Portland International Raceway
Entrance to Portland International Raceway
|Location||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Time zone||GMT -8|
|Owner||City of Portland|
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
|Length||1.967 mi (3.17 km)|
|Race lap record||0:57.597 (Justin Wilson, RuSPORT, 2005, Champ Car)|
Portland International Raceway (PIR) is a motorsport facility in Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is part of the Delta Park complex on the former site of Vanport, just south of the Columbia River. It lies west of a light rail station and less than a mile west of Interstate 5.
The track hosts ICSCC and SCCA and OMRRA road racing, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, and SCCA autocross events. Additionally, the PIR grounds are host to OBRA (Oregon Bicycle Racing Association) bicycling races on the track and the surrounding grounds. The facility includes a dragstrip and a motocross track.
The road course is almost perfectly flat and runs clockwise. Two track configurations are possible. One includes a hard chicane at the end of the front straight and involves 12 turns at length of 1.967 miles (3.17 km). Without the chicane, the track has nine turns and a lap length of 1.915 miles (3.08 km).
PIR is built on the former location of Vanport, Oregon, which was destroyed on Memorial Day, May 30, 1948, when a railroad berm broke and water from the Columbia River flooded the city. After the flood, all that remained were the paved streets and concrete foundations of destroyed buildings.
The first races took place on these old city streets in 1961 during the Portland Rose Festival. Since then, the Rose Cup has become an annual event. Racing at "West Delta Park", as PIR was known back then, was quite dangerous. Racers leaving the track unexpectedly could collide with leftover concrete foundations or fall into ponds.
Under the threat of losing the Rose Cup races, since many of the sanctioning racing bodies would no longer sanction races due to the deteriorating roads and dangerous obstacles, the track was finally paved in the 1970s.
In 1975, Portland International hosted the Trans-Am Series, the premier series of the Sports Car Club of America, which was won by John Greenwood, driving a Chevrolet Corvette. Greenwood would go on to win the 1975 Trans-Am Series Championship.
In 1999 and 2000, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ran a race at Portland International Raceway. The race was added after the demise of the ½-mile Portland Speedway that hosted races early in the series.
At the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, PIR went through a track renovation. The track was repaved with new asphalt and some minor changes were made to the track layout. Turns 4-7 were widened. The fence on the inside of turn 6 was moved to provide a better sightline through the corner. Turn 7 was sharpened to slow down racers prior to entering the back straight. Formula One-style curbs were also installed on the track. The track reopened on February 23, 2008, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Champ Car race history
IMSA Sports Car race history
- The Oregonian - Portland Parks & Recreation hires former Intel marketer to manage Portland International Raceway
- Raceway Seeks Carbon-Neutral Status - The Car Connection
- Portland International Raceway Official Site - History Archived 2008-01-29 at the Wayback Machine.
- Portland Tribune Article - Track debuts smooth moves
- Portland International Raceway Official Site
- Trackpedia guide to driving this track
- Friends of PIR
- Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association OMRRA
- Unofficial History of PIR
- Aerial imagery from Google Earth of Portland International Raceway as an overlay on an old photo of Vanport City, Oregon
- Short video about, and on the history, of Portland International Raceway