Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Area-51 for racecars...In PA...?

Anyone who has driven across the PA Turnpike knows the horror. The narrow stretch of pavement that bisects the state is hopelessly dwarfed by mega-highways of today's standards. It's claustrophobic, bumpy, endless and effing expensive to traverse (ballpark $20 in tolls for a Pittsburgh to Philly jaunt). Unless you have made the trip across I76, you cannot appreciate how little middle PA has to offer in terms of scenery, cities of note, or general culture for that matter. Ever been to Breezewood? No, too obscure you say, well how about Harrisburg? Me neither. Reading? Negative. The list goes on and reads like a who's-who of shitty burbs, dives and strongholds of typical family values. Not the kind of place to get off the well-worn path, if you catch my drift.

That is of course, unless you are major player in motorsports, then you'd be lining up to go to Donegal, PA (SE of Pittsburgh) to a portion of the abandoned turnpike. According to this article from Racecar Enginnering Chip Ganassi Racing among others (?) have been using a dilapidated ex-turnpike tunnel for a crazy mixture of stright line aerodynamic testing and windtunnel duties. All these activities can be completed under the shroud of secrecy (or until hikers stumble upon discarded drums of racing fuel and hear burnouts resonating through the woods, which of course happened). Tally these racing folks as the only people to ever be drawn to Donegal, PA for reasons other than reenacting Deliverance and/or The Blair Witch Project.

Here is the only footage known to exist of Area-51 Racecar-PA Branch. Enjoy- Three good men died to obtain it:

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