As many Texans would say, “Everything is bigger in Texas!” and racetracks are no exceptions. So let’s go over the road course in the 2nd biggest state in the country. While California might have the nicest weather does Texas hold the nicest racetracks?
COTA – Circuit of the Americas
Circuit of the Americas or otherwise known as COTA is the famous Formula 1 course driven by world class drivers! Used by F1, IndyCar and even MotoGP motorcycles, the Austin track is desired by many across the world. The layout totals out at a staggering 20 corners with elevations of 133 feet up or down depending on your event. In particular, the main straight with a huge hill into turn 1 is a very unique feature. At 3.4 miles there are plenty of time to reach speeds to whatever your heart desires. The facility is top notch from garages, observation towers and of course facility tarmac. Want to be like Mr. Lewis Hamilton? Well…. sign up and drive COTA whenever you can get a chance!
Harris Hill Raceway
Got your F1 fix? Looking for a more relaxed atmosphere for a weekend drive? Look no further than Harris Hill Raceway in San Marcos, also referred to as H2R. At 11 corners and 1.8 miles of open course you’ll have no problem building confidence as you piece together each turn one by one. While it might sound simple, the track is very technical with off camber corners as well as decreasing radius turns! Don’t worry , Harris Hill has plenty of run off and no walls to worry about. Enjoy the day and get some serious seat time in.
Looks like we built some confidence, so let’s head to Driveway Austin Motorsport for a thrilling drive! As the name says, it is also located in Austin… 6 miles away from downtown. Conveniently located near the city, plenty of drivers make the trek for some adrenaline fun at this local track. With 3 different configuration laid out (L1 , L2 and L3) you’ll have no problem laying down lap-times to whichever fancy your needs for the day. As the racetrack configurations are laid out as 1-2-3, the track gets harder as you get higher! While 1 is perfect for beginner, 2 will continue to challenge you as you learn to drive!
When you’re near Fort Worth, it’s a perfect time to hit up Motor Sport Ranch Cresson or better abbreviated as MSR Cresson! This facility is open field with no walls in sight. It’s very driver friendly as the course is laid out into two configuration. The 1.7 mile course is one lay out while the 1.3 set up can also be used. Looking for a more thrilling drive? At MSR they can also combine both setups to create a 3 mile course with elevation changes from 75ft to 30ft drops! While the facility is quite open the amenities are never lacking. Businesses, shops, skid pad and 300 garages cover this amazing facility.
Another semi-private track is MSR Houston. While you can join as a member or pay a guest fee to drive with a member, the facility is generally open to the public and it’s also possible for organizations to rent the track to host their own track days. The track is located 38 miles from Houston and has 17 turns over 2.38 miles. Someone unusual is the ability to run the track safely in both directions and it’s clearly a very legitimate track by being FIA approved, as well as sanctioned for testing by IMSA and IndyCar.
Texas Motor Speedway
Remember everything in Texas is bigger, and the Texas Motor Speedway is a great final stop in our state adventure. While the facility is a top notch NASCAR oval track , they always provide the opportunity to run the midfield for roadcourse fun. Laid out in various styles ranging from 2-5mile courses you’ll have no problem finding excitement in the 8-15 corners of paved infield . Don’t forget to soak it all in, as this racetrack is as complete as it gets from oval, roadcourse and drag strip!
About 30 miles south of downtown Houston is GrandSport Speedway. The facility has a number of member-oriented conveniences like garages, but also hosts monthly track days directly or through partner organizations. It is a smaller facility suitable for learning how track driving works and hosts a number of different arrive & drive and learning programs.
Eagles Canyon Raceway
Featuring a 2.5 mile track with 11 turns, hosting many vehicles from F1 and lower race cars, sports cars, and motorcycles, Eagle’s Canyon is a great track for anyone who enjoys going fast in their vehicle. Accompanying a few elevation changes, and almost entirely straight lines with right angles, this track located Northwest of Dallas offers a distinctive experience. Track days are offered individually and through membership programs. And even another added bonus of Eagles Canyon, are competitive organization events which they put on. Texas is a state filled with racing and competitive culture, sure enough one of these tracks has to have what you are looking for as a racer or participant.
Track Day Organizations
There are a few different operators of track days in Texas. Here are all the ones we’re aware of:
- NASA Texas https://nasatx.com/open-track-hpde/
- Chin Track Days http://chintrackdays.com/
- The Drivers Edge https://www.thedriversedge.net/
- BMW CCA https://lscbmwcca.org/motorsports/driving-school/
- PCA Maverick Region http://mav.pca.org/
- Apex Driving Academy http://www.apexdrivingacademy.com/
Many of the tracks also self-host track days, so be sure to check with the tracks directly as well.