Home to our Historics Race Weekend, Pitt Race’s long anticipated South Track extension was completed just in time for the 2015 races. We look forward to an exciting event in 2016 when we extend the races to three full days – July 8 through 10!
The long anticipated South Track extension at Pittsburgh International Race Complex was completed in time for 2015 and the PVGP Historics and we were the inaugural event to compete on the new full North/South track configuration With the addition South Track, competitors now have 2.8 miles of racing with exciting elevation changes and new straights. Spectators flocked to the new Spectator Hill with its great vantage points.
Pitt Race Complex has not only increased the track they have also increased their sponsorship. We are pleased to announce that Pitt Race will be a Gold Sponsor. Ever since Kathy and Jim Stout took over PIRC they have made improvement each year. Kathy enthusiastically stated “Jim and I are proud to be part of the success of the PVGP and it is our plan to continue with improvements to Pitt Race.” We are excited to partner with them and look forward to this coming July.”
Pitt Race’s South Track Project
The design of the PIRC South Track has been of great interest to many motorsports enthusiasts, but particularly those who participate in automobile and motorcycle track events. Since opening in mid 2002, there have been countless suggestions on what characteristics the South Track should have to compliment what is already in place with the 1.6 mile North Track. Pitt Race listened closely to all of the proposed designs, but also has paid close attention to those design parameters that are so critically important to the weekday utilization of all track surfaces… which ultimately determines the economic viability of such a large capital project.
- Challenging but rewarding for those with courage
- A “signature turn” that will be exhilarating to novice and expert alike
- Combined length (North and South Tracks) over 2.5 miles for race events
- Incorporate an “S” turn, preferably with long radius’ and high speed
- Have as much elevation change as possible without introducing safety issues
- Provide somewhat “softer turns” than the North Track… for greater passing opportunities
- Operable as a separate track with a length of at least 1.6 miles
- When operating as a separate track:
- Have separate paddock and “non-race” pit facilities
- Be capable of running in either direction, at least for non-race events
- Provide runoff and other safety features that are well-suited to both motorcycle and automotive participants
There are numerous elevation changes throughout the length of the South Track. Coming off the North Track’s Turn 2 (1187′), the elevation climbs 10′ (1197′) and then drops 14′ (1183′) in a shallow basin on the “straight”, followed by a 23′ climb to the hard braking zone (1206′) that precedes a downhill left-right combination turn. The elevation drop from the high point in advance of the left-right turns to the low point (1117′) is 89′. Then begins an 81′ climb to a crest on the back straight (1198′) followed by a 30′ gradual drop into a low point (1168′) midway through the “S” section leading back toward the North Track connecting link. The approach back onto the North Track includes another climb of 19′ to a high point (1187′) before dropping 15′ again (1172′) to reach the junction with the North Track.
- The South Track’s design (plan view, elevation profiles, cross grades) is essentially complete with safety features (runoff areas, guard rail, curbing) and service features (paddock, pit lanes, service roads) being in preliminary stages.
- All of the endangered species studies have been completed without significant repercussions.
- The detailed civil engineering design work is nearly complete, application for an NPDES Permit will soon be made, and construction drawings are nearly ready for the bid process.
- Over 50 acres of trees have been cleared from the site and grinding of stumps will proceed upon receipt of an NPDES Permit.
- The centerline of the track has been staked-out and it is possible to travel the proposed layout by off-road vehicle.
Potential excavation and paving contractors have been advised of the upcoming project.
Four South Track Configurations are possible:
- South Track combined with North Track in an “Express” configuration of 2.7 miles, well-suited to fast events
- South Track combined with North Track in a configuration slightly longer (at 2.8 miles) but with a “Bus Stop” to limit top-end speed
- South track run separately in a short (1.2 miles) but fast configuration
- When run separately, the South Track may be run in either direction
The combined tracks in a configuration well suited to racing events is shown below. The entrance to the South Track segment immediately follows the North Track’s front straight and the comparatively fast Turn 1, leading to good speed on the South Track’s Front Straight… punctuated with hard braking and a downhill plunge through a left-hander and then a right-hander, continuing to a low point some 80 ft lower in elevation than at the preceding crest.
The South Track
Incorporates a standalone pit and paddock functionality. At 1.2 miles, it offers strong assets for training, driver education, Test & Tune, manufacturer programs and corporate events.