Racetrack designers design tracks for motorsports. These include oval tracks,
tracks for street races (such as the Molson Indy), drag strip tracks, stock
car tracks and motorcycle tracks.
Some tracks are single-use facilities -- such as the road track for the
Molson Indy. Other tracks are multiple use. They could combine motorcycle
racing, stock car racing and drag racing, for example.
Designers often consult with professionals from various disciplines. They
talk to civil engineers, architects, accountants and more.
When racetrack designers are contracted to design a track for an owner,
they will be required to advise on many factors. They have to know about grading,
drainage, site suitability, safety factors and budget issues.
The designers consult with the owner to determine the type of track needed,
the intended use and the budget. Then they determine what kind of track could
fit into the specifications. The next step is to draw a plan.
Many track designers use software such as AutoCAD to do the designing.
When the track owner approves the plan, the track is put out to tender. That
means a firm of consulting engineers is hired to oversee the work. At this
point, the designer's job is supervisory. When the track is finished, the
designer will have it tried out it for suitability and safety.
Most racetrack designers do not design tracks as their full-time occupation.
They are more likely to be self-employed consultants, or be affiliated with
an architecture firm or an engineering firm. In many cases, track owners design
their own tracks but might ask for input from racing professionals.
Roger Peart is a professional racetrack designer. Peart is involved only
with automobile tracks; he does not speak for motorcycle racetracks.
"It would be difficult for a person in a wheelchair to design tracks,"
says Peart. "They could do the office aspect of the job with no difficulty,
but it would be very difficult to get out around the tracks."
Decide on the structure of a track