BeaveRun MotorSports Complex
Location Big Beaver Borough, Pennsylvania (45 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh)
Track Configuration 1.53-mile, 12-turn North Track
Facilities 400 acres, South Track (under development), Wilson Circuit 0.82-mile, 17-turn kart track, kart rentals, driving schools, off-road course, 12,000sq-ft Event Center, 6-acre Vehicle Dynamics Area (used for autocross and skidpad)
BeaveRun MotorSports Complex is one of those hidden gem racetracks that somehow continues to fly under the radar of far too many motoring enthusiasts. Designed by renowned architect Alan Wilson and opened for business in 2002, perhaps part of BeaveRun’s relatively low profile is its location. Pittsburgh (the nearest city to BeaveRun) may have great football and hockey franchises, but it’s hardly at the center of the motorsports world.
Still, it’s well worth the trip to Big Beaver Borough, Pennsylvania and not just for the comedic value of its name. Integrated into the naturally hilly terrain of the property, BeaveRun MotorSports Complex is both visually beautiful and hugely fun to drive. You can see all but one corner of the North Track from pit lane (turn 7 being obscured by its hilltop location behind some trees), with the 1.53-mile asphalt circuit snaking its way across the landscape in a natural and flowing way. This gives BeaveRun the feel of a twisty country road, rather than seeming like a purpose-built racing facility.
But thanks to its wonderful flow, constant elevation change, high-speed straights and tricky corner complexes, BeaveRun is a fantastic circuit for motor racing or lapping. It may not attract any of the big professional racing series (yet), but BeaveRun is hugely popular with club racers, lapping day warriors and even autocrossers (who use the Vehicle Dynamics Area to set up their courses), not to mention major car clubs like the BMWCCA. We were there back in 2006 for Redline Time Attack’s first East Coast event, and as much fun as we had winning the FWD Unlimited class trophy (OK, we were the only car in the class), it’s the manhood-testing turn 9 (right on the ragged edge of being flat out at over 120 mph!) and the technical and deceivingly quick complex of turns 1 (off-camber, downhill into a blind apex), 2 (serious curb hopping) and 3 (tantalizingly close to flat out, but as we learned the hard way it’s easy to push too hard and end up parked backward in the weeds) that’s kept this little piece of rural Pennsylvania on our minds some five years later.
BeaveRun may not have the long and rich racing heritage of Laguna Seca or Mid-Ohio, but if you live anywhere in the northeastern United States or southern Ontario, you really should put a trip to BeaveRun on your lapping day short list. There’s ample runoff area for those unscheduled off-track excursions, tons of space in the paddock for your Ford Excursion and trailer, a truly engaging and rewarding circuit and even a classic Facebook picture opportunity thanks to the welcome sign as you drive though nearby Big Beaver Borough.
To see a video of this track, log on to modified.com