Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

John Marine | 8/05/2010 11:30:00 PM |
Mid-Ohio is one of America's finest race tracks. It is immensely competitive for almost any kind of racing that transpires on this classic race track. It has seen a variety of racing whether on four wheels or two. It used to serve consistently as home of the SCCA Runoffs. No matter what you think about this track, you just have to respect it and regard it as one of the best race tracks in the United States. Based in Troy Township, Ohio, USA (just outside of Lexington, Ohio); Mid-Ohio is a stellar race course with its own unique challenges and depths that make it a great racing facility. It has been raced on since 1962. It boasts 15 turns and 2.4 miles (3.86 km) of racing. This blog entry is a look at this classic racing course in central Ohio.

--- Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course ---
Take a look at the track layout, because I'll be talking about that right here in this blog entry:

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
^ from: - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The only variations are the club circuit and the extra chicane section heading into the Keyhole.

Perhaps the most unique thing about this course is that it starts at a different portion of the course while eventually filing into the proper Finish line. The initial start is just past Turn 3 while the Finish line is after Turn 13. This track is a combination of high-speed straights and some decisive corners. It also features a handful of elevation changes ready to screw up your car's balance at any given moment.

NOTE: Though the course starts after Turn 3, this one-lap description is a full lap around the track from its Finish line.

One-Lap Description.
After passing the Finish line and going under the bridge, you face a moderately fast left-handed Turn 1. If you're racing motorcycles or something, after Turn 1 is a little bus stop-like section that is a right-left-right chicane. For cars, it's just a straight blast down to the Turn 2 hairpin. Elevation changes await you all the while heading into and out of the Keyhole at Turn 2. The hairpin is a somewhat sharp right-hander that goes a bit downhill midway through the Keyhole. Then, it's on to the Speed Trap. Slight undulations in the road followed by a quick dip lead into the right-handed kink that comprises Turn 3. Turns 4 through 6 comprise the China Beach section. A few more rises and falls await heading into a very sharp right at Turn 4. The road ahead dips and crests as the left-handed Turn 5 awaits you. This area makes for good camera and video opportunities as the cars blast into this section. The road into Turn 6 dips even further. Hopefully, your car's momentum can be utilized to tackle the waiting right-hander at Turn 6. Turns 6 through 8 make up the Esses. Go under the pedestrian bridge to then take on a sweeping left. A little rise in the road towards the end of Turn 7 leads to a quick right at Turn 8 and another quick right at Turn 9. Make sure not to get on the gas too early out of Turn 9, or you'll spin out. The road dips out of Turn 9 again blasting down Thunder Valley. What awaits you next is a quick right-hand kink at Turn 10. Turn 10 progresses upward upon entry and leads to a fast left at Turn 11. The inside of Turn 10 features a barrier, and the inside of Turn 11 features some curbing. Turn 12 is the Carousel, and it dips downhill and goes to the right leading to the left-handed Turn 13. There is curbing on the far inside of Turn 12 as well as far inside of Turn 13. Cross the Finish line and do 2.2 miles of Mid-Ohio goodness all over again.

Lap Times.
Now let's get an idea of lap times around Mid-Ohio. These times were reported according to Trackpedia:

* 1:38.700 - 2007 Honda S2000 TTC Trim Toyo Ra-1s
* 1:35 (Club course), 1:32 (Pro Course) - Dodge Viper
* 1:18.033 - Chevrolet Corvette C6-R
* 1:12.935 - Audi R8 LMP
* 1:06.838 (rounded to nearest thousandth) - 2007 Dallara IndyCar pole lap by Helio Castroneves
* 1:06.280 - 2007 Panoz DP01 Champ Car Test (record)

These lap times were provided by To see more lap times recorded around Mid-Ohio, click the link at the end of this sentence to see more Mid-Ohio lap times.

Video Preview.
Here is Helio Castroneves racing one lap around this competitive and tricky circuit:

This is a wonderful race track no matter who or what races it. I actually did this blog entry as the American Le Mans Series will take on Mid-Ohio as the championship continues onward.

For more information about Mid-Ohio, visit Mid-Ohio's official website. Thank you for reading!
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