Gingerman Raceway

Address: Gingerman Raceway,
         South Haven
         49063 Michigan

Georgia Zachariah, Track Manager
Tel: (616) 253-4445


Alan Wilson:
Tel: (303) 660-0528
Fax: (303) 660-0529

PRESS RELEASE, October 9, 1995


A new club level race track developed to serve the burgeoning demands of Chicago-Detroit area car and motorcycle racers has been completed and is now available for use.

The Ginger Man Raceway (named after track developer Dan Schnitta's Chicago tavern) is located 5 miles east of Lake Michigan's South Haven resort, just two hours from Chicago and approximately 180 miles west of Detroit. The club level track was designed by Denver's Alan Wilson to meet the needs of both car and motorcycle club racers and is notable for the high levels of safety and spectator viewing that have been achieved.

"We have tried to provide a track that will enable club racers to compete without the fear of damaging their cars, or themselves, if and when the run off course", said Wilson, "Recreational racers cannot afford to repair their cars after minor mistakes, so we have provided wide open run-off areas that are as smooth as a golf course fairway. We have also tried to build a track that will encourage close competition, so have included at least four major overtaking points. There is also a very technical section (from Turns 7 through 10) that will allow a well driven smaller car to match a more powerful vehicle's overall lap times, providing for exciting racing."

Ginger Man Raceway is an 11 turn 36-ft. wide track with a range of different corners and gradients. It has five straight of 1427, 1377, 956, 880 and 415 ft. length and a section linked by a fast kink of 1115 ft. There are approximately 40 ft. of gradient change from the track's highest to lowest points, and several corners and two major breaking areas have noticeable elevation changes, The track's asphalt surface has been specifically designed for racing be the Koch Material Handling Company, whose StyrElf polymer has been used to prevent breakup problems that have plagued many other facilities.

"It was important to provide a wear surface that would be economical for club level competitors, who cannot afford to replace tires every time they race, " said Wilson. "The Ginger Man surface is specifically formulated to provide grip without undue wear. I have also been able to test it in the rain and am very happy with the amount of wet weather grip it provides."

Great Spectator Viewing

The whole track can be seen from the central spectator hill between turns 3 and 7. The other major viewing areas are at Turn 1 and 2 and at Turn 11, both of which allow fans to see several corners and straights. There are extensive site parking, camping and RV areas on site.

Open for testing in 1995, racing in 1996

Ginger Man opened on October 6 for private testing and will continue to operate in this manner until the end of the year. A full season of club racing, private rentals and testing will begin in 1996.


Developer Dan Schnitta is a long time club racer from Chicago, where he owns the Ginger Man Tavern near Wrigley Field. Dan has an eclectic collection of sports and exotic cars and motorcycles several of which have already found their way onto the new race track. Track manager is Georgia Zachariah who is based at the facility.

South Haven is a popular tourist resort on the East Coast of Lake Michigan. It offers a large variety of weekend, bed and breakfast style accommodations and is served by a number of hotels in the adjacent tourist resorts of Benton Harbor, Saugatuck and St. Joseph.

Ginger Man Raceway is located east of South Haven, on Phoenix road, 5-1/2 miles from Interstate 196. It is approximately 2 hours from Chicago's O'Hare Airport and about 180 miles west of Detroit. The nearest existing race track is Gratten, approximately 2 hours to the north east.

Track design is by Alan Wilson, of Wilson Motorsport, a Denver track design and management company. Wilson is a former car and motorcycle racer who was Director of Operations at Brands Hatch in England before coming to the USA in 1983. He has operated events for Formula One, Indy Car, Trans-Am, IMSA GTP and International motorcycles, including the famed Trans-Atlantic race series. He has designed and built street race tracks for IMSA GTP, Indy Car and Trans-Am events in Columbus, Ohio, Denver and Dallas. He is responsible for the design of the infield road coarse for the new Las Vegas Speedway, a 3 mile road course currently in development near Philadelphia and for the layout and development of the new Palm Springs International Raceway. He is also in the process of designing a new international class race track in Korea.

On-going development. Although Ginger Man Raceway has opened for testing, some facilities, such as race control, timing and scoring and some paddock facilities are still to be completed. Corner posts, additional tire walls and service road and paddock asphalting are also scheduled for completion before full scale racing activity begins.

Where To Stay


Van Buren State Park I196 Rt 3, Box 122B South Haven, MI 49090 Tel: 616 637-2788 Dune Lake I196 Exit 7 80379 CR 376 Coloma, MI 49038 Tel: 616 764-8941 Motels:-

Friendship Inn
I196 Exit 18
9817 M-140 Hwy
South Haven
MI 49090
Tel: 616 637-5141    Fax: 616 637-1109

Old Harbor Inn
I196 Exit 20
515 Williams St
South Haven
Tel: 616 637-8480    Fax: 616 637-8492

Seymour House
1248 Adams Rd
South Haven
Tel: 616 227-3918