Sports

Track heats up at Portland International Raceway

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- The track is getting hot at Portland International Raceway with drivers from around the world preparing for the 58th Rose Cup Race. 

Practice and qualifiers are all day Friday and there are races throughout the weekend. 

Find the complete schedule and how to get tickets here

After a 13 year hiatus the Pirelli World Challenge has brought the flair of world class car racing back to PIR.

Iconic cars -- Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley-- plus drivers from around the world will take part in the race. One of the drivers, 20-year-old Samantha Tam from Toronto, said her passion to race started when her dad took her to the track as a kid.

"It was when I got into my very first race car and did a hot lap with a pro driver and I remember, like, the speed, like, I had the biggest smile on my face," she told KOIN 6 News. "When I got out I said, 'This is really, really awesome! I want to be a race car driver, too."

The big expensive cars are here -- but the DNA of the Rose Cup Race weekend has always contained the spirit of amateur drivers as well. 

John Williams  is in the furniture business in his day job in Renton, Washington. But at the Rose Cup Race at PIR, you'll  know him as the middle of the pack driver of his Spec Racing Miata #56

"This is just my fun," Williams said. "I guess I'm an adrenaline junkie so it's fun to come out here and we call it playing on the track."

The world is here to race again this weekend. The spectacular cars and drivers with big teams plus drivers like John Williams -- who is almost his own team-- make up one of the big PIR events here this summer.

KOIN 6 News reporter Kohr Harlan contributed to this report.


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