The southern end of Kitsap County, Washington is normally a fairly quiet locale. It’s filled with dense fir forests, fields of scotch broom, shalal and blackberry bushes, and there seem to be creeks just about everywhere. There has also been one track that serves the region, Bremerton Raceway, a dragstrip that offers up enough space to run SCCA events. But it’s not a circuit track…there are no corners except the ones that are set up by course workers with a truck full of orange cones. That might be changing, as a proposed raceway has received the green light to begin an engineering and design study for a 2.8-mile racetrack and event center near the Bremerton National Airport on the west side of Highway 3. The proposed Circuit of the Northwest is being pitched as a multi-use facility that incorporates a circuit course, a drag strip, a STEM technology center available to local school districts, and a location for police driver training to be conducted. In addition, the project is being pitched as a location for concerts and festivals to take place, as well.
After gaining approval from the Kitsap Pubic Facilities District’s board and the Port of Bremerton, $500,000 was allocated for the engineering and design study as a next step in the process of converting over 230 acres of land into racetrack. Neither group is locked into spending any more money on Circuit of the Northwest at this time, and had earlier approved $60,000 for a feasibility study.
Whispers of a new track have been floating around some racing circles in Washington for many years now, but will Washington State be the next to gain a new racing facility? Knowing some people in the autocrossing circles around that area, we can say for certain that there is some excitement for new tarmac.
(Courtesy: Kitsap Sun. Thanks to Tyler Brunkhorst for the tip!)