Friday, September 23, 2011

Michigan International Speedway Resurrecting Historic Road Courses

The massive repaving project at Michigan International Speedway continues on schedule, but it’s not the only race course on site being resurfaced as part of the $7 million project. The speedway’s internal road course is also on the docket for the first repave in track history.

MIS will utilize the soon-to-be resurfaced internal road course -- not for professional racing -- but as a testing facility for automotive manufacturers and other various R&D efforts. The road course could also potentially be used for karting and car club activities.

“Paving the internal road course is important to us because we need the infrastructure to assist auto manufacturers and other groups in their various testing activities,” said track President Roger Curtis. “We want MIS to continue to be a test-bed for connected vehicle and other technologies, because we are in the backyard of the automotive capital of the world. It only makes sense to improve our facilities to assist groups with their R&D opportunities.”

The Irish Hills facility has hosted a variety of testing activities over the past few years, including a recent test by the U.S. Department of Transportation in August. With state-of-the-art pit road suites and a revamped Media Center building that opened in 2010, along with a repaved road course and oval in 2012, Curtis said MIS will have the necessary infrastructure for more R&D testing in the future.

“Once the repave project is complete, we will have an improved testing facility that will be even more attractive for groups wanting to test their respective technologies,” Curtis said.

MIS once featured two road courses on its property, dating back to the track’s opening in 1968. The original layout included infield and exterior roads, which could be combined to form a 3.1-mile road course, or divided into separate 1.9-mile interior/exterior circuits. The road courses were designed by Formula One great Sir Sterling Moss. The final race on the interior road course was held in 1984, and the exterior circuit has not been used since 1973.

“You can still drive the road courses that wind throughout the speedway property, but the asphalt has obviously been deteriorating over the past few decades,” said Curtis. “This repave of the internal road course will give us the ability to host test and training sessions in our non-event times, which will benefit the groups who choose to utilize it.”

Fans can view the repaving project live by visiting

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:07 AM

    saw some Can-Am races there