Tuesday, May 22, 2012

OneHotLap Track Review: The Ridge Motorsports Park - 2012 Update

Some readers may remember that we previewed The Ridge Motorsports Park back in December 2011. The Ridge was then labeled as the hot new track in the Pacific Northwest and it was expected to open for business in the Spring. There had been delays but hopes were high.

Well, it's now open and OneHotLap had a chance to drive it. The verdict is in: What a fantastic track!

Here's a video with telemetry of our best lap aboard a 2009 BMW E90 M3:

The Ridge has lived up to the hype and the new track is amazing! The pavement is smooth, yet grippy. The layout is challenging and fun. There's a nice rhythm to the track and the elevation changes make it really fun to learn. Honestly, it's better than a roller coaster!

Surprisingly, the most iconic section of the track - the Ridge Complex, which resembles Laguna Seca's signature corkscrew turn - is the least interesting and also one of the slowest.

Here is another video of the same fast lap as above, this time with a cockpit view:

The 3rd video below, with the wide angle camera mounted on the roof, provides a nice overview of the track, the terrain, and the elevation changes:

While the track is practically completed (another layer of asphalt is supposed to be laid down after this season), the rest of the complex (paddock, access road, racing school facilities, etc.) is still being actively worked on. There is still plenty of dirt and work equipment around. Expect changes every time you visit.

Bottom line: If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you owe it to yourself to find a track day at the Ridge Motorsports Park. Track days are organized by various marque clubs (BMW, Porsche, etc.) as well as The Ridge Racing School, Turn2 Lapping and Hooked on Driving.

Finally, here are a few photos from the track event, including some cool shots at speed and a very rare Lotus 2-11:

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