Are you a fan of racing? Whether you would like to drive on one of the world’s best race tracks for yourself or would just like to experience the atmosphere as you watch others, the US is the place to do it.
But, just before you click here to compare flights this guide will talk you through the ones you might like to visit, so you can determine the best part of America to fly into.
1. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
One of the most popular tracks is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California. It’s one of the best-known racing tracks in the US and is rich with history having opened in 1957. It’s hosted plenty of large events and given its lengthy 3.602km road, it’s not surprising that people continue to prioritise it when they want to visit the best race tracks. The fastest lap record is 1:07.722, achieved by Helio Castroneves in 2000.
2. Thunderhill Raceway Park
Also in California is Thunderhill Raceway Park. Similarly to Mazda, Thunderhill hosts a number of events for both cars and motorbikes every year. A new course has extended the existing three-mile racecourse to five miles, when used together. This ensures it remains one of the most popular in the country. The course has been running for more than 25 years and has hosted a number of events in that time including the famous 25-hour race which takes place every December and is the longest car race in the USA.
“Thunderhill Raceway… perfect combination of safe beginner and advanced driving circuit all rolled into one. For newbies there is ample run off space, limited walls and easy to see flag stations… For advanced drivers the track provides endless nuance, fast and slow sections, off-camber & blind turns, varying configurations like Turn 5 Cyclone or Bypass and now the new 2 mile track.” Jim P via Thunderhill testimonials.
3. Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club
RobbReport notes that Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club, which is based in Pahrump, Nevada, is one of the top tracks in the US. The track, which is continuously growing, is currently 6.1 miles long but is expected to reach 16 miles in the near future. The Spring Mountain Motor Resort is a private course, with 350 members and a large $60,000 initiation fee on top of a $6,000 annual fee.
4. Circuits of the Americas
Situated just outside Austin in Texas, Circuits of the Americas is ‘Home of the World Championships.’ The United States Grand Prix and Red Bull of the Americas both take place here. Other events here have included ESPN’s X Games and Pirelli World Challenge. The 1,500 acres is home to a 3.41-mile challenging racetrack that features a 133-foot hill at Turn 1. There are many ways to experience this track and follow in the tyre tracks of some of your favourite drivers or check out upcoming events and see them with your own eyes.
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing via COTA blog: “Austin is a fun city where you get a real feel for the Texan lifestyle and traditions and get to race on a great track. The Circuit of The Americas is a track I like a lot; it has 20 corners and we drive it anti-clockwise. The start/finish straight has a steep incline up to the first corner and is the trademark of the track. For us that means the braking starts uphill, which is not easy and locking the front tyres could be a problem.”
5. Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis Motor Speedway has often been praised as the Racing Capital of the World, according to HiConsumption. Their first race, held in 1909, may have been a balloon race, but they’ve been expanding their expertise ever since. They’ve covered motorcycle championships, NASCAR and Formula 1.
6. Sonoma Raceway
Situated just north of San Francisco in California and formerly known as Sears Point, Sonoma Raceway is a 2.52-mile course situated in 1600 acres. Fun Fact: ‘Drivers who complete the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race will make 1,100 turns around the road course. The race spans 110 laps.’
Discussing some of the coolest race tracks in the US, Hotcars says: “If you ever play racing games akin to Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport, then you may be well aware of Sonoma’s difficulty. Although its road course may be hard, so too is its oval course, which is also available to the public. Either way, just be sure to practice a bit before taking on the beast of Sonoma, California.”
7. Utah Motorsports Campus
One of the longest racecourses in the US is the Utah Motorsports Campus which is 4.48 miles long. It can be shortened depending on the needs of the course and a variety of cars and motorbikes are able to compete on the track. Not only is it a lengthy road, but it also features a number of different turns, making it one of the most popular tracks in America.
8. Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is situated in Florida and dates back to 1953. It is the home of one of the best endurance races in the world, the 24 hours of Daytona. At this racecourse, as well as watching one of the many events that happen throughout the year you can take a tour or take part in the NASCAR Racing Experience. You’ll feel what it is like to do top speeds around the track either as a passenger or if you’re feeling daring enough, with the wheel in your hands.
So, which ones are you going to visit? Perhaps you are going to take a road trip across the USA, stopping at several as you go. Either way, you’ll get to tour the tracks, watch a race and even get the chance to slide in behind the wheel yourself and experience the thrill of driving a race car for yourself.