Elkhart Lake Road Race Circuits
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Archived2012
N 43° 49.818 W 088° 01.087
16T E 418140 N 4853528
Quick Description: The open road sports car races held in 1950-1952 were conceived and operated by members of the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). The 51-52 races drew international recognition and led to the establishment of Road America.
Location: Wisconsin, United States
Date Posted: 7/24/2007 7:38:37 PM
Waymark Code: WM1X50
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 57

Long Description:
At the time, Elkhart Lake was at a low point in its economic history and Jim Johnson, President of the Elkhart Lake Bank, felt that the races would bring a new energy to the area. Joined by Fire Chief Ray Kramer and Resort owner Ollie Siebken Moeller, a strong community effort was mounted that resulted in dozens of volunteers coming forward to help organize the races. Governor Walter Kohler, who had a summer home on Elkhart Lake, helped pave the way and the 1950 races went off without a hitch.

Hop in or on your vehicle and take a ride on the historic race circuit of 1950, or the 1951-52 circuit which has a slight detour. (A resort purchased a portion of the course and turned it into a walkway along Elkhart Lake.) Historic markers were placed and dedicated along these courses on July 13, 2006. You can pick up a brochure regarding these courses at the Elkhart Lake Chamber of Commerce or in their outside info kiosk on the corner of Rhine and Lake Streets. Or request a brochure with the visitor's guide, www.elkhartlake.com

A Brief History

The 1950 races held on the 3.35 mile circuit had the flavor of a typical club event. Most cars came out of the Chicago region and were raced and then driven home. The event took place on July 23rd, with 5 races held. Cars were divided into 2 classes under 1500cc and over 1500cc. Two 30 mile races for novice drivers were held, one in each class. Followed by a 15 mile ladies race that combined both classes. Two 60 mile races for experienced drivers, one in each class concluded the day. There were 33 cars in these events. Estimated 5,000 spectators in attendance.

The 1951 and 1952 races were held on the 6.5 mile circuit. Nationwide promotion attracted celebrities and professional race teams from across the country. The Chicago Region of the SCCA planned, promoted and orchestrated the races.

The 1951 races were held on Sunday, August 26th with 3 races scheduled, divided into 4 SCCA classes. First event was a 5-lap race (approx. 32 miles) for novice drivers mixing all classes. The second event was planned as a ladies race but was cancelled due to threatening weather. The third race was a 30-lap race (approx. 200 miles) for experienced drivers again mixing all classes. Estimated attendance of 50,000 spectators.

The 1952 races were held over the course of 2 days, Saturday and Sunday, September 6th and 7th. First race was a 15-lap (approx. 100 miles) event for cars between 1950ccs and 4000ccs. Two races were held on Sunday. First race was a 15-lap event for cars under 1950ccs. The main event was a 30-lap race for cars over 1950ccs. There were a total of 238 cars entered in the 3 races. Attendance was estimated to exceed 100,000.

The Hard Left N43 49.818 W088 01.087
Wacker's Wend N43 49.544 W088 00.778
Hamill's Hollow N43 49.016 W088 01.103
Schoolhouse Straight N43 48.917 W088 01.707
Kimberly's Korner N43 48.930 W088 02.435
Dickens' Ditch N43 49.614 W088 02.441
1950 Start/Finish N43 50.396 W088 02.372
The Marsh Turn N43 50.867 W088 02.482
Ted's Turn N43 50.129 W088 01.280
Peck's Alley N43 50.111 W088 01.372
Brigg's Bend N43 49.998 W088 01.519
The Hard Right N43 50.018 W088 02.193
1951-52 Start/Finish N43 50.027 W088 01.135

Enjoy The Courses!

I found more info on the history at www.historicracecircuits.com
Street address:
CTH's J, P, JP, A and Lake Street
Elkhart Lake, WI USA
53020


County / Borough / Parish: Sheboygan

Year listed: 2006

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Revived Elkhart Lake and led to the creation of Road America.

Periods of significance: 1950-1952

Historic function: Led the way to the establishment of Road America.

Current function: County roads still travelled on. Tourist, recreation, entertainment.

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Privately owned?: Not Listed

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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