Road America


Road America

Motorsport venue
Name = Road America


Image_caption = Road America Track Layout
Location = N7390 Highway 67, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Time = UTC-6 (UTC-5 DST)
Opened = 1955
Owner = Road America, Inc.
Operator = Road America, Inc.
Former_names = Elkhart Lake Road Races
Events = American Le Mans Series

Kohler International Challenge with Brian Redman(vintage cars)

SCCA June Sprints

AMA Superbike
Capacity = Open seating without capacity limitation
Miles_first = True
Layout1 = Road Course
Surface = Asphalt
Length_km = 6.515
Length_mi = 4.048
Layout2 = karting road course
Surface2 = Asphalt
Length_km2 = 1.3
Length_mi2 = 0.8
Layout3 = Off road racing road course (defunct)
Surface3 = Clay
Length_km3 =
Length_mi3 =

Road America is a road course located near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Wisconsin Highway 67. 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

Road America is a permanent road course. It is located midway between the cities of Milwaukee and Green Bay.

The track is situated on convert|640|acre|km2 in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine and it is located near the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. It has hosted races since September of 1955 and currently hosts over 400 events a year.fact|date=June 2008 Of its annual events, 9 major weekends are open to the public May through October featuring 3 motorcycle events including the AMA Superbike series, 3 vintage car events, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events, the American Le Mans Series and the SPEED World Challenge.

Road America is one of only a hand-full of road circuits in the world maintaining its original configurationfact|date=June 2008 being convert|4.048|mi|km in length and 14 turns. The track features many elevation changes, along with a long front stretch where speeds approaching 200 mph (300 km/h) may be reached. One of the best known features of this course is a turn on the backside known as "the kink."

Road America offers open seating which allows spectators to venture through-out the grounds. Grandstands are available in several locations as well as permanent hillside seating where crowds of more than 150,000 may be accommodated.fact|date=June 2008 The facility includes thirteen concession stands and allows both tent and RV camping onsite for an additional fee. Complimentary perimeter parking is offered to spectators and children age 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Briggs & Stratton Motorplex

In addition to the main course, the facility includes a convert|0.8|mi|km|1|sing=on 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.
* The [http://www.pelotonride.org Tour de Road America - Bike Ride to Fight Cancer] is a bike ride on the track to raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, and [http://www.lombardiclassic.com the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic] . The annual event has taken place in August with Champ Car and ALMS weekends, and has raised over $90,000 as of 2007. The first event was in 2004. The 2008 event will be on August 8 at 6:45 P.M., paired with the Road Race Showcase weekend featuring the ALMS.
* The [http://www.allcommunityevents.com/road_america_20k_home.htm Road America Inline Challenge] is an inline skating race on the track in June. A fun lap is also part of the event, which has taken place since 2006.
* An Annual Road America Walk/Run for the American Cancer Society has raised $2.5 million in its 29-year existence. The Walk/Run takes place in late October. The 2007 event included a Mid-American Stock Car Series exhibition, which has become an annual exhibition with its addition to the 2008 series schedule.

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 Americawas 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 convert|3.3|mi|km|1.

For the next two races, in 1951 and 1952, a different course was used. It was convert|6.5|mi|km|1 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. [http://www.mgvr.org/keepers/rdamer02.html] Other notable series have included NASCAR in 1956, CART from 1982 until 2007 [http://www.crash.net/feature_view~t~Preview--Mario-Andretti-Grand-Prix-~cid~3~id~3389.htm] , 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.

2008 major events at the track

* June 6-8, AMA Superbike

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. [http://www.speedtv.com/articles/auto/champcar/30253/] He was unconscious when the safety crew extricated da Matta from the car [http://paddocktalk.com/news/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=38632] and was airlifted via Flight for Life to Theda Clark Medical Center south of Appleton, where he underwent surgery to remove a subdural hematoma. [http://www.rusport.com/news/read/update-on-condition-of-rusport-driver-cristiano-da-matta#read_more]

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.Road America also features in Codemaster's TOCA Series on the PS2 and PC.

Champ Car Race Results

A Champ Car event was first held at the track in from 1982 - 2007, with the exception of 2005.

NASCAR Race History

Photo gallery

External links

* [http://www.roadamerica.com Road America Official Site]
* [http://racing-reference.info/tracks?id=159 NASCAR Track History at racing-reference.info]
* [http://www.trackpedia.com/wiki/Road_America Trackpedia guide to driving Road America]
* [http://www.champcarusa.com/zwolsmannarration.html Champ Car driver Charles Zwolsman narrates a lap at Road America]
* [http://www.rakartclub.com/ Karting Club at the Briggs & Stratton Motorplex]


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