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Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

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Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a road course auto racing facility located in Troy Township, Morrow County, Ohio, United States, just outside the village of Lexington. Mid-Ohio has also colloquially become a term for the entire north-central region of the state, from south of Sandusky to the north of Columbus.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Mid-Ohio Sports car Course.png
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Layout
LocationTroy Township, Morrow County, at 7721 Steam Corners Road, Lexington, Ohio
Time zoneUTC-5 (UTC-4 DST)
Coordinates40°41′21.46″N 82°38′10.94″W / 40.6892944°N 82.6363722°W / 40.6892944; -82.6363722Coordinates: 40°41′21.46″N 82°38′10.94″W / 40.6892944°N 82.6363722°W / 40.6892944; -82.6363722
CapacityBleachers: 12,000
Open seating: 70,000
FIA Grade2
OwnerGreen Savoree Mid-Ohio, LLC
OperatorGreen Savoree Racing Promotions
Major eventsHonda 200
IndyCar Series
B&L Transport 170
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Americas Rallycross Championship
Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio
International Motor Sports Association
(2001–2002), (2004–2012), (2018-)
Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire
AMA Pro Racing
EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank
Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series
(2000–2001), (2003–2013)
Original Road Course
Length2.4 mi (3.86 km)
Second Road Course
Length2.258 mi (3.634 km)
Race lap record1:03.8700 minutes (Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske) (Dallara+Chevrolet+Firestone), 2016, IndyCar)

The trackEdit

IMSA GTP cars compete at Mid-Ohio in 1991

The track opened as a 15-turn, 2.4 mile (3.86 km) road circuit run clockwise. The back portion of the track allows speeds approaching 180 mph (290 km/h). A separate starting line is located on the backstretch to allow for safer rolling starts. The regular start / finish line is located on the pit straight.

In 1990 the track underwent a refurbishment. A new retaining wall was built, the entire track was resurfaced, widened and concrete was paved in the apexes of the turns to prevent asphalt deterioration. In addition, a straightaway was paved through the chicane, allowing for two different track layouts, the original 2.4-mile (3.9 km) circuit and a new 13-turn, 2.258 mile (3.634 km) circuit. In 1990, the CART series began utilizing the 2.258-mile (3.634 km) layout.

In 2006 a second major refurbishment saw several improvements. The entire circuit was repaved and the concrete patches in the turn apexes were removed. A new motorcycle "short course" was created by connecting turn one with the backstretch and another motorcycle oval was created by connecting the chicane straight with the backstretch. The additional layouts allow simultaneous use of the multiple course, for instructional and competitive uses. The improvements also included a motocross facility, that has since been used for the AMA Vintage Motorcycle days event.

In 2019 the ARX came to the track which was the first time rallycross had come to the circuit. The course was a 10-turn, 0.7 mile (1.13 km) and utilized the keyhole section of the track.

There is grandstand seating for 10,000 spectators and three observation mounds alongside the track raise the capacity to over 75,000. Mid-Ohio is classified as an FIA Grade Two circuit.[1]


Emerson Fittipaldi navigates the Keyhole section of the course in a Penske Racing IndyCar in 1992

The track was opened in 1962 by Les Griebling and several Mansfield-area businessmen as a location for weekend sports car racing. The track originally had 16 turns, with a left turn in what is today known as "thunder valley," but the turn was straightened after just one year of operation. The track hosted Can-am and F5000 through the 1970s and in 1980, it would host its first CART race with Johnny Rutherford taking victory with Chaparral.

In 1982 Mid-Ohio was purchased by Jim Trueman, a renowned road racer and the founder of Red Roof Inns. Trueman added permanent grandstands, amphitheater-style seating, garages with spectator balconies, a five-story media and hospitality center, tunnels and an updated paddock area. In addition, a tall, three-sided scoreboard tower was constructed in the infield, strategically placed such that it was visible from nearly all spectator areas around the track. Trueman's daughter, Michelle Trueman Gajoch, was named the president in 1989 and saw day-to-day operations of the circuit.

In 1990 the track underwent a refurbishment. A new retaining wall was built, the entire track was resurfaced, widened, and concrete was paved in the apexes of the turns to prevent asphalt deterioration. In addition, a straightaway was paved through the chicane, allowing for two different track layouts, the original 2.4-mile (3.9 km) circuit and a new 13-turn, 2.258 mile (3.634 km) circuit.

In 2006 the track again underwent extensive renovation. The track and pit lane were completely resurfaced and connectors were added to the track's famed Keyhole section to allow for three separate road course configurations. Also completed was the removal of concrete patches from the track, the relocation of the wall and guardrail at Turn 1, the expansion of gravel traps at the exits of Turn 1 and the keyhole, the replacement of all remaining old-style catch fencing and the standardization of curbing throughout the circuit. These changes have resulted in a faster, safer, more competitive and attractive facility for drivers, riders and race fans.

The sports car course operates from April through to November each year. During this time the facility is host to a number of nationally sanctioned race weekends, all of which are open to the public. Mid-Ohio has hosted "closed course" events for kart racing events since the late 1960s sanctioned by I.K.F. & W.K.A. and run by the Dart kart Club, with up to 400 entries participating. Karts use the full track with the chicane. Additionally, on-site motor home and tent camping spaces are available.

On March 2, 2011 it was announced that the track had been purchased from Truesports by Green Savoree Racing Promotions, which also promotes other IndyCar races, ending Truesports' 29 years of ownership.[2] On November 13, 2012, NASCAR announced that the track would hold the Mid-Ohio Challenge in the 2013 season.[3]

Race historyEdit

The Mid-Ohio SchoolEdit

Founded in 1993, The Mid-Ohio School offers licensed drivers and motorcycle riders programs in defensive driving, high performance driving and performance track riding programs. Students in each course partake in classroom and private instruction and group drills. Participants test their newly-refined skills in the controlled environment of the facility's Vehicle Dynamics Center and on the track.

The Mid-Ohio School is AAA Approved and recognized as a recent recipient of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Partners for Safety award. 18 programs are available to drivers and riders of all ages and ability levels from defensive driving programs for teens and adults, on-track high performance courses for the automotive enthusiasts to current and aspiring racers.

There have been over 50,000 graduates from the Mid-Ohio School, including 18,500 teenagers and 13,300 motorcycle riders.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "List of FIA licensed circuits" (Press release). Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. December 14, 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  2. ^ Green Savoree Racing Buys Mid-Ohio Course Archived 2011-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Ultimate Motorcycling, March 2, 2011, Retrieved 2011-03-02
  3. ^ Fryer, Jenna (2012-11-13). "NASCAR adds Mid-Ohio to Nationwide Series in 2013". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on 2012-11-17. Retrieved 2012-11-13.

External linksEdit