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New Promo Film with UltraArm SF

Simraceway is excited to announce a brand new promo film that we shot with the talented UltraArmSF crew. 

Essentially, we wanted to create a visual experience to capture the adrenaline and excitement of racing on a world-class track in the heart of California. 

“It was a collaborative process,” says Sean Rivers, partner at UltraArmSF. 

“For Simraceway, we used a new remote arm (Motocrane Ultra) camera car rig for their campaign. We had DP Ethan Indorf, AC Jeph Folkins and Kevin Jones with SkyHopperAerials to help out on the production. And Layer Media brought the expertise with the post-production, sound design, color and further developed the creative, and finalizing the spot.”

The main objective was to create something short, snappy, and thrilling to encourage people to spend time on the race track. 

Check out the video below to experience Simraceway for yourself!


With an impressive film background, Sean Rivers, Robert Barcelona and Patrick Roth have since launched their own commercial and film remote arm car company. And with that new venture comes the use of UltraArmSF to capture difficult shots and moments with an artistic flair. 

“We started this company with other experienced production veterans with a love for the creative process. We specialize in dynamic camera movement, and UltraArmSF is a joint venture between myself, Robert Barcelona and Patrick Roth.”

Rivers explains it as “a remote crane on top of the car,” which was originally called a Russian Arm by the inventors of the technology in the 1990s. However, Rivers and his team have become the first and only remote arm car in northern California.

In the video, you can see the UltraArmSF at work, providing superb clarity for high-speed footage, full 360 turn capability, and the ability to film really low to the ground or high in the air. 

Every shot in the new ad was filmed with UltraArmSF, and you can explore some cool behind the scenes footage with the crew to get an idea of what the total experience was like. 

For more information about UltraArmSF, click here. You can also explore Simraceway for other racing insights and opportunities to get involved.

KTM X-Bow Comp R Featured in Road & Track

In the September issue of Road & Track magazine, fans and drivers of the KTM X Bow Comp R Limited Edition can find a nice write-up of the Young Schwarzenegger (a nickname given to the car by R&T editors) to gain some valuable insights about its performance, build, and thoughts from industry pros.

Overall, the KTM X-Bow Comp R has gained lots of popularity in the racing world, claiming its own profile last February in R&T by the same writer, Sam Smith.

In his initial breakdown, the KTM X-Bow Comp R boasts…

-300 hp @ 6400 rpm

-310 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm

-Six-speed manual transmission / Six-speed twin-clutch automatic

-Rear-wheel drive

-0–62 mph: 3.9 seconds (MFR testing)

-Top Speed: 144 mph (MFR testing)

-MSRP: $104,500 (Plus destination charge, which varies by dealer)

Fast-forward a season later, and Smith and other racing pros are still impressed with the high-performance machine:

“It’s an impressive race car, and that’s what it is; a race car. When I climb in, I close my brain’s road-car file and open the one for open-wheelers. Get the tires up to temp, really work them. There’s noticeable downforce.”

If you’re questioning whether or not the KTM X-Bow Comp R is right for you, Smith recommends the experience for “anyone who takes life seriously.”

Check out the full article by clicking the download below or visit R&T to learn more! For information about our racing programs or to get involved in our Simraceway Series, feel free to contact us!

What’s Happening in August at Simraceway

August means more amazing track experiences at Simraceway.

If you’re interested in learning more about KTM experiences, performance driving, or driving education and go-karting, there’s plenty to look forward to on Simraceway’s August schedule. 

The KTM X-Bow Cup USA series and Simraceway Series Formula Car Cup continue in August, but we quickly sold out of teen safe driver training classes, so we’ve added the following dates:

Sunday, August 25th, from 9 am to 4 pm, at $695

Here are some other events and programs to explore:

August Spotlight: Check Out Simraceway’s Performance Driving Program and Control Clinic

Can you drive your own car on the track at Sonoma Raceway? Yes! Simraceway’s Performance Driving Program can take you and your car through three stages of practice, training, education, and on-track experience. 

If you have a car that’s fifteen years or newer with tires and brakes in good condition, you might be eligible for the Performance Driving program. Check with our staff at [email protected] to find out if your car is eligible. If it is, be sure to check your owner’s manual and insurance policy and follow guidelines to be ready for your Performance Driving session. Look for sessions throughout August, but don’t take too long — some sessions are already full!

