The first few years of the 1950s saw sports car events evolve from chummy club gatherings for “gentlemen racers” into more serious competition as interest in the sport gained traction. With the growing number of cars and drivers, more races were needed up and down the west coast to satisfy the demand. As a result, several venues had been added to the race calendar including Pebble Beach, Golden Gate Park, Palm Springs, Torrey Pines, Santa Barbara and Stockton Airport, all of which were in California. In the Pacific Northwest, early races were held at Bellingham Airport, Shelton Airport and Paine Field, each in Washington State. Sports car racing was on its way, just four years after the first organized road race was held at Buchanan Field in Northern California, in late 1949.
The clubs that organized and sanctioned most of the events were the Sports Car Club of America (Northwest and San Francisco Regions) and the California Sports Car Club of Southern California (Cal Club). Each club continued their search for additional, suitable locations on which to race. Even though some races were held on city streets, the majority utilized municipal airports, creating road courses from a combination of runways and access roads. While the landscape was flat and featureless it was ideal for airplanes but not for race cars, however, until a better solution could be found, airport circuits were the best alternative.
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