I remember how excited I was to write a post about driving around Watkins Glen International… a bunch of times… while getting to my station assignment. Well, my experience driving around the Whiskey Hill Raceway at Palmer Motorsports Park beat the WGI experience by a mile… many miles actually. We were let loose on the track at the end of first day with no particular advice on the speed limit or how to drive… you could go as fast as you want… and it was pissing down with rain. The whole thing was awesome!
I set out in a cold car that’s been sitting in the paddock all day, on cold tires, holding a cell phone in my hand taking these pictures, so naturally first lap was nice and slow. I don’t think I went over 60 or 70mph on the straights. Definitely much slower than that in the corners. Though my less than 1,000 mile BFGoodrich Sport Comp 2’s felt very stable and grippy right from the get-go. For my second lap I put the phone down (remembering that I have the dash cam going and could save the video instead) and gave it a little bit more jandal… The car felt very stable and responsive. Though I kept it a reasonable speed knowing full well that if I brake it, it would be a rather pricey tow bill for 170 miles across several states to get home. Nonetheless even at grandpa speeds I had a blast! What an amazing facility. The uphill climbs are fairly steep. There’s a ton of blind corners. The track is wide enough to try different lines. And then when you get to the summit, you get to zig zag down the mountain which is just as much fun as the climb up. I loved it!
Of course I took a bunch of shots of the car the next morning to illustrate just the magnitude of the boulders that the track is chiseled out of. Pretty amazing.
Note the heavy earth moving equipment that is working on improving the track daily. Can’t wait to see this place when finished!