Road course improvements to start at Pacific Raceways this winter

Crews to repave a section of the 2.25-mile road course, make other upgrades

  • Saturday, February 2, 2019 9:50am
  • News
Vintage race car enthusiasts are among the many groups who perform on the Pacific Raceways’ serpentine road course each year. REPORTER FILE PHOTO

Vintage race car enthusiasts are among the many groups who perform on the Pacific Raceways’ serpentine road course each year. REPORTER FILE PHOTO

Repaving on Pacific Raceways’ historic road course is set for the next 45 days, according to track officials.

More than one mile of the 2.25-mile track is scheduled for new asphalt, said Jason Fiorito, raceways president.

“We will be repaving from the exit of Turn 2 to Turn 7 and are looking for a weather window in the next month or so,” Fiorito said.

The track recently signed an agreement with Miles Resources of Puyallup to do the work.

“Our project team at Miles Resources, from ownership to operations, is excited to be working with Pacific Raceways on its road course improvements,” said Jeff Williams, project manager. “We pave everything from major freeways to sports courts, but there is a little extra buzz on our team about the raceway project. We will be utilizing the latest, cutting edge technical knowledge and equipment, and can’t wait to present the finished product to the racing community.”

In addition to the repaving, the project will include replacing the old curbing with FIA-approved turn curbs that will help racers on the technical lower section of the road course. The raceway has been working with Motorsports Consulting Services of Phoenix and its president Martyn Thake, a world-renowned motorsports consultant, who has been involved in race track projects around the world.

“This is the first step in a long-term process that will restore Pacific Raceways to more than a club track,” said Fiorito, who said the Kent track was a major stop for sports car and open wheel racers in the 1960s and early 70s. The legendary track has hosted a who’s who of American and international race car drivers.

The track currently has a lineup of regional race groups, car clubs, motorcycle groups and ProFormance Racing School that use the road course year around, said John Ramsey, track general manager. The repaving of the lower section of the road course is something that has the northwest racing community excited, he said.

“Paving the race track from the exit of Turn 2 to Turn 7 will have a significant impact on the vintage racers from SOVREN,” said Andy Collins, club president. “Many of our cars run extremely low to the ground and a smooth racing surface is a great benefit.”

Collins believes the new paving will bring back other racers to Pacific Raceways. “With this new paving, we will see some great cars returning to compete on this legendary track,” he said.

Growing facility

Pacific Raceways is perched on a major development project that will add 200,000 square feet of garage and shop space for racers, car enthusiasts and the businesses that support them. The project also includes the Pacific Innovation Center, which has generated interest from companies in South Korea and Canada. The raceway has a date in March before a King County Hearings Examiner and a projected start in June to begin the first phase of more than 100,000 square feet of construction.

“The short and long range plans at Pacific Raceways will give the motorsports community the caliber of facility they have patiently waited for,” said Don Kitch Jr., chief instructor of ProFormance Racing School. “The new asphalt provides two benefits for users: increased performance and safety.”

“These are exciting times at the raceway,” said Fiorito, whose grandfather built the track in 1959. “It’s been four long years since the King County Council passed a third set of legislation on the demonstration project and we can now see light at the end of the tunnel.”

There are no public dollars being used, or even asked for, in the development of Pacific Raceways, Fiorito said, which is uncommon in an era of stadium, sports venues and other motorsports projects around the country.

“All we are asking for from the county is to work with us in a fair and timely manner on our development project,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

Pacific Raceways is a multipurpose racing facility, east of Kent. In addition to its historic 10-turn, 2.25-mile road course, The facility features a championship quarter-mile drag strip, with a full schedule of events from March through October.

The raceway recently signed an extension with the NHRA to host the 32nd annual NHRA CatSpot Northwest Nationals, one of 24 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events in the country. Other motorsports activities at the raceway include a professional racing school, championship karting track and regional motocross track.

Pacific Raceways operates 12-months a year as a vehicle training ground for law enforcement agencies and hosts production companies from around the world in film, television and video production. Race schedules and other information can be found at pacificraceways.com or on Facebook.

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