November 3, 2014 – Pittsburgh, PA
For Immediate Release
The long anticipated South Track extension will be completed just in time for the 2015 PVGP Historics on the July 10-12 weekend!
According to Bill Haus, PVGP Race Director for the Historic Race Weekend “this is really big news! The long anticipated 1.6 mile South Track extension will be completed in early 2015 and the PVGP Historics will be the inaugural race event on July 10-12 With the addition South Track, competitors will now have 2.8 miles of racing with exciting elevation changes and new straights. Spectators will love the new Spectator Hill with its great vantage points.
Pitt Race Complex has increased the track and their PVGP sponsorship. Their commitment to the Grand Prix charities has been increased to the Gold Level. Dan DelBianco, PVGP executive director stated “we are pleased to announce that Pitt Race, which has been an important part of our recent growth, will be taking a larger sponsorship role with the Grand Prix. 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 the grand opening in 2015.”
Dominic Cincotta, marketing manager for the North American Road Racing Association, which manages the racetrack, had some exciting words on this new addition.
“This addition will increase our total facility to 2.8 miles and a formidable natural terrain track. Within the south track there is an 85 ft. vertical drop followed by an immediate 85 ft. gain with a horseshoe at the low point. It’s going to be a thrill to race. The south track adds a number of signature features including some blind apexes as well as some technical S’s. Combined with the North Track we will now have a facility that will have some thing for horsepower fanatics to technical tacticians,” said Cincotta.
The new track is an awesome addition, and the expansion was no easy feat. Although hard to sum up a process concisely; Cincotta briefly explained how the final product came to be.
“The original design was done by Alan Wilson in 2000. This is what we consider the North Track. Recently we have worked to develop and work the South track into that design with the best possible race flow. The process started with the land preparation. The rough centerline was marked on the terrain for evaluation. Once the rough layout was agreed upon we worked to develop and modify the design to maximize flow and rhythm. Then the excavation began which took most of 2014. The field engineers walked the course and late in the year the final changes were made and the final grading and stone were laid. We are currently installing fencing and guard rails. Paving will take place as soon as the weather breaks.”
Teams and driver can expect to see changes as soon as they enter the gates.
“The first things the racers will notice are a new entrance and gate to the track. Secondly, they will experience a highly engaged and motivated staff willing to help them have the best experience possible,” Cincotta continued.
“Finally, all racers will experience a new level or racing from Pitt Race. While the facility has traditionally lacked some technical aspects or truly signature features, we now offer the high-speed straights followed by adrenaline fueled elevation change and breaking zones. The addition of the South track will also provide a secondary paddock area, increasing parking and room for teams to function.”
“Our goal is to provide a high quality experience regardless of why you are here. We may not be the biggest in the industry, but we aim to provide among the most premium experiences,” said Cincotta.
The Pittsburgh International Race Complex is aiming to please, and with this new facility, the experience offered to teams and drivers as well as the fans is definitely going to be a great one.
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 North Track. Pitt Race has 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
- Have a “signature turn” that will be exhilarating to novice and expert alike
- Have a combined length (North and South Tracks) of 2.8 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 1.3 miles, it offers strong assets for training, driver education, Test & Tune, manufacturer programs and corporate events.