Skills and Knowledge
Thunderhill Raceway Park Track Guide
Address: 5250 CA-162, Willows, CA Website: thunderhill.com Track Length: 3 mile east (15 turns), 2 mile west (10 turns)
Thunderhill Raceway features 2 courses, one 3 miles long and the other 2 miles long, which can be combined into a 5 mile long course, the longest road course in America.
Thunderhill has plenty of rolling hills and undulating turns, making it a very technical track. Combined with ample amounts of dirt run-off and few walls, this is the perfect place to learn how to drive your car at its limit.
With the variety of track configurations and skidpads, events held here include HPDE, autocross, and drifting, sometimes at the same time!
How do I get here?
Thunderhill Raceway Park is about 1hr 45min from Sacramento and 2.5hrs from San Francisco/East Bay.
From either Bay Area or Sacramento, drive north on I-5 until you reach the Willows exit. Turn left on Biggs-Willows and go 7 miles until you see the track entrance on the right.
Driving down the main entrance road, you'll soon reach the main gate. Once you enter the raceway park past the check in, you will immediately see the paddock for the East track.
To get to the West paddock, turn left at the gas station. Follow the road past the skidpads and you will eventually go over a hill that leads you to the West paddock.
Tips from Track Manual
- Remember there are two tracks, East and West, so head to the proper paddock for your event.
- Thunderhill is often ran in multiple configurations including cyclone or bypass for East.
- There are a limited amount of canopies available, so if they are not reserved by your event, make sure to go early and get one for some shade from the heat. However, they are not very good at blocking rain and keeping things dry.
- On-site Thunder grill (East paddock) has a pretty good selection of burgers, fries, and vegetarian options.
- There is a lot of dirt run-off which is good in the dry, but becomes muddy in the rain. Be extra careful on wet track days because if your car gets stuck in the mud, there’s a good chance you’ll need a tow truck to get out.
- Most lodging is in nearby Willows, which is less than 15min away from the track.
- There is a tire shop next to the skidpad, which can change and dispose of tires during your track day. If you plan to use it, make sure to call in advance to check if they are open.
- Don’t speed on the way to the track. You may be tempted by the long stretches of open road between Willows and Thunderhill, but please keep your cars at or below the speed limit. You would be surprised who is monitoring, and you may be turned away from the event by the organizer.
- Some common lingo:
- Turn 3 West a.k.a The Dorito
- Turn 5 East a.k.a The Crows Nest or Bypass (depending on configuration)
Thunderhill Raceway track days for 2023
Includes East, West, and 5 Mile configurations
- 11/25-11/26 Lightspeed
- 12/2-12/3 Hooked on Driving Northern California
- 12/8 East Turn 8
- 12/9-12/10 East Speed SF
- 12/16-12/17 Ongrid