Holtville Aerodrome International Raceway is an airport circuit located near Holtville, California. Various configurations have been used over the years, anywhere from 1.4 miles to 2.5 miles in length. The SCCA apparently last raced there in 1990, but track days are still held.
Much of the information on this page was contributed by Greg Beron.
Last Updated: 2007-08-07
HAIR was used from 1966 through 1990. During the 80s, Nationals used the 1.95 mile course as shown in the historic map below, while Regionals used a shorter course similar to the modern course.
There is much historical information to be found Here.
Holtville Aerodrome International Raceway
c/o Aviation Concepts Enterprises
6983 Belle Glade Lane
San Diego, CA 92119
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The easiest way is from I-8. Exit at Orchard Road, turn North and follow and follow the road into town. Cross the railroad tracks and turn right on the highway (it's either 111 or 115.) There will be a 4-way stop at Holt Road (2 blocks.) Follow Holt Rd. out of town. Look for a big stand of trees: this is Norrish Rd. Turn right there. Follow Norrish Rd. 6 miles until you cross a very narrow bridge. The road bends to the left here and the track entrance is approximately 150 yards after the bridge on the left. Look for the tree-lined road.
Holtville is a WWII era bomber training base on the edge of the desert. The Paddock area is level concrete, so getting set up is relatively easy. The track itself is pretty rough, due to years of temperature extremes. I've seen suspension failures on formula and GT cars. F500's are especially vulnerable, so be forewarned.
Be prepared for anything, except monsoon-like rain. It can get pretty windy here, and can be cool in the morning. I usually start out in a windbreaker over a sweatshirt, and strip down to a t-shirt by 10:30 or so. Be sure to bring sun screen, sunglasses and a hat!
Holtville is harder to get right than many people realize. (The track map is dated; we're working on getting a new one.) The turn 1,2,3 complex is fairly tight and is the key to a fast lap, since your exit from one determines the entrance to 2, etc. Most people use the start/finish line as a relative mark for their braking point going into turn 1. I like to take a neutral apex for 1, unless someone is following close behind. The important thing here is to get setup properly for 2. Use as much of the track as you need exiting 1 to take as late an apex in 2 as is possible, because 3 follows very closely behind 2. A late apex is critical for 3A as well, because it sets you up for 3B. Try to take a late apex at 3B by aiming for the second "clanger" and let your speed carry you close to the edge of the track. You need to carry the speed, because from here, it's flat out for most cars - if you get it right. I short shift between 3 and 4, so I'm not trying to shift in the middle of 4. Turn 4 is a left/right sweeper. (This is probably a good place to observe that the turn numbering here is traditional, and bears little relation to actually direction changes. I count 10 turns at Holtville!) Try to apex close to the second clanger in 4A. I let my speed determine my apex for 4B - just make sure you use the entire track surface! You have plenty of room to get set up for turn 5. Your line in 5 will be determined by the track surface. This hairpin turn is the roughest part of the track, particularly in the braking zone. I like to stay as close to the cones on the outside as possible, but YMMV. If you're really good, try to downshift while airborne over one of the bumps! This part of the track is so rough, that it's hard to get slowed down enough for the corner.
The trick here is to carry as much speed as possible while still letting yourself get on the gas early, since 5B leads onto a 1/2 mile straightaway. There's plenty of track surface here, so use as much as you need to stay hard on the gas. Finding a braking point for turn 6 is a problem for most people. Because it's an extremely heavy braking zone, try to use something besides a cone. I like to use the first tire barrier protecting the corner workers. You'll need to lose 70-80 mph and downshift here. 6 is a chicane and should be looked at as 6A and 6B.
Since 6A is at the end of a straight carry as much speed as possible, then use a late apex in 6B to accelerate you onto the start/finish straight. Then do it all again. Have fun!
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