(KENT, Wash) – Road racing drivers throughout the west coast will have a new race on their schedule in 2021 with the announcement of the 1st Annual Pacific Raceways Invitational Presented by Michael’s Automotive Group benefitting the Heart Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital through the Team Seattle Guild. The event, October 8-10, will include sprint races on Saturday and Sunday with a test and tune for drivers on Friday.
“Pacific Raceways has a 60-year history as a venue of exciting road racing on the 2.25-mile course and we wanted to add an event to the calendar for all road racers throughout the region and beyond,” said John Ramsey, track general manager. The raceway traditionally rents the track to individual race groups. This invitational race is unique in that all credentialed drivers are welcome regardless of which race series they compete in.
“We built the event with a nod to some of the big sports car races at Pacific Raceways in the past like the Northwest Grand Prix, United State Road Racing Championship races and Trans Am while soliciting input from SCCA Northwest Region, SOVREN, International Conference of Sports Car Clubs, and the Lucky Dog Racing League,” said Ramsey. “We expect to give fans an exciting event with cars from vintage to full production race cars as well as open wheeled formula cars.”
The low entry fee of $350 including the Friday test and tune is expected to attract a large contingent of racers. Online registration for entries is available at motorsportsreg.com. Racers are encouraged to enter early as the entry fee will increase by $25 60-days out and again by $25 30-days out. Spectators will be able to purchase a $20 pass good for all three days or single day tickets at $10.
“October is sometimes one of the best months of the year for motorsports with crisp, cool mornings and pleasant afternoons and there is no better racetrack venue for spectators than Pacific Raceways with its festival seating overlooking the iconic Turns 3A and 3B as well as Turns 5A, 5B and 6,” said Ramsey. Grandstand seating is available offering great viewing down the long front straight.
Track officials and race groups have spent the off-season planning the Pacific Raceways Invitational, said Andy Collins, SOVREN president. “Our goal is to provide racers throughout the west coast with a full weekend of racing at an affordable cost. We’ve had planning sessions involving all of the road racing groups in the northwest. It’s been a joint effort to make this event work for everyone.”
The Invitational will have five race groups consisting of vintage cars, small to large bore groups, sports cars in small to large bore groups, late models, and formula cars. In addition to the traditional sprint race weekend, there will be some challenge races as well. Event organizers are working on cash prizes and trophies for the challenge races.
“As both a racer and a race organizer, I want to see road racing continue to grow in the northwest,” said Scotty White, regional executive of the Northwest Region of the SCCA. “Pacific Raceways has a long and extensive history as the premier racing circuit in the northwest and the idea of having a race that caters to all of the area’s race groups and clubs is a great finale to the racing season in our region.”
“If you are not racing in the Invitational in October, you are going to miss out on an exciting weekend that’s organized by racers for racers,” said Don Kitch, president, and chief instructor of ProFormance Racing School and one of the event organizers. “The invitational is going to have a charity component benefiting the Heart Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital through the Team Seattle The Heart of Racing,” Kitch said. “In addition to charity races during the weekend where you can ride in a race car during a professionally driven mock race, we are working on other opportunities for people and businesses to get involved and contribute during the weekend.”
The 11th Annual PNW Karting Challenge benefitting Children’s will be included as part of the Invitational, Kitch added. “This is going to be a huge weekend with a lot of opportunity for racers and fans to get together and help a great charity.”
In addition to the on-track and charity activities associated with the Invitational, plans are being developed for a pre-event kick-off party. Additionally, a huge dinner and social, complete with prizes and gifts worth thousands of dollars will be held Saturday night for all drivers, crews, and volunteers.
The fact the inaugural race already has a title sponsor is indicative of the work that has already gone into the event by Pacific Raceways, ProFormance Racing School, the sanctioning bodies, and Team Seattle The Heart of Racing, Kitch said. “Michael’s Automotive Group is very enthusiastic about supporting road racing at Pacific Raceways and owner Erik Paulson cares greatly about the benefit this event will have with Seattle Children’s. ProFormance Racing School and Pacific Raceways has a long history of raising significant funds for Seattle Children’s Hospital through the Team Seattle Guild and Michael’s has been a great partner in these efforts,” said Kitch.
A schedule of the event and registration details can be found here.
About Pacific Raceways
Pacific Raceways features a 2.25-mile road course, NHRA-sanctioned drag strip, accredited racing school, pro kart track and regional motocross track on 325 acres in Kent, Washington. The track had its first event in 1960. Pacific Raceways has hosted a who’s who of internationally acclaimed race car drivers on its road course and has been a professional stop for USAC, Trans-Am, USRRC, Formula 5000, and NASCAR. The drag strip has been a stop on the NHRA’s professional Camping World Drag Racing Series for 34 years. As Seattle International Raceway, the track hosted some of the largest Funny Car races in the country. Pacific Raceways operates 12 months a year. More information on Pacific Raceways can be found at pacificraceways.com.
The Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts (SOVREN) is the northwest’s premier vintage racing organization featuring a five-race schedule in 2021. SOVREN’s home track is Pacific Raceways where it holds the Spring Sprints (April 23-25), the hugely popular Pacific Northwest Historics (July 2-4); and Fall Finale (Sept. 25-26). SOVREN also conducts the Spokane Festival of Speed at Spokane County Raceway June 4-6 and the Columbia River Classic at Portland International Raceway Labor Day weekend. SOVREN competition rules recognize three groups of cars: Pre-War (pre-1941), Vintage (1941-1972), and Historic cars that raced at least 25 years ago, special interest, purpose-built cars run in an exhibition class. Open wheel Formula (single seat) cars meting Monoposto rules also compete. More information can be found at sovrenracing.org.
The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) is the largest participant motorsports organization in the country. The Northwest Region features both racing, solo competition and time trials (coming soon). The Northwest Region’s premier race is the Memorial Day weekend NWR SCCA Pacific Grand Prix at Pacific Raceways May 28-31. The weekend race is an SCCA Majors qualifier that traditionally draws entries from around the country. The weekend includes the unique Wild West Race, a featured main event open to a variety of classes. SCCA has a long and storied history of road racing at Pacific Raceways with their Grand Prix events dating back to the 1960s. More information on the SCCA is available at nwr-scca.org.
About ProFormance Racing School
Pacific Raceways’ onsite partner is ProFormance Racing School, the region’s only accredited race licensing school has been helping racers since 1994. The school offers a complete roster of programs, including the One-Day High Performance Driving Experience; SCCA Accredited Competition Curriculum; private coaching; and lapping programs. In addition, ProFormance is known for hosting “Ride and Drive” programs for automobile manufacturers; New Car Buyer programs for automobile dealerships; and corporate team building events. ProFormance Racing School handles all Pacific Raceways open track days and operates over 75 dates 12-months a year. More information on ProFormance is available at proformanceracingschool.com.
About Seattle Children’s Team Seattle Guild
Seattle Children’s Heart Center has been the recipient of more than $6 million in fund raising through the efforts of ProFormance Racing School’s Don and Donna Porada-Kitch under the Team Seattle The Heart of Racing banner. Seattle Children’s Heart Center offers the most comprehensive pediatric cardiac care for Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. It is ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. But the Heart Center’s reach doesn’t end in just that corner of the world. The incredible research they pioneer for pediatric cardiac conditions benefits patients and their families the world over. More information on Team Seattle The Heart of Racing is available at TeamSeattle.com.