Ontrack Design of Harris Hill Road

Have you ever seen a Porsche Cayenne racing on a pre-pavement gravel base?  This could be a reference to a section of the Paris to Dakar Rally.  But no, this is what Bo Rivers, of the Harris Hill Road facility did (& with gusto).  He was verifying the proper racing lines and grades for the racetrack course as part and parcel of designing it to be the best as it could be.  Here are some shots from the Harris Hill Road gallery to prove I’m not making this up.

Cayenne testing downhill run

Click on these pictures to appreciate what that Porsche Cayenne (SUV) is doing.  My favorite shot is this downhill shot at speed!

Cayenne testing one of the straights

Bo is one cool & smart dude.  He described to me at length the pains he took to get his dream to reality.  I hope I can do him justice.  He started off with the knowledge of racetracks he knows well from past experience – Sebring & Roebling Road.  He surveyed & reviewed the gently sloping square 1/2 mile (150 acres) tract of land he purchased.  Bo wanted a safe track, with turns that wouldn’t beat up the novice race driver.  He wanted a track that would be kind to tires and brakes, to not cause them major trauma.

Cayenne testing the hairpin

He designed this track so it would not favor cars with a power advantage, saying its a momentum track course.  One of the participants (Nick) said, “This is a thinking man’s course!”

Regarding safety, there’s lots of runoff room, no track barriers.  The track was laid out loose enough to not hit anything.  Some knowledgeable racers may wonder why some of the turns seem off camber.  The entire track is set off at a 2% grade, for shedding water when it rains.  Bo says this track is a blast to drive in the rain!  Then he started to explain the asphault/rock composition type (a “C”-type mix).  Basically this track has better grip than the pavement on your average street.

Aerial shot of H2R, 2007-10-22

Above you can see the beginnings of this racetrack in October 2007.  He bought the land back in January 2005, and spent over 2.5 years working with the local San Marcos City Council & all sorts of other official paperwork.  Finally, it kicked up in high gear when he actually broke ground in September 2007.

Although this is one track, it has 2 personalities.  When I was there last Saturday they were running it counter-clockwise.  Bo explained to me that running the track clockwise, it has less of a flow.  It is choppier and more technical in navigating the best racing line.  I guess he meant it was a tougher course in that direction.

When I started learning about what’s out there for the wannabe racer, I had no idea about this type of facility in my area.  I’m hoping that you are exploring and visiting with other enthusiasts in your area.  Tell me in the comments – what local facilities have you found that you had no idea of their previous existence?  They ARE out there waiting to help you become Racing Ready!

Dan

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