The imports, sport compacts and bikes return to Brainerd International Raceway this weekend for a second turbo-charged round of racing action during the Modern Automotive Performance (MAP) Proving Grounds.
This is the first year that there’s been two Proving Grounds weekends on BIR’s racing schedule because the event is growing fast, with more than 5,000 drivers and fans during the first event in June.
This weekend’s Proving Grounds will again showcase cars, trucks and bikes from all corners of the Midwest and Canada. Front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive cars, including the turbo-charged variety, will compete in drag racing, drifting, autocross, burnout contests and open lapping. A new addition to the event this year is the Triple Tuner Showdown for drivers who enter drag racing, autocross and the Time Attack open lapping on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. They earn points in each event, with the most points earning the Showdown title. In June, the top three finishers were (in order) Brandon Ranvek, Ronnie Soliman and Tom Hille. Ranvek and Soliman drove Mitsobishi Evo IXs, while Hille drove an Evo VIII.
On the drag strip, cars and import bikes will compete in seven different classes, including Outlaw, Outlaw Natural, Real Street Natural and Real Street Unlimited. Speeds are expected to dip into the 8-second range on the quarter mile. Testing will be Friday, followed by time trials and qualifying Saturday, and then qualifying and eliminations on Sunday.
Drag racing is a big part of the program but the drifting competition is typically the fan favorite each year. Driving through a course marked by orange cones, drivers are timed as they fly through the course mostly in controlled (or uncontrolled, in some cases) skids. That usually creates a lot of smoke, burnt rubber and screeching. Drifting starts Friday evening and continues Saturday and Sunday.
Autocross, which will be Friday and Saturday evenings, involves cars maneuvering through a course while they’re timed. Unlike drifting, autocross is about car control and driving skills.
BIR’s 2.5-mile, 13-turn Competition Road Course will be busy Saturday and Sunday with open lapping and a Time Attack for the fastest lap. A burnout contest is at 7 p.m. Saturday, and the event concludes with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Sunday.
“The MAP Proving Grounds continues to really grow and is quickly becoming one of our more popular events,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “The drifting competition, for example, draws a great crowd and is a lot of fun to watch.”
The Proving Grounds is for novice drivers, expert drives and everything in between. Those who want to compete should contact Modern Automotive Performance.
Daily admission is $15 with kids 12 and under free. On-site camping is free with a multi-day ticket.