Posted on March 24 2016
About 30 miles west of Salt Lake City, there’s a 500-acre stretch of desert (that’s about three times the size of Disneyland) which is home to the only permanent road racing facility in Utah. Formerly Miller Motorsports Park until October of last year, it’s now known as Utah Motorsports Campus (for now - more on that later).
Originally conceived in 2005 by Utah Jazz owner, Larry H. Miller as a simple, $5 million playground for his formidable, personal collection of classic sports cars (some of which are on display at the museum on site), the project… grew. You know how these things go. You add a piece here, tweak a piece there - and $85 million later you have a world class road racing complex.
In it’s full configuration, the main track comes in at just under 4.5 miles long, making it the second longest road racing facility in North America (it was the longest until Thunderhill’s extension in 2014.) It’s 23 turns have taunting nicknames like “Right Hook”, “Diablo” and “Mabey Y'll Makit” (for real), and that taunting is well-earned by renowned track designer Alan Wilson. Wilson designed the course for the flat Utah landscape, creating near perfect sightlines from almost anywhere, and positioning spectator areas right on top of major overtaking points. And those sightlines are necessary, because the course is fast. In fact, the outer configuration is one of the fastest in North America, with AMA Superbikes averaging speeds over 100 miles per hour.
Utah Motorsports Campus was host to the Utah Grand Prix, part of the American Le Mans Series, until 2011. It also has been a frequent host for the AMA Superbike Championship, as well as the FIM Superbike World Championship, the latter naming it their “event of the year” in 2008. Also impressed by their facilities was the Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, Germany, who named it Motorsports Facility of the Year in 2006. It also hosted Round 1 of the 2014 Radical Cup.
In addition to the main track (which can be broken down into east and west circuits), there is a motocross track, a kart track, and off-road short course, and a rock crawling course. It’s also home to the world’s only Ford Racing School, allowing the public to take a spin in their Racing Mustangs, or rough it in their Ford F-150 Raptor pickups (hello rock crawling course).
As mentioned earlier, Larry H. Miller’s group decided not to re-up their lease on the land in 2015, and without getting too technical, the sale to a new ownership group got a bit… complicated. Suffice to say, for now, the track is open as Utah Motorsports Campus at least for 2016.