June 4- American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Since I was a young boy, maybe 5 or 6 I have been going to a road racing circuit north of Columbus in Lexington, OH called Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. It's a racing track built between rolling cornfields and groves of trees, a great setting for exotic European racing cars.

My Dad has been going to this track since the early 60's, when road racing was in its hey day, he took my brother and I there as kids and we'll probably take our kids there. It is not a circle track...far from it. It has 13 turns and a lot of relief, some turns are up hill, some are downhill. They have a series of events each year, from Indy cars to motorcycles to vintage cars. On the 4th of June it was the U.S. Road Racing series. This series includes prototype cars from manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mazda, Lola, Kudzu...the wild looking cars, like nothing you've ever seen or heard before. Also included were highly modified production based cars, Porsches, Corvettes, Camaros, Dodge Vipers, BMW's and the like. Below are some pictures....check out the paint jobs on some of these cars.

If you live in Cleveland or Columbus, even Cinicinnati you should check this place out. Even if you don't like cars you should go, it is something to be seen and you can have a lot of fun. You aren't confined to grandstand seating.....in fact, there is very little grandstand seating at all. Most of the spectator areas are berms of grassy earth, elevated enough so you can see everything. Take a lawn chair and cooler if you want....we have always favored just walking around and watching from different parts of the track. See the cars downshifting under heavy braking at the end of the back straight, see them accelerating onto the back straight as they come out of the sharp "Keyhole" turn.....winding through the gears the sounds almost deafens you. I'm not sure what my fascination with this sort of racing is, but there is nothing like the smell of burning Castrol oil from a 12 cylinder Ferrari.

A pack of BMWs and Porsches enter the esses turn.

A retired BMW pushed behind the wall.

Dodge Viper taking turn one.

Two Porsches in turn 1.
Ferrari 333 in turn 1.

The vehicle