Pacific Raceways’ $25M Innovation Center, School, And Club Expansion

The upcoming expansion of Pacific Raceways is so extensive that a passerby might assume a new Disney World is being built just south of Seattle. The renovation program includes improving the safety standards of the tree-lined road course — something Washingtonian racers familiar with this old-school track are happy to see happen. However, that is just the start.

President Jason Fiorito stands atop the track he’s turning into a hotspot for automotive innovation in the Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Lucien Knuteson

Soon to be known as Pacific Motorsports Park, the track and the grounds will enjoy roughly $2 million in improvements. But, the new businesses it promises to bring in are the real draw for many. Perhaps the most intriguing change to the site is the new Pacific Innovations Center, which aims to bring tech and motorsport companies closer together to advance automotive technology. This development will entail a build-out of 200,000 square feet of prototype manufacturing and garage space. As of this week, expansion development began in a former overflow parking lot, where gravel extraction and ground development is currently taking place (as seen in the video below).

Looking Toward The Future

Half-track and half-laboratory, the new site is planned to house innovative automotive companies, racing teams, and ambitious industry startups. In addition, it will act as a hub for industry research on alternative fuels, autonomous vehicles, and future automotive technologies. Skilled labor and research facilities have already expressed interest in getting involved, so it’s no wonder why this project has been designated one of four ‘Projects of Statewide Significance’ by the Department of Commerce.

The vast grounds mean the existing kart and motocross facilities won’t be encroached upon. Photo credit: Lori Randall Scharmach

The second and third phases of this $25-million project include the build-out of the innovation center, motorsports club, and racing school. As you can imagine, the size and scope of this project can turn this old-school track into the breeding ground for some truly revolutionary technology. With considerable funding, strong local motorsports culture, and one of the nation’s most prominent tech hubs just 20-miles north, all the right ingredients for a major nerve center are already in place.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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