Club Motorsports

A White Mountain Drive Like No Other

By Jake Risch

Mother Nature has created some unparalleled attractions and natural phenomena in the White Mountains, offering visitors and residents endless beauty and exploration options. It’s always a thrill to see man-made endeavors that complement and heighten the appeal of the natural landscape—creating as impressive an attraction. One such place is Club Motorsports in Tamworth, NH, a 2.5-mile, European-style road course located at the base of the White Mountains.

Many who frequent the area have probably driven by the course several times while traveling on Route 25. It is not easily visible from the road, with only narrow glimpses of each of the three entrances as you drive by. Nothing to suggest the scale and magnitude of a world-class track neatly nested halfway between the Lakes Region to the west and the mountains to the north. It has been a time-consuming project that broke ground in 2013. The silver lining to such a long endeavor is the chance to refine the design and layout after much input from professionals in the auto industry. Many of which have visited and driven, or raced, on famous circuits all around the globe.

Club Motorsports has taken input from these individuals, bringing to its members one of the best tracks in the Northeast. Others who have visited the track have said it is “one of the best in the country.” Either way, that is some pretty high praise.

This is a private facility, not open to the general public. Club Motorsports is basically a country club for people who don’t necessarily want to play golf. This is a club for individuals to come drive their cars in a safe, controlled manner, where they can utilize the full potential of their vehicle and grow as a driver with professional guidance. A place for car enthusiasts to come and share their camaraderie with like-minded individuals.

That being said, currently there is no other place out there quite like it. Between the location, the layout, and especially the elevation change, it makes for a very unique experience. It is one of those courses that as soon as you start driving, you know you are experiencing something special. With over 700 feet of up and down elevation in one lap, it drives like a giant roller coaster. The course has some of the most substantial elevation change of any track found in North America. And it’s right in our own backyard. Quite special indeed.

A drive up Route 25, offers occasional glimpses or little sneak peaks of the facility and course. But it is like looking at an iceberg—only the elusive tip remains visible, and what remains behind the trees is a near perfect ribbon of driving nirvana set into the side of a mountain.

Upon arrival, members and guests are greeted at the gate house and are asked to run through normal check-in procedures, such as signing of waivers. From this vantage point, there’s more of a reveal of just what lays beyond the trees, hints that tease at what lays ahead on course. It’s enough to feel your heart rate increase ever so slightly in anticipation.

Imagine that you are about to experience this course, and ride along. As you enter the paddocks, you see other people unloading their cars to prepare for the day. After unloading and finishing preparations, time allows for a quick trip up the western access road. This road is your first real glimpse of just how much of an undertaking the construction of this  course was. As you continue your way up around the first bend, you have the reveal of Turn 15 and the front straight. Continuing further up, the road wraps around to the right, unveiling the rocky cliffside that makes up Turn 10 and 11. At the top, the grand views start to take shape. The elevation change becomes more evident, allowing you an expansive look at what lays before you. It’s a near perfect ribbon of driving paradise set into the side of a mountain, coupled with vista views of the southern edge of the White Mountains. It is nothing less than gorgeous. The course layout works with the mountain contours, rather than trying to force the layout against it. It has a natural flow to it and an almost symbiotic relationship with the surroundings. The way the mountain seems to embrace the course makes it very inviting.

Helmet on, belts secured, you head up into pit lane and the fun begins. After acknowledging the starter person and given the green light, you continue on to enter the course via pit lane. Rounding the outside of Turn 1, you see the bright yellow cones signifying the blend line where you merge on to the course. Your heart rate seems to increase in unison with the speedometer while coming up to speed entering on course. The first corner after entering the course is Turn 2a. There is a slight compression in the turn as two different angles come together and meet in the middle, further upsetting the suspension the closer to the apex of the corner you get. But you are still climbing in elevation at the same time. Turn 2b is coming up quickly, so it’s important to stay to the left and be patient before turning into the apex, as proper placement of the vehicle is crucial in order to enter into Turn 3 correctly without overshooting the exit and ending up in the grass. Patience and late apex is the name of the game for most of this course.

