Track Time: A Look at Infinion Raceway and Thunderhill Raceway
I thought while there was a lull in the race season, it might be interesting to take a look at the tracks where the races are held. The events are split between Infinion Raceway in Sonoma, CA. and Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, CA.
The Infinion track is the older of the two, built back in 1968 and was originally named Sears Point Raceway. The track is 2.52 miles in length with 12 turns as run in the NASA events. A slightly different configuration is used by NASCAR which has only 10 turns and is 1.99 miles long. A longer history of the track can be found here on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infineon_Raceway
Of course what else is fun to show is some videos featuring the track and a look at it from the drivers seat. First, is one showing some history of its 40 years from 2008. https://youtu.be/DX8qTyeurdw
Here’s a fast lap or two around the track in a formula car from the Star Mazda series. Chile’s Pablo Donoso wins his first race in the United States. https://youtu.be/7RqW82HQEfQ
There are lots of videos from Infinion, here’s one more with Ric McCormack, driving a Spec Racer Ford. He is part of the North Bay Bavarian team, who sometimes drives Greg Peterson’s Spec E30 BMW. The sound is a little funky, but the footwork is very cool. https://youtu.be/PHgsqV4kfHg
The other race course is Thunderhill Raceway, newer in age, built in 1994 by the SCCA. Originally it was a 1.9 mile counterclockwise loop. In 1999 it was expanded to 3.0 miles with 15 turns. A unique feature of the track is that it can be run in either direction, clockwise the track is known as “Llihrednuht”, which you might have guessed is Thunderhill spelled backwards. It is the home for the longest endurance road race in the world, The 25 Hours of Thunderhill. If you would like to read a little more about the track, you can again look at Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderhill_Raceway_Park
Let’s show a couple of videos from the drivers point of view at Thunderhill. The first one is a Spec E30 race from 2009, run in the counterclockwise direction. https://vimeo.com/6337033
This video is a Miata driving the track in the clockwise direction. Nothing special here, but a good quality clip. https://youtu.be/kTNmLv_iyBs
And one more time with Ric McCormick doing his thing in a Spec E30 car. Again, not great sound, but nice shoes. https://youtu.be/ajiigwE99Wg
And finally a video that has nothing to do with either of the featured tracks, but shows a pretty quick trip around the Nürburgring in a 2012 Camaro ZL1. This section is called the Nordschleife, is 12.93 miles and has 154 turns.
I think you’ll like this, he get this car going pretty good. https://youtu.be/yW9tZM3Ld84
But just so you know what’s really fast, here’s a Ferrari 599XX, the first production sports car to ever break the 7 minute mark. Amazing! https://youtu.be/FJj8atDGBzk