These Are Your Favorite Tracks to Drive

These Are Your Favorite Tracks to Drive

Tears for Fears voice: Eve-ry-bo-dy wants to drive the Glen.

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Photo: Herranderssvensson, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Everyone should drive at speed on a track, at least once in their life. It’s an exhilarating experience, and it gives you a greater appreciation for each of the mechanical bits of of your car. But where should you go for your track days? With so many tracks out there, it can be hard to choose.

That’s why, yesterday, we asked you all for your favorite race tracks to drive. With responses from across the country and around the world, surely there’s a spot for everyone on this list. For your next track day, hit up one of these.

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Anything But Plain

Anything But Plain

Track Day High Plains Raceway - Colorado- 4/28/19

My local rack is High Plains Raceway - about an hour east of Denver. Its such a a great track - it has massive elevation changes, off camber turns, two really good straights - and Fridays there are like 70 bucks to run all day. This turn - turn 11 OMG

this is me a couple springs ago

Elevation changes are underrated as a track feature. Lime Rock would be downright boring without the tricky descent on the Downhill threatening to pitch your weight forward and overwhelm your front tires. Give us more mountainous tracks.

Submitted by: the_AUGHT

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Put a Ring On it

Put a Ring On it

How to drive the Nurburgring in a Charger Hellcat!

I have to go with what I know, and thanks to the US Army packing my ass off to Germany, I’ve been to the Nurburgring. There I watched the German Grand Prix.

Course the cool (idiotically dangerous?) thing about the Nurburgring is how they have those days where you show up with any clap-trap car, pay the fee, and you too can “whip” your clunker around the track. Amazing that it’s allowed.

Course it’d be a blast to man-handle the Charger around the Nurburgring. Thanks to the 440, I could go like hell on the straightaways, but when the Dodge got to the curves, that would get real interesting in an ass-puckering way...

The ‘Ring can be done on a newer Charger, with all its added horsepower and weight. Why not an older one? Sure, it may not “handle” or “turn,” but who needs those on a famously twisty track?

Submitted by: the 1969 Dodge Charger Guy

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Heart Rests With the Heartland

Heart Rests With the Heartland

Heartland Motorsports Park Best Lap

My home track, Heartland Motorsports Park road course in Topeka, KS. It’s 2.5 miles long, 14 corners, and has a bit of everything. Long straights, sweepers, chines, hairpins, and even a butt puckering elevated blind left to right hander after the front straight called ‘Alpha’. Fast laps are under 2 minutes. It’s a great place to hone track day driving skills specifically because it has everything.

Why visit hundreds of tracks, when you can put the best parts of all of them into one circuit? Heartland sounds like it’s got everything, all for one track entry fee.

Submitted by: mountainbikingandtrackdays

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All Roads Lead to America

All Roads Lead to America

VISOR CAM: Tony Kanaan at Road America

This is a very tough question for me, because every track has its own unique appeal. I’ve enjoyed many of them.

The run up the Esses at Watkins Glen is simply sublime. Mid-Ohio will leave you absolutely exhausted after two days. Road Atlanta is a roller coaster.

But I have to pick a winner, and the winner is Road America. Yes it’s my home track, and thus I’ve driven it the most. But it’s the continent’s best race track, especially when we are talking about how “raceable” it is. It looks simple when you see the three long straights on the track map. And yes if you have a car with big power it’s best place to stretch its legs. But Road America is full of nuance, if you’ve driven it a lot you know what I mean.

If you do track days even casually, you need to get Road America on your list.

You don’t have to drive Road America at Indy speeds to get excited by the track. Elevation changes mean the corners sneak up on you faster than you expect — they can be tough to see until you’re well into the braking zone.

Submitted by: Matt Sexton

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Dark Horse

Dark Horse

Streets of Willow Porsche GT3 Lap Record 1:16.37

Streets of Willow FTW. 1.5 miles of fun, without long straights for the “moar powa” crowd to pass me and hold me up in the corners...

Bonus points: being basically in the Mojave desert, if you happen to end up off track there is really nothing to hit!

Big Willow may get all the fame, but the Streets of Willow course is even tighter and twistier. But, if you’re already through the gates, why not see if you can try both?

Submitted by: Nextcar

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Run Run Run As Fast As You Can

Run Run Run As Fast As You Can

SuperK Fastest Lap from Gingerman Raceway

Gingerman is a great track for all skill levels.

Safe enough that I took a 640 hp vehicle there for my first solo track days and never felt in any kind of danger.

While I can’t in good conscience recommend you take a full-bore Viper out for your first track day, Gingerman does seem to run the skill gamut. From entry level HPDE to the top of time attack, there’s something for everyone.

Submitted by: V10omous

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Thunderstruck Is Now Playing in My Head and I Blame You For This

Thunderstruck Is Now Playing in My Head and I Blame You For This

Thunderhill Raceway 5-Mile Course!

Thunderhill is pretty fantastic... 5 miles of ups, downs, twists and turns. It’s a fast track, good paddock, clean bathrooms, and showers...

To a born and bred Northeasterner, five miles is an eternity on track. Watkins Glen is under three and a half, Palmer is 2.3, and Lime Rock is barely over one and a half. Space is at a premium around here.

