The Ridge Motorsports Park: Hosted by The Speed Syndicate
Honda Civic
From a Honda to …


Orange Honda
a Honda and everything in between, this TSS event at The Ridge had it all. Exotics, North American Muscle, Imports. From momentum to power – everything was out on the track at this event. Photo Credit for both Hondas: Andy Roulston.

The Speed Syndicate events at The Ridge are track days that are well organized and demonstrate a thoughtful approach. They are track days, however, and while I am guessing that several of the instructors are regularly involved in high-performance driving schools, the focus at these track days is not so much instruction as being sure that the driver is ready and able to handle the event safely. Also that they are suited for the group that they want to fit into. Matt was my instructor and a great person to have in the car. His enthusiasm for the track was obvious and his appreciation of the NX GTi-R was evident. I did not do any driving in the A group, even though that was what I initially signed up to run in. I did a couple of sessions with Matt in the C group and then spent the rest of the time running in the B group. The first session of the day in C had a few bottlenecks but those dissipated as we moved into the second run. B Group also had some traffic, but nothing that could not be handled by a stop and go through the hot pits. Matt had no hesitation to allow me to go up to A group but pointed out that the numbers looked better in B group – so likely more clean track time. Which is always beneficial.

Dylan's Mustang
There’s nothing like the sound of a well thought out V8. This Mustang GT was putting down some very impressive times. Each time I see it, there are improvements that make it even more of a track beast than it already was. Photo Credit: Andy Roulston.

After the warm-up lap and discovering that some of the lines I had guessed at from my track walk were not working, I found that a couple of changes were necessary due to the speed that I found on the track. Or maybe I was just too tired during the track walk to find the best line. It was nearly dark when my wife and I finished the 2.5-mile walk. Regardless of the lines that you took, coming onto the front straight from the warm-up laps and then having an amazingly long stretch of awesome pavement to run through caused me to momentarily set aside my ‘drive slow to drive fast’ philosophy. The car was just begging to run. The NX GTi-R was consistently hitting 210 kph with a high of 212 kph or 130-132 mph. My reconnaissance laps were probably two and half minute sessions and were easy enough to put Matt to sleep as he rode along in the passenger seat. Readers will know from previous articles that I’m a firm believer in you have to go slow to go fast and that very much part of my style, yet I could tell that Matt needed to see better/faster before allowing me into a more advanced group. A few 2: 10-second laps settled those questions and on my own, I was putting down consistent 2:04 and a best for the day dropping down to 2:02. This time, I am certain, will drop as I get more seat time at The Ridge.

Blend Line
Slightly more than halfway down the front straight is the blend line from Pit Out. This straight is huge. Pit Out is sufficiently long enough to allow drivers to get up to speed before entering the track.


  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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