Track Report: Monticello Motor Club, South Course

By John Beltz Snyder

June 01, 2011

Track: Monticello Motor Club, South Course

Location: Monticello, New York

Vehicle: 2012 BMW 1-Series M Coupe

Date: May 13, 2011

Conditions: Cool, overcast, light drizzle.

Drive Report:
We were given access to the South Course, which uses Turns 4 through 12a of the full Monticello circuit. Turn 4 is bypassed by the pit lane, which exited at the outside of Turn 5. From there, we floored it into Turn 6, a fast wide right-hander, at which point we shifted into third gear and bent to the right to set up for Turn 7. Staying to the outside (left), we braked late and heavy before pulling in hard to the right for a late apex. Turn 7 really showed off the amount of grip of the 1M Coupe.

After this turn, we had to move back out to the right before turning into Turn 8, a left-hander that serves as the beginning to a long, uphill ess. Turn 9 is a little tricky; you have to start wide and hold onto grip while gradually working in toward the late apex on this. This long left-hander with decreasing radius banks uphill, then downhill, and allowed us to carry a lot of speed so long as we didn’t reach the inside of the turn before the apex.

After the apex, we accelerated slightly downhill, then braked a bit before powering through turn 10. Turns 10 and 11 essentially make up one big, double-apex right turn before a short straight. We tried to carry as much speed as we could without missing the second apex at Turn 11.

Wide-open throttle after apex, then we braked hard before Turn 12, a 90-degree right-hand turn leading onto another straight. We powered out of Turn 12 as hard as possible before climbing the hill into 12a. (The Full Course bypasses Turn 12a, and the straight extends a long way before Turn 13.) This straight was the opportunity to go fastest on the South Course, reaching into triple digits as be begin our gradual ascent into the final turn. 12a is a long right-hander cresting gently just about at the apex. After that, we slowed down for downhill entry into the pit lane before our next lap (we were required to roll through the pit lane between laps).

One thing we noticed about driving this course in the BMW 1M was that once we got up to speed, we could pretty much leave it in third gear for the entire lap. Even on the sharper corners, the track was wide enough and the torque ample enough that we could carry a lot of speed and be able to conjure up plenty of power on exit. Also, while there were a lot of elevation changes, none of them felt particularly drastic, meaning fairly good visibility throughout. The circuit, which finished construction in 2008, is very smooth and forgiving.