Explore open dates for…

Performance Driving Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3

Learn the Limits And Master Your Car: Car Control Clinic

Using the skidpad and autocross course, Simraceway’s Car Control Clinic shows you how to control your car under extreme conditions. You’ll learn how to correct oversteer, balance your car while drifting, make mid-corner adjustments, and properly rotate your car. Here, you’ll learn how to handle your car safely at or even slightly over its limits. Requirements are like the Performance Driving Program — check with our staff in advance to learn if your vehicle meets the Car Control Clinic’s specifications.

Car Control Clinic dates are currently sold out.

Before School Starts: Take Your Teen for Safe Driving Education at Simraceway

Simraceway’s Teen Safe Driving Course is one of the most highly-rated experiences on TripAdvisor and for good reason. The full-day course covers all the practical skills teens need to drive safely, including emergency braking, accident avoidance, proper steering techniques, and skid recovery. Teens age 15 1/2 and older with their permit or driver’s license will practice using fleet vehicles alongside Simraceway’s instructors. The Teen Safe Driving Course is eligible for part of the 60 hours of required pre-license driving time.

New session added on August 25th, from 9 am to 4 pm.

SCCA Racing School Options At Simraceway in August

If you’ve been thinking of getting your Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) license and going club racing, Simraceway’s Racing School continues in August. Held in KTM X-Bow cars, the 3-day program is available to drivers aged 14 and above. You do not need a driver’s license for this on-track experience and training. Can you bring fans, friends, and family? Sure can — and you might even rent a GoPro to record your performance.

These are a few more highlights in August at Simraceway. The KTM X-Bow Cup and Formula Car Cup continue with their August dates of practice and racing. The Kart Racing School also offers several August dates. T1 Club Members: You have some open days coming up in August, and Karting enthusiasts will see dates for Turn 1 Club Karting. Check out Simraceway’s August schedule now and take advantage of these great experiences at the track.

June events at Simraceway are hot, filling fast

As temperatures in Sonoma rise, the events schedule at Simraceway is heating up. Simraceway offers a packed calendar of events and is operational 300 days a year at its base location, Sonoma Raceway. This month is no exception with programs from our Performance Driving, Safe Driving, KTM X-Bow, Karting and Racing School programs all on the slate. We also kick off the first three-day weekend of our arrive and drive racing series – Simraceway Series. This year KTM X-Bow Comp R’s join the line up in a new class ‘ X-Bow Cup” to complement our our existing Formula 3 class. Lastly, we have a Ligier LMP3 test day opportunity. Read below for full details and we look forward to seeing you on the track! .

KTM X-Bow Cup USA added to Simraceway Series

For the first time in an American spec series, the ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre monocoque KTM X-Bow will race. And if you want to take part in the KTM X-Bow Cup Series Package, all you need to do is put on your driving suit, helmet, and HANS device.

Friday, June 28, is a practice day for the Formula Car Cup and KTM X-Bow Cup. Saturday and Sunday are filled with additional practice, qualifying, and racing. The spec racing series will continue in August (Round 2 is set for August 23-25) and October (Round 3 for October 18-20).

KTM X-Bow finally lands on USA shores.

Whether you’re a developing or experienced driver, the Formula Car Cup Package and the KTM X-Bow Cup USA Series are an exciting racing choice. Simraceway’s spec racing format allows driver skill to champion the day. Drivers receive coaching and mentoring by Simraceway’s professional racing staff members.

learn about our arrive and drive racing series and apply here

Test Drive the Ligier LMP3 at Simraceway

If you’re advanced track driver, maybe with some club racing under your belt, you may want to consider going to the next level and experiencing our motorsports team’s Ligier LMP3 race cars. Our pair of 5.0 liter V8, 420BHP, Ligier LMP3 prototype cars race with us in IMSA Prototype challenge. However a few days a month we open them up to non team drivers, interested to experience these extraordinary machines.

