2010 track season has commenced

We recently rang in the 2010 track season at the Monticello Motor Club, where we enjoyed its fine road course (our second tour, though our first on the big track) and drank up the sights and sounds of the fine machinery that tends to show up at these things.

What’s the MMC? A primer:

  • A ~ 3.5-4.2 mile road course (configurable to shorter north and south courses) with ~ 18-20 turns and 450 feet of elevation changes, about 80 miles northwest of New York City
  • Originally intended to be a private “motorsports country club” for high net worth club members (e.g., Jerry Seinfeld)
  • After the global economic crisis of 2008 (we suspect), opened up to other driving clubs and schools- commoners, if you will. As recently as last year, opportunities to drive the full course were about as rare as hen’s teeth; now it’s a given, a way to get more students and car club members (read: $) through the wrought iron gates (adorned with signs stating that entry is “by appointment only”)
  • Architected by Bruce Hawkins and Brian Redman
  • More here, here, here, and here

Inside the MMC clubhouse (which has been reduced to little more than a tent in this economy), we were amused that no one had bothered to wipe off the whiteboard that was evidently put to use in last year’s GM CTS-V Challenge, prompting our classroom instructor to unceremoniously take a cloth to the names of Siler, Baruth, et al. (in what appeared to have been run group assignments) to launch into a prosaic illustrated discourse on the driving school line.

We didn’t take a lot of photos, but here are a few vignettes of stuff that caught our eye.

The weather was perfect. New mods for the season – a set of camber plates, a more aggressive brake pad compound – felt great. The steed performed admirably, although – in the presence of GT3s, Bentley Continentals, and myriad M3s of all stripes – very few were impressed (including slow-moving P-cars not wanting to yield out on the track).

Driving well on the track – by which we mean smoothly, not fast (though speed will come naturally with smoothness) – is so incredibly pleasurable, it reminds us why we love cars (and fine-handling, well-balanced cars especially) in the first place. It is just a joy utilizing lots of track, placing the car where it needs to go, and getting into a nice groove of clipping apexes one after the other. Tracking really is driving nirvana.

Next stop: Thunderbolt. Can’t wait.

~ by velofinds on April 16, 2010.

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