Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


By Simon

I’m always a little concerned by how underused sports facilities are used in the US. There are some great NFL stadiums and they might only get used ten times a year at best. The same applies to race tracks. A bunch of them are rolled for special occasions. I was kind of shocked when I found out that Indianapolis speedway is used only three times a year for racing and the new F1 circuit in Austin is only being used once a year.

This situation kind of blows my mind because I’m used to seeing circuits used on a regular basis. Places like Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Hochenheim, etc. are in near constant use during the racing season. They have full racing calendars throughout the season, in addition to midweek testing and the tracks’ driving schools. Smaller tracks open up their parking areas for flea market rentals. These are truly working tracks in every sense of the word, so I’m baffled that so many facilities in the US allow themselves not to be used. With Indianapolis, the track is used for a bike GP, Indy and Nascar and the rest of the year relies on the museum to keep itself going. There's no race school and limited tested. And that’s a real shame as it’s a lovely facility.

These places may make a profit from a handful of events, but it’s a real eggs in one basket situation and that’s a little scary. Racetracks are expensive to maintain (ask the owners of the Korean and Indian GP tracks). They cover hundreds of acres and it’s criminal not use them to their fullest. So in this spirit of thanksgiving, I give thanks for racetracks everywhere and I hope they get to be used on a regular basis.

Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans in the e-room.


  1. They're going to use Austin at least twice next year: F1 and an ALMS weekend (in September). Hopefully its use will pick up....

  2. Wow, twice! :-)

    Really isn't enough.