The world of cars is big business, and big business means big money. With that in mind, I can understand that the long time automotive centers of the galaxy in Detroit, Germany, England, Italy, Japan, etc. are all well known. Racing wise, another set of names is equally as famous, and includes places like Indianapolis, Bonneville Salt Flats, Daytona, the Nurburgring in Germany, Monaco, and LeMans France. Beyond all of those well known car spots are some other important locations; the test tracks where many famous automobiles are developed.
The Ferrari company has it's own test track right next to their factory, and most major manufacturers likely have their own also. Heck, there are other test tracks that NMS has driven for autocross events too, since they are available for rent, like the Michelin Proving Grounds in South Carolina, and the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research (oddly enough in North Carolina, go figure!)
A few years ago when I was applying for all kids of post-military dream jobs, one was as a long term test driver with a certain automotive company in Detroit Michigan. It seems they needed people that could drive cars (YES, I can do that!) and re-fuel them (AGAIN, YES, I can do that) and basically drive cars on their test track for 8 hours a day (Oh YES I can do that too!) However they never offered me a job, so I can only continue to dream about some day getting paid to driver. Right about here the words "don't quit your day job" always come to mind.
Anyways, one such test track I'd never heard about surprised me because it's in my home state of Ohio. Now, I haven't lived there in a long time, so I guess things change, and there's always more to learn! Not super far from the Honda manufacturing plant near Marysville Ohio is the Transportation Research Center of Ohio. Again, oddly enough this is located in Ohio!. TRCPG
Shoot, instead of me describing this place, here's how they describe themselves:
"What does it take to be the largest independent vehicle testing facility and proving grounds in the U.S.? Hardworking industry experts; a well-developed infrastructure with an extensive variety of road surfaces; on-site development of leading-edge and emerging technologies; 30-plus years of engineering expertise and industry knowledge; a long time partnership with a major research university; strong global connections and an eye constantly focused on the client’s needs.
It also takes a secure location – operating 24/7 – with approximately 4,500 acres of road courses, wooded trails, a 7.5-mile (12.1 km) High-speed Oval Test Track, 50-acre (20- hectare) Vehicle Dynamics Area, or “black lake,” and the right mix of testing areas and facilities to make the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC) in East Liberty, Ohio, the best place to test and validate nearly any vehicle imaginable, any time of year."
I don't know about you, but a place with a 7.5 mile track and a 50 acre paved testing area sounds like car heaven to me!
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