With two events in 2009 accomplished more than successfully, Speedworld Off Road Park in Wittman, Ariz., on the northwest side of the Phoenix metropolitan area, is aiming to improve for its first 2010 round of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.
While the challenging track – with its signature moguls section and big left-hand sweeper – remains essentially the same, there are a few new surprises. Turn 1 has been widened, and Turn 2 has been shifted farther back and will have more banking. There's a new jump or two for more air time as well.
In addition, there are some special new amenities for spectators, including expanded and widened track-view RV spaces. The RV spaces – there are 44 around the fast sweeper – have been widened to 18ft.
In addition to more grandstand seating, also new for this year is the Paddock Club, a hospitality area available to all. Paddock Club guests will be served lunch along with a variety of snacks and beverages throughout the day. Each ticket includes a VIP parking pass, access to the Paddock Club area and special shaded grandstand and four complimentary beverages. Tickets are limited to 250 a day.
The Paddock Club, located along the front straight at the second tabletop, should provide spectators a great view of the action, including those tough moguls. “The mogul section at that track took its toll on a whole lot of racers and vehicles last time because it upsets the vehicles enough that there's bound to be a whole lot of carnage,” notes Pro 2 Unlimited driver and Phoenix-area resident Rob Naughton.
For the best action and passing, keep an eye on Turn 5, says another Phoenix racer, Jeff Geiser, pilot of the Canidae Pro 2 Unlimited truck. “In the big rising turn going onto the back straightaway, you can go inside if you can get a run on a guy; or you can keep it outside and run up to the rail to get a good run on the back straightaway. That spot usually has a little excitement,” he says.
“It's a fun turn,” Geiser continues. “You can take any line and it will carry you around. But it drops off on the backside and you've got to be careful. You've also got to be aware of the guys who are trying to take your line.
“Turn 2 is where a lot of the first-lap carnage happened, and they're making it wider and more banked. We'll have a lot more speed going into it, but more room to move around in the turn.
Pro 2 Unlimited and Pro Lite Unlimited racer Rodrigo Ampudia likes the 80mph sweeping final turn. “That track, it's really fast, I love it. There are a lot of different obstacles. That fast turn before the start-finish line is really interesting, because you have to really hold on and go for it if you want to be in the lead pack,” he says.
Fans can get more of the drivers' views if they attend the fan appreciation part at Buffalo Wild Wings at the corner of Bell and Litchfield in Surprise. The party, which goes from 7 to 10 p.m., is expected to attract many of the racers as it did last year. The party before the second round at Speedworld last year even included an RC track from Team Associated.
For more information, see www.racespeedworld.com.