CIRCUITS: MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE
Name: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Midway between Cleveland and Columbus, in the rolling hill country of central Ohio, is the Mid-Ohio racing circuit. The 2.48-mile facility was built in 1962 and was mainly used for small club competitions in its early years. By the end of the 1960s, however, the facility hosted a round of the CanAm Championship - won by Denny Hulme - and the Continental Championship (won by George Follmer in a Lotus 70) - and it became a regular venue for both the CanAm and Formula 5000 series in the 1970s and early 1980s.
In 1981 the circuit was bought by entrepreneur Jim Trueman, who had made a fortune from his successful Red Roof Inn chain of motels and indulged his passion for motor racing (he had been a successful amateur racer) by sponsoring a series of young drivers. That same year he established the Truesports Indycar team. He invested heavily in both, repaving Mid-Ohio and gradually transforming it from a quiet backwater into a major racing facility. The circuit is challenging with a tricky series of 13 corners and some sudden rises and dips.
Trueman died in June 1986 - after having seen his protege Bobby Rahal win the Indianapolis 500 - but Mid-Ohio has been run since his death by his widow Barbara and daughter Michelle Trueman-Gajoch. CART first visited the circuit in 1980 - when Johnny Rutherford won in a Chaparral and it has been a regular CART venue since 1983. In the 1990s a tradition developed of the same driver winning two races in a row with Michael Andretti (1990-1991), Emerson Fittipaldi (1992-1993), Al Unser (1994-1995) and Alex Zanardi (1996-1997).
In recent years it has also hosted a round of the Indy Lights series.
The circuit was upgraded and the length slightly modified (to 2.25-miles) in 1997.