Years in the making, new area racing facility will mix motorsports, upscale amenities

Bremerton on Friday marked the groundbreaking of a new 232-acre site owned by the Port of Bremerton that will include motorsports racing and offer upscale amenities.

The project, Circuit of the Northwest, the first of its kind in the region, has a projected opening for 2021.

The project plans call for a 2.66-mile Tilke circuit road course along with motocross and KIA certified karting facilities, an indoor shooting range, RV park, festival and event sites for public and private use. A state-of-the-art clubhouse overlooking the Olympic Mountains also is part of the plan.

According to Circuit’s website, “This will be a place where car enthusiasts can keep, show and exercise their vehicles as well as enjoy social time with others who share a passion for performance vehicles.”

The site will include a hospitality venue and “unparalleled clubhouse amenities that include dining facilities, meeting spaces, simulators and a spa,” according to a news release.

“We’re thrilled to start construction on the Circuit of the Northwest,” said Brian Nilsen, owner and founding member, in a news release.“The site’s location in the Port of Bremerton is well positioned to serve our goal of connecting the Seattle-Tacoma markets with the strong community of motorsports.The property will serve as a special, memorable destination that connects the thrill of racing and motorsports with local residents and special events.”

Talk of this project goes back years, and it raises the prospect of a future role Tacoma could play in it, particularly in some fashion with LeMay America’s Car Museum.

“The Circuit of the Northwest is looking for and open to strategic partnerships such as Tacoma’s car museum,” according to project media representative Hannah Breeding in an emailed response to questions this week about the project.

Reaction from museum officials was equally positive.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” Jennifer Maher, CEO of LeMay – America’s Car Museum and America’s Automotive Trust told The News Tribune on Friday via email.

“Our goal is to promote car culture and technical automotive careers not only in Tacoma, but across the nation, and we welcome Circuit of the Northwest as a partner in helping grow enthusiasm in motorsports.”

“We can’t wait until this incredible facility opens,” said Kristen Wells, Partnership Development Officer of America’s Automotive Trust.

“Our members are going to be thrilled to watch their favorite cars and motorcycles in action, and we’re looking forward to the educational and partnership opportunities that this outstanding organization will bring to the area.”