This month there is a Test days set for the LMP3 on June 28. Details here

Sebring, FL – March 14: the SImraceway Motorsports Team #11 at the 12 Hours of Sebring race earlier this year .Sebring FL. (Photo by Gavin Baker)

Driving experiences for all ages

Our teen safe driver training program

Do you know an aspiring teen driver? or young aspiring racer? There’s plenty of experiences for new drivers at Simraceway, such as karting and Teen Safe Driver Programs. Karters can sign up for the Race Karting Experience. Follow up with the first stage of the Kart Racing School to get your young driver even more wheel time.

Karting and Moto enthusiasts can enjoy open practice days on select Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Drive one of the top go-karting tracks in the U.S. in an LO206 or ROK-powered Tony Kart. (Note: ROK Powered Tony Karts must be reserved 48 hours in advance.)

Simraceway also hosts the full-day Teen Safe Driver Course to provide your new driver with plenty of skills for the roads. Students 15.5 years old or older will learn about weight transfer, distraction avoidance, and emergency manoeuvres at 65 mph. Give your child all the skills and information they need to safely drive in any condition.

There’s always something amazing to experience at Simraceway. While June is flying by fast, there’s plenty more to still left on the calendar. Check out all of Simraceway’s events here

McLaren 720s – Exclusive Preview

The new McLaren 720s was at our Sonoma facility last Friday for an exclusive preview ahead of the cars general release later this year. The 720s replaces the 650s model in the super series line and is already sold out through 2018. Hailed a Ferrari beater, the 720s  is lighter, more powerful and faster than the new Ferrari 488 GTB and we look forward to welcoming it into the fleet soon. If you would like to be notified when this car is available in our line up, please ensure you are signed up to our newsletter here 

In the interim the McLaren 570s 570GT and 650s are all now available in our newly launched McLaren Driving Experiences, click here to book your seat.

McLaren 720s – Exclusive Preview

The new McLaren 720s will be at our Sonoma facility this Friday for an exclusive preview ahead of the cars general release later this year. The 720s replaces the 650s model in the super series line and is already sold out through 2018. Hailed a Ferrari beater, the 720s  is lighter, more powerful and faster than the new Ferrari 488 GTB. Come judge for yourself and learn how you can get in the driving seat ahead of the waiting list.

This event is free but spaces are limited with priority given to our past and present drivers. If you would like to attend please sign up here.


Out with the old, in with the fast: The new Audi TTS is here!

Parting is such sweet sorrow, and that is absolutely true of the outgoing Audi TTS. It’s the most versatile vehicle in our fleet, a car that always punched above its weight, and exceeded expectations of the many customers who got to get behind the wheel of this agile pocket rocket.


That being said, with every outgoing model that Audi retires you can be sure the replacement is always something to be excited about. While outwardly familiar in styling, the new TTS is an evolution from the former model but with many upgrades and changes beneath the skin. First off, we always have to look under the hood, and the 2016 TTS has a lot to say for itself with a stunning 292hp (up 72hp!) 2.0L turbocharged TFSI engine mated with its lightweight aluminum hybrid construction chassis the new TTS is lighter as well. The power to weight  ratio really helps this car fly through the turns at our home base at Sonoma Raceway. 0-60 times of 5.2 seconds matched with its classic front-to-rear balance, the new TTS is aided by a re-vamped Quattro system that is able to move 100% of that power to the rear wheels when traction allows, really spicing up the sports car feel.


There’s a dramatic change on the inside as the latest Audi TTS now has a virtual cockpit where drivers have the ability to change the layout at their fingertips.


We are really looking forward to getting to know this new pocket rocket intimately and hope you can make your way to Sonoma to try it for yourself. You won’t regret it.


Audi Programs

New Arrivals – The Audi R8 V10 “Competition” and “+” Models

As if it wasn’t enough to have the 2nd generation of R8 to look forward to just on the horizon, we here at the Audi sportscar experience got out hands on the fastest R8—in fact, the fastest street car— ever produced by Audi. The Audi R8 V10 Competition is here, and we love it. Combined with the V10 “+” models that have also shown up on our doorstep, we have the zenith of Audi’s first generation super cars, and now you can get your hands on them too.


Starting off with the V10 plus, we have a lighter and more powerful version of the R8 with its rear biased power distribution. The now 550hp machine can get from 0-60 in 3.3 secs, which really R8 Comp cover1shortens the straightaways at our home base of Sonoma Raceway. The speeds you attain approaching turns 7 & 11 are considerably increased, which makes sense that the extra horsepower is matched with the fabulous Carbon Ceramic brakes and the sticky rubber supplied by Pirelli. With this, you have what is called in the business “the package” available in both 6 speed and S-Tronic (our version). It’s a drive you won’t soon forget.


