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Road America is a road course located near Elkhart Lakemarker, Wisconsinmarker on Wisconsin Highway 67. It has hosted races since the 1950s and currently hosts races in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Series, American Le Mans, ASRA and AMA Superbike series.

Current track and facilities

Road America is a permanent road course. It is located midway between the cities of Milwaukeemarker and Green Baymarker.

The track is situated on in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine and it is located near the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. It has hosted races since September of 1955 and currently hosts over 400 events a year. Of its annual events, 9 major weekends are open to the public May through October featuring 3 motorcycle events including the AMA Superbike series, 3 vintage car events, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events, the American Le Mans Series and the SPEED World Challenge.

Road America is one of only a hand-full of road circuits in the world maintaining its original configuration being in length and 14 turns. The track features many elevation changes, along with a long front stretch where speeds approaching 200 mph (300 km/h) may be reached. One of the best known features of this course is a turn on the backside known as "the kink."

Road America offers open seating which allows spectators to venture through-out the grounds. Grandstands are available in several locations as well as permanent hillside seating where crowds of more than 150,000 may be accommodated. The facility includes thirteen concession stands and allows both tent and RV camping onsite for an additional fee. Complimentary perimeter parking is offered to spectators and children age 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Briggs & Stratton Motorplex

Briggs & Stratton Motorplex track map.

In addition to the main course, the facility includes a karting track called the Briggs & Stratton Motorplex inside the Carousel. The Briggs & Stratton Motorplex hosts two series of karting events. It hosts weekly events on Tuesdays in the summer. It also hosts approximately six Saturday events during the summer.

Off road racing circuit

The Briggs & Stratton Motorplex was built at the site of an earlier off road racing circuit used for several SODA events in the 1990s.

History of Racing at Elkhart Lake

Open Road Course

The site of the 1951 and 1952 start finish line for road races in downtown Elkhart Lake
In the late 1940s, road racing was gaining popularity, owing to the post World War II economy, and the influx of sporting automobiles. The Sports Car Club of Americawas the main organizer of these races, and in 1950, the Chicago Region SCCA and the Village of Elkhart Lake organized the first road race at Elkhart Lake.

The 1950 circuit start-finish line was on County Road P. Competitors went north to County Road J, then South into the Village of Elkhart Lake, and West on what is now County JP (then called County Highway X), and reconnected with County Road P for a total distance of .

For the next two races, in 1951 and 1952, a different course was used. It was long, on County Roads J, A, and P. To date, one may still drive most of the original courses.

The original course was registered on the National Register of Historic Places on February 17 2006. Signs have been installed marking key locations on the course.

Private Road Course

After the tragedy at Watkins Glenmarker in 1952, where a twelve year old was killed, the U.S. ruled to discontinue motorized contests of speed on public highways. This was a major blow for competition auto racing and brought the end of a long-standing tradition. This did not permanently stop road racing, however, it did shift it to private courses. In 1955, Cliff Tufte started what is now known as Road America, in a configuration that has changed little over the past 50 years. The addition of Road America as a private track meant a transition from racing through the streets of tiny Elkhart Lake to racing on a big, wide, dedicated race track.

Racing at Road America

Many different racing series have had the occasion to race at Road America. The first was the Sports Car Club of America on September 10, 1955, but they were hardly the last. [128381] Other notable series have included NASCAR in 1956, CART from 1982 until 2007 [128382], ALMS from 2002 to the present, Grand-Am, USAC, CanAm, Trans-Am, IMSA, and AMA. Road America also holds a variety of vintage racing events, including the Brian Redman International Challenge.

NASCAR Race History

Year Date Driver Car Make Winner's Prize
Average Speed
1956 August 12, 1956 Tim Flock 1956 Mercury $2,950 258 73.858

Use in Games

The track was used in Sierra's IndyCar Racing II. With a later converter from it is also possible to use it in Sierra's NASCAR Racing 4, NR2002 and NR2003. The track is available in the Xbox game Forza Motorsport, as a downloadable content in the Xbox 360 game Forza Motorsport 2 and as standard track in Forza Motorsport 3. The track is also used in CART Fury: Championship Racing, but the track looks slightly different, layout-wise.Road America also features in Codemasters' TOCA series on the PS1, PS2 and PC, and in Simbin's Race Pro on the Xbox 360. The track is showcased in the PlayStation game Newman/Haas Racing, named after the famous CART/Champ Car/Indy Car team. It also features in the Need for Speed: Shift video game from Electronic Arts.

The most accurate version of the track today is in the Simulation The track and its surroundings have been laser scanned, the virtual version of the track is an exact replica of the real track and correct to the centimeter, provided by the laser scanning device.

Champ Car Race Results

Champ Car events were held at the track from 1982 - 2007, with the exception of 2005.

Major events at the track

Adam Schatz Death

Adam Schatz, 26, from Chicago, Illinois, died in a karting accident during the Road America Super Nationals,Championship Enduro Series on 12 July 2008.

Bump drafting was a determining factor of the crash.

During the end of the race, Schatz was in second place. On the main straight, shortly after the last turn, Schatz saw the kart in third position on his left and tried to pull ahead to be bumped. As he did so, the kart in fourth position bumped the third speeding the third kart up. At this point Schatz was not clear as to what was happening, and as he moved to his left, the two karts made contact.

Schatz's kart veered hard left and hit the wall. The impact sent the kart flying ten feet into the air ejecting the driver onto the track. The rest of the drivers avoided Schatz, some drivers stopped and after seeing Schatz's condition, waved to get medical help.

The race was immediately stopped as medical assistance arrived on the place of the accident. Schatz had suffered brain stem and spinal cord injuries and his heart had stopped. He was revived by the doctors and taken to the Theda Clark Memorial Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin, but his injuries proved to be too severe to survive and one week later he died.

The Cristiano da Matta Deer Incident

On August 3, 2006, Cristiano da Matta, driver of Champ Car's RuSPORT team, was involved in a collision with a deer during Champ Car open testing at Road America. The deer ran in front of his car as he was heading towards turn 6. He hit the deer with his right front tire, the deer then flew back and hit da Matta in the cockpit. [128383] He was unconscious when the safety crew extricated da Matta from the car [128384] and was airlifted via Flight for Life to Theda Clark Medical Center south of Appletonmarker, where he underwent surgery to remove a subdural hematoma.

2005 BRIC Wreck

At the beginning of the Group 6 race in the 2005 Brian Redman International Challenge (now the Kohler International Challenge), there was a large car pile up consisting of most of the field. It is said that the two pole drivers drove up the hill at 5000 rpm in 3rd gear. The fifth place driver was racing well before the green flag and tried to force his way between the wall and the car in front of him. He started scraping the wall and the car behind him checked up and the car that hit him started to spin and then it was one after another into them. After just a couple of seconds of green flag racing, the red flag was waved. Drivers in the back just keep driving into the rear of cars in the front. The drivers just did not pay attention to the red flags being shown at 14 and 15 (under the bridge at the crest of the hill). Luckily, nobody was seriously injured, the worst being a broken arm.

Other Events at the Track

Road America is host to several non-automotive events.

Photo gallery

Image:RoadAmericaSign070707.jpg|Welcome signImage:RoadAmericaOriginalStartFinishLine.jpg|The sign marking the start/finish line on the original road courseImage:Indy cars at Turn Eight at Road America.JPG|Retired Champ Car racers going around turn eight at the Kohler International ChallengeImage:Road America Fans.jpg|Fans looking east at Turn Five at the 1995 June Sprints at Road AmericaImage:Briggs & Stratton Motorplex 08.21.07 - map.jpg|Briggs & Stratton kart racing track


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