Abandoned Tunnels in PA - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-22-2015, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Abandoned Tunnels in PA

So I've started looking into abandoned race tracks and ended up stumbling across abandoned turn pike tunnels in PA. Turns out a racing company decided this would be the perfect place to setup a natural wind tunnel and has been testing here since 2004.

The secrets of Laurel Hill revealed - Racecar Engineering

Exclusive: Secret aerodynamic test facility revealed - Racecar Engineering

I found this very interesting and I'm sure not too many people know about this. While its purpose is to serve as a wind tunnel, you could also work on other aspects of a car in a straight line.

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post #2 of 12 Old 03-23-2015, 12:18 AM
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Very clever recycling!

They must also know that civilians and military might be very interested in renting the tunnel for ballistic tests, trajectory tests and accuracy tests. I've since way back pondering the idea of buying a piece of land where to bury a 200 yard pipeline, for testing my rifles all year round, without disturbing a single soul.

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post #3 of 12 Old 03-23-2015, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have a feeling that this idea might end up at manufacturers as a new wind tunnel idea. Instead of spending stupid amounts of money to create a wind tunnel lab that still has real word accuracy issues. Hell of a lot cheaper to just run power for the computers and lights and environmental equipment and use gas than to run huge turbines as well. The only way to get close to this is to have a rolling road inside the wind tunnel but even then, exhaust gas flows are still not modeled correctly. All the normal ways of mapping air flows by using flowvis, force sensors, air speed sensors and smoke are still there. Only smoke would be difficult but something tells me if you have this type of wind tunnel, you won't need smoke. That can be done elsewhere in a static wind tunnel.

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post #4 of 12 Old 03-23-2015, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Autoholic View Post
So I've started looking into abandoned race tracks and ended up stumbling across abandoned turn pike tunnels in PA. Turns out a racing company decided this would be the perfect place to setup a natural wind tunnel and has been testing here since 2004.

The secrets of Laurel Hill revealed - Racecar Engineering

Exclusive: Secret aerodynamic test facility revealed - Racecar Engineering

I found this very interesting and I'm sure not too many people know about this. While its purpose is to serve as a wind tunnel, you could also work on other aspects of a car in a straight line.
Have you found any abandoned race tracks yet, Joe?

Best wishes, John
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-23-2015, 12:21 PM
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Joe, there is an historic, abandoned racetrack in Upper Marlboro, MD noted on a prior FL thread for sale. Nearby in College Park, MD, the University of Maryland leases access to their wind tunnel which is large enough to house a full size tractor trailer.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-23-2015, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Have you found any abandoned race tracks yet, Joe?
Yes. In America, there is a rather interesting looking track called Greenwood Roadway. It was only used for like 4 year back in the 60's and then ran into financial problems. There are some other ones all over the world. I think there are a few in France and possibly one in England.

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post #7 of 12 Old 03-24-2015, 03:27 PM
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Yes. In America, there is a rather interesting looking track called Greenwood Roadway. It was only used for like 4 year back in the 60's and then ran into financial problems. There are some other ones all over the world. I think there are a few in France and possibly one in England.
Many UK circuits were created from WW2 airfields, using the perimeter roads, sometimes in combination with the runways themselves. Goodwood and Silverstone are two of the best known examples. Some had fairly short lives as the investment needed to turn them into permanent circuits, keep up with changing safety requirements, spectator facilities, etc. was not justified on commercial grounds and in some cases there was opposition from neighbours, too. Silverstone survived, but Goodwood closed in 1966 (subsequently re-opened, of course).

One abandoned circuit I have visited is at Davidstow in Cornwall. Like Goodwood and Silverstone, it was a WW2 airfield, and the circuit was made up of part of the permieter road and the main runway. It was only in use for motor racing for 4 years. It did, however, host 3 formula 1 races (non-championship, of course). It is in a pretty parlous state these days, but I enjoyed driving (at far from racing speeds) round the circuit, potholes and all, thinking about the cars and drivers who had raced on the same roads 50 years before.

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post #8 of 12 Old 03-24-2015, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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I read about that. Most of those WW2 airfield tracks are gone now. I know there is an unused track at the Mercedes Benz World museum, I can't remember the track now.

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post #9 of 12 Old 03-26-2015, 01:38 AM
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I read about that. Most of those WW2 airfield tracks are gone now. I know there is an unused track at the Mercedes Benz World museum, I can't remember the track now.
Brooklands. The first purpose-built race-track in the world. Only parts of it remain.

Best wishes, John
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-26-2015, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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It's sad that the track didn't stay open, especially with that kind of historical importance.

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post #11 of 12 Old 03-26-2015, 11:41 PM
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I read somewhere that there is a plan afoot to restore some of it by demolishing some of the buildings that were built during WW2 but whether they will be able to rebuild the whole thing I do not know. Seems unlikely as so much of it was demolished and built over.

Best wishes, John
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Other: 1990 Bentley Turbo R, 1989 Porsche 911 C2, 2004 Mercedes 500CLK, 2011 Mercedes E350 CDI, 1972 VW T2 Camper, 2014 Fiat 500C, 1963 Jaguar E-type 3.8 FHC, 2015 Maserati Granturismo Sport
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-27-2015, 12:38 PM
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This historic track is on the market

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlboro_Motor_Raceway
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