Formula D Round 3: Palm Beach International Raceway



Palm Beach International Raceway
Now! Palm Beach International Raceway was closed in 2008 for renovation and FIA 2 Certification.

In 2008, the facility was purchased by Raymond Graziotto, Joseph G. Lubeck and J.C. Solomon II, with partners Scott Revell, Ron Dixon, father of Indy Car racer Scott Dixon, and Keith Wilson coming in later that same year and was closed for a complete renovation. In 2009, the track reopened with a new, but old name, Palm Beach International Raceway and had recieved FIA Certification 2 status, meaning it could host Indy Car, ARCA, Grand Am and many other types of racing events. PBIR now has low-glare lighting, brand new safety barriers, and other upgrades including a repave to make the surface smooth when compared to Moroso’s old surface. In Feburary of 2010, PBIR hosted an ARCA race along with many other drag racing events including a visit by “Pinks All Out.” Now that it is a modern facility, PBIR hosts many other types of racing as well from Mud Bogs to BMWCCA (BMW Car Club of America) to the Radical East Racing School. The Road Course is  2.043 miles in distance and was designed by Martyn Thake with help from several other in-house designers. It is paved with 5-inch-deep asphalt on an aggregate base and features a 90-foot-wide section on the back straight for adding a chicane. The Drag Strip is sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), but is built to National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) specifications. The Kart Track is a World Karting Association (WKA) Master Track at .8 mile distance and has multiple possible configurations.

On the improvments on the track, Ryan Sage, vice president and co-founder of Formula Drift, stated in a press release, “I have been to the track since the new face-lift and it is truly a remarkable facility. From the course expansions, tarmac condition, lighting and the fact that it is situated in South Florida. Palm Beach International Raceway will be a great addition to the Series.”

PBIR Layout
Here is the current layout of PBIR.

 From ARCA to NASA to 24 Hours of LeMons, PBIR has hosted many types of racing on their wonderfully created and modern road course. Manufacturers have used the facility to show off their new cars, businesses have used it for team building, the list goes on and on about the use of the track. Even racing carriages pulled by horses trained at the Celebrity Farms Racing Stable have been on the facility. Motorcycles, cars, trucks, horses, you name it, its been on or at this track!

Harness Racing
Harness Racing powered by the original engine, the Horse!


The Proposed course for Round 3
 If this proposed layout for PBIR holds true, Round 3 will provide insane entries, high speeds, and a technical section.

The section that Formula Drift will be using is turns 4, 3, 2, the paved area around turns 3 and 2, and finish on the back half of the front straight. The current image that Formula Drift is giving drivers and journalists shows that staging will take place in turn 4 and the course will feature a 500 or 600 foot run up to turn 3. Turn 3 is a right hand turn at about 45 degrees and will link into turn 2. Turn 2 is usually a smooth turn that transitions into three when racing the course, but for Round Three, turn 2 is now a double apex 180 degree turn that tightens before the second apex. I predict that this will be the most technical corner in Formula Drift as you have to come in hot, keep your drift as your swing back left, and begin to into the second apex nearly 180 degrees from where you just entered. The next curve swings back right and leads back to the finish at the back of the front straight. If this layout holds true, Palm Beach International Raceway will not be an easy track to conquer, but those who set their chassis up right will treat the fans to not only backward entries, but possibly triple digit entry speeds.

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