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Sonoma Raceway


Just 30 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge in Sonoma, CA. Sonoma Raceway is the closest road course to the Bay Area. Originally known as Sears Point, for the geographical point of a ridge at the junction of Highways 37 & 121, it was named after sponsor Infineon from 2001-2011, and is now simple called, �Sonoma Raceway.� The road course features 12 turns on a hilly course with 160 feet of total elevation change. From a driver's perspective, many say this is one of the more difficult road courses in North America. Given respect, we'd say that if you can even come close to mastering Sonoma, you'll find most other tracks you drive to be an easy learn. The combination of elevation change in the midst of turns (T2, 3, 4), the very quick esses (8, 8a), and kinks otherwise known as Turns 9, and 10, are a test of skill and and your good judgment. Also � the Turn 6 Carousel is a classic, constant radius, very wide and long left hand turn � that drops almost a hundred feet � is a technical challenge and a key to a fast lap, as it feeds on to the long back straight.

Hooked On Driving runs the original road course as the track was designed and built in 1968. The NASCAR fans wanted to see the cars more often, so there was major work done to grade and create a �Shoot� that bypasses turns 4-7, and drops the cars right in to the esses. We feel that this was a good idea for the big Cup cars and spectators, but takes the native fun and challenge from the original course. Some schools also do a chicane at T9 � we don't � as we prefer the better flow and the challenge at Turns 9 and 10 as they were built.

The facilities at Sonoma are world-class. There is a good caf� that opens at 8:00am for breakfast and is open until about 2:00pm every day. There are NASCAR garages that HOD, on occasion, rents from the track and sublets to our drivers. These are great, as they have windows with a view of Turns 11 and 12, and offer shelter from the elements, and 110 power and lights. Public facilities are also excellent. The big grandstands are open to our HOD drivers and their guests, however we'll warn you � we don't have big crowds for our program, so you may be one of a dozen folks in a stand that could hold 10,000!

There are two areas nearby with good motels and services. To the east on Highway 37, is the town of Vallejo, which runs right along Interstate 80. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a first rate amusement and entertainment park with amazing rides and shows specializing in spectacular trained animal acts. This is roughly 15 miles east of the Speedway. Across form the Discovery Kingdom is a Holiday Inn Express. Many other motels are found along I80 in Vallejo. These will be the more budget-minded kind, and be sure to ask if there is room if you have a trailer.

The other area for services is a bit more �high rent� district, if you're looking for more premium places � Novato is the town you want to stay in. WE enjoy the �Inn at Marin� which is a very nicely restored old 50's style motel/lodge. While the bathrooms are small, they have new flat panels TV's and first rate linens and furniture. We also CRAVE the Ahi Tuna entre at the adjacent Ricky's Restaurant, which our customers love! The other easy to get to hotel is the Courtyard by Marriott, Novato. Both facilities are no more than 15 minutes from the track � to the west on Highway 37 � just off of the Highway 101. Of course, if you want to stay in the area, we encourage you to check out Sonoma and places like the Sonoma Mission Inn. There are charming and first rate accommodations in this wonderful town. If you are touring the area, we would highly recommend Piatti, or almost any place on our around the very special town square in Sonoma � just a dozen miles or so from the track.

There is plenty of room in the paddock at Sonoma, and they do not mind if we drop off trailers or cars the night before our events (after 5:00PM). The gate is manned at least from 6:00AM to 10:00PM.

Last but not least � our friend Dave Lipsky owns a store at site at the Speedway called Wine Country Motorsports ( www.winecountrymotorsports.com ) . This is the coolest car person store in the planet! Helmets, gloves, shoes, safety equipment, art, collectibles, videos, books�.there is more stuff there than you can see. One thing in specific: They carry excellent brands � not a budget store- and it's one of the only places where you will be able to try items on and compare one brand against another. You must stop in while you're on the premises!

Guests � Guests should come prepared to do some hiking if they really want to see the track. There are plenty of obvious spots to walk to � and some you can drive to as well. Just ask the HOD staff for a bit of guidance on this.

Sonoma Raceway Videos

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Upcoming HPDE Events at Sonoma Raceway:

Sonoma Raceway Details and Registration
Wednesday - August 7, 2024 - 8.7.24 Sonoma Raceway Driving Event and Garage Rentals

Sonoma Raceway Details and Registration
Thursday - September 5, 2024 - 9.5.24 Sonoma Raceway Driving Event and Garage Rentals

Sonoma Raceway Details and Registration
Thursday - November 21, 2024 - 11.21.24 Sonoma Raceway Driving Event and Garage Rentals

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