The track opened on Labor Day weekend with kart racing held by the Indianapolis Kart Club.
Other events that year included time trials by the Indianapolis Corvette Club; the Hoosier Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America held the first driving school; Track Time Performance Driving School held the first commercial driving school at Putnam Park.
The last event of the year was a driving school held by the Central Indiana Region of the Porsche Club of America, under the direction of Richard L. Diasio, the track owner. On Friday, October 4th, the first day of the Porsche Club school, it rained so hard that the dirt paddock (not yet paved!) turned to a sea of mud and anyone trying to get from the gravel entry road to the paved pits got stuck in the mud! Rick and Chris Diasio, Richard’s sons, rescued the event by buying every plywood sheet from the local hardware store and laying them end-to-end to the pits. What started off as a nightmarish weekend ended with the mostly novice group of drivers having a wonderful time learning how to drive their high performance cars on a real race track.
The first test done by a professional team at Putnam Park was on November 13, 1991 when Larry Nash of LP Racing brought out two new Shelby Can-Am cars. LP Racing still tests at Putnam Park as do many professional teams. Since then, over 250 professional drivers have tested at Putnam Park Road Course.
Putnam Park has undergone many improvements since the opening in 1991. Over 1200 linear feet of guardrail has been removed; ground has been graded to provide additional runoff room, and gravel traps have been added in areas to enhance safety. In 1997, the entire track was repaved and the curbing was widened up to 4 feet in all areas and painted red & white for increased visibility.
In 1999, the paved paddock area, behind the pits, was completely repaved. In Winter 2003, the fence along the pits was replaced with a white 4-rail poly fence. In Spring 2004, the gravel areas in the back paddock area were paved. In Spring 2011 the restrooms were completely renovated.
Many more changes are planned for Putnam Park Road Course, including garages and a complete repave of the facilities. We hope you will be there with us to see them all.