Sebring International Raceway
An Enduring Legend… and Our Home Track
- Sebring International Raceway is America’s oldest road racing track, with over six decades of storied history.
- The legendary circuit evolved from Hendricks Field, a World War II airbase used to train B-17 combat crews.
- On December 31, 1950, aviation and racing enthusiast Alec Ulmann promoted a six-hour race using the runways of the old airbase.
- Sebring burst onto the sports car racing scene and into the history books in March 1952 with a 12-hour endurance race that is now second only to Le Mans in international prestige.
- Each year on the third Saturday of March, 3.74 miles of concrete and asphalt challenge the giants of sports car racing to one of the world’s most grueling endurance tests, known today as the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
- A Heroic Field
- Former winners read like a Who’s Who of motor racing: Mario Andretti, Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Al Holbert, A.J. Foyt, Bobby Rahal and Tom Kristensen.
- Sebring is also famous for celebrity participation. Steve McQueen nearly won the race in 1970, while James Brolin, Paul Newman, Gene Hackman and even journalist Walter Cronkite have competed in the race.
- Sebring winners include major manufacturers such as Porsche, Ferrari, Nissan, Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota.
- For six decades, Sebring has been a staple of the international sports press, from the cover of Sports Illustrated to ESPN to The Wall Street Journal. (source: SebringRaceway.com Video Credit: International GT)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a race track located in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. Since opening in 1959, it has been the home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosts races of PCA, IGT, IMSA, ARCA, AMA Superbike, USCC, SCCA, and Motocross. The 3.81-mile (6.13 km) road course was built in 1959 and first hosted a three-hour sports car race called the Daytona Continental in 1962. The race length became 2,000 km (1,200 mi) in 1964, and in 1966 was extended to a 24-hour endurance race known as the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It was shortened again to six hours in 1972 and cancelled entirely in 1974.
In 1973, a sharp chicane was added at the end of the backstretch, approaching oval turn three.
In 1984 and 1985, the layout was modified, re-profiling turns 1 and 2, and moving what is now turn 3 closer to its adjacent turns. In addition, the chicane on the backstretch was modified. A new entry leg was constructed approximately 400 feet (120 m) earlier, resulting in a longer, three-legged, “bus stop” shape. Cars would now enter in the first leg, bypass the second leg, and exit out of the existing third leg. Passing would now be possible inside the longer chicane. The construction resulted in a final length of 3.56 miles (5.73 km) for the complete road course.
In 2003, the chicane was modified once again. The middle leg was repaved and widened, and now cars would enter through the first leg, and exit out of the second leg. The existing third leg was abandoned. This allowed cars a cleaner entry into oval turn three. After favorable results, in 2010 the third leg was dug up, and removed permanently.
While the more famous 24 Hours of Le Mans is held near the summer solstice, Daytona’s endurance race is held in winter (meaning more of the race is run at night). The track’s lighting system is limited to 20% of its maximum output for the race to keep cars dependent on their headlights.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Situated just 61 miles north of Columbus, the state capital, Mid-Ohio is a great road-racing track for three reasons. First and foremost, it’s challenging, combining undulating terrain with deviously interrelated corners. Second, Mid-Ohio is an excellent facility, with practical garages, lush green lawns, and clean and comfortable restrooms. Many tracks provide these amenities today, but Mid-Ohio had them decades ago, when most tracks were still using outhouses. Third, at Mid-Ohio, an amateur can experience the same track used by the top road racers in the country.
The original track spread 15 corners over 2.4 miles, and the layout hasn’t changed much over the past six decades. Though the track has been resurfaced a number of times and widened slightly, to 40 feet, the only recent major change to its geography came in 1990, when a straight-through bypass was added near the chicane after Turn 1. This eliminated two corners and shaved about an eighth of a mile, dropping a lap of the track to 2.26 miles. This is generally regarded as the “pro” configuration, while the older layout is now the “club” circuit.
Since 2011, the track has been owned by Green Savoree Racing Promotions, which has upheld Mid-Ohio’s distinction as a beautifully maintained and highly challenging race course. (source: CarandDriver.com Video Credit: International GT)
Circuit of the Americas
Circuit of The Americas is the premier destination for world-class motorsports and entertainment in the United States. Set on 1,500 acres in the rolling hills just outside downtown Austin, Circuit of The Americas has hosted the biggest names in racing, action sports and music since 2012. At its heart is a 3.41-mile racetrack that was designed to challenge the world’s most exacting competitors while providing a thrilling spectacle for audiences.
The 20-turn, counterclockwise circuit takes advantage of the naturally undulating landscape, including an intimidating 133-foot hill at Turn 1 that must be seen in person to be believed. It is home to the only Formula 1 and MotoGP races in the country — the UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX and Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas — and has played host to ESPN’s X Games, the FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Pirelli World Challenge and more. Nestled within the track is Austin360 Amphitheater, the largest permanent outdoor amphitheater in Central Texas, and its 251-foot signature observation tower.
Construction of Circuit of The Americas began in 2010 and was funded entirely using private money. Today, COTA contributes almost $1 billion in economic impact to Central Texas through increased tourism and annual operations. The Circuit also continues to be a leader in environmental awareness and sustainability, and has helped make advances in educational and scientific fields, including solar car technology, as well as racing and consumer automotive technology. And it’s all just getting started. With plans for more world championship racing, new amenities, features and more events, COTA is set for excitement for years to come. (source: CircuitOfTheAmericas.com Video Credit: International GT)
Located in Wisconsin’s scenic Kettle Moraine, Elkhart Lake’s Road America, Inc. is one of the world’s fastest permanent road racing tracks. In addition to its renown history of pro and amateur racing, the facility hosts year round activities for groups of all sizes-hospitality, corporate adventure programs, go-karting, ATVs, geocaching, paintball, motorcycle and driving schools.
