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Willow Springs International Raceway

Willow Springs International Raceway is a 600-acre complex of eight racetracks embracing nearly every conceivable motor sports discipline. The park is located about an hour north of Los Angeles, California near Lancaster.

The original track at the facility, Willow Springs International Raceway, celebrates its 55th birthday this year, and is steeped in historical significance. Construction of the track began in 1952, with the inaugural event held on November 23, 1953. The fact that it has been running continuously since then has caused the state of California to recognize Willow Springs International Raceway as an Official California Point of Historical Interest. This world-famous track hosted the first two NASCAR events west of the Mississippi, the first F.I.M. 500 Grand Prix motorcycle race in America, the first AMA events, the first 24-hour motorcycle endurance race, the first kart road racing in America, and the first California Sports Car Club racing on a purpose-built road course. Over the years, track records have been set and broken many times by internationally famous drivers and riders.

Willow Springs International Raceway is a super-fast 2.5-mile / nine-turn road racing circuit, patterned after the great courses and road racing traditions of Europe, and is unchanged from its original 1953 configuration. With its substantial elevation changes and high average speeds, Willow Springs is one of the fastest and most challenging tracks in the country. Also known as the Fastest Road in the West, this track is one of the safest road courses in the world, despite its high velocities. Cornering speeds on this track range from about 70 mph to over 170 mph, with straightaway speeds nearing 200 mph possible with fastest cars and motorcycles.

With its long and short straight-aways, tight corners, and long sweeping turns, there aren't many road courses in the world with spectator viewing like Willow Springs. Guests can see almost the entire racecourse from just about anywhere, including the many trackside camping areas. Spectator amenities include two full-service diners with full bars, a well-stocked gift shop, plenty of spectators seating and parking modern rest rooms, and outstanding viewing areas. Large viewing areas are available for RV parking and camping, including several full hookups for trailers and motor homes. Racer amenities include several enclosed garages available for use by competitors and testers, with racing fuel and tire services available at the track daily.

Willow Springs International Motorsports Park also includes the following facilities: Willow Springs Raceway (2.5 mile road course); The Streets of Willow Springs (a 1.8-mile road course); Walt James Stadium (3/8 mi Clay Oval and Paved Oval); Willow Springs Speedway (a lighted 1/4-mile paved oval), Willow Springs Kart Track (a .625-mile, 9-turn paved sprint track); The Balcony (a 1/4-mile paved autocross and drifting track); Horse Thief Mile (1-mile canyon road course with many elevation changes and tight corners); and approximately 160 acres of off-road, mountainous terrain.

Efforts by fans have resulted in the State of California declaring Willow Springs International Raceway as a California Point of Historical Interest in 1996.

Willow Springs International Raceway Track Facts:

The main track at Willow Springs Raceway, informally called the "Big Willow", consists of 9 turns. The layout is built for speed, but combines speed with turns and elevation changes to offer a unique challenge. It is possible for a capable car or motorcycle to exceed 160mph on the front straightway.

  • Turn 1: "Castrol corner" is a 90 degree high speed left-hander.
  • Turn 2: "The Rabbits Ear" is a double apex sweeper
  • Turn 3/4: "The Omega" is an uphill and downhill section with camber change, this is the most technical segment of the layout
  • Turn 5: A quick left-hander that sets up for the fastest sections of the track
  • Turn 6: "Monroe Ridge" is a gradual bump. It is common for fast riders on higher powered motorcycles to lift the front wheel over this downhill section. A good line and drive through this turn is essential for a good lap time.
  • Turn 7: "Repass Pass" - a slight bend in the track.
  • Turn 8: High speed right hand corner. The lead in to this turn is the fastest section of the racetrack and coupled with the turn itself - probably the most critical for a good lap time. It is also the fastest turn on any racetrack west of the Mississippi River.
  • Turn 9: Decreasing radius right hander, with a big dip right before the apex. A good line through this turn is crucial for top speed on the front straightway to the start/finish line.
General Information
When you visit Willow Springs International Raceway, "The fastest Road in the West", remember that your interest in motor sports is what keeps our wheels turning, and it's our sincere wish that you'll enjoy the races and your visit here.

The staff at Willow Springs Motor sports Park does it's best to provide visitors with a clean and safe environment. If you observe anything to the contrary, please report it to a race official or to the Administration Office at the main entrance.

We also try to maintain a wholesome atmosphere just like any other amusement park you might visit. Respect the right of other race fans. Reckless, abusive, or dangerous behavior will not be tolerated. Obey the requests of track and/or race officials.

After registering at the front gate, the first building on your right is the Administration Office. Track information and event schedules are available here. Deliveries, Lost and Found, Will-Call, Special Credentials and Passes are some of the things also handled at the Administration Office.

Pit Areas
North from the Administration Office will take you to the Hot Pit area. The road leading in this direction is intended for Competitors, Vendors, Race Officials and Emergency Vehicles. Please keep this road clear. If you drive any type of motor vehicle in the Pits, the absolute speed limit is 5 mph. In addition to watching out for pedestrians and street vehicles, you have to keep in mind that race vehicles may have limited visibility, so give them plenty of room. General admission to the road courses at Willow Springs always includes access to the Pit Area, and spectators are welcome there. Because of the busy nature of the Pits, a degree of caution must be used to ensure that everyone in the Pit Area is as safe as possible:

  • The Yellow Wall separates the Paddock from the Hot Pit Lane. Do not cross over this wall without permission, and never sit or stand on it.
  • Smoking is strictly prohibited in the Pit Area at all times.
  • An adult must always directly supervise small children, and pets must be kept on leashes & under physical supervision at all times.
  • Most competitors are willing to talk or to sign autographs, but remember to respect their workspace and privacy.
  • Use of bicycles, skates, scooters and other non-motorized vehicles is allowed. Proper safety equipment and common sense are required.
Please use common sense and courtesy. To help eliminate danger, the top speed limit on all access roads in 20 mph and is strictly enforced. Dirt bikes, quads and other off-road type vehicles are permitted, but must keep to maintained roads on the property. Speeding, off-road activity, spinning tires and other acts of this nature will be cause for anyone to be asked to leave the premises without a refund.

Paddock Areas
Separating the West and East Paddocks are the old Willow Springs Offices. Classrooms, Timing & Scoring, and VIP areas are above these buildings.

North from the administration office is the Hot Pit area. The road leading in this direction is intended for Competitors, Vendors, Race Officials and Emergency Vehicles. Please keep it clear.

There is usually ample paved parking space in the West Paddock (turn one Paddock), and we recommend parking in that area to enjoy the front straightaway bleachers (included in the general admission) and a short walk for an up-close look at all the excitement, including the Willow Springs Kart Track. Modern restrooms are located in both the West Paddock and the East Paddock (turn nine paddock). Tires, fuel, garages, racing services, race control, announcing, restaurant, gift shop and vendors are also located in the East Paddock.

We also recommend parking at the paved parking available at the Budweiser Balcony to enjoy one of the best views in motor racing (included in the general admission) for an up-close look at the twisty bits of the track, as well as a breath-taking panorama of the beautiful Antelope Valley and the surrounding mountains. Bleachers, Modern restrooms, restaurant, gift shop and vendors are also located at the Budweiser Balcony.

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