With high-stakes drama and superhuman skills on display at every turn, watching a professional motor race is an experience unlike any other. And as any racing fan will tell you, there’s nothing more intoxicating than the sound of revving engines and the smell of burning rubber at the race tracks.
Opened in 1992, Everland Speedway brought the thrill of motorsport to Korea. Located near the Everland resort and amusement park, the 4.346km circuit has hosted some of the biggest competitions in the region, including the Super Race Championship and Click Speed Festival. With its long and illustrious history, Everland Speedway is the forefront of promoting motorsport in Korea and provides a fertile training ground for elite drivers in the country.
Roaring to Go
Everland Speedway’s Race Track Manager Sung-wook Son is one of many Korean drivers who first tasted the thrill of motorsport at the world-class circuit. When he was young, his father brought him to the tracks to watch a competition. The rest, as they say, is history.
“When the cars raced through the first corner, I was so excited I even cried,” Son recalls. “I knew I wanted to work in the motorsport industry in that moment.”
As the circuit’s Race Track Manager, Son coordinates activities and events for Speedway’s members and provides on-site support during major events. With extensive experience as a racer and instructor, Son also manages the newly-launched AMG Speedway Driving Team, which he hopes will spur the growth of motorsport in Korea.
Reaching the top of the Podium
Even though Son has only joined Everland Speedway for a short time, he knows the race course like the back of his hand. In the early years of his racing career, Son travelled frequently from his hometown, Busan, to Speedway to hone his skills on the tracks.
“As the center of motorsport in the country, Speedway also gave me plenty of opportunities to learn from others” Son says. “Aside from practicing on the tracks, I also spent hours watching other drivers, observing their movements and following their driving line.”
In 2000, Son’s childhood dream came true when he made his professional debut in the Speedway Rookie Class. In just a few years, the budding driving was promoted to the GT class, the top racing category at the time, after achieving a string of impressive results.
Fueling the Passion
Throughout this illustrious career, Son says he has constantly been driven by the desire to promote motorsport in Korea. His efforts paid off at last year’s Super Race Opening Ceremony, when over 30,000 spectators turned up for the event.
“It always puts smile on my face to see people enjoying races,” he says.
To ensure the popularity of motorsport in Korea continues to blossom, Son and his team work tirelessly to maintain the world-class quality of Speedway’s operations. Their hard work was recognized by Jean Todt, President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), who praised the quality of Speedway during his visit.
“The tracks at Speedway are always maintained in the best condition,” Son says. “We are all very proud of our work here.”
Passing the Torch
The popularity of motorsport in Korea has come a long way since Son first started racing. Despite all the progress, he says there’s still a lot of work to do. Looking ahead, the Race Track Manager says he hopes to continue attracting more people to the sport.
“I have a lot of wonderful memories at Speedway. It truly helped me reach my dreams,” he says.