Submitted by: redneckrob and his flock of Volvos

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Tremble At the Thought

Tremble At the Thought

Mt-Tremblant

Le Circuit of Mt-Tremblant, alas now closed and sold last year (was own by Stroll). Jim Russel had a racing school there - Jacques Villeneuve had followed a course there with Russel. The video is me with my Abarth (first time driving on a track) - jump to the last 2 minues, the early sequence is a bit boring, I was learning the track and the car.. That is also at that track that I went to see my first F1 GP in 1968.

I have good news for you: Mont-Tremblant is still hosting events to this day. As far as I can tell, Stroll still owns it. There’s a BMW day at the track in about a week and a half, and I expect to see you there.

Submitted by: minardi

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Cyber Suzuka

Cyber Suzuka

GT Sport Hot Lap // Lewis’s Fastest Lap @ Suzuka Circuit 1:58.508

The only track I’ve actually driven around is COTA on a kart, so if we’re limited to only that we’ve physically driven then I guess it’s that by default (but it’s a pretty decent track anyway).

If we’re including real world tracks I’ve driven in various racing games and sims though, then it’s Suzuka without a doubt (though Spa comes very close).

I’m counting sim racing here, because it can still give you a feel for the track should you ever want to do it in real life. It’s a genuine, helpful form of prep before your track day.

Submitted by: GokieKS

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Use Your Brain

Use Your Brain

Brainerd International Raceway PCA GTC3 Track Record 1:38:9

Brainerd International Raceway. It’s my local track so of course I’m going to pick it. The front straight is a drag strip where they hold NHRA Top Fuel races (badass) and turn 1 is a banked flat out corner for most race cars. Meaning you floor it for 1/2 mile then take a banked corner to the right. It’s like freaking Monza but in Minnesota. I’ve never driven anything too wild on the track, but even normal cars taking that corner at speed is sketchy. The other turns are entertaining, and there’s also banking on the final turn onto the drag strip straight. The one thing it really lacks is elevation change, but it’s still a pretty wild ride.

It’s wild to see a front straight that’s a literal drag strip — lane division, walls full of sponsors, the whole deal. why don’t more tracks add those to their circuits?

Submitted by: WasGTIthenGTOthenNOVAthenGTInowA4

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Meta Monza

Meta Monza

What If Modern F1 Cars Raced At Historic Monza?

You never specified real or virtually, so I have to go with the classic Monza, complete with the slatted, banked turns. That track was nuts, and it was insane to think people raced on that deathtrap!

Racing in vintage, era appropriate cars, is an insane experience. It is also very taxing and painful, as those slats create a huge battle between me and my racing wheel, that wears out my arms after only a dozen laps. (Simagic Alpha Mini)

Here’s someone far better than I, racing modern F1 around it: (Jimmy Broadbent)

This sim video has an extremely funny detail: The center bar of Broadbent’s halo is transparent. He can see right through it, so it has little effect on his driving. If only real drivers got that treatment.

Submitted by: Knyte

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A Van Down By the River

A Van Down By the River

Onboard Jim Busby at Riverside - 1985 (Porsche 962)

I’ve only driven a dozen or so tracks.

My favorite was Riverside Raceway. Probably because it was the first fast track I drove that didn’t scare the crap out of me... (looking at you Big Willow).

Run down the pit straight, try not to lift around one. Two is a blind apex right hander over a yump, then boogie up the canyon through the esses. Bomb the brakes up the hill in five... better be slowed up for the off camber six or you will be into the wall. Downhill run to 7/7A, then down the back straight. Under the bridge then bend it into the banked turn nine and back around to the pit straight.

Spring Mountain is fun, because I get to say Pahrump. And because it’s a big track with multiple layouts. Twisty bits and long straights so horsepower cars and sports cars can have fun together. Had a great dice with a Camaro in my ‘67S once. Got out broke by a Camaro! going into one (hangs head in shame).

Riverside may have closed before I was born, but onboard footage from the time makes it look like a blast. If you’ve got a time machine, check it out for your next track day.

Submitted by: Clay_T

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Sweet Virginia

Sweet Virginia

A Lap Around VIRginia International Raceway

I liked Mid-Ohio well enough until I went to VIR. I love VIR. North course is groovy and awesome, and Full Course is just great for hitting high speeds right before the uphill braking zone on the back straight into Roller Coaster. Would love to try the Grand Course someday.

I’ve been trying to make it down to VIR for years, and someday it’s going to work out. It’s easily a bucket list track.

Submitted by: Fiesta_Charles

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Au Grattan

Au Grattan

Grattan Raceway 1:17.992 GT2 Track Record Lap

I haven’t driven many tracks, though I’ve always had a blast at Grattan in Michigan. I’ve driven Nurburgring and was going to throw that up here as a favorite, but I was both too slow to navigate the track and I only ever got one lap in. I’d love to put Laguna Seca up, stopped there as a pit stop on the way up to Monterey for an anniversary, but I didn’t get the opportunity to drive it. It’s fun as hell in the video games though!

Having had my brakes go out just after the start-finish line, I can’t imagine crossing a front straight at 140 like the Z06 in this clip. Give me a tighter, slower, more technical track.

Submitted by: Skippy the McWaffle

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16 / 17

MONICAAAAAAA

MONICAAAAAAA

Fast & Furious (2001) Street Race Scene [Full HD/1080p]

The parking lot at the local movie theater after opening night of the latest Fast & Furious release.

I still remember leaving Furious 7 with a group of friends, riding shotgun in a friend’s Legacy as she beat a Mustang in the Stoplight GP. Did the Mustang know we were racing? Absolutely not, but it’s like Dom says: Winning’s winning.

Submitted by: SlickS30r

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