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M3 Track: Racing and DE Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start!


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Old Tue, Sep-15-2015, 06:17:16 PM   #1
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Default 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

There is a certain luxury to watching a race from the comfort of your living room television, at a local bar, or streamed through a smartphone, but there's nothing like taking in the whole experience of being at a race like getting to the track yourself.

Because North America offers more racetracks than we could do justice to list, we've selected a few of our favorites for both spectators and drivers alike. With an aggressive frequent flyer strategy, you could theoretically visit a new racetrack once a month. Whether you're a fledgling enthusiast or already a diehard fan, you have to check out these racetracks across North America:



Lime Rock Park: The Green Heaven



Just 1.5 miles in length, tucked away in the Connecticut hinterlands—a drive of about an hour and a half from New York City—is Lime Rock Park. The track's seven turns comprise a challenging mix of elevation changes and high-speed corners for drivers of most skill levels. Come as a spectator to watch an SCCA or cup race, or bring your own car throughout the year to participate in an autocross. While the most picturesque time to visit Lime Rock is early fall, when the changing foliage provides a polychromatic backdrop for racing, every season is ostensibly race season.



Atlanta Motorsports Park: A Motorsports Oasis



These days, there certainly is no shortage of racing tarmac in the Atlanta area, ranging from the oval at Atlanta Motor Speedway to the world-class facility at Road Atlanta. But members-first Atlanta Motorsports Park is different. Designed with the intention of serving drivers who want a safe space to exercise their fast cars, AMP is a private oasis far enough from the city to feel like a destination. Best of all, when members are off the track, AMP often opens its karting circuit to the public, which it boasts is built to "the Formula One standard of kart tracks."



Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca: Corkscrews Aren't Just for Wine



If you've played any racing video game over the last decade, you've probably had time on the track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in any number of simulated race cars. You know the proper racing line in and out of the world-renowned Turn 8. Hell, you probably learned to trail brake from the hairpin in Turn 2. So, why not visit the northern California track for yourself? Throughout the year, the track is home to scores of races, from historics during Monterey Car Week to the upcoming Pirelli World Challenge. And for the full experience, make sure to walk the track—that famous corkscrew, in particular.



Willow Springs International Raceway: Not a Mirage



The first time you see the track at Willow Springs International Raceway is an otherworldly experience. The existence of a road course set within the rolling hills of the High Desert of southern California is just hard to believe. Willow Springs, composed of the tricky, high-speed "Big Willow" track and "Streets of Willow" road course, is a must-visit for SCCA fans and historians of road racing in the United States. It's accessible from Los Angeles but the phantasmal desert scenery is a good indication that you're far from Hollywood. Skip the day trip to Disneyland and give Willow Springs a whirl.



Watkin's Glen International Raceway: The Beginning



The history of road racing in North America is inextricably linked to upstate New York's Watkins Glen International. As amateur racing picked up speed in the United States in the '50s, Watkins Glen was the catalyst for moving it from the streets to a dedicated track. Today, the 3.4-mile track hosts SCCA races, endurance races, and historic events alike. Come for the history, stay for the high-speed spectacle, drive the track in your own car, and indulge in the Finger Lakes region's burgeoning selections of local wine and beer.



Palmer Motorsports Park: The Newcomer



As a tourist destination, the Springfield, Mass., area is known for being home to the Basketball Hall of Fame, its proximity to the home of Friendly's ice cream shops—and that's about it. With the opening of Palmer Motorsports Park, in Palmer, Mass., racing enthusiasts have a new reason to drive two hours west from Boston. The track, which opened just months ago, is a tight, steep, 15-corner circuit designed for cars and motorcycles alike. The first race there, which was held by American Endurance Racing, proved that this track is a ton of fun and fosters great racing.



Circuit of the Americas: A Little Slice of Europe



Who knew that the nexus of international motorsport in the United States was located in a sleepy area adjacent to the airport in Austin, Texas? Since Circuit of the Americas opened in 2012, the track has been a destination for international racing fans and local Texans alike. The fact that COTA plays host to the Formula 1, Lone Star Le Mans, and MotoGP make it a well-known track among racing fans from across the world. COTA is a particularly welcoming destination for racing fans, featuring large grandstands and a views from a by-tour-only tower. Bone up on your German and French while putting down a Shiner Bock and some barbecue.



Virginia International Raceway: Southern Comfort



There's a good reason that Virginia International Raceway continues to earn a spot on lists of best racetracks in North America year after year. The reconfigurable circuit in southern Virginia offers racers up to 4.1 miles and 24 challenging turns, and spectators the chance to get out of the city and feel ensconced by racing. Although the track sat dormant for nearly a quarter-century, thanks to the fuel crisis of the 1970s, we don't foresee VIR being quiet or empty again any time soon. For the full effect, stay at the Lodge or bring your own camping gear.



Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez: Mexican Holiday



The dense smog may make it difficult for tourists to breathe in Mexico City, but racing enthusiasts can respire with relief, for there is Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Imagine if your city had the gumption to build a racetrack, and you'll understand why this track has been so significant to Mexico since it was constructed in the late 1950s. (It's maintained today by an outside company but remains owned by the government of the distrito federal.) Home to the Mexican Grand Prix, the track has also hosted the Rolling Stones, American baseball, and an audience by Pope John Paul II.



Circuit Gilles Villenueve: Our Northerly Racing Neighbors



Complete your tour of historic race tracks in North America at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a prominent stop in Canadian Formula 1 grand prix racing. Historians of the track know it better as Île Notre-Dame, but it was renamed in the early '80s to commemorate the legacy of the eponymous race car driver. Unlike most of the race tracks in this grouping, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is located on an island, making it a destination within a destination. The best part? You can take the subway to the race track, after or amid a day of sightseeing within North America's ville pour francophiles.

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Old Tue, Sep-15-2015, 08:09:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

Don't see TWS..
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Old Tue, Sep-15-2015, 08:13:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

Really? Willow Springs? Terrible track.
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Old Tue, Sep-15-2015, 08:50:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

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Originally Posted by M3n00b View Post
Really? Willow Springs? Terrible track.
I wouldn't say terrible, but definitely not worthy of a "must go" list.

It looks like whoever wrote this bit went for either historical or word class tracks.
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Old Tue, Sep-15-2015, 08:59:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

Would like to add Barber Motorsports Park, Road Atlanta and Sebring. Regardless, excellent list OP


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Old Tue, Sep-15-2015, 09:51:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

What..no BRP?
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Old Tue, Sep-15-2015, 10:12:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

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What..no BRP?
No Thunderhill 5 mile and no Sonoma either... but you wouldn't know how great these two are
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Old Wed, Sep-16-2015, 01:38:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

Have to add Sonoma, especially with all the great surrounding scenery and wine!

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Old Wed, Sep-16-2015, 03:34:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

Sonoma >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Willow Springs

Also, Circuit Gilles 'Newtown' over Mont Treblant? Not too sure about that... Road America is missing too...
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Old Wed, Sep-16-2015, 04:56:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: 10 North American Race Tracks You Need To Visit

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......Road America is missing too...
Ding, Ding, Ding! No Road Atlanta nor Mid Ohio????

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