In the early 1950’s, sports car races were being run on the streets in and around Elkhart Lake. When the state legislature banned racing on public roads, a man named Clif Tufte organized a group of influential local citizens and leaders of the of the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). This group developed plans and sold stock to build a permanent racecourse. The overall vision of Road America grew out of the dreams of Tufte, a highway engineer, who chose 525 acres of Wisconsin farmland outside the Village of Elkhart Lake for the track.
Tufte’s dream became a reality in April 1955, the natural topography of the glacial Kettle Moraine area was utilized for the track, sweeping around rolling hills and plunging through ravines. By September 10, 1955, the track’s first SCCA national race weekend was held. At 4.048 miles in length, with 14 turns, the track is virtually the same today as it was when it was first laid out and is revered the world over as one of the world’s finest and most challenging road courses.
Millions of dollars in improvements have been made throughout the years, but the original 4.048-mile, 14-turn configuration has never been altered.
(source: RoadAmerica.com Video Credit: International GT)
With its rise from ragged infancy in 1948 to its position as America’s premier racing facility surely qualifies The Glen as an astounding and unlikely success story, which continues to be written over 60 years later.
Watkins Glen International celebrated the 50th anniversary of road racing in Watkins Glen during the 1998 racing season. Throughout fifty years of change, Watkins Glen has embodied more than giant crowds and great speeds. The racing community continues to return to Watkins Glen for broader reasons. Watkins Glen has become a racing institution, the premier road racing facility in the United States.
Following a string of successful seasons showing additional growth at Watkins Glen International, the circuit underwent a $12 million repave which began one day after Joey Logano became the first driver to sweep a NASCAR race weekend with wins in the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races. In response to the new surface, NASCAR and IMSA both held several test days at the facility, with drivers raving as to how the racing would improve for drivers and fans alike during the 2016 season.
To kick off the historic schedule, a host of motorsports icons including Bob Varsha, Andy Lally, and Derek Bell joined WGI President Michael Printup and local leaders in cutting the ribbon during an Opening Weekend event, signifying the start of a new era of motorsports in upstate New York. Just months later, after the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Boston was canceled, it was announced in Indianapolis that the series would make its return to Watkins Glen International during Labor Day weekend 2016, which saw Scott Dixon win his fourth race at The Glen in seven starts. (source: TheGlen.com Video Credit: International GT)
Road Atlanta is recognized as one the world’s best road courses. Our multi-purpose motor sports facility is situated on 750 park-like acres in the rolling hills of Northeast Georgia. Road Atlanta is located 35 miles north of Atlanta and just minutes away from Chateau Elan, a 4-Star resort offering guests comfort and amenities such as three championship golf courses and a European-style Spa.
The facility is utilized for a wide variety of events, including professional and amateur sports car and motorcycle races, racing and driving schools, corporate programs and testing for motorsports teams.
Road Atlanta is host to major events like Motul Petit Le Mans, Drift Atlanta presented by Papa John’s, and the The Mitty.
-2.54-mile, 12-turn world class road course
320,000 annual visitors from 33 states and 18 countries
Family friendly atmosphere: Kids 12 & Under Are Always Free!
Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Don Panoz purchased Road Atlanta in 2006 and embarked on a major improvement program, drastically updating the circuit. Panoz also established the Petit Le Mans race in 1998 and the American Le Mans Series the following year. In 2012, Road Atlanta was purchased by NASCAR Holdings. Road Atlanta will join the new WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2014, beginning an exciting new era of road racing in North America. (source: RoadAtlanta.com Video Credit: International GT)
In 1955, a group of North Carolina car enthusiasts began their search for a possible racetrack location. They soon found the perfect site on the state line on land owned by the Foote Family and VIRginia International Raceway opened for business in August of 1957. The group leased the property as Sports Car Enterprises. VIR’s first official event was an SCCA race that attracted stars like Carroll Shelby, Carl Haas, Bob Holbert, Augie Pabst, Bob Grossman, Don Yenko, Dr. Dick Thompson, Walt Hansgen and Bruce Jennings. Shelby, who would later go on to worldwide fame by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959 and creating the iconic Cobra sports cars in the early 1960s, won that first feature race at VIR in a Maserati 450S.The lconic Texan uttered a quote about the track that is remembered to this day, “one lap at VIR is like a hundred at Watkins Glen.”
Prior to the start of the 2014 racing season, VIR owners led the charge in initiating several updates including repaving the track’s Full Course for the first time since 1999, widening the track by six feet at several locations to allow easier passing, moving the start and finish line to just after pit row for better viewing for spectators, and paving the North Paddock to ensure an even and smooth surface for fans and drivers alike.
A World-Class Venue
In its modern incarnation, VIR hosts a number of world-class events, such as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Biscuitville 125, and includes full resort facilities. These include three hotels, several dining options and activities such as karting and skeet shooting.
None of the men who first brought VIR to life, nor the racers and fans who frequented it in the early days, could have imagined the kind of showplace that exists on the site today. In the words of actor Paul Newman, who raced in both amateur and professional competition since the 1970s, “if there’s a heaven on Earth, it’s VIR.” (source: www.VIRNow.com Video Credit: International GT)