The Ridge Motorsports Park: Hosted by The Speed Syndicate

Turn 13 at the Ridge Motorsports Park

The Ridge Motorsports Park is a 2.47 mile long drivers’ track. I call it a driver’s track because I am positive that you will be smiling all the way around the course, just like I was. In fact, I am smiling just thinking about the course. Located just south of Olympia National Park and not far from Shelton, Washington, this motorsports facility is a reasonable drive from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, Canada. About 2 hours from Seattle, 2.5 hours from Portland, 4.5 hours from Vancouver, B.C. (be ready for some heavy traffic), and about 19 hours from MotoIQ’s headquarters.  If you are further than a couple of hours away, then you need to plan a road trip and build in some vacation time in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. This track is one that has come up in discussion, since I moved to the west coast, at almost every gathering of track orientated friends that I have – with the consensus being that I had to drive it myself. Searching for opportunities I came across an event hosted by The Speed Syndicate. This is an automotive shop based in Burnaby, B.C. and about five years ago they started hosting track days. It was economics – hosting track days allowed them access to the track and obviously promoted their business also. Win-win.

Sharp left and then you sort of feel like you're dropping off the edge of a cliff.
There is truly nothing better than a track day. Driving the track with friends, chatting about your experiences, and meeting new people. And in this case, for me, getting to experience a track for the first time. The Ridge Motorsports Park in the Pacific Northwest is an amazing facility that is just getting better and better. Photo Credit: Andy Roulston. The BMW in the cover photo is also courtesy of Andy Roulston.

The venue that TSS works with is The Ridge Motorsports Park. Driving on the road towards the track entrance the first thing that you notice is the motocross course. This AMA sanctioned course is buzzing with flying bikes – if you arrive early enough in the day. Next up is a skid pad where you will pass drivers testing the limits of themselves and their cars as they go through a range of drifting activities. The next eye-catching scene is a go-kart track. I later discovered that this kart track is actually a 1/5th scale version of the road course. This is very cool. Please note – you must be 15 or older to drive the kart track.

Kart on a scale model of the road course
As you’re driving in you will see the go-kart track before you see the road course. This track is a 1/5th scale version of the road course. Note: you must be 15 to run a kart on this track.

Then you see it. The road course … well, not so much the road course but you see the ridge that appears to be a straight drop of fifty to sixty feet (depending upon who you talk to) and you see the forty foot wide track just drop over the edge. It literally looks like it drops off from nowhere. Everyone loves some blind corners but from the entrance level, you simply cannot imagine how the car is going to handle dropping over this embankment.  The physical ridge bursts out of the forest and runs east where it appears to soften slightly. After the track drops over the edge, it corkscrews its way around into a very long straight that simply makes your throttle foot want to go. And that is all you can see. Your introduction to The Ridge is complete – a full adrenaline rush in which you must see the rest of the track. To do that you must either drive the track or walk it – I did both. And both made me smile.

Designed by Steve Crawford.
Steve Crawford designed this counter-clockwise road course. The straight is incredible and the corners are fantastic. There are a range of fast sweepers and tight hairpins. Great elevation changes. This track literally has everything that you want. Each of the white squares marks the location of a marshal/corner worker station.


Paved Paddocks.
Expansive paved paddocks allow for ease of preparing for your track day. The washrooms are a lovely permanent structure and include shower facilities. Additional facilities are being planned. The concrete barrier keeps unsuspecting visitors from entering the hot pits. A second and higher barrier keeps everyone from accessing the front straight.


  1. I disagree about turn 1 not terrifying you… its easily the most butt puckering corner on the track. Assuming you’re running at least 200tw tires, you should be doing at least low 90’s (mph) at the apex of T1 and then hard on the brakes to scrub off about 25 mph in that tiny little space between T1 and T2 where your car never really straightens out… that and a coworker of mine rolled his car there (caged race car, he’s ok), so that adds to the pucker…

    and holy balls! I never realized your GTi-R was this fast… 130 on the front straight takes a pretty good amount of shove, I’m only doing 114-116… usually closer to the 114 😀

    you should also check out Pacific Raceways if you plan on coming out to the area for track days again, its about 1-2 hours (depending on time of day and traffic) closer if you’re coming from Canada… in my opinion its more fun than RMP and possibly has even more elevation change, but its a lot less forgiving in the run off department. Rumor has it Phil Hill once called it the “mini Green Hell”… I used to think it was locals trying to make a claim to being as cool as a world famous track, but after driving it I realized its much more about the green forest surroundings and lack of runoff areas. But its a fun track and the scenery is great!

