Brainerd International Raceway

Brainerd International Raceway is a road course, and dragstrip racing complex northwest of the city of Brainerd, Minnesota. The complex has a 0.25 mi (0.40 km) dragstrip, and overlapping 2.500 mi (4.023 km) and 3.100 mi (4.989 km) road courses. The complex also includes a kart track. The raceway hosts the National Hot Rod Association's Lucas Oil Nationals. It is a popular racetrack for the Trans Am Series. The spectator seating capacity of the circuit is 20,000.[1]

Brainerd International Raceway
Brainerd International Raceway Logo.jpg

Brainerd International Raceway.svg
Donnybrooke Road Course
LocationCrow Wing County, NW of Brainerd, Minnesota, United States
Time zoneUTC−6 / UTC−5 (DST)
Coordinates46°25′01″N 94°16′23″W / 46.417069°N 94.273142°W / 46.417069; -94.273142Coordinates: 46°25′01″N 94°16′23″W / 46.417069°N 94.273142°W / 46.417069; -94.273142
Capacity20,000
FIA Grade3
OpenedJuly 1968
Former namesDonnybrooke Speedway (1968–1973)
Major eventsCurrent:
MotoAmerica (1983–1987, 1992–2004, 2021–present)
Former:
FR Americas (2021)
Trans-Am Series (1969–1972, 1975–1978, 1980–1989, 2010–2017, 2020–2021)
Pirelli World Challenge (2014)
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (2012–2013)
World SBK (1989–1991)
IMSA GT Championship (1972, 1977–1983)
Can-Am (1970–1972, 1979–1980, 1984)
Competition Road Course (2008–present)
Length4.023 km (2.500 miles)
Turns13
Race lap record1:23.109 (Australia Joshua Car, Ligier JS F3, 2021, Formula Regional)
Donnybrooke Road Course (1968–present)
Length4.989 km (3.100 miles)
Turns10
Race lap record1:27.090 (Republic of Ireland Michael Roe, VDS-002, 1984, Can-Am)
Welcome sign in May 1997

HistoryEdit

Opened in July 1968 as Donnybrooke Speedway, there were no safety barriers, run-out areas, grandstands or even restrooms. George Montgomery and Bud Stall cleared the racetrack through a wooded area on the south side of North Long Lake. It was SCCA's first venue in the region.[2] It was also an NHRA-sanctioned track, with the first official event there an NHRA race, at the opening; Top Fuel Dragster was won by Doc Halladay.[3] With the help of St Paul sports promoter Dennis Scanlan, it hosted a 2-heat USAC Indy Car race in 1969. The heats were won by Gordon Johncock and Dan Gurney.[4]

Donnybrooke, played host to CanAm races in 1970, 1971, and 1972. These races were won by, respectively, Denny Hulme, Peter Revson, and François Cevert. In 1973 Jerry Hansen bought the track and renamed it Brainerd International Raceway.

In the 1970s, the Donnybrooke track began holding Funny Car events, in particular the Crown Auto Funny Car Championships, and in time, NHRA was convinced to stage a national event at Brainerd: in 1982, Shirley Muldowney (in Top Fuel Dragster), Frank Hawley (Top Fuel Funny Car), and Lee Shepherd (Pro Stock) were the headline winners at the first Quaker State North Star NHRA Nationals.[5]

In Pro Stock, Bob Glidden won at Brainerd in 1983, 1985, 1986, and 1992.[6]

The Brainerd strip became known as "one of the quickest and fastest in the world".[7] It was completely resurfaced in 2003.[8] In 2005, Tony Schumacher turned in a speed of 337.58 mph (543.28 km/h), "the fastest quarter-mile time ever",[9] and in 2016 and 2017, national NHRA records in Funny Car were set there.[10]

Kenny Bernstein won at Brainerd five times, 1983 and 1987 (in Top Fuel Funny Car) and in 1991, 1996, and 2002 (in Top Fuel Dragster)).

In the summer of 2006, Jed and Kristi Copham of Forest Lake, Minnesota, became the new owners of Brainerd International Raceway.[11]

The track hosted two NASCAR K&N Pro Series West events between 2012 and 2013. The track also hosted one NASCAR Midwest Series race in 2004.

Brainerd International Raceway was damaged during a severe thunderstorm that struck portions of Minnesota on July 12, 2015.[12]

Track InformationEdit

Brainerd International Raceway consists of 2 road tracks and 1 drag strip.

Donnybrooke Road CourseEdit

Brainerd International Raceway maintains the original name of the now 50-year-old course. The course is used for automotive and motorcycle racing.

The 3.100 mi (4.989 km) Donnybrooke Road Course has 10 turns and is considered wide – the main straight is 60 ft (18 m) wide. There is essentially no elevation change. BIR is a high-speed course; vehicles can reach speeds of nearly 180 mph (290 km/h) and take the slowest corners around 80 mph (130 km/h). There are wide runoff areas at most of the corners, which makes BIR's road course extremely safe. This configuration uses the dragstrip as part of the course.

Competition Road CourseEdit

The 2009 racing season was the first for the 2.500 mi (4.023 km) course which was completed in the 2008 summer.

Turn 1 on the 2.500 mi (4.023 km) Competition Road Course is the same as Turn 1 on the three-mile road course. Turn 1 is a narrow but very high-speed banked right-hand 60-degree turn, which is intended be taken flat out by all vehicles. Turns 1 through 8 of the original 3.100 mi (4.989 km) road course are used for the new circuit. At Turn 8, a 240-degree right-hand Clover Leaf transitions drivers from the old course to the new stretch of asphalt that winds its way back across the infield, eventually tying back into the original circuit just before Turn 1, avoiding the dragstrip. In all, the Competition Road Course features 13 turns and very little elevation change.

