The Grand Prize of America Track debuted in 1997 with the Indy Lights Dixie Crystals Grand Prix. That was the only Indy Lights race to be held on the Hutchinson Island road course, a wide, 1.965 mile circuit with 10 turns in Savannah, GA. Helio Castroneves was the winner of the inaugural Dixie Crystal Grand Prix.
According to Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell who ran on this track during a private PacWest test back in ‘97, cars can reach up to 190 miles per hour at the end of the straights. Turn 1 is like an oval — you enter at about 190, drop a gear, and get on it. It is good for passing because, since it’s like an oval, you can set somebody up high or low into the following esses – a characteristic reminiscent of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
“As a drivers track, it’s good,” said Blundell after his time on the course. “It’s quite demanding and really physical. It’s a fun circuit to drive, and there are at least two and possibly three spots for overtaking. It doesn’t have a street course feel — it’s more of a road course feel. From a spectator viewpoint, there are plenty of great vantage points.”
Click here for to see a layout of the Grand Prize of America Track.
Qualifying laps at “Savannah’s Speed Classic” on Hutchinson Island.
If you haven’t raced here yet you’re in for quite a treat! Here’s a few “Stock Car” laps taken from a qualifying session that may prove helpful with car set-up giving a general idea of the track layout and speeds.
All but three corners are nicely banked and provide great mid corner grip as you will notice on the G meter.