  2. Hi Bob, the Budget Track Car Civic is doing at least 2:03’s. Maybe even hitting the :02’s. It’s an awesome little car. There’s no intercooler there (yet). I promise there will be more details coming.

    I don’t want to discredit the speed of Turn 1 or the challenge of the 1 – 2 combination. That is what makes it so beautiful – the combination of speed, danger, and joy. My track time since coming west has been limited and I haven’t run a really high speed corner since being in the east. As a result, for me turn 1 at the Ridge was simply to die for. The NX GTi-R was also really well planted through 1 which possibly caused me to downplay the risks of any type of corner at those speeds. That is in comparison to turn 8 at Mosport where, at similar speeds, braking after the crest at the back straight and before the 3 digit apex speed of 8 the rear of my NX was dancing all over the place and truly making me realize that some aero would be a tremendous advantage. I haven’t looked at the data to see what my turn 1 speed were but I have no doubt that it was as you indicate, 90mph+.

    There are absolutely more tracks in Washington and Oregon that I hope to visit. I’ll look forward to seeing you!

    1. Oh I’m definitely not saying its a bad corner or anything, just that I disagree with you “not terrifying” comment about it… another thing that just hit me is that you hitting 130 on the straight, makes the brake zone before T1 an actual brake zone, which prolly does a lot for “deterrifying” T1… for me its full throttle to about halfway between the last orange cone and the yellow turn in cone, quick stab of the brakes and turn in…

      well if a “budget track car” article threshold is a 2:03, you should do an article on my Miata… my best lap there is a 2:01.48 and thats with only 150whp… and going off the fact that the Civic has a K20 in it, my car is definitely more budget too. Thats on Hankook RS4 tires, I just got some R888R’s and hoping to break the 2 min barrier, hopefully the weather behaves next week! then again, my car is pretty basic, it’d be kind of a boring article 😀

  3. Great comments, Bob. No problem at all. I’ve driven a Miata in both Time Attack and ChumpCar and love the car and chassis. I don’t doubt that there is a story there. I’ve said before that my articles are usually about cars, events, things that I really find interesting. It doesn’t need to be an exotic build. Of course, it needs to be easy for me to access too.

    Both the Budget Civic and my Nissan are capable of better times. Both drivers need more seat time. I’ll look forward to hearing that you’ve set your new personal best and broken the 2 min barrier.

    There are lots of forum discussions about the challenge of driving a momentum car versus the challenge of driving a HP car. They both have there high points and lows. Usually at very opposite spots on the track. You are correct that 1 is a braking corner for a HP car. The challenge is to not overbrake and lose time as a result.

    1. yeah, momentum cars and HP cars are definitely different to drive.

      my car is definitely not article worthy, its just a really basic coilovers/brakes/exhaust NC. If you are interested in writing an article about a local car, there’s a build getting wrapped up on an NC with an EFR turbo on a 2.5 swap with a dry sump. that car will be worth writing an article about… basically what my car wants to be when it grows up, haha

  4. Here is a few 1:50 laps in traffic on chorded hoosiers. Not my best laps but the only ones with limited traffic. T1 in other laps was over 100 when i didnt have traffic in front. I think 1:45s are doable if i went back with new tires.

    1. well yeah, Hoosiers certainly change things for the T1-2 section.. in addition to being able to carry more speed you also don’t have to slow down as much for T2 going up hill. And Hoosiers handle combined g forces much better than mere mortal tires, meaning you can turn and brake much harder… or turn and accelerate.. with mere mortal tires you can’t combine those 2 jobs as much as you can with Hoosiers.

      But great driving!

      1. Hoosiers are the best way to mask bad driving habits lol. This was my dads car, my normal track car is a 2004 gto (pig) kn 200tw tires, its a workout and you have to use all driving skills to get it to do what you want. I know what you mean exactly, it kind of makes it fun

        1. yeah, so far I’ve only been on ride along’s on hoosiers… I wanna try them but they’re really pricey! the first time I experienced them my mind was kinda blown…

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