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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got back from Oregon Raceway Park in Grass Valley, OR. Personally, I think it is a great track. 15 turns and only one of those turns has something hard you can hit and that is the inside wall of the turn.

Facilities:
They are basically non-existent. The access road is a nice gravel road, no pot-holes but it is a little long (couple of miles) and dusty. The paddock (upper and lower) is paved. There is no running water and thus only port-a-johns. They do keep the place very clean.

The nearest 92 octane is Biggs junction which is 1 hour round trip. however, the track owners organized a fuel run at no cost to us. Just put your name on your fuel cans give them cash and they'll be back in an hour or so with change. I gave them a $20 for a 5 gallon can and had them keep the change. This gas situation is not likely to change soon. The Grass Valley gas station owner does not want to pay for a new tank in the ground. Apparently, the owners are trying to get one of the gas companies to put in stuff at the track, but they'll need a couple years of operating numbers first.

Places to stay are sparse. I actually camped, with most of the Oregon Porsche folks, at the track. If you do camp, be aware of the wind. For us it got pretty blustery. There is also no shade out there.

The road course:
In addition to my note above, this course is very technical. I do not recommend this to anyone that is just getting started. I think to enjoy this course, you need about 10 track days. The reason, is that every corner has some rather advanced trick to it to be fast. For example, all but one of the four straights (they are short!) have a blind kink or two in them. It can be unnerving in a way that i have only felt at the Nurburgring, and to a lesser extent, the crows nest at Thunderhill. About half of the turns are off camber. This is great fun! But you need a sensitive right foot.

The half-pipe! I love this thing. The Lotus just gobbles the pavement in this section. This is a very very positive camber set of two turns that comes at the end of a short STEEP down hill section. The grip and compression is just immense.

There is plenty for the high horsepower cars here as well. Notably, the hills. There are 3 sizable hills on the course. This levels the playing field and gives the high horse power cars a chance to shine and keep up with the grip machines (Lotus, Atom, etc).

I'm not sure that I will make it out to this track again this year but I hope to. Here is a list of the northwest tracks in my current order of preference from top to bottom given the facilities, the road course enjoyment, etc. If I were just learning, or had a different car it might be a different order.

1) Infineon
2) Thunderhill
3) ORP
4) Portland
5) Spokane
6) Pacific Raceways

Once ORP paves that road, they'll be above thunderhill. I doubt they will ever make it above infineon. Come on, wine country? You just can't beat a race track in the middle of wine country. Besides, Infineon has sheep to cut the grass, how cool is that?
 

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Thanks for the review. I've been dying to get out there but I doubt it will be this year. Where woud you put Reno-Fernley on that list. Tons of fun but similarly has no facilities and loads of potholes up top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll probably do a 2-day with Skip barber next year or the year after at Leguna. Not sure I'll make it down there until then. There is no truck and trailer in my immediate future.

I have not been to reno-fernley.

Other than the tracks listed above (Northwest Tracks) other tracks I have been on include the Lotus Test Track in England, Sebring modified, Sebring 12 Hour, and The Nurburgring. That's the only ones I have been able to do so far.

I'm trying to do the Ring every other year, a school every year, and at least 2 "new to me" tracks each year. Next on the list is Mission BC.

Cheers,
 
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