America's Nordschleife - Thunderhill Raceway Park
Thunderhill Raceway Park in California is probably the most exciting racing track in the United States and home to the longest race in the US.
Thunderhill Raceway Park was built by racing enthusiasts
The track located near the town of Willows in Glenn County was opened in 1993. The idea of building the track existed from the mid-1980s when the racing enthusiasts and club racers from San Francisco region became unhappy with the treatment they got on other nearby racecourses. That’s why local drivers decided to build a new track but they had a long journey and a difficult task ahead.
After a long search, a proper location was found on farmland near Willows, and after the plans were approved, they began fundraising for the construction. Finally, in early 1993, work on the 3 kilometer long circuit begun. It looked like all troubles were behind but in the middle of it all, it was concluded that there won’t be enough money. Luckily, with financial support of Sports Car Club of America, Shelby Club, and other enthusiasts, the track was completed and opened on Halloween in 1993.
The 25 Hours race is the main event at Thunderhill Raceway
Over the years, track was extended, modified and modernized several times and attracted various racing events, but none of them being a top class. Thunderhill, however, became the home of America’s longest race – The 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The race, sanctioned by National Auto Sport Association, goes on annually, during the first weekend in December, and attracts many famous names from all over the world. Another popular event at Thunderhill is LeMons race for cars cheaper than $500.
‘Thunderschleife’ is the most popular layout
Nowadays, the main layout of Thunderhill Raceway Park is 4.83 km long clockwise run track with 15 turns but the most interesting thing about this track is that it could be easily transformed in many various layouts. The longest one is a demanding and exciting five-mile course named “Thunderschleife’” It has 27 turns and many drivers compared it with the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife.
That layout instantly became popular and attracted many racing enthusiasts from all over the country, securing the good financial income for the worry-free operation in the future. All layouts of the track are also available for the open test days, for both racing and street cars, as well as for the motorcycles.
Getting there and accommodation
The nearest international airport is in Sacramento, around 130 km to the south, while in the town of Willows are available limited numbers of various accommodation types but some of the hotels are partnered with Thunderhill Raceway Park to offer better rates and service.
Address: 5250 California 162, Willows, CA 95988, USA
Phone: +1 530 934 5588