Fast Lap with Billy Johnson Column

Fast Lap with Billy Johnson - Circuit Of The Americas

By Billy Johnson

Circuit Of The Americas (COTA for short) is America's first purpose-built Formula 1 track which stands at 3.427 miles long.  The track is characterized by a lot of elevation change and with 20 diverse and technical turns, it's a formula for great racing and a really difficult but fun track to drive.  

Located in Austin, TX the track was designed with the assistance of Hermann Tilke, who is responsible for designing most of the modern F1 circuits.  Proposed in the middle of 2010, COTA was completed in time for the November 18, 2012 Formula 1 race which I was fortunate enough to attend.  The track will host everything from MotoGP to Australian V8 Supercars and the world's top Road Racing series.   It's exciting to finally have a modern European-style circuit here in the States with a similar track specification, layout, curbing, and run-offs.  Rather than the tight, narrow, and bumpy tracks that characterize North American racing circuits.


 Fastlap with Billy Johnson - Willow Springs

Fast Lap with Billy Johnson:  Willow Springs International Raceway

by Billy Johnson

Willow Springs International Raceway (WSIR) is the oldest purpose-built road course in North America and has remained virtually unchanged since its creation in 1953.  The 2.5mile nine-turn track earned its nickname from its medium to high-speed corners including the infamous Turns 8 and 9.


Fast Lap with Billy Johnson:  Laguna Seca (Video Inside)

By Billy Johnson

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, previously known simply as “Laguna Seca” was built in 1957 on the land of Fort Ord; which was a maneuvering area and artillery target range for the US Army.  World-renowned (by the help of Playstation video games for the younger generation), the track has hosted Champ Car, ALMS, Grand-Am, Moto GP, World Superbike, Formula 5000, Trans-Am, Can Am, and has been the site for several very memorable races.  In 1988 the track was increased to its current 2.238 mile, 11-turn configuration with 300 feet of elevation change and the world-famous “Corkscrew” Turn 8. 


FXMD Acura NSX driven by Billy Johnson

Time Attack Terror: FXMD's Record Setting Acura NSX (Video Inside!)

By Mike Kojima and Billy Johnson

If you follow Time Attack at all you are probably very familiar with FXMD's Acura NSX Unlimited RWD killing machine piloted by our own Fast Lap Editor, Billy Johnson.  In the 2009 Time Attack season the NSX has given the competition the business in every event it has entered for an undefeated 2009 Redline Time Attack season. Lets take a deep technically based look inside the fastest Time Attack machine in North America.


Fast Lap With Billy Johnson :  Auto Club Speedway Roval (Video Inside)

By Billy Johnson

Auto Club Speedway, previously known as California Speedway is a relatively new track built in early 1997 and has been the host for many racing series including NASCAR, IRL, Motorcycle, Grand-Am, and even JGTC. This D-shaped oval incorporates 11-degree banking on the front straight with 14-degree banking in NASCAR Turns 1 and 2. This track also has a series of infield road-course combinations with the largest and fastest utilizing the oval’s front straight and first two turns before going back down into the infield. This 2.88 17-turn "roval" is a common configuration for everything from Grand-Am to track days.


Billy Johnson in the office

The Buttonwillow Bible- Fast Lap (In Car Video inside!)

By Billy Johnson

Buttonwillow (BW) is a great test track used by many professional sports car and formula car racing teams because of the track’s variety of corners.  From on-camber and off-camber corners, to sweepers, chicanes, hairpins, and man-made elevation changes, BW is a well-balanced and technical  track that challenges both the driver and car.  In recent years BW has become center for Time Attack drivers and teams attracting cars from as far away as Japan. Like Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, Buttonwillow has become the milestone for lap times for the top tuners in the time attack world. It has also become the benchmark for bragging rights for many OEM manufacturers.


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