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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems to me that we are in a renascence period in world of race tracks. There is a nice combination of many new road courses, as well as establish tracks with great history. What is your favorite track and why?
 

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The US is pretty big with lots of tracks. Who is willing to drive and/or tow how far to a track might be a better question; or how many can be reached via water. ;)
 

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Mosport by default as this is my "home" track and I have completed many DE weekends. The speed and elevation changes are wonderful once you get comfortable.

I spent 3 days at Wakins Glen this summer and if given more track time this might pull ahead of Mosport.
 

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Auto Club (Fontana) is definitely my "home" track.

Close second is Buttonwillow. So much run-off area that you can push as hard as you want without worrying about hitting anything.
 
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My home track is Willow Springs, which I love. Went up to Laguna Seca this summer and it's a REALLY fun track, but I think my fav is AutoClub Speedway (which I also ran this summer). Coming out of the infield road course onto turn 4 of the oval is AMAZING - that front straight is like…..8 lanes wide and diving into the banking at turn 1 is something I will never forget and always love!!

Running Buttonwillow (first time) in a few weeks - can't wait!!
 

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Living in Santa Barbara are two closet tracks are WS and BW. Both are desert tracks BW is in much better shape. SM is a great facility and mulitable configurations up to 6.2 miles.But it's a long haul 372 miles door to track. LS is really fun and a very nice area. But my all time favorite is Road America. Being from wi. It was the first track I ever drove on in 1977 with a 924 . Funny how a car with 115 hp felt really fast 37 years ago. I remember the road and track road test 0-60 11.1. Now most high preformance cars go 0-100 in less than 10. The really fast ones like the P1 or 918 0-100=5.7... Carl
 

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Autoclub Speedway in Fontana is my number one, I especially enjoy the WOT on the roval. Laguna Seca is next because of Andretti Hairpin, Rahal Straight, Rainey Curve, The Corkscrew.
 

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Song 1, side 2, fond memories of grade 10.
 

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I think I prefer Sonoma (aka Sears Point, aka Infinion).

I've only driven on 4.5 tracks, up here we have Laguna Seca and Sonoma about and hour in each direction, further North is Thunderhill, a little further South is Buttonwillow. I've also driven about 10 laps on the south half of Silverstone as one of their "experiences" (in a Ferrari 360). Laguna is fun, and I've done most laps there, about 700. But Sonoma is just more of a challenge, its a difficult track, and the walls are intimidating. The new bit at Thunderhill is very interesting, I'm going to have to go back to that, the big 5 mile circuit is too much, but the "Mid Thunderhill" configuration looks like it could be perfect (cut through from 13E to 8E). I really want to try COTA sometime, that looks like a very fun track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have only driven at NOLA Motorsports Park outside of New Orleans. It is a new facility and I have enjoyed the track with the Cayman S. It is both easy to drive for a beginner while at the same time difficult to master the various radius turns. And mostly no walls!

It is ideally suited for the Cayman as a DE because most of the passing occurs on the long front straight - not sure of the distance but was able to get to 128mph. Much higher powered cars such as Vettes and Vipers are usually forced to give the little Cayman a pass by when you are in their mirrors in the turns. Sort of a great "equalizer" track.
 

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Barber Motorsports Park. It is technical, has lots of elevation, straights are short so it is not a horsepower track. Facilities are BEAUTIFUL. AND--- It is 10 miles from my house!
Next I guess is VIR, Love that place. I have done, Mid Ohio, Daytona Rolex, Road Atlanta, Atlanta Motorsports Park and Talladega Grand Prix Raceway, too. I would rank them in that order I guess but they are all worth doing!
 

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I guess I have to say COTA. It's fast, it's safe, it has a nice variety of turns and makes good use of the terrain, including a couple of corners with blind turn-in points that require a genuine "leap of faith," and a 1km back straight that requires (and rewards) good brakes and faith in them. The facilities are also fabulous, as you would expect from a world-class F1 track.

And it's in my back yard. :dance:

The downside is the cost, with HPDE prices usually running around $500/day. Fortunately, being an instructor helps me defray that cost somewhat, else I wouldn't be out there nearly as often as I am.

The upside of that cost, is that it tends to filter out the beaters and attract the higher-end crowd - there's usually all manner of exotic automotive eye candy among the Porsches and Ferraris at a COTA HPDE, including (often multiple) McLarens, Wolf and Praga prototypes, and even the occasional retired F1 car.

