Dec 13, 2001
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From a pair of press releases issued by Willow Springs Raceway:<BR><BR>Lawson and Rainey Test, Design New Tracks at Willow Springs<BR><BR>Short Course and Paved Oval Add New Dimensions to Testing, Tuning, and Racing<BR><BR>Willow Springs International Motorsports Park owner Bill Huth announced today the completion of one new road course and the commencement of construction on another at his historic Willow Springs International Motorsports Park.<BR><BR>The newest addition to the Willow Springs complex is the Balcony Short Course, a multi-configuration track ideal for photography, testing, and training. The new circuit measures a little more than a mile in length, with several different configurations available. The course includes tight, circular turns, sweeping turns, straights, and a slight elevation rise in one section for suspension variations.<BR><BR>World Champion motorcycle racers Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey were the first to test the new track. Lawson and Rainey showed up with their high-performance World SuperKarts for a test session that turned into an impromptu race. "This new circuit is another great opportunity for drivers and riders to test their equipment in a safe environment," said Lawson. "It's a lot of fun, with plenty of cornering and enough straightaway for us to get up to around 80 mph."<BR><BR>Rainey agreed. "This is a perfect place to work on technique, and to learn more about high performance riding or driving without the real high speeds," the World Champion commented. "We were testing a new brake system on my kart, which is a special design from Dan Gurney's All American Racers. When you combine this track with the Streets of Willow and the main road course, you've got a place where you test any sort of equipment, at any speed. It's a place you can work the bugs out, and have a lot of fun doing it."<BR><BR>Lawson and Rainey also collaborated with Bill Huth to design a 1/4-mile paved oval which will be located in the Walt James Stadium, also located in Willow Springs Motorsports Park. The Walt James Stadium houses a 3/8-mile clay oval ideal for dirt track racing. The new paved oval will be situated inside the clay oval to allow plenty of runoff room for automobile and motorcycle racing and testing.<BR><BR>"We've needed this track for a long time," commented Lawson. "It's perfect for the SuperKarts, and could easily work as a test track for Formula Atlantic and Indy Lights cars. With no concrete walls, and 50 feet of dirt runoff area, there's really very little danger." Lawson noted that a two-car team testing at a track with concrete walls usually has to write off the cost of one car per session, due to damage from contacting the solid wall. "One wrong move will put a car into the wall, which can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. That wrong move here at Willow's new paved oval simply means a spinout into the dirt, and a tow back to the pits. Just that savings alone should be an incentive for teams to test here."<BR><BR>The new track is also expected to be an ideal raceway for the World SuperKart series, where Lawson and Rainey excel. "We should easily be able to hit top speeds of over 100 mph on this new oval," said Lawson, "and the cornering will be awesome. We're really looking forward to seeing it finished, and being the first to test here."<BR><BR>The new paved oval will feature 40-foot-wide straights with 50-foot-wide banked corners, allowing plenty of room for passing. The final asphalt cap will be a special, high-traction blend that resists buckling in heat or under extreme cornering loads. These features will make it one of best tracks in country for both racing and testing.<BR><BR>Construction on the new paved oval is nearly completed, with an anticipated opening date of January 15, 2002. The Balcony Short Course is complete and is now available for rental.<BR><BR>Willow Springs International Motorsports Park is a 600-acre complex of six racetracks embracing nearly every conceivable motorsports discipline. In addition to the historic 2.5-mile road course, the Willow Springs facility includes the Streets of Willow, a 1.5-mile, 14-turn multi-configuration road course ideal for testing, club racing, and schools; a 1/4-mile paved oval; a 3/8-mile clay oval; a .625-mile Karting track; and the just-completed Chucker Ridge Circuit. The facility also has an off-road driving and riding area for testing of off-road vehicles.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>Willow Springs Motorsports Park Waives Entrance Fees<BR><BR>Spectators to be Admitted at No Charge<BR><BR>Willow Springs Raceway owner Bill Huth announced today that all entrance fees for spectators will be waived until further notice. The gate fee for all entrants has been a modest ten dollars for many years. This fee will now be eliminated altogether.<BR><BR>"A lot of folks are having a tough time right now," explained Huth, who has owned the 600-acre motorsports complex since 1962. "We thought the timing was right to give something back to people. It's not hard to lighten your wallet by fifty dollars or so just taking the family to the movies. That money could mean a good deal to some people. A day at the races is as much fun as anything else out there, and now it's free for spectators." Huth, 77, was born just before the onset of the Great Depression and understands all too well what it's like to face challenges. He and his brother Gerry also served in the military during World War II, and have vivid memories of that era. "During times like these, people have to come together," Huth continued. "I hope some of them will come to my racetrack and enjoy themselves."<BR><BR>Free entrance will be available for spectators only. Competitors and spectators who wish to visit the pit areas will continue to pay a ten dollar fee.<BR><BR>Willow Springs International Motorsports Park, a registered California State Point of Historical Interest, is a 600-acre complex of six racetracks embracing nearly every conceivable motorsports discipline. In addition to the historic 2.5-mile road course built in 1953, the Willow Springs facility includes the Streets of Willow, a 1.5-mile, 14-turn multi-configuration road course ideal for testing, club racing, and schools; a mile paved oval; a 3/8-mile clay oval; a .625-mile Karting track; and just-completed 1/4-mile testing and tuning circuit which has yet to be named. The facility also has an off-road driving and riding area for testing of off-road vehicles. The park is located about an hour north of Los Angeles, California near Lancaster.<BR><BR>For more information, please contact Willow Springs International Motorsports Park at (661) 256-6666.