Looking Forward: Time Trials Tour at Buttonwillow Raceway Park

Looking Forward: Time Trials Tour at Buttonwillow Raceway Park

The second event of this year’s Tire Rack Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty takes place this weekend, April 10-11, at Buttonwillow Raceway Park situated toward the southern end of California’s San Joaquin Valley. This will be the very first visit for Time Trials National Tour to Buttonwillow, and serves as the only chance west of the Rockies for competitors to shake down cars before June’s Tire Rack Time Trials Nationals at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Background on Buttonwillow

Hosting its first event in 1995, the 500-acre Buttonwillow Raceway Park is conveniently positioned alongside Interstate 5 in California’s Central Valley about midway between San Diego and San Francisco. With the capability to accommodate 700 cars on pavement, it’s a sweet spot for West Coast track fiends.

For the moment, Buttonwillow boasts three separate tracks. There’s the 1.86-mile West Loop, a 1.06-mile East Loop, and a combined track reaching 3.1 miles in length; as well as a .69-mile kart track. But an additional, brand-new 2.579-mile, 10-turn layout is currently under construction with hopes that circuit will host its first event later in the year.

Thanks to clever planning, Buttonwillow actually houses more than 40 different race and test configurations purposely designed to emulate street and road racing courses throughout North America. For this weekend’s Time Trials National Tour affair, layout No. 13 will be run in a clockwise manner. That means competitors will get to experience famous turns such as Cotton Corners, Riverside, Phil Hill, the Esses, Sunrise and Sunset to name a few. Conditions can change significantly at the track throughout the course of any given day, so those in attendance could face some fun challenges that will keep them on their toes.

Unknown Commodities

As this will be Time Trials National Tour’s first visit to Buttonwillow, there are lots of unknowns as far as who will shine. Tuner 2 class action is a Ford vs. Chevrolet affair, and Sport 3 features the same with BMW thrown into the mix. Max 2 may be cool, too, as the No. 147 Tesla Model 3 of Stephen James Wolf faces off against Peter Bollenbecker’s No. 23 Subaru Impreza WRX. And something fun is happening in Max 1 as former SCCA Runoffs national champion and current SportsCar editor Philip Royle plans on bringing out a Dodge Challenger to blast around the track.

The largest field at this weekend’s Buttonwillow Time Trials National Tour will be the Tuner 4 class. Just short of a dozen entries, on display will be Mazdas, Subarus, a Scion and a Porsche Boxster. Within that class, certainly watch for the No. 188 Mazda RX-8 of Dallas Reed. It’s a “new” car for the Time Trials Nationals champion who previously triumphed in the Max 3 and Unlimited 2 classes driving a different car of the same model. 

Track Night in America Adds to the Fun

A “double feature” of sorts has been added to weekend activities at Buttonwillow for fans of SCCA’s Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack. For Track Nighters who have been interested in seeing what SCCA Time Trials is all about, this will be the perfect way to soak up all the festivities.

One Track Night session was already planned for Friday, April 9, starting in the afternoon hours. But a second Track Night opportunity has been added on Saturday, April 10, at Buttonwillow. The Saturday session will be held during the day alongside the Time Trials event with a few differences from a typical Track Night. Most excitingly, Track Night participants will have FOUR 20-minute sessions on track rather than the usual three. The Drivers Meeting will happen in the morning, and on-track sessions will be spread out between the Time Trials National Tour competition.

As an added bonus, those who register for Track Night on both Friday and Saturday will receive a $50 savings on their Saturday Track Night registration! To snag the savings, sign up for Friday's event and then send an email to Jack Track at Jack@TrackNightinAmerica.com with the email you used to sign up for the event. Jack will then hook you up with a coupon code to use for Saturday’s registration.

Follow the Action Online

Can’t make it out to Buttonwillow this weekend? Then TimeTrials.SCCA.com is your online destination for live timing from this weekend’s Tire Rack Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty event at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. Check it out to see how the weekend progresses and who comes out on top!


Photo by: ABI Photo