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Road America

Road America Track Layout
Road America
Location 22px-Flag of the United States.png N7390 Highway 67

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Broke ground
Opened 1955
Closed Open
Demolished N/A
Owner Road America, Inc.
Operator Road America, Inc.
Construction cost
Former names Elkhart Lake Road Races
Major events
  • Champ Car World Series - Road America Grand Prix - September 21-24, 2006
  • American Le Mans Series - August 20, 2006
  • Kohler International Challenge with Brian Redman(vintage cars) - July 16, 2006
  • SCCA June Sprints - June 22-25, 2006
  • AMA Superbike - June 4, 2006
Seating capacity open seating without capacity limitation
Track shape road course
Track length 4.0 miles
Track banking varies

Fans looking east at Turn Five at the 1995 June Sprints at Road America
Welcome sign
The sign marking the start/finish line on the original road course
Retired Champ Car racers going around turn eight at the Kohler International Challenge
Briggs & Stratton kart racing track

Road America is a road course located in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. It has hosted races since the 1950s and currently hosts races in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Series, American Le Mans, ASRA and AMA Superbike series.

Current track and facilities

The track is just over four miles (6 km) long and consists of fourteen turns. The track has many elevation changes, along with a long front stretch where speeds approaching Template:Convert/mi/hTemplate:Convert/test/Aon may be reached. One of the best known features of this course is a turn on the backside known as "the kink." Many cars have prematurely finished their race on this section of road.

Non-reserved grandstand seating exists for 10,000 people, but there are numerous hillside spots where crowds of more than 150,000 may be accommodated. The facility includes thirteen concession stands and allows camping onsite.

Briggs & Stratton Motorplex

In addition to the main course, the facility includes a 0.8mi karting track called the Briggs & Stratton Motorplex inside the Carousel. The Briggs & Stratton Motorplex hosts two series of karting events. It hosts weekly events on Tuesdays in the summer. It also hosts approximately six Saturday events during the summer.

Off road racing circuit

The Briggs & Stratton Motorplex was built at the site of an earlier off road racing circuit used for several SODA events in the 1990s.

Other Events at the Track

Road America is host to several non-automotive events.

History of Racing at Elkhart Lake

Open Road Course

In the late 1940s, road racing was gaining popularity, owing to the post World War II economy, and the influx of sporting automobiles. The Sports Car Club of America was the main organizer of these races, and in 1950, the Chicago Region SCCA and the Village of Elkhart Lake organized the first road race at Elkhart Lake.

The 1950 circuit start-finish line was on County Road P. Competitors went north to County Road J, then South into the Village of Elkhart Lake, and West on what is now County JP (then called County Highway X), and reconnected with County Road P for a total distance of 3.3mi.

For the next two races, in 1951 and 1952, a different course was used. It was 6.5mi long, on County Roads J, A, and P. To date, one may still drive most of the original courses.

The original course was registered on the National Register of Historic Places on February 17 2006. Signs have been installed marking key locations on the course.

Private Road Course

After the tragedy at Watkins Glen in 1952, where a twelve year old was killed, the U.S. ruled to discontinue contests of speed on public highways. This was a major blow for competition auto racing and brought the end of a long-standing tradition. This did not permanently stop road racing, however, it did shift it to private courses. In 1955, Cliff Tufte started what is now known as Road America, in a configuration that has changed little over the past 50 years. The addition of Road America as a private track meant a transition from racing through the streets of tiny Elkhart Lake to racing on a big, wide, dedicated race track.

Racing at Road America

Many different racing series have had the occasion to race at Road America. The first was the Sports Car Club of America on September 10, 1955, but they were hardly the last. [1] Other notable series have included NASCAR in 1956, CART from 1982 until the present [2], ALMS from 2002 to the present, Grand-Am, USAC, CanAm, Trans-Am, IMSA, and AMA. Road America also holds a variety of vintage racing events, including the Brian Redman International Challenge.

2007 major events at the track

The Cristiano da Matta Deer Incident

On August 3, 2006, Cristiano da Matta, driver of Champ Car's RuSPORT team, was involved in a collision with a deer during Champ Car open testing at Road America. The deer ran in front of his car as he was heading towards turn 6. He hit the deer with his right front tire, the deer then flew back and hit da Matta in the cockpit. [3] He was unconscious when the safety crew extricated da Matta from the car [4] and was airlifted via Flight for Life to Theda Clark Medical Center south of Appleton, where he underwent surgery to remove a subdural hematoma. [5]

Use in Simulators

The track was used in Sierra's Indy Car Racing 2. With a later converter from thepits.us it is also possible to use it in NASCAR Racing 4, Nascar 2002 season and Nascar 2003 (all by Sierra). The track is available in the XBOX game Forza Motorsport, and is now available as downloadable content in the XBOX 360 game Forza Motorsport 2. The track is also used in CART Fury: Championship Racing, but the track looks slightly different, layout-wise.

Champ Car Race Results

A Champ Car event was first held at the track in 1982, and has been held annually every year since with the exception of 2005.

NASCAR Race History

Year Date Driver Car Make Winner's Prize
Average Speed
1956 August 12, 1956 22px-Flag of the United States.png Tim Flock 1956 Mercury $2,950 258 73.858

External links

Champ Car Tracks
AtlantaCaliforniaChicagoGatewayHomesteadLas VegasLoudonMichiganMilwaukeeNazarethOntarioPhoenixPoconoSanairTexasTexas WorldTrenton
Road Courses
ClevelandEdmontonLaguna SecaMid-OhioMontrealMont-TremblantPortlandRiversideRoad AmericaWatkins Glen
Street circuits
Belle IsleDenverDetroitHoustonVegas G.P.Long BeachMeadowlandsMiamiSan JoseSt. PeteTamiami ParkTorontoVancouver
AssenBrands HatchEuroSpeedwayJerezMexico CityMonterreyMotegiRioRockinghamSurfers ParadiseZolder

ALMS (American Le Mans Series) circuits

Sebring • St. Petersburg • Long Beach • Miller • Lime Rock • Mid-Ohio • Road America • Mosport • Detroit • Road Atlanta • Laguna Seca

Former Circuits:
Adelaide • Charlotte • Houston • Infineon (Sears Point) • Las Vegas • Miami • Nürburgring • Portland • Silverstone • Texas • Trois-Rivières • Washington, D.C.

Former European Le Mans Series Circuits (2001 only)
Sebring • Donington • Jarama • Estoril • Most • Vallelunga • Road Atlanta

Grand-Am circuits

Daytona • Hermanos Rodríguez • Homestead • Virginia • Laguna Seca • Lime Rock • Watkins Glen • Mid-Ohio • Barber • Montréal • Infineon • Miller
Former Circuits:
California • Iowa • Long Beach • Mont-Tremblant • Phoenix • Road America • Trois-Rivières