After exiting Turn 3, you really start to pick up speed as you continue to climb and pass through Turn 4, gradually making your way to the left-hand side in order to set up correctly for Turn 5.

Turn 5 is thrilling! It’s a sharp, right-hand turn that shoots uphill with a dramatic increase in elevation in a very short amount of time. From there you are now on the back “straight.” I use the term “straight” loosely because it is a blind crest with a slight shift from right, back to left. As the crest starts to flatten out, the mountains of the Sandwich Range and Mount Chocorua come into view over the tops of the trees ahead. It is quite a majestic sight, but one that is short lived due to the fact that you now are encroaching upon 100 mph and need to start braking hard to make it safely through Turn 6.

You really start to descend quite quickly as you pass through to the right hand, which is Turn 6. From there, continue downhill and move over to the right in order to enter into Turn 7 correctly and safely. Continue through the apex of Turn 7, and be careful to keep your eyes forward and not on the grand view that lays before you. Like the course itself, the mountains are breathtaking, but there is no time to dwell as you pick up more speed and enter into Turn 8.  The elevation levels out for a short bit and then slowly begins to climb again as you continue on through Turn 9a and move to the right, setting up for Turn 9b, a left-hand turn at the base of Horsepower Hill. This is the steepest part of the course, with a 14% uphill grade.

Entering Turn 9b correctly, allows you to enter the corner at wide-open throttle and continue up Horsepower Hill. It then levels off at the top of the hill, which marks the entrance to the Canyon area that makes up Turn 10 and 11. This is the most technical part of the course and has no particular “right line” to take. Turn 10 has a gentle entry, but requires a decrease in speed or vast amounts of grip in order to make it through Turn 11 without overshooting the exit and ending up off course.

Exiting Turn 11 correctly can really set you up for the last downhill section, making a double apex turn in one big arc from Turn 12 to 13. Exiting the apex of Turn 13, you are now rocketing down with an immense amount of speed towards Turn 14. From Turn 14 to 15, there is not much space to reign in all that speed just gained coming down the hill. You get to see what your brakes are made of because you need to brake. Hard. You also want to brake in as much of a straight line as possible to get the chassis of the car under control before peeling off to the right, going through Turn 15 and on to the front straight.

This is where you get to see just how fast you are willing to go and what your car is made of. You enter speed exceeding well into the triple digits, that seemingly forever long front straight shrinks down considerably approaching Turn 1; the heaviest braking section on the whole course. It is times like these where you subconsciously thank the track designer for adding all the extra run-off area around the exit of Turn 1. For that “just in case” scenario where you might come into the corner a little too fast or brake a little too late. It provides a cushion for recovery in a safe manner without the risk of having a barrier wall right on the edge of the course.

And from there … rinse and repeat. You continue to make laps for the remainder of your driving session. After you come off course, you will be hard pressed to find another person in the paddock without a wide spread grin on their face. It is that good.

The Clubhouse still remains to be built, but it doesn’t detract from the appeal of the course. It will only add value to all Club Motorsports has to offer. It truly is something special and we should feel proud to have a track of this caliber in our region.

Club Motorsports Details

Club Motorsports Details

(603) 986-9805

780 Ossipee Mountain Highway, Tamworth, NH 03886

Some of the facility highlights include:

• 2.5-mile, 15-turn road course with over 250 feet of elevation change

• Course is designed for maximum enjoyment and maximum safety

• State-of-the-art timing and video system

• 4/10-of-a-mile dedicated karting course, great for the family and new drivers

• 5 acres of paddock area for parking and driver training

• Professional driving instruction

• Multiple membership levels and options

• Future clubhouse, locker rooms, classrooms, lounge/bar, and restaurant

• Secure,  climate-controlled garage storage, private garages, and garage-mahal condos

Construction Highlights

Construction began in late 2013. As of November 1, 2017, Club Motorsports completed a fully-paved and operational road course. This is what was done to make it all happen:

