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Top 25 Race Tracks in the World [Updated]

By June 18, 2018 3 Comments

There is nothing more exciting than watching your favorite race car driver tear around the track at top speed. Whether you’re tucking in to watch 500 laps in Daytona or spending 24 hours watching the annual Nürburgring race, the track often stands out. Here, we’re looking at the top 25 race tracks in the world, updated from when this list has 15.

25. Circuit of the Americas, Texas

The Circuit of the Americas might not be the oldest track on our list, but it’s one of our favorites. Built in Austin, Texas, COTA is the first venue in the United States designed to host Formula One races. It officially opened on October 21, 2012, and has been home to the FIA Formula One United States Grand Prix ever since.

COTA hosts the Grand Prix of the Americas and the Blancpain GT World Challenge America, both of which started in 2013. In 2019, they began the IndyCar Classic. The track stretches 3.426 miles with two massive straightaways and incredibly sharp curves.

24. WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, California

Originally named the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and recently renamed for the new WeatherTech sponsor, this racetrack is one of the best in California. It was built in 1957 and this 2.238-mile track has 11 turns. The most famous of these turns is known as The Corkscrew — a hard-left, hard right combination paired with an elevation drop of nearly 10 stories in a little over 450 feet of track.

23. ISM Raceway, Arizona

Another stop on the NASCAR circuit is the ISM Raceway, which until 2018 was known as the Phoenix International Raceway. Its Tri-Oval track is currently 1.022 miles, a far cry from the two-mile-long course it had in 1964 when it opened.

Today, the ISM Raceway is home to races from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. It is one of only 13 tracks in the U.S. to host more than one NASCAR race weekend a year.

22. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Georgia

Just north of Braselton, Georgia, you’ll find the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, a 2.54 miles asphalt track that opened its doors in 1970. It’s home to car and motorcycle races, from the Petit Le Mans — which is part of by the ISMA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship — to the AMA Superbike Suzuki Superbike Showdown.

This track hosts Formula Drift’s 24 Hours of LeMons — not to be confused with the 24 Hours of Le Mans — a series of endurance competitions that hold the Guinness World Record for most participants in one race. Not planning a trip during race season? It’s still worth a visit. Road Atlanta is home to amateur car and bike races, as well as racing and driving schools.

21. Sebring International Raceway, Florida

Many come to Florida for sun and sand. If you make your way to Sebring, however, be ready for some races. Sebring International Raceway is one of the oldest continuously operated race tracks in the United States. The first race was in 1950! The track stretches 3.74 miles in its current incarnation but has ranged anywhere from 3.3 to 5.195 miles through the years.

The Sebring International Raceway plays host to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. However, it’s best known for its endurance races — 12 Hours and 1,000 Miles of Sebring.

20. Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Brazil

This fantastic little track is home to the Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix. It’s in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is known for its beautiful vistas and unpredictable weather, so you never quite know what you’re going to get when you get behind the wheel on this race track.

19. Circuit de la Sarthe, France

This track is home to one of the most famous, and infamous, races — the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Located in Le Mans, France, the track is part race track and part public streets which makes its eight miles of twists and turns even more challenging, especially after you’ve been driving for 20 hours or more. If watching drivers test their mettle against this famous track isn’t enough for you, it is open to visitors before the race begins.

18. Tsukuba Circuit, Japan

If you play racing games, you’re probably familiar with Tsukuba Circuit, located in Shimotusma, Japan. This short, 1.287-mile track has a chicane corner that is only for motorcycle races. It’s home to the MFJ Superbike event, as well as the Tsukuba 1000 and Tsukuba Super Lap. The circuit opened it’s doors in 1970, nearly four years after engineers broke ground. Its goal was to encourage young people to participate in motorsports.

If you’re ever in Japan, swing by this iconic race track. They hold events nearly every week!

17. Monaco Grand Prix Circuit, Monaco

This city-state, which shares three borders with France, is also home to one of the best street-tracks in the world. The streets are closed to the public one weekend in May to enable the city to host the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix. If you’re heading to Monaco, you can drive the track any other day of the year — though you will have to contend with local traffic so make sure you drive courteously.

16. Mount Panorama Circuit, Australia

Affectionally called Bathurst, this street track is made up of many sharp corners, long straights for picking up speed and some pretty steep inclines. The Bathurst 12 Hour and the Bathurst 1000 are run on public roads, but that doesn’t make this track any less awesome. Plus, when there aren’t any races held, you can drive the track — if you happen to be in New South Wales that is.

15. Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Italy

Also known as the Mugello Circut, the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in Italy is one of the most winding courses on the list. The 3.259 miles track winds its way through 14 turns and one massive straightaway. The track was supposed to host to the first race of the A1GP 2008/09 season, but it got canceled due to car manufacturing issues.

Today, the track holds the Italian Motorcycle Grand Prix, A1GP, DTM and WSBK. Formula One testing is also conducted there.

14. Thunderhill Raceway Park, California

There are two tracks at Thunderhill — a 2-miler and a 3-miler, which can be combined to form a 5-mile mega track. It’s the longest road course in America. You can even find a skidpad for drifting events.

This track offers the longest race in the U.S., the 25 hours of Thunder Hill during the first weekend of December. When there aren’t race events, you can enjoy all sorts of day-lapping and drifting events. You can even reserve the park for a thrilling wedding or reception.

