Those who will be attending Honda AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days presented by Avon Tyres for the first time may be wondering about the best places to watch road racing.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course boasts an undulating 2.4-mile road racing circuit where the vintage and post-vintage motorcycle road racing will take place.
The keyhole offers one of the best views of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course's 2.4-mile road course. Photo by Michael Marino
The size and rolling terrain of the Mid-Ohio facility can make it difficult to figure out the track’s best viewing points.
Here are three places that are easy to find and offer stellar views:
- The Keyhole: Its name comes from the part of the road course it overlooks, which is a long, narrow section of the track that features a 180-degree turn. The large observation mound is near of the main entrance to the track (Gate 1) and overlooks the highest elevation of the road course. It’s close to the car parking lot, the swap meet, and the campground. Find it quickly: It is under the large AMA billboard at the Mid-Ohio entrance.
The keyhole mound features a great view of one of the most challenging turns on the course, as well as a view of nearly the entire back straight. You can watch motorcycles come out from under the bridge on the front straight, navigate the off-camber keyhole corner and then accelerate away at full throttle down the back straight.
The Esses: This area is on the inside of the track at the end of the back straight. This section is called the “Esses” for the series of corners it overlooks (which alternate left-right like the letter “S”). From the Esses mound, you can see the downhill end of the back straight, which leads to a difficult, off-camber 90-degree right hander, followed by a tight uphill left-hand corner. This section is one of the best passing opportunities on the track, so you’re bound to see a lot of action here.
Unlike the keyhole, this area offers some shade. The Esses are also close to the many attractions on the infield at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, such as the bike shows, the midway, the seminar tent and many of the food vendors.
The Grandstands: Located on the outside of the track directly across from the Esses viewing mound are Mid-Ohio’s two permanent grandstands. They are accessed by a tunnel from the infield area that goes under the back straight. While these seats are isolated from other AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days attractions, they offer the same views as the Esses observation mound, plus views of Turn 1 and the latter part of the Esses section. The grandstands also offer bleacher-style seating, so you’re not stuck sitting on the ground or having to lug lawn chairs around the event.