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Thread: Who Owns the Road Courses in California?

  1. #1
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    Default Who Owns the Road Courses in California?

    A post on another tread, and a conversation with Aaron Bitterman last weekend at Chuckwalla got me thinking about this.

    Owner -- SCCA
    Thunderhill Raceway Park
    Buttonwillow Raceway Park

    Privately owned by the Huth family
    Willow Springs Int'l Raceway (the Big Track, or "The Fastest Road in the West")
    Streets of Willow
    Horse Thief Mile

    Monterey County, California
    "Mazda" Laguna Seca Raceway

    International Speedway Corporation (owner of 10 other NASCAR ovals and Watkins Glen)
    Auto Club Speedway

    Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (also owns about a dozen NASCAR ovals)
    Sonoma Raceway (fka Infineon Raceway, fka Sears Point)

    A few rich guys who won't rent our their track for open track days or amateur racing
    The Thermal Club at La Quinta

    Micky Grana (and partners, I assume)
    Chuckwalla Valley Raceway

    So what is the point of all this? Aaron made the point that the only road course built and opened in many years (including stillborn projects, Riverside in Modesto and another track near Lancaster that never happened) is Chuckwalla (not counting Thermal, which only Daddy Warbucks can run). It is very difficult to plan, get permits, finance, grade and build, open and run a road course in California. Props to Micky Grana for getting it done at Chuckwalla.
    Last edited by Richard EVO; 03-31-2015 at 09:20 PM.
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    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    There have been news reports in the Santa Maria Times about expanding the drag strip and circle track to include a road course. That was a couple of years ago, so the likelihood diminishes as time passes, but that would be a prime location for an inviting road course.

    During the summer months when all the other tracks are boiling over at 100-plus degree temperatures, we could be racing in Santa Maria's coastal climate. It would get a bit windy at times, but that's something we deal with at Willow Springs anyway.

    I'm still hoping.

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    ^^^ Santa Maria BBQ . . . mmm
    Last edited by Richard EVO; 03-31-2015 at 09:38 PM.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
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    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    I've watched dirt racing at their oval.

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    enjoys driving fast Jack Olsen's Avatar
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    Reno-Fernley had a rough time.

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    Not Certified Slow SDSUsnowboards's Avatar
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    Default Who Owns The World?

    I've spent too much time in the wrong places on the internet. I was expecting the answer to be "the jews," followed by a conspiracy theory.
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    Actually, I believe the track being built in Carson is owned by "the Germans".
    2GRX7 and bawareca like this.

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    I'm pretty sure the Santa Maria project was moved to Lompoc or Buelton, can't remember which, and the road course was axed.
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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Arrrrgh!

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    Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Parhump, NV (just over the Cali border) is owned by John Morris and Brad Rambo.

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    Senior Member rhouck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    Props to Micky Grana for getting it done at Chuckwalla.
    And getting it done WELL. In addition to track days and amateur racing, the amount of private rentals for events and corporate promotional shoots (e.g., by Yamaha, Ford, etc.) keeps increasing. Plus he continues to steadily reinvest money back into the track for improvements, as well as just being present and interacting with patrons at events (and not in the "let me sell you on something" kind of way). It's great to see someone who is nice and genuinely into racing be successful at running a track.
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    Follow my racing: https://www.youtube.com/ryandhouck
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    Senior Member TYP85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Mist View Post
    Actually, I believe the track being built in Carson is owned by "the Germans".
    I was driving down to long beach last friday on the 405, I saw this (see pic): in an empty lot, I remember 10 years ago someone mentioning Porsche was building a "test track" in Carson.. I assume this is it?
    What's happened in the last 10 years? any development??

    carson.jpg

  13. #13
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhouck View Post
    And getting it done WELL. In addition to track days and amateur racing, the amount of private rentals for events and corporate promotional shoots (e.g., by Yamaha, Ford, etc.) keeps increasing. Plus he continues to steadily reinvest money back into the track for improvements, as well as just being present and interacting with patrons at events (and not in the "let me sell you on something" kind of way). It's great to see someone who is nice and genuinely into racing be successful at running a track.
    love the track, but:
    they had a bunch of Ford Mustang GT for "driving school" and corporate event.

    1. stock seats with 4 point belt (not ASM)
    2. noodle on roll cage

    I never am sitting in that thing. not track, not street.
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    enjoys driving fast Jack Olsen's Avatar
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    The Porsche Experience Center, as it's called, has only recently started construction. It used to be a golf course, I'm pretty sure.

    I don't think it will ever be something that will rent out to clubs. I think it's there for race drivers to take rich guys out for rides in order to sell Porsches.


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    Senior Member Gian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    I'm pretty sure the Santa Maria project was moved to Lompoc or Buelton, can't remember which, and the road course was axed.
    I didn't think that would happen. In the 90's when I was running there, they were having issues with noise and local home owners. To the point there was talk about closing.
    great track and location. Only bummer about that track was when the fog rolled in the hard tacky clay track turned to snot with in minutes. Or if it rains, your stuck in a soup bowl. A few racers have had to leave there cars/trailers and sometimes tow vehicles till it dried out.
    Though that wouldn't effect and Asphalt track as much.
    That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

  16. #16
    Senior Member TYP85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Olsen View Post
    The Porsche Experience Center, as it's called, has only recently started construction. It used to be a golf course, I'm pretty sure.

    I don't think it will ever be something that will rent out to clubs. I think it's there for race drivers to take rich guys out for rides in order to sell Porsches.
    That's it!! I found the website: https://www.porschedriving.com/centers/Los-Angeles

    The course looks big enough to make a decent track like the "streets".

  17. #17
    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    The Porsche Experience Center track looks more like a place to test vehicles one at a time than a place to race or even drive them fast. If you were to go off in some sections, you'd be going onto other sections. I support what they're doing, but it looks really cramped to me.

  18. #18
    enjoys driving fast Jack Olsen's Avatar
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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    My wife's company sends it's bigger customers to the Porsche DE here in Atlanta as a perk, some normally back out. I was guaranteed a seat the next time, hoping to check it out soon. It looks a bit more challenging than the LA version.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv70tetpTxE
    bawareca likes this.
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