You have many questions about the Club Motorsports Park.
We've done the research. These are the answers!
What exactly is planned for the club motorsports park?
The plan for "The Ridge Motorsports Park" will include a 2.5 mile road course designed by world-famous automobile racer Johannes van Overbeek, as well as a separate four-lane quarter mile drag strip. The grounds will also include areas for pits, staging, family picnics, and on-site vehicle storage, mechanical and support services.
Who is developing it?
The partners in The Ridge Motorsports Group were born-and-raised in the area. As club racing enthusiasts with life-long ties to Mason County, they are committed to improving the area's long-term economic, social and environmental quality of life.
Where will it be located?
Ridge Motorsports Park’s planned site is located outside of Shelton on West Eells Hills Rd surrounded by the Washington State Patrol Academy’s existing performance driving course, a garbage transfer station, an auto salvage yard, and the Washington Correctional Center. It is also close to Sanderson Field regional airport. The location is a perfect fit given the existing rural-industrial setting, the natural sound barriers and the historical use of the area for racing and high performance driving instruction for over six decades.
What is the effect on the local economy?
While the land is perfect for a motorsports park, if not used for this project, it has no future for being used for any other purpose. In other words, it is the best use of the property given the limitations of the surroundings, and failure to go ahead with the plan will certainly mean this large piece of land will produce no value for the county for many decades.
Very conservative projections show that The Ridge Motorsports Park will bring an additional $12 million dollars annually to existing businesses in Mason County. Similar facilities in like locations actually have attracted over $18 million annually. Racers and spectators must eat, fill up with gas, buy items from auto parts and grocery stores, and often find places to stay the night.
What is a "club motorsports park" and is this like previous plans to bring NASCAR to Mason County?
The Ridge Motorsports Park will also utilize local contractors to construct and maintain the development, as well as area residents to staff the business, which means job creation during a much needed time.
Finally, the $12 million annually combined with the revenues coming directly from the track's operations all equate to increased funding for the County's schools, fire and police departments, roads, public parks, and libraries.
The Ridge Motorsports Park is not even close in almost every aspect from previous proposals to construct a NASCAR stadium track. Whereas any NASCAR track would have required public money to construct a stadium facility restricted to corporate-sponsored professional teams for only large-attendance events once or twice per year, The Ridge Motorsports Park road course and quarter-mile tracks will be entirely privately financed and open for use year-round by car and motorcycle enthusiast clubs.
Who will get to use the facility?
Car clubs and driving schools rent the facility for lapping events. Consequently, the track is designed for safety, including maximum room for safe runoff.
Furthermore, spectator attendance at club events is small – usually far outnumbered by racers and support crew.
The focus of The Ridge Motorsports Park is participation. Organizations ranging from racing groups and car clubs to driving schools will rent the facility, which will provide professionals, amateurs and enthusiasts a place to safely learn and enjoy performance driving together during daylight hours. Area residents will be able to enjoy the facility in many different capacities: as racers, performance driving students, corner workers, vendors, and spectators.
What types of cars will drive there?
The overwhelming majority of cars that utilize club motorsports facilities are licensed street legal cars, meaning they have mufflers, headlights, wipers, bumpers, and other familiar equipment.
The most commonly used cars for club road courses are Mazda Miatas, Dodge Neons, Porsche 911s, Corvettes, BMW 3-Series, and Ford Mustangs. The same goes for users of the drag strip, where licensed production cars like Camaros, Mustangs, Chevelles, Novas, Civics, and Eclipses make the bulk of the passes.
What about safety?
Because club facilities such as The Ridge Motorsports Park are not designed for large spectator gatherings, the monumentally expensive to run, purpose-built vehicles used in professional racing series like NASCAR, F1, IRL/CART, NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car, and World of Outlaw racers will find no economic or competitive reason to utilize the track.
Club motorsports facilities significantly increase the level of safety in the community. First, the development will have on-site fire and medical facilities. Secondly, unlike most vehicles on public roads, any car attempting to use the track must meet strict safety requirements. The track itself will be designed to allow for maximum run-off room with no possibility of injuring any spectators. The site will be secured to ensure access to the track will be limited to authorized participants and observers during business hours.
Finally, club motorsports facilities have been recognized throughout the world for increasing the safety of surrounding communities by training, educating, and by providing an incentive for street racers to move their activities to a purpose-built, controlled, monitored environment.
What about the environment?
The Ridge Motorsports Park will be a showcase for environmentally-sound development and cutting-edge green energy technology. Great steps are being taken to address runoff and native plant security. An exciting part of the plan also includes leveraging the natural landscape to harness wind and solar energy supplies, which can assist in powering high-output electric vehicle recharging stations.
Unlike public roads, vehicles dripping liquids of any type (oil, fuel, coolant) or producing severe tailpipe emissions are not allowed on the track.
Will it be loud?
The common misconception is that club motorsports facilities are loud. Unlike with stadium tracks for professional stock car racing or Top Fuel dragsters, the overwhelming majority of vehicles utilizing the track are street-legal, licensed cars equipped with mufflers and catalytic converters designed to meet the most stringent noise ordinances in the country. The nearest residential units will be nearly two miles away and separated by natural resonance barriers of rock ridges and timber.
What will be the effect on local property values?
Sounds from the Ridge Motorsports Park should be far lower than the existing facilities in the neighborhood: Sanderson Field regional airport, the Washington State Patrol Academy, Washington Correctional Center, and garbage transfer station. The wildlife has long lived in perfect harmony with sounds from motorized vehicles -- indeed many of the Northwest's greatest wild animal treasures, including eagles and hawks, are actually attracted to moving cars and can often be found perched on trees and streetlights overlooking high traffic areas.
Homeowners within the general area will obviously be concerned about the value of their property being affected by a club motorsports park.
All one needs to do is use Zillow to see that property values around similar race track developments have increased. Similar concerns were raised when Thunderhill race track in Willows, CA was built, but in
the decade since its construction, all residential, farming and commercial property values have increased, and not a single homeowner has elected to place their property on the market. Even at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA, the property and house visible
from the track and grandstands has seen significant increase in value -- far beyond the existing values of property near the site of The Ridge Motorsports Park.
The bottom line is that club motorsports parks are good neighbors and great for increasing land and home values.