A few months back… well a little more then a few, The Audi Sportscar Experience invited my wife and I to come down to Sonoma California and drive the new V10 R8; of course I said yes! I would just have to arrange a time to make it down to California when we both had time available. As it turns out she was really excited and went on and on about how much she loved California and in particular wine country. To be honest I was a little surprised when she talked about how excited she was about great red wine and the Bouchon Bakery and not a word about driving V10 Audi R8′s on the track. As the typical guy I just had to figure things out and try to “fix” it – even if all she wanted me to do was listen and tell her everything would be great! I asked, “whats going on? You haven’t even mentioned the driving really fast Audi’s on the track!” What she said next hadn’t even entered my mind as a guy, she was nervous and a little worried that she might get car sick and not keep up with the boys. Well I had my work cut out for me trying to get my wife excited instead of nervous, its not as easy as it sounds. I started my research and came up with a little history of the home of The Audi Sportscar Experience, Formerly Sears Point Raceway.
Infineon Raceway is a 2.52 mile (4.06 km) road course and drag strip located in the Mountains of Southern Sonoma, near Sonoma California, USA. This beautiful course winds through the rolling hills of wine country with numerous elevation changes and is home to renowned The Audi Sportscar Experience. Because of its geographical location in the Sears Hills of California, the asphalt course is open year round and has varying weather conditions, creating an array driving experience. Not only is The Infineon Raceway known for is complex 12 turn track and huge elevation changes, but also the beautiful scenery that surrounds the 102,000 occupancy grand stands. With construction costing approximately $70 million dollars ground was broken in 1967 and the project was completed only a year later. Some of the major events that have been hosted are AMA Superbike, Supercuts Superbike Challenge, IRL Indy Car Series, Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix, IRL Firestone Indy Lights, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, FRAM Autolite Nationals, Toyota/Save Mart 350, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, just to name a few.
Well if nothing else all this information took her mind off the driving and it gave me an opportunity when we arrived to the Audi Forum to walk her around and put this amazing place into perspective. I had been to the this facility before and driven the S5 and RS4 and took hot laps in the 4.2L R8. I can’t say for certain when it all really sank in for me what was actually happening – I was at the Audi Sportscar Experience and I was about to drive the V10 R8 and the TTS! The morning started off perfect with a delicious breakfast in the Audi Forum followed by an introduction to what the day had in store for us. I don’t want to give everything up, because I really want you to have this experience; I want you to drive these amazing cars and have as much fun as we did. Lets end it with this, we drove all day….. Check back tomorrow for my wife’s take on the whole experience!
If you want to visit the Infineon Raceway for yourself the official address is 29355 Arnold Drive Sonoma, California, 95476. Its the beautiful motorsport arena nestled away in the hills; you can’t miss it.