EFFINGHAM CO., Ga. (WTOC) - Just west of Savannah, tucked away where Chatham County ends and Effingham County begins, sits Roebling Road Raceway, a gem that remains relatively unknown to many people in our area.
“Absolutely a hidden gem, probably because it’s owned by the Sports Car Club of America, SCCA, close to Savannah, relatively inexpensive to utilize,” said Dale Critz, driving enthusiast.
But the raceway has deep roots in our area. It was built as a dragstrip back in 1959 when it was financed by Robert Roebling. Not long afterward, it was added on to become a road course, stretching out at just over two miles of asphalt with nine turns.
People would be surprised at just who has been out there before.
“Back in the day, Paul Newman was out here with Tom Cruise trying to coach him around. Since Paul Newman was a driver he helped him quite a bit to make him a race car driver in the movie,” said Jack Abbott, Roebling Road Raceway Manager. “We have events about every weekend, and through the middle of the week we have test and tune, weather is mild, a 24-hour service down this way.”
Abbott says the track is one of the fastest sets of corners in the country, and you can feel that from the passenger side of the car. Once you hit the straightaway, drivers reach 160-180 miles per hour. Speed can be intimidating and fun, but it’s not the focus of the driver.
“If you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, you’re looking at the turn ahead. You’re not looking right in front of you, you’re not looking at the speedometer, although you’re going really fast, particularly down this straight, but you’re not looking at that. You’re looking at that corner to figure out when you want to break and where you want to turn in. You don’t really get the sensation of speed as much as thinking about what you need to do,” Critz said.
Track Manager Jack Abbott tells up the only way to get on the track to drive is through the various clubs that come to Roebling Road. Just go to their website at roeblingroad.com, click on the calendar, then you have to contact the clubs at their individual websites. Some of those clubs conduct professional driving schools at Roebling Road Raceway.