DragstripEdit

The dragstrip dates back to 1969, when Donnybrooke converted the mile-long straightaway on its road course to a drag strip and hosted an NHRA Divisional Points Race. In 1977, BIR hosted the Crown Auto Funny Car Championships and the Crown Auto Winston Points Championship. It was reconstructed in 2005, adding a 700 ft (210 m) concrete launch pad and new asphalt for the remaining 600 feet was installed. Tony Schumacher, set the world record for top fuel dragsters with a 337.58 mph (543.28 km/h) run in 2005. This speed and time are recorded at the end of a standing start quarter mile acceleration race, before the NHRA shortened top fuel and funny car races to the current 1,000 ft (300 m) since 2008.[13]

Lap recordsEdit

The fastest official race lap records at the Brainerd International Raceway for different classes are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Date
Brainerd International Raceway Competition Road Course: 4.023 km (2008–present)
Formula Regional 1:23.109[14] Joshua Car Ligier JS F3 2021 Brainerd FR Americas round
Trans-Am 1:27.348[15] Ernie Francis Jr. Ford Mustang Trans-Am 2021 Brainerd Trans-Am round
MotoAmerica (Superbike) 1:29.922[16] Jake Gagne Yamaha YZF-R1 2021 Brainerd MotoAmerica round
Formula 4 1:31.585[17] Jason Alder Crawford F4-16 2021 Brainerd F4 United States round
MotoAmerica (Supersport) 1:32.787[18] Sean Dylan Kelly Suzuki GSX-R600 2021 Brainerd MotoAmerica round
MotoAmerica (Stock 1000) 1:32.881[19] Hayden Gillim Suzuki GSX-R1000 2022 Brainerd MotoAmerica round
MotoAmerica (Twins Cup) 1:36.944[20] Anthony Mazziotto Aprilia RS 660 2022 Brainerd MotoAmerica round
MotoAmerica (Junior Cup) 1:42.236[21] Gus Rodio Kawasaki Ninja 400R 2021 Brainerd MotoAmerica round
Brainerd International Raceway Donnybrooke Road Course: 4.989 km (1968–present)
Can-Am 1:27.090[22] Michael Roe VDS-002 1984 Pepsi Grand Prix
Group 7 1:27.860[23] Denny Hulme McLaren M8F 1971 Minneapolis Tribune
IMSA GTP 1:31.560[24] John Paul, Jr. Porsche 935 JLP-3 1982 Pepsi Grand Prix
IMSA GTO 1:33.130[25] Gianpiero Moretti Porsche 935/79 1979 Pepsi Grand Prix
IMSA GTX 1:34.170[26] John Paul, Jr. Lola T600 1981 Pepsi Grand Prix
TO 1:36.086[27] Scott Pruett Mercury Capri 1986 Brainered Trans-Am round
World SBK 1:40.870 Doug Polen Ducati 888 SBK 1991 Brainerd World SBK round
IMSA GTU 1:43.510[28] Walt Bohren Mazda RX-7 1980 Pepsi Grand Prix
TU 1:52.000[29] Horst Kwech Alfa Romeo GTV 1972 Donnybrooke Trans-Am round

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "World Stadiums - Stadiums in the United States :: Minnesota". www.worldstadiums.com.
  2. ^ Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at NHRA.com (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  3. ^ Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at NHRA.com (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  4. ^ "Brainerd International Raceway". Champcarstats.com. 1969-09-14. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  5. ^ Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at NHRA.com (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  6. ^ Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at NHRA.com (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  7. ^ Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at NHRA.com (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  8. ^ Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at NHRA.com (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  9. ^ Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at NHRA.com (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  10. ^ Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at NHRA.com (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  11. ^ Richardson, Renee (July 28, 2006). "BIR sold". Brainerd Dispatch. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  12. ^ FOX (23 March 2022). "Brainerd, Minnesota twisted by storms, raceway in pieces".
  13. ^ The Summit Racing Web Development Team. (2005-08-13). "BRAINERD - Saturday Wrap Up". Dragracecentral.com. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  14. ^ "2021 Formula Regional Americas Championship Round 11 Official Results" (PDF). Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Trans Am Championship Presented by Pirelli July 16 - 18 2021 Brainerd International Raceway TA TA2 Round 7 Race Results" (PDF). Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  16. ^ "2021 MotoAmerica Superbikes at Minnesota HONOS Superbike Race 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  17. ^ "2021 F4 United States Championship Brainerd Session Facts". Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  18. ^ "2021 MotoAmerica Superbikes at Minnesota Supersport Race 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  19. ^ "2022 MotoAmerica Superbikes at Minnesota Stock 1000 Race 1" (PDF). Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  20. ^ "2022 MotoAmerica Superbikes at Minnesota Twins Cup Race 1" (PDF). Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  21. ^ "2021 MotoAmerica Superbikes at Minnesota Junior Cup Race 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  22. ^ "Can-Am Brainerd 1984". Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  23. ^ "Can-Am Donnybrooke 1971". Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  24. ^ "Brainerd 200 Kilometres 1982". Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  25. ^ "Brainerd 100 Miles 1979". Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  26. ^ "Brainerd 200 Kilometres 1981". Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  27. ^ "Trans-Am Brainerd 1986". Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  28. ^ "Brainerd 100 Miles 1980". Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  29. ^ "Trans-Am Donnybrooke - Two Five Challenge 1972". Retrieved 6 November 2022.

External linksEdit