13. Suzuka International Racing Course, Japan

Did you really think we could make a list of the best race courses in the world without mentioning the Suzuka circuit in Japan? This was Japan’s first international race course and while it does host a number of races throughout the year, it’s also a major tourist attraction. You can drive the circuit, eat at one of the many restaurants in the area or even visit Motopia, the racing-themed amusement park that is part of the circuit’s complex.

12. Imola Circuit, Italy

Unlike most race tracks, the Imola Circuit in Imola, Italy, is one of the only ones in the world where drivers move in a counter-clockwise direction. The 3.132 miles has a whopping 17 turns and was previously the venue for the San Marino Grand Prix. Today, the scenic FIA Grade One licensed track hosts the FIA WTCC and the SBK World Championship. It is also part of the Le Mans Series.

This track opened in 1953 and still schedules races today. Unfortunately, they’re not currently on the Formula One calendar, thanks to a conflict with Autodromo Nationale Monza in 2016.

11. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana

This race track is home to the iconic Indy 500, which just celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015.  It also holds the distinction of being the second oldest racing circuit on the planet — constructed in 1909. This track is full of history, even if you’re not an Indy race fan, and it’s absolutely worth a trip. As a bonus, they offer on-the-track experiences which let you ride with an experienced driver, or even drive the track yourself.

10. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

This stunning track spans the Belgian countryside, flanked by green rolling hills and beautiful trees — but you’re not here for the scenery. This track is also home to the Belgian Grand Prix and hosts other races throughout the year. It’s also fun to drive, even as an amateur race car driver, which makes it one track that is definitely on our bucket list.

9. Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom

This racetrack is often hailed as the home of British Motorsports — and it’s one of the UK’s most famous tracks for a reason. Its layout has changed quite a bit over the years, but it is still one of the most popular tracks in the country, with some championship races held there every year. If you feel like getting behind the wheel, there are plenty of driving experiences that let you drive a racecar at the UK’s only F1 Track.

8. Daytona International Speedway, Florida

Who hasn’t heard of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR? That and many others call the Daytona National Speedway in Florida home. In addition to the NASCAR Tri-Oval, the Speedway features sportscar and motorcycle courses, as well as a quarter-mile dirt track and a .40 mile asphalt short oval.

The Daytona International Speedway has held all sorts of races since it opened in 1959. Today, it hosts the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, which includes the Daytona 500, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, The ISMA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, AMA Daytona Sportbike and more.

7. Circuit Zandvoort, Netherlands

While this track doesn’t host Formula 1 races anymore, that doesn’t make it any less exciting. Not staying on the F1 schedule means that this track can host all sorts of races year-round — and there are also plenty of opportunities for you to get behind the wheel of a Formula 1 racer or even bring your own car onto the track.

6. Circuito de Jerez, Spain

This track once hosted Spain’s Formula One Grand Prix, though it has been home to the Motorbike Grand Prix every year since 1987. It’s full of tight turns and amazing straights, and is still one of the best tracks in Southern Spain. It’s also a popular venue for winter test runs because the climate in the area is beautifully temperate.

5. Watkins Glen International Raceway, New York

If you lived in the village of Watkins Glen, New York before 1956, you had to be careful — 6.6 miles of public roads were used as a racecourse. It became a permanent circuit in 1956. Nicknamed The Glen, this international raceway hosted the Formula One United States Grand Prix for 20 years, from 1961 to 1980.

Today, this track is home to races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the ISMA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. It’s also planned the Nascar Camping World Truck Series for four years, as well as the IndyCar Series Grand Prix at the Glen.

4. Hockenheimring, Germany

While Germany is better known for the Nürburgring race and its accompanying tracks, Hockenheimring is still a fantastic place to race and to watch races. It is currently home to the German Grand Prix and is loved by many drivers because of its crazy corners and long straights for picking up speed.

3. Red Bull Ring, Austria

Hosting the Austrian Grand Prix is one of the things that this fantastic track is known for. It’s also referred to as the Osterrechring, or the A1-Ring, and it hosts some of the most exciting races in Austria, including the MotoGP and DTM.

2. Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy

Long straights and fast corners make up this phenomenal F1 track in Italy, which holds the title of the third-oldest racetrack on the planet. Built in 1922, this track brims with European racing history and it’s a fantastic place to catch a host of different races if you happen to stay in Italy during the racing season.

1. Nürburgring Nordschleife, Germany

What other racetrack could deserve the number one spot on our list than the Nürburgring Nordschleife? It’s one of the longest and most challenging race tracks in the world. At nearly 13 miles long, it features more than 150 corners and you can even drive it by buying a ticket to the race. One lap in under seven minutes is difficult for even the best drivers in the fastest cars in the world.

What Did We Miss?

This is our list of the best race tracks in the world — we may have missed some (Sorry Talladega), so if we left out your favorite racetrack, let us know.

Scott Huntington

Author Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is an Automotive YouTuber and writer who loves cars, sports, and business. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington or email [email protected].

More posts by Scott Huntington

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Robert Stuart says:

    Good list, but obviously there are many other possibles. I will just throw in Watkins Glen — not just for the track, but for the rural setting and surrounding area, which
    make a trip to the venue a special pleasure. It is also possible with a general admission to walk around the place and watch things from every angle. So I would call it a “fans track”, but a good racing layout too.

  • Baiti Craw says:

    Thanks for sharing all the beautiful top tracks from the world. I like the most Red Bull Ring, Austria the beauty. But the Nurburgring Germany is the Top.

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