Driving at Thunderhill Raceway with T.E.A.M. Racing. Track days like this offer excellent opportunities to get some safe and fun performance driving experience. Many clubs that put on these types of events offer personalized instruction and mentoring for all skill levels. Auto-crosses are timed competition events that take place in a large parking lot or similar open paved area. Drivers try for their best times on a coned course. It requires skill, precision, and patience, and while speeds rarely get over 60 mph, the action is quick. Cars compete in classes depending on their basic design and level of preparation and ranges from bone stock to formula racers and karts. The 2Bennett Audimotive GTR on track. Since 1996, 2Bennett has been not only participating in many motorsport events, but also providing performance tuning and services (Audi only) for other motorsport enthusiasts. Unbeknownst to the average Davisite, there are some a number of interesting and exotic cars in our fair city. Here is but one example from last year's DMC car show.

Davis Motorsports Club

The Davis Motorsports Club was started in 2005 by Steve Ryan and ... as a way to meet and compete with other Davis-located motorsports enthusiasts. The club's principal focus was on participating in motorsports, not just watch it on TV or from the grandstands. A statement from the webpage read: "Originally formed to be just an autocross club, competing in local SCCA Solo II competition, the club morphed into something that encompassed all realms of motorized competition and recreation. In the club we have circuit-type racers, autocrossers, drag-racers, and show car enthusiasts alike. This diverse makeup allows for a great deal of cross-genre education and opens up enthusiasts to other forms of automobiledom." The club was successful in seeing that Davis was well-represented at regional SCCA Solo2 events and it increased the participation in track-day events at tracks all over northern California and Nevada. In addition, one if it's members, Ryan Flavell, organized two car shows which were held on the UCD campus, an event which there still seems to be interest in. Club activities also increased interest and participation in karting, both at the Blue Max track here in Davis and at indoor facilities in Sacramento. Eventually the club ceased operating, most likely because key people graduated and moved away.

Back from the Dead, and Growing In August 2007 Alex Kang set up a new DMC forum. The original members have been reappearing as word of this gets out, to be joined by many new members. As of April 2008 the club has over 100 members, so now it is entering a new phase where it is developing a more formal structure, sponsored membership options are being explored, the bi-weekly meetings are going to be less free-form, fund raising and sponsorship programs are being developed, and a number of projects, some small, some quite ambitious, are being planned. Other notables during the club's first year back in operation are:

  • Registered as a UCD student organization. So now we have student and non-student components to the club
  • We had an outstanding float in the Picnic Day parade.
  • We have a race car, a 1st gen Mazda RX/7, that members can drive at autox events and which will see action again in the Pro 7 road race series

Like the original DMC, the club is open to all car enthusiasts! People can join by visiting the forum, located just off the club's home page. If you are interested in more information or publicity please contact the site's administrator at here.

Motorsports in Davis? Yes. While Davis is not car-oriented town (Image-wise it isn't, but for all practical purposes it is, although it would never admit it.) there are motorsports people and interesting cars in our fair city. Ignoring, if you can, the occasional annoying import or "American Iron" you might see and hear around town, there are some interesting cars here. At least one new Ferrari, A Lamborghini Galardo, a couple of NSX's, at least a half-dozen cars from the muscle car era, a silver Porsche 356 (pre-1964), a green 1930's vintage roadster, a vintage Lotus Europa, a Shelby Cobra replica, a red wagon, and more. The auto-crossers in our town drive cars that look normal, but take a second look and you might notice that it is lowered, is not rolling on your typical street tires, and may even have completely gutted interiors. Also, UCD has a long running and award-winning research program (an outgrowth of their 1980's human-powered vehicle programs that produced a tandem recumbent bike that could reach speeds over 60 mph) where the students either build cars from scratch or modify production vehicles, all geared towards developing more fuel efficient vehicles. UCD also has a Formula SAE club that designs, builds, and races their own cars. 2Bennett Audimotive also builds race cars and parts for Audis. Davis also has a couple of noted motorsports persons living here, such as Justin Hall (Blog, Off-camber Racing) and Becky Swafford (track record at Blue Max, SCCA club racing, an appearance in the Grand AM series), and probably more. A club like DMC might be able to bring them out of the woodwork. In addition to competition-type cars, look around and you'll see a Ford Edsel, classic Mercedes, a Lincoln Continental, a Red Flyer, and more classic and unusual cars.

Event Calendar The Davis Motorsports Club forum includes an event calendar. Click here to go there.

Other Motorsports Clubs and Organizations in our Area

  • TEAM Racing - Bonnie's "Alotta Miata" club that organizes track days all over northern California and at Reno-Fernley
  • Hooked on Driving - lots of events, awesome web site, and they have produced an excellent video for people interesting in getting to the track
  • Trackmasters - Great group for students, and for experienced drivers looking for lots of track time
  • Northern California Racing Club - "Simply put, we love to drive fast, just like our members, and figured out a safe and fun way to do it... and without getting thrown in jail!"
  • NASA - Regional chapter of National Auto Sport Association (National site)
  • SCCA - Northern California section of the Sports Car Clubs of America, which offers their "Street School" plus race schools at Thunderhill. They also run a very popular Solo2 (autocross) competition. (National site)

Tracks in Northern California and Nevada

  • Thunderhill - a fun and safe 15-turn, 3 mile road course. Perfect for beginners, but also the home of the 25-hours of Thunderhill, numerous motorcycle events, and a setting for several commercials (Ford GT, for example) and episodes for various car shows. Location: A few miles west of Willows, CA GoogleMaps
  • Reno-Fernley - the newest track in the region. This facility includes a dirt oval, skid pad, and road race track. Location: Just south of Fernley on HWY-50/95 GoogleMaps (Low resolution satellite map)
  • Laguna Seca - a California classic, featuring the famous Andretti Hairpin and the Corkscrew, host to CART, ALMS, Trans AM, MotoGP races and more. Location: Near Monterey, CA, take HWY-68 east out of Seaside/Del Rey Oaks GoogleMaps
  • Infineon (Sears Point) - host to NASCAR, ALMS, Indy cars, NHRA, vintage car races and more. A twisty, hilly course that captures the essence of driving the back roads in the Sonoma and Napa county hills. Location: At the junction of Hwy-37 and Hwy-121 GoogleMaps
  • Buttonwillow - Roughly half way between the northern and southern California race cultures, it hosts SCCA and club events, and occasionally television shows such as Redline. Location: North of Buttonwillow, CA, just off I-5. GoogleMaps
  • Willow Springs Raceway - a road course you've probably seen in many car shows. Location: a bit south, but folks in our area drive there. GoogleMaps
  • Sacramento Raceway Park - local drag racing, motocross, and oval track racing. Location: a drag strip and dirt oval track just southeast of Sacramento GoogleMaps
  • Altamont Motorsports Park - host to numerous local stock car races plus the 24 Hours of Lemons. Location: In the hills just west of Tracy, CA GoogleMaps

Resources for the Motorsports Enthusiast Located in Davis

  • NAPA Auto Parts - parts, tools, and supplies
  • Vander Hamm Tire Center - tires, wheels, and service
  • Davis Motorsports - motorcycle parts and service, but they also carry Motul 600 brake fluid
  • Kragen Auto Parts - parts, tools, and supplies
  • Davis Muffler & Hitch Center - custom and performance exhaust systems, welding and fabrication

Resources for the Motorsports Enthusiast Located Near Davis