Now we come to the R8 V10 Competition. Once again, Audi added even more power with a daunting 570 hp that can propel this machine to 199mph (maybe a nice tail wind can help us out here), making this is the most powerful Audi R8 ever! Now we are getting to the real essence of the R8 name from it’s beginnings of a Le Mans winning prototype—this is truly a race car for the street. With only 60 available in the US, this is a very special car and a serious machine. So serious, in fact, it has been fitted with permanent front canards and large rear wing to gain some significant aerodynamic downforce which you can feel through the infamous turn 6 at Sonoma Raceway (a long fast downhill lefthander) as well as the “S’s” combination leading into turns 9 & 10, a series of turns that when done properly can turn the thrill factor to 11.


To celebrate these fantastic additions to our already amazing line up of R8 V8’s, drivers can now elect these vehicles as a special $249 supplement option to any R8 Program. Note this is for a limited time only and will be available until March 2016. To secure you seat, or modify an existing booking, please call, email or live chat us.


Real vs. Virtual Ep. 4: Audi R8 LMS ultra

With the new Audi R8 LMS ultra already proving a popular addition to the Simraceway showroom, we’re taking a closer look at just how much effort and expertise goes into the creation of our cars in the latest episode of our Real vs. Virtual series, recently launched on our YouTube channel. Read on to find out more.



“I’ve already learned a couple of things before we even take the real car out on the track. I know exactly what gear I should be in, what kind of entry speed I should have, where my break markers should be”, reflected a visibly-impressed James Sofronas.



The GMG Racing owner, co-founder, and driver was talking to our Head of Physics, Nico Rondet, at the Simraceway Performance Driving Center as the pair, aided by the hard-working Simraceway physics team, tuned our virtual R8 LMS ultra to behave exactly like the car Sofronas’ team had driven into battle in 2012.


Check out the video below to see how they got on.



Palatov Motorsport’s Fire-Breathing D4PPS Wins at Pikes Peak

According to Wikipedia, “Pikes Peak International Hill Climb…is an annual automobile and motorcycle hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado” on a track that “measures 12.42 miles (19.99 km) over 156 turns, climbing 4,720 ft (1,440 m) from the start at Mile 7 on Pikes Peak Highway, to the finish at 14,110 ft (4,300 m), on grades averaging 7%.”


While completely accurate, what that selection of stats fails to convey is just how spine-chillingly fearsome this popular event is. Filled with hardcore, take-no-prisoners corners that are often taken at insane speeds, its drivers are seemingly unperturbed by its blood-curdling collection of blind exits and run-off areas that would be more accurately described as “fall-off areas”.


When Ernest Hemingway observed there were “but three true sports – bullfighting, mountain climbing, and motor-racing”, it’s doubtful he was aware there was actually an event fusing two of those endeavors into one challenging contest. And it’s the enormity of this challenge that brings so many contestants to the mountains of Colorado each year. This year, our good friends at Palatov Motorsport decided to take up the challenge–and this is our account of how they got on.


Possibly the Best Driver Training Tool Around–and it’s Yours for the Day

In 2008, Volkswagen of America took the bold step of launching its own single-make series for, of all things, its diesel Jetta model. The Jetta TDI Cup produced great racing and an inexpensive entry-level option for young drivers who were looking for a way into sedan, GT, and sports car racing. As part of the program VW put the competitors, all between the ages of 18 and 25, through a regime of physical fitness and high-level driver training carried out by the dedicated series coach, Jan Heylen. Now it’s your chance to become a racer in the making with your very own, free-to-drive Jetta TDI Cup Car, thanks to another Simraceway Test Drive Tuesday.


Team Cal Simraceway Gear Up for Their Biggest Challenge Yet

Simraceway has partnered with the Formula SAE team at UC Berkley to assist its budding engineers and drivers as they develop and race their B12 car in the 2012-2013 season. In a previous post we covered the early stages of their preparation, including the all-important driver selection, and we now join Team Principal Shin Scott and his FSAE team as they continue to ready the car and drivers for the grand final in Nebraska.