Top Ten Tuesday: American Road Courses

Spencer Neff

Hope everyone is having a great week. On Sunday, the IndyCar Series returns to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and next Sunday, the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will make their second and final stop at a road course this year at Watkins Glen. In celebration, here is a look at the top purpose-built, natural terrain road courses in America:

10. Barber Motorsports Park: Opening in 2003 as a venue for motorcycle racing, Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park has become one of the more diverse venues in motorsports. The 2.38-mile has hosted several motorcycle races, but has become famous for its annual IndyCar event during the past seven years. The infield also pays homage to its roots, with a vintage museum that contains the largest motorcycle museum and largest collection of lotus cars in the world.

9. Lime Rock Park: One of the more iconic venues in non-endurance sports car racing. Connecticut’s Lime Rock was founded in 1957 by famed driving instructor Skip Barber. Despite its smaller, 1.5-mile layout, Lime Rock has become a beloved track by its fans. In 2009, it was even added to the U.S. National Register of historic Places.

8. Road Atlanta: Northeast Georgia’s Road Atlanta plays host to one of the most storied sports car races, Petit Le Mans. The 10-hour endurance event is contested each fall, in addition to the track’s annual AMA SuperBike events. Throughout its 45-year history, Road Atlanta has also boasted Indy Lights and the Xfinity (then Busch Series) races.

7. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course: The undulating circuit was opened in 1962. Despite being shrunk from 2.4 miles to its current 2.258-mile configuration, the track has remained as one of the msot famous in racing. In 2012, the track ended its 49-year history of sports car racing. However, Mid-Ohio has added the Xfinity Series to go along with its annual IndyCar event.

6. Sonoma Raceway: One of several tracks on the list that boasts multiple layouts, the 47 year-old Sonoma Raceway is considered to be one of the premier destinations for road course racing in America. In addition to June’s NASCAR events and next month’s IndyCar Series finale, the NHRA will race on the drag strip adjacent to the main course this weekend.

5. Circuit of the Americas: One of the newer courses in motorsports, Austin Texas’ Circuit of the Americas has quickly established itself as one of the most popular road courses in the nation in its four-year history. The 3.427-mile venue has hosted everything from Formula One to racing events at last month’s X Games.

4. Laguna Seca: The 2.238-mile course in Northern California is another track that has its roots in sports car racing. Since 1957, the circuit has become synonymous with competitive racing, from IndyCar to MotoGP. The famous “Corkscrew” in turn eight has become one of the msot famous corners in all of racing.

3. Watkins Glen International: For over 65 years, the track in upstate New York has hosted everything from Formula 1 to Sports Cars. The track has been a fan favorite for many years and across multiple variations of the track’s layout, with the length ranging from its original 6.6-mile public road course in 1948 to the 2.45-mile short course used for stock cars. The Glen has been a historic venue for racing and continues on that legacy with exciting competition each year.

2. Road America: The behemoth 4.048-mile course in Wisconsin has been a favorite among racing fans across several disciplines since its opening 60 years ago. Whether it be open-wheel cars in its early days, to the sports cars and Xfinity Series it is known for hosting know, Road America is a premier spot for racing among fans and drivers.

1. Sebring International Raceway: Now in its sixth iteration as a 3.74-mile road course, the Florida track has hosted the 12 Hours of Sebring since 1952 and the race has become one of the most iconic endurance racing events in the world. In addition, the circuit also hosts IndyCar testing in the preseason and hosted Formula 1 in 1959.

Enjoy the rest of your week and see you soon.


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