Not many of us will ever have a chance to race around Road America, but now we can at least take a virtual tour of the famous racetrack set amongst the hills and valleys of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine.
Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner took a few moments recently to talk with paddocktalk.com about the track that covers four miles and includes 14 turns.
“I like race tracks that are fast, with quick corners and a layout that has a rhythm – and Road America has all of those things,” Milner said. “When my Corvette’s setup is right and the car feels comfortable, it’s a very rewarding lap.”
Each turn holds a different challenge or opportunity for drivers, Milner points out.
For example, Turn 1 is “very fast and very difficult” because he has to turn and brake at the same time.
Turn 3 can be a good chance to pass if you’re close behind another car coming out of the first turn, Milner says, and so can Turn 5. “The braking zone for Turn 5 is a great place to pass,” he says. “We decelerate from 150mph … and there’s room on the exit to run wide.”
Turn 6 is an exciting part of the track “because the car gets very light going over the crest of the hill,” he says. “It’s a blind corner, too, which adds to the excitement factor.”
Milner hits the throttle hard going into Turn 7 and through the Hurry Downs, which he says is one of his favorite parts of the track.
Then there’s Turn 8, which is a tight, 90-degree corner, “so if the guy in front makes a mistake in Turn 7, you can really put the pressure on here,” Milner says.
That leads into Road America’s most famous corners, the Carousel and the Kink, which prompt Milner to hold his breath a bit on what he describes as a “very difficult series of turns.”
Milner says Turn 13 seems to get faster every year as engineers come up with new ideas to give drivers more downforce, and it’s important to get good exit from the last turn because it leads onto the long, uphill straight.
The action gets underway on Thursday, August 16 with practice and qualifying, followed by the first races for IMSA GT3 Cup, IMSA Lites, USF2000, SCCA Pro Racing, and Trans-Am on Friday, August 17. The ALMS event starts at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 18.
“Corvettes have raced at Road America since the good citizens of Elkhart Lake opened the track in 1955,” Milner says. “When I think about the great Corvette drivers who have competed at this historic track, it makes me proud to carry on the tradition at one of the world’s greatest road courses.”
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