Honda's Transportation Research Center in Ohio

One of the cool things about Google Maps (and Earth) is that you can get a unique bird's-eye view of a lot of places that are typically locked down to the general public. For car enthusiasts, that means you can look inside automakers proving grounds to see what test facilities actually look like. One common element of these facilities are road surfaces built to duplicate particularly troublesome real world environments. When GM built a new handling track at its Milford proving ground earlier this decade, it replicated some of the toughest corners from race tracks around the world, such as Watkins Glen and the Nürburgring.

It looks as if Honda's test track at the Transportation Research Center in Ohio has followed suit with a duplicate of Japan's Tsukuba Circuit. Gran Turismo fans have no doubt driven this track in a virtual sense but it appears that Honda's U.S. test drivers get to run a mildly modified version on a regular basis. The basic layout is mostly the same, but a few corners have been altered -- probably to allow for testing certain vehicle behaviors, as well as to accommodate that large skid pad in the middle.

[Source: Car and Driver]

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