But being in regular contact with such machinery does have its side-effects - a couple of my fellow instructors and I were ruminating recently on how we've become inured to what the general populace regards as supercars - a 911 or F430 is merely "meh" to us these days; still fun, but they no longer have the "gee whiz" factor.
 

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I think I prefer Sonoma (aka Sears Point, aka Infinion).

I've only driven on 4.5 tracks, up here we have Laguna Seca and Sonoma about and hour in each direction, further North is Thunderhill, a little further South is Buttonwillow. I've also driven about 10 laps on the south half of Silverstone as one of their "experiences" (in a Ferrari 360). Laguna is fun, and I've done most laps there, about 700. But Sonoma is just more of a challenge, its a difficult track, and the walls are intimidating. The new bit at Thunderhill is very interesting, I'm going to have to go back to that, the big 5 mile circuit is too much, but the "Mid Thunderhill" configuration looks like it could be perfect (cut through from 13E to 8E). I really want to try COTA sometime, that looks like a very fun track.
+1. We're lucky to live in the Bay Area with 3 good tracks close by. I like all three for different reasons. But Sonoma is definitely my favorite.

Sonoma - tight technical track with lot of elevation change
TH - wide open track with few walls/barriers. I have yet to run the new section
LS - it's well known. Besides the popular corkscrew and andretti hairpin, I think it's a'ight. The sound restriction certainly kills most of the fun.
 

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Surprised so many like Auto Club (Fontana). The oval part is fun, but the infield isn't that great. I'll take Buttonwillow any day.
 

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The Nurburgring. It has it all. Scratched it off my bucket list then......wrote it back on!
 
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If they would fix the pavement I would say Heartland Park is a nice track, not as nice as say Road America, but a good technical track, sadly the pavement is a problem right now so I can't choose Heartland Park. :)

Instead I would choose the Lake Garnett track.

Why? Because it takes cajones to drive this thing fast. It's got some technical portions, it has tight turns, it has a high speed straight, it has a changing radius chicane, oh and it also has no rumble strips, no curbing, no tire stacks, no padding, no run off in some areas, a LAKE in the middle of it that yes you can run into, stone pillars along the bridge and other assorted hazards coupled with some beautiful scenery! Here's a map:



There's a reason they shut this track down in 1972, speeds were getting so fast and the danger so high that deaths were almost routine. The amount of money it would take to turn it into a "safe" full time race track was cost prohibitive at the time so it was never done. I see why all the greats wanted to drive this track back in the day, Carol Shelby, Don Yenko, Gordon Smiley and others all carved their places in history at this track. It's sort of sad that history passed it by for so long, but now it is staging a comeback as a place for terrific events. (See my separate topic thread on the subject)

Yep Lake Garnett, my current favorite....
:)


PS. map picture above doesn't show the elevation changes, some are significant...
 

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Texas World Speedway 2.9 especially CW direction. It has a great flow, fast and fun.

Anyone within striking distance should come out before it's gone. Latest word is end of May 2015 it will close.
 

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If they would fix the pavement I would say Heartland Park is a nice track, not as nice as say Road America, but a good technical track, sadly the pavement is a problem right now so I can't choose Heartland Park. :)

Instead I would choose the Lake Garnett track.

Why? Because it takes cajones to drive this thing fast. It's got some technical portions, it has tight turns, it has a high speed straight, it has a changing radius chicane, oh and it also has no rumble strips, no curbing, no tire stacks, no padding, no run off in some areas, a LAKE in the middle of it that yes you can run into, stone pillars along the bridge and other assorted hazards coupled with some beautiful scenery! Here's a map:



There's a reason they shut this track down in 1972, speeds were getting so fast and the danger so high that deaths were almost routine. The amount of money it would take to turn it into a "safe" full time race track was cost prohibitive at the time so it was never done. I see why all the greats wanted to drive this track back in the day, Carol Shelby, Don Yenko, Gordon Smiley and others all carved their places in history at this track. It's sort of sad that history passed it by for so long, but now it is staging a comeback as a place for terrific events. (See my separate topic thread on the subject)

Yep Lake Garnett, my current favorite....
:)


PS. map picture above doesn't show the elevation changes, some are significant...
I remember your previous comments on the track surface at HPT. This time you forgot to mention the concrete safety barriers and how close they are to the track itself.

P.S.
Is KC PCA now looking at this Garnett track for DEs since HPT and KSW turned to duds for that region?

P.P.S.
That "flatiron corner" reminds me of the bus stop at Hallet.
 
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