Pacific Raceways Announces $25M Development Program

Pacific Raceways has long held professional and amateur racing on its road course and drag strip.  Pacific Raceways combines a 2.25-mile road course with a professional-caliber strip in Kent, Washington—just twenty minutes south of Seattle. Since its opening in 1960, it’s been home to SCCA Trans-Am and Formula 5000, USAC Championship Car, and Formula 5000, as well as home to an NHRA National for 32 consecutive years.

The characteristic Northwestern weather drenching the technical section of Pacific Raceways—not for the faint of heart. Photo credit: CC-2.0/Pierre Nordique

Anyone who’s visited Pacific Raceways’ road course can attest to the course’s appealing variety of corners, picturesque surroundings, rapid mid-course descent, and considerable risk. Lined with trees, the 10-turn track is an old-school track in the best sense of the word—and even reminiscent of the old Nurburgring in some spots. For those who’ve been enamored by the challenges but remain wary of the classic course’s danger, there’s great news.

Pacific Raceways will be the site of massive renovations—and innovations—in the next several years. Soon to be known as Pacific Motorsports Park, the track and the grounds will enjoy roughly $2,000,000 in improvements. Additionally, the site will become home to the new Pacific Innovations Center. This development will entail nearly $25,000,000 in build-out of 200,000 sq.ft. of prototype manufacturing and garage space. The first phase of garages and mixed-use space range from 1,000 to 40,000 sq.ft. in size and is available for lease through CBRE Seattle.

A colored rendering of the grandstands and start-finish line. Photo credit: Lori Randall Scharmach

Since the Puget Sound is a hotbed for technological innovation, this site is anticipated to grow into the defacto nerve center for automotive technology in the region. The grounds are planned to house innovative automotive companies, racing teams, and ambitious industry startups; as well as act as a hub for industry research on alternative fuels, autonomous vehicles, and future automotive technologies. Skilled labor and research facilities have already expressed interest in getting involved. It’s no wonder why this project is one of four ‘Projects of Statewide Significance’ designated by the Department of Commerce.

The vast grounds mean the existing kart and motocross facilities won’t be encroached upon. Photo credit: Lori Randall Scharmach

The first phase of development has already begun—the historic road course is getting repaved now—and the plan is to finish in three years. This fall, construction of the innovation center and motorsport park will beginThough the plans for the future aren’t set in stone yet, the later phases include a completely new and separate drag strip, a retail center, and additions to the motorsports club and innovation center.

“We are thrilled to move into this first phase of development on what is our biggest endeavor yet,” says Pacific Raceways president Jason Fiorito. “We will begin our first 200,000 square-foot phase of garage construction later this year. We want to thank all that have been involved and our loyal Pacific Raceway attendees for their years of unwavering support.”

The combination of Seattle’s technological culture, the region’s enthusiasm for motorsport, and a facility that can bring the two together in a way no other facility has.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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