Willow Springs International Raceway Race Track Guide

Willow Springs International Raceway Race Track Guide

Turn 1

There are no great reference points for the braking zone (or anywhere on this race track actually), so we need to use our depth perception to find the right braking zone. Focus more on coming off heavy brake pressure than braking super deep. There is a lot of camber here so we can roll in a lot of entry speed, which means we also want a very slow turn in.

You will see on the racing line the pavement is a little bit lighter, we can follow that to our late apex. The apex here is very much a touch and go, so if you feel like you are hugging the curbing or can’t open your hands when you get down to it you apexed it too early. No throttle until you get down to that apex!

Turn 2

We can roll a ton of entry speed in here, so focus on trying to get to turn in before lightly braking. If you are in a lower grip or heavier car this may not be possible or if you are in a low horsepower or downforce car this corner may just even be a lift. The big thing here is to treat maintenance throttle as a negative. We can’t roll in enough entry speed to not pick up the throttle before the second apex, but we want to try and get there.

When you need to pick up the throttle in the middle of the corner we want to try and get back to it aggressively so that we can build speed and then make a small throttle adjustment as we start to head towards the second apex so we can get a little rotation and get the car pointed towards that second apex. We want to be back to full throttle at the second apex. Be careful on exit as the road goes heavily off-camber and that can push you wider than you want to be.

Turn 3

Turn 3 is a steep up-hill corner and one we want to bring in as much entry speed as possible into! A lot of drivers try and sacrifice the exit of turn 3 to keep it left for turn 4, don’t do that. We are braking in a straight line here, but quickly reduce braking pressure to brake deep into the corner while bringing in good entry speed.

We have a very late apex here and we don’t want to touch the throttle until at or after the apex even. You can follow that lighter part of the pavement until the late apex. Get back to a brief squirt of full-throttle before turning in for turn 4.

Turn 4

This is an area we need a lot of patience. We want to attack the entry enough so the car takes us about 3/4ths of the way to the outside. Our apex comes just passed the 4 sign on the inside.

We want a super-light brake pressure in here so we can trail brake down to the apex. Really important to not pick up the throttle until we can start unwinding the steering wheel. When done right we can aggressively get back to throttle and be back at full throttle before we get out to the exit.

Turn 5

We are braking around the start of that curbing on our right. We want to have a short brake zone here and even a little bit of coast on entry to roll the speed without upsetting the rear. When done right we should end up about mid-road on exit, work it back to the left a little bit before turning in for turn 6.

Turn 6

This corner is flat or very close to flat for most cars. It is completely blind on entry, where you can get in trouble here typically is when you turn in too early. So, we want to have slow hands and only apex after we crest the hill. Of course, if you turn too late that can be big trouble too, precision and having your eyes up is critical across the final corners at Willow Springs International Raceway

Turn 8

This is an extremely fast corner and very bumpy as well. Make sure your vision is up and looking through the corner before you even turn in. We want a very smooth turn in here so we don’t upset the car. At exit we need to open our hands and use all the road on exit to setup for turn 9.

Turn 9

Another corner that really changes our vision. It is really fast on entry and a very late apex that is hard to find, all very abnormal in the racing world. We want a super light brake pressure here and coasting for a while is normal so that we can roll in as much speed as possible.

It is very important to not touch the throttle until we get the car rotated and headed towards our apex. When we do it right we only apex in the middle of the curbing and that allows us to take full advantage of the additional grip we get with the cambered road and can get back to full throttle right at the apex. That is what will allow us to get the run down the front straight into turn 1.