, some curves and elevation changes. After civilization collapses, we can run side-by-side eliminations. Just watch out for the rocks and trees. 

And falling lizards!

Don49 (Forum Supporter)
Don49 (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/29/22 1:28 p.m.

Warinaco Park between Roselle, Linden and Elizabeth NJ. Great road circuit and lots of areas for spectators. I may have had the unofficailal lap record there in my misspent youth.

Red5
Red5 New Reader
6/30/22 7:43 a.m.

In reply to Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

Pittsburgh has a street race, every year, its awesome!  Last year I met Little Al and the STP turbine car was on track.

https://pvgp.org/calendar/

 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
6/30/22 11:50 a.m.

I think Chicago had a race already - back when Sly was driving Indycars with cowboy boots on? 

 

 

drsmooth
drsmooth HalfDork
6/30/22 12:54 p.m.
Jerry From LA said:

Venice.  As in Italy.

I dont care much for boat racing, but I would watch boat racing thru the "streets" of Venice.

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/30/22 4:40 p.m.
Red5 said:

In reply to Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

Pittsburgh has a street race, every year, its awesome!  Last year I met Little Al and the STP turbine car was on track.

https://pvgp.org/calendar/

 

This is a fantastic event. I highly recommend it.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
6/30/22 4:53 p.m.

Clearly, Washington D.C. could use the image boost that a major motorsports event would bring.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
6/30/22 7:56 p.m.

In reply to triumph7 :

You could always hit up that great humanitarian, Mike Brown for the funds he's been collecting from taxpayers forever.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
6/30/22 9:15 p.m.
triumph7 said:

Not Cincinnati... unless you want off-road truck!  (Yes, our streets are that bad and , no, we don't need another tax levy promising to fix them.)

How does "Mt. Adams - America's Monaco" sound?

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
6/30/22 9:23 p.m.
93EXCivic said:

San Francisco

San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing - Wikipedia

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
6/30/22 11:53 p.m.
300zxfreak said:

In reply to triumph7 :

You could always hit up that great humanitarian, Mike Brown for the funds he's been collecting from taxpayers forever.

I haven't figured out where all the money goes, it just isn't going to fixing, well, anything... oh, wait, we got a streetcar!

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
7/1/22 12:02 a.m.
GCrites80s said:
triumph7 said:

Not Cincinnati... unless you want off-road truck!  (Yes, our streets are that bad and , no, we don't need another tax levy promising to fix them.)

How does "Mt. Adams - America's Monaco" sound?

I thought that was Long Beach  Mt. Adams would be the shortest track in history, what is there about .1 miles worth?

fidelity101
fidelity101 UberDork
7/1/22 8:12 a.m.

In reply to Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself :

i was going to suggest this the loop with wacker drive and a bit of LSD can be quite the circuit!

 

I'm gonna go out on a limb and vote asheville as the hills and windyness would be neat. 

In reply to fidelity101 :

I'd love a Greenville, SC to Asheville, NC sprint type event in the likeness of the Silver State Classic. 

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/1/22 8:58 a.m.

Came to say San Francisco- but Chattanooga TN could be neat as well with the mountain roads and the city. 

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/1/22 9:03 a.m.

Palermo - bring back the Targa Florio and put it in a world championship.

Practically it should be added to the GT World Challenge for GT3 cars, but I'd like to see prototype racers adapted to street conditions like in the before times. Or perhaps WRC cars could enter and be the wildcard.

gutenberg918
gutenberg918 New Reader
7/3/22 8:28 p.m.

In reply to golfduke :

no city needs a street circuit. No street circuits are as exciting as true road course purpose built tracks. And too many great race tracks don't get big time sanctioning bodies to race there. I marginally like Long Beach and Monaco for their history, but for true racing give me road america, and any of the other great racetracks around the world

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
7/3/22 8:38 p.m.

Vancouver B.C.

Oh... wait...

te72
te72 Reader
7/4/22 12:09 a.m.

Phoenix freeways used to be pretty similar to the Wangan style races in Japan... I'd also advocate for Sedona these days, with its approximate 1205 roundabouts.

 

I'd love one where I live now, but can attest to the fact that some of the roads you *think* would be good for such fun are actually not flat, or even remotely close. I know I've had all four wheels off the ground at least twice in this town, but then again, I know I was doing double the limit, so that's on me.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/4/22 6:34 a.m.

I have been to the race in Long Beach. Monaco has casinos and a waterfront full of expensive yachts. Long Beach has refineries, warehouses and now they have the problem of empty shipping containers all over the place. No thanks. 

I also went to the Denver Grand Prix when that existed. Not enough grandstands, not enough seating. Course is too tight. And you know that Denver really isn't in the mountains. If you really want to do it in Colorado, go to ski country. They did a street race in Downtown Aspen back in 1951. Aspen has world class hotels, great scenery and an airport with regular commercial service that can handle lots of private jets. It could be another Monaco. 

Steamboat Springs ran a Vintage race on a street course for many years and people came from all over the world for it. I actually saw Zora Duntov and Augie Pabst there. They also have world class hotels and an airport that can handle a lot of tourist traffic.

Iusedtobefast
Iusedtobefast Reader
7/4/22 10:33 a.m.

Well, I think Chicago is getting the next street circuit. Sounds like the Stock cars of NASCAR will be coming to Grant Park. I remember them testing the idea in virtual racing with the NASCAR drivers during the start of the pandemic. I didn't think it was much fun. Almost all 90 degree turns and the walls, as usual , make most corners blind. 

lemachin
lemachin New Reader
7/4/22 10:53 p.m.

How about reviving Halifax's Moosehead GP? They ran Indycar there in the early '90s.

Not a very interesting circuit, but the citadel looming nearby must add some visual drama.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/4/22 11:10 p.m.

Minneapolis had a pretty good Trans Am race on downtown streets back in the 1990s.  I'm not sure why it stopped, I assume they couldn't afford to continue.  The city government was pretty lukewarm on the race as well, which didn't help things.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Prix_of_Minnesota

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/5/22 1:48 a.m.
lemachin said:

How about reviving Halifax's Moosehead GP? They ran Indycar there in the early '90s.

Not a very interesting circuit, but the citadel looming nearby must add some visual drama.

They named it after a beer?

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