all good points Andy77.......sorry if I sounded cranky, but whenever I see a comment (whether sarcastic or not) that perpetuates the misconception that we Americans are only interested in boring ovals......well, I attempt to clarify that
I am from the South and I don't have much interest in Nascar at all......my roots go back to SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) where my father and I campaigned an Alfa-Romeo Giulietta at mid-west tracks such as Nelsons Ledges and Mid-Ohio......in fact, these are tracks that Mark Donahue, Ken Miles, Carroll Shelby, and Jim Hall used to race, as they were just starting out.....I remember meeting Jim Hall when he was racing and developing his new Chaparral at Nelson Ledges
there are many superb club road tracks around my country, that many people just aren't aware of....and many of these great road circuits were NOT closed to make way for parking lots and golf courses....whether the closings were due to mis-management (most likely), competition from other tracks, the impending fuel crisis or whatever, it is a shame, as many were compared to some of the more famous circuits around the world
here are a few that are just begging to be built for GPL...as Mark Beckman pointed out in a thread re: Augusta International, a few weeks ago....AND, many of the older tracks that have not been used for years, but still preserved, are seeing a resurgence in racing, as in the new Pomona Road Circuit
Lynndale Farms Raceway was a well-designed and fun-to-drive road racing course situated about 20 miles west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It opened in 1963 and closed in 1967. Didja know? "Lynndale Blue" was a color offered only on Corvettes, and only in 1967.
Meadowdale International Raceway was built in 1958 to promote growth in the Carpentersville area, 40 miles northwest of Chicago. The original track was 3.27 miles long with a variety of turns and elevation changes. Its signature feature was the Monza Wall, a 180 degree steeply banked turn that led onto the 4,000 foot main straight.
Meadowdale underwent a series of track and management changes in its brief life. It hosted major spectator road races from many different sanctioning bodies: USAC, Midwestern Council, SCCA regions, AMA motorcycles and kart clubs. An NHRA drag racing sanction was issued late in 1968 for the 1969 season. It was also used for police training, new car introductions and local club events.
The last major event at Meadowdale was an SCCA Trans-Am race July 6-7, 1968. A few sports car club races followed, but for all practical purposes, the track closed down after that pro event. Plans to revive it were announced periodically, but none were successful.
The track is now a forest preserve, nature area, recreation area called Raceway Woods. That title and the remnants of the Pure Oil silo, the "Little Monza" turn and other scraps of track paving within the preserve are the last best hope to keep the memories of this grand race track alive.
Very few of you may know that when you were roaming the Fairplex parking lot, you were actually walking on a section of a historic road race track constructed back in the late 40s which has changed very little since then.
In the hey-day of road racing, the Pomona Fairplex was used for the Cal Club regional races, and an important international race: the L.A. Examiner Grand Prix which has drawn more than 40,000 spectators. Pomona hosted many famous cars and drivers. Imagine the thundering of Ole Yeller, Lister Corvettes, screaming Ferraris, Type C and D Jaguars, Mercedes gullwings, and Aston Martins. These and other cars were driven here by Phil Hill, Jon Von Newmann, Ken Miles, Max Balchowsky, Dan Gurney, Roy Salvatori, Caroll Shelby, Roger Ward, Mickey Thompson, and many of the other greats from racing’s legendary past.
Times changed, and as other tracks were built, Pomona saw decreasing use. Some 30 years after its glory days though, the Vintage Auto Racing Association organized a vintage GP. Since then, other organizations have run, and Pomona is seeing more use from vintage and other club organizations.
The original track included 13 turns including a trip under the famous bridge. Today, the track is about 2.6 miles long with 10 turns as it has been shortened to avoid some areeas and improve safety. The track is as flat as Kansas and a little bumpy, but there are two sweepers, two long straights, a chicane, and several more turns with lots of run off room. Those who have driven it report that it’s a fast track that is very fun to drive.
It's a Lotus 12! This was a formula 2 car - 12 were built between 1957 and 1959. The 12 was the first Lotus entered into a Grand Prix race, with the usual 1475cc Climax replaced with a 1960cc unit. It never won a major race. Amazing that one made it to the US this quickly. (I do have a pic of the 12 at Thompson, just haven't found it yet)
so....I hope I have clarified any mis-conception that Americans don't know as much about road racing as any other country, or are only interested in oval racing.....certainly many innovations in motorsport (such as board tracks) were developed here.....and blah, blah, I hope I have made my point......Bob