Drivers get chance to speed down race track in Rosamond

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The Sports Car Club of America is hosting a special Track Night where people can race and speed in their cars on a closed street for fun. (KABC)

Even on a few outlying freeways, the speed limit is only 70 miles per hour, and around town drivers can be hard pressed to do 60 miles per hour on local freeways.

But there's one place that the average driver can come and not worry about speed limits: the Streets of Willow course at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond.

"We're the SCCA. We like cars. Do you like cars? Do you want to come out and play with cars? That's what this event is all about," said Jim Llewellyn, spokesman for the Sports Car Club of America.

It's called SCCA Track Night in America and will be going on once a month at Willow Springs, as well as other venues around the country. For $150, avid drivers can come out and put the pedal to the metal.

"We've taken a step back and maybe removed ourselves from racing just a little bit and focus more on grassroots fun for cars," Llewellyn said.

First, everyone gets a quick briefing on the basics and the rules. Drivers are divided into categories, and first-timers go into the easy-going "novice" group. Its slow parade laps at first to get everyone accustomed to the layout of the course.

Nicole Iger, of Highland Park, had never been on a track before, but drives a powerful Dodge Magnum SRT-8 as her everyday transportation.

"I just wanted to have fun with my car, because you can't drive like that on the street," she said.

She got the hang of it pretty quickly and remembered the guidelines for letting a faster car go past her. She put her hand out her window, as instructed, and a Corvette in her group was able to safely pass her on the straightaway.

You can do this event with pretty much any type of car, but you do want to make sure it's up to snuff first. It should be mechanically sound, with all fluids in good condition. The tires and brakes should be in excellent shape as well, as they're going to take a bit of a pounding on the track.

Nicole's Magnum was up to the task, with a brand-new set of performance tires. She paid attention and ended up having fun.

"I definitely want to come back for the next one that they have," she said after doing several laps. "If I could round up a few friends that would want to come, I'd would like to do that."

Dale Hawkins, of Tehachapi, had fun too. He'd thought about a track day for his Mustang GT, but the ones he'd checked into were going to be very expensive.

"I heard about this two days ago and said, 'Here's your opportunity,'" he said.

Devin McCaffrey, of Rialto, thought he might be getting in other drivers' way, but was relieved afterward.

Drivers around the county can take part in the fun speedway. There are three more Tuesday evenings between now and August that are open.
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