Saturday, April 24, 2010

Monticello Motor Club

John Marine | 4/24/2010 01:07:00 AM |
(UPDATED: May 19, 2012)

The Monticello Motor Club is a private race track in upstate New York is about a 90-minute drive out west from New York City. The 22-turn track opened in 2008 and is based in Monticello, New York, USA. I first got to see this track from an exclusive Speed Channel show called the "Cadillac CTS-V Challenge." Monticello Motor Club is over 4.1 miles of intense race track not far from the northernmost tip of New Jersey and the northwesternmost ends of Pennsylvania. This blog entry offers what I think about this race track along with my own description of one lap around this course.


MAY 19 2012 - edited links and images

--- Monticello Motor Club ---

Here is a look at the track's configuration:

Monticello Motor Club
^ from: - This is the track layout to the challenging Monticello Motor Club. It is a private race track which is an hour and a half drive from New York City.

I personally think that if this track were to be open to Formula 1, the F1 cars COULD easily make those lap times anywhere between 1:30.000 to 1:45.000 without fail. I'm not even sure how today's F1 cars would fare around this course. I know the jilted USF1 team does some of their testing at Barber Motorsports Park, but how would they do if they raced at Monticello Motor Club? The track is beautiful as it is. It's a Grand Prix-style racing course in length. I'm not saying it will ever happen, but this course could easily become a great race track for hosting international-caliber racing if it were not a private facility. It has the length, the character, the challenge, and the intrigue of an international circuit. It could host anything from the SCCA Pro Racing to MotoGP to any FIA racing (including Formula 1). It is an international-spec racing track, even if there were extra facilities to make it worthy of becoming a proper European-style Grand Prix racing course (like big grandstands, super-fancy facilities, garages accessible on pit road, etc.).

NOTE: The route that I will describing uses the pit stretch as the starting point. However, a number of videos I've seen on YouTube put the Start/Finish point after the hairpin. So this track description will be based on the Start/Finish line on this track's front stretch.

The long front stretch gives way to a moderately sharp left-hand Turn 1, followed immediately by a sharper right-hand Turn 2. The radius increases out of Turn 2 heading into a little right-hand kink. Two successive moderate radius corners follow in left-right fashion. The second of these two corners goes downhill, but then gradually back uphill. A left-hand kink follows and leads to a long sweeping left. There is a slight downhill to this section as you take this sweeper. Exiting the sweeper, you're faced with a little kink followed by a medium-speed double apex pair of corners. A brief straight follows after this section. A very sharp right-hander leads onto the very long backstretch. The backstretch at Monticello Motor Club reminds me of the front stretch of Interlagos in the sense that you can almost ride this section like a superspeedway oval. As Jeremy Clarkson would say here, "POWER!" A high-speed right-hand kink leads to the next complex of corners. A moderate right-hand corner leads to a slow left-right chicane. This section reminds me of the Dunlop Chicane at Le Mans. A slight right-hand kink in the road after this complex leads to a slight uphill followed by a right-hand kink, then goes downhill for a fast left-right chicane. The road goes slightly uphill. After clearing this section, a very slow right-hand chicane follows. A long straight follows before a sharp left-hand corner follows. This section is more like a double apex because there's a sharp left-hand kink after the previous section. The road then sweeps left. A moderately sharp right follows after ths straight. It's very easy to overshoot the corner and go off course, so make sure you're paying attention as you see the road bend up to the right. The final section is a left-hand section that is medium-speed. Make the run down the front stretch to complete one lap around beautiful Monticello Motor Club.

That's how I've described this track from a YouTube video I've seen. When Speed Channel aired the "CTS-V Challenge," John Heinricy (who I greatly respect) lapped the Monticello Motor Club's full course with a lap time of 2:46.560. A 1991 Spec Miata 1.6 (according to lapped the full course with a time of 2:53.9. So you can imagine that laps will be pretty long. I honestly think that a modern F1 car could lap this course within the range of 1:30.000 to 1:45.000. Maybe the USF1 team could put on an exhibition by racing this course to see what times they'd come up with on the long course.

A lot of video laps I've seen of this course use the Start/Finish line at the backstretch after the hairpin. I do not have a video using the long pit straight as the starting point. So therefore, I do not have a video lap to share with you all based on the pit straight used.

For a more detailed lap description, this is a Monticello Motor Club lap, courtesy of The Pansy Patrol.

To learn more about Monticello Motor Club, visit Monticello Motor Club. Thank you for reading!

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