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Aug 16, 2003

Horse Thief Mile Opens At Willow Springs International Raceway

From a press release issued by The PR Group on behalf of Willow Springs International Raceway:<BR><BR>WILLOW SPRINGS RACEWAY OPENS "HORSE THIEF MILE" <BR><BR>Designed with Help from Racing Veterans Keith Code, Rod Millen, & Eddie Lawson, One-mile Paved Course Emulates Challenge of Winding Mountain Highway <BR><BR>ROSAMOND, Calif. -- Featuring numerous elevation changes, tight turns, and scenic panoramic views, Willow Springs Raceway's new one-mile course, Horse Thief Mile, (AKA "The Mile"), was created to let drivers experience the physical and visual challenges of a winding mountain road. <BR><BR>"I noticed there was nowhere to learn how to negotiate the twists you might encounter riding up a mountain course, so I decided to create a track that emulated a mountain highway," said the track's chief designer, Willow Springs Raceway owner Bill Huth. <BR><BR>With its demanding sharp corners, sweeping crests, and 11 degree rises, Huth designed "The Mile" in consultation with racing veterans Keith Code, Rod Millen, and Eddie Lawson. <BR><BR>"The Mile is unique," said motorcycle cornering instructor and California Superbike School founder, Code. "It's probably got more elevation changes in its one mile than any other circuit around - and it's got an aspect of canyon riding that other tracks don't have. Because you find yourself riding into crested corners where you really can't see the other side, the course also presents some very good visual challenges. The only level section of the course is a 500 foot stretch at the start/finish line." <BR><BR>To ensure the course had the necessary elements to accommodate drivers on four wheels, Huth called upon champion off-road racer Rod Millen. Huth said one of Millen's major contributions was ensuring the course had a straight segment long enough to give drivers a sufficient passing opportunity. <BR><BR>"The Mile adds variety to the whole Willow Springs complex," said Millen. "It's a different type of course, demanding different skills of the rider or driver. I like that, because from a testing standpoint, you always like something new and challenging and demanding because it helps you develop a better machine." <BR><BR>Huth also obtained advice on the course layout from multi-time motorcycle champion-turned Cart racer Eddie Lawson. "On this track you can overdo the speed pretty easily and riders will learn that," said Huth. "Just like on a paved mountain road, you have to use judgment on how fast you can go." <BR><BR>Huth said The Mile will be used for all types of vehicle racing, but predicts the course will become best known as a place to learn how to control a bike or car on tight corners. <BR><BR>Huth said, despite the winding layout, there are sections of the track where riders can jump on the gas - if they're smart. "The third turn of The Mile was built to duplicate a turn located up on Highway 101 running along Oregon's Gold Coast. You'll go down into a dip and then swing around, but you can get on the gas just as hard as you want when you get near the bottom because the down-force won't let you slide away. It's a great turn," said Huth. <BR><BR>"I think The Mile is similar to a road rally course in that it winds, going up and down hills -- kind of an all-terrain road course," said track manager Stephanie Huth, who predicts the track will become a favorite with riding schools. <BR><BR>"The track is very scenic and photogenic, and we're purposely not allowing any garish signage," said manager Huth. "We'd like to establish The Mile as a place where magazine and film crews can come to shoot beautiful footage of vehicles and their drivers in action." <BR><BR><BR>
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