How to build a race track from scratch


Top Gear America is back from the mid-season break, but the guys are missing a place to call home—their own race track. They don’t even have a dirt road to play on. America’s oldest permanent road course, the Willow Springs International Raceway, is a great starting point so far, but the guys want a place of their own. The problem is, world-class racing facilities like Laguna Seca, Spa-Francorchamps, and Fuji Speedway can cost over hundreds of millions of dollars to build. Have no fear, it is Top Gear America—Dougy, Jet, and Bobby (strong Boston inflection, please) know how to build a dirt road.

Dougy (Dax Shepard), Jet (Jethro Bovingdon) and Bahwbee (spelled phonetically for Mr. Rob Corddry) are the tough builder names our noble hosts take to themselves to give their terra motivational dreams more credibility. Because they’re pipe dreams: Dougy wants to copy the esses from Silverstone, Jet wants to recreate the Mulsanne Straight from its pre-chicane heyday, and Bobby needs a turn; more precisely, the Parabolica de Monza.

Guys this is supposed to be a dirt road, why are you recreating parts of famous road circuits? The Stig can also play; the guys are going to launch a crazy technical section, camber off for the Stig that reminds of the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca. Producers have also been generous in donating Top Gear America crew a scenic 20 acre landscape of undeveloped land to work with.

How to build your own race track

Step one is already taken care of: Get three tough build types to do all the work, maybe that’s up for debate. Then the heavy equipment: Dax, sorry, Dougy brought a Caterpillar 325F excavator; Jet will immediately plow with a Caterpillar 950M loader; and Bobby’s Bend will be bulldozer-built – the Caterpillar D16 Bulldozer with a sophisticated attachment perfect for cutting the steep turns he so desires.

The layout has been approved and the gear is ready, so why is there an “old school” Honda Civic DX, a dual-pickup Ford OBS and a “Caddy Thing” that seems strangely familiar on the construction site? It makes sense that if the Top Gear America guys are channeling their blue collar minds, they should be driving blue collar cars, but only Bobby brought up something that would actually help build a dirt track.

Has Roadkill come to Top Gear America?

Wait a second! Totally inappropriate cars, a picturesque desert landscape with leveled paths that hardly pass for “roads” and child-men who can’t take anything seriously and just want to play with their cars? When Top Gear America go all out Roadkill? Comparisons to other auto shows were inevitable, but we never thought we would do it on our own.

But if we want to make comparisons, we might as well do it correctly. Let’s see, there was a time when Dax blew up a “different” light blue Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with nitrogen (recycling old garbage is totally Roadkill, blow an engine with the bottle too). Rob almost suffocated himself with all the gasoline that was escaping from this future classic Saab. I can’t forget the whole episode about making rally racing more accessible—Roadkill is to make motorsport more accessible to everyone. Dax had this terrible Ford E-350 van that couldn’t get out of its own way. And both shows seem to find every possible excuse to bomb a dirt road.


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