• Moved 900,000 cubic yards of earth for the cut/fill

• Drilled, blasted, and processed 150,000 cubic yards of ledge for gravel

• Placed 145,000 cubic yards of gravel on the course, access roads, parking areas

• Installed over 7 miles of drainage to control and manage stormwater

• Installed the underground electrical conduit so all power is underground

• Paved 2.5-mile road course with 28,500 tons of asphalt and  4/10-mile karting course

• Installed over 5 miles of guard rail

• Assembled and placed over 25,000 tires for tire barriers

• Installed over 7,250 linear feet of special “race” kern and 1 mile of special safety fence

Catch this article in the 2018 Summer printed edition of Mt Washington Valley Vibe available at any of these locations around the region

Interview 1

Local Member Interview

Mark Labrie

Owner of Progressive Autoworks in Glen, NH. Resides in Center Conway, NH

Vibe – What was your first attraction to Club Motorsports?

Labrie –

I was first attracted to the  Club years ago when I heard about the proposal and development of the track. I’ve been a race fan since before I could drive, so my interest was instant. But road racing wasn’t my first exposure to racing. I started in drag racing in my teens. I was addicted to speed and horsepower. Enough so my two daughters were going to the drag strip with me when they were just 2 years old. (They are both still car nuts some 30 years later.) Road racing became a love after realizing it’s more fun to go around corners. I worked for a local racing company for a few years, which just intensified the passion. I became a crew member on an IMSA endurance racing team. It was great to be part of professional racing, but being able to drive was even more fun.

Vibe – What is your experience level?

Labrie – Currently, I would consider myself an advance intermediate. I worked on my competition license while crewing, but didn’t get time to complete it before life got in the way. After 20 years away from racing, when I joined the track, I considered myself a novice having not been on a track for some time. In the fall of 2017, I participated in a “24 Hours of Lemons” at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). I was able to get significant track time, and soon felt I could find the racing line again.

Vibe – What about the course do you like most?

Labrie – I joined the club after touring the track when it was just a gravel base. I was impressed with the layout and elevation change. I had never seen a track configured like this. It was a must for me.

Vibe – What is your current vehicle?

Labrie – Current vehicle is a 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S. I’m in the process of building a replica Shelby Daytona Coupe. It was the ultimate race car for Ford Motor Company in the 1964-65 world road racing series.

Vibe – What are your hopes for, not only yourself, but the club, as well?

Labrie – I’m looking forward to the club being fully functional with all its proposed amenities. Also, to have a real time timing for lap times. Driving schools would be fantastic—for beginners, as well as advanced drivers. I’ve had several people in the community ask if the club will have any “pay to play” track days, or be allowed to come and watch the cars. A local cruise night has also been mentioned. These things could provide a wider acceptance for the track in the local community.

Vibe – What is the appeal for you personally about driving a car on a road course?

Labrie – Having the road course gives me the ability to experience the full potential of a car that I could never realize in everyday driving.

Interview 2

Local Member Interview

William (Bill) Gill

Resides in Sandwich, NH; originally from Sandwich, MA on Cape Cod


Vibe – What was your first attraction to Club Motorsports?


2003 plans for a new motorsports facility in New Hampshire close to where I was planning to retire.

Vibe – What is your experience level?

GILL – Expert (30 years competition racing)

Vibe – What about the course do you like most?

GILL – The elevation changes over the entire course and the varied corner configurations create an amazing driving experience.

Vibe – Have you done any track days, racing, or high-performance driver education (HPDE) events prior to driving here at Club Motorsports?

GILL- Amateur national driver SCCA GT1 class, 30 years; pro driver NASCAR Busch North Series, 3 years.

Vibe – What are your hopes for, not only yourself, but the club, as well?

GILL – My hope is that Club Motorsports will thrive, and in the future will become known as the world-class track that I believe it is. I plan to remain a part of it to help attain that goal.

Vibe – What is the appeal for you personally about driving a car on a road course?

GILL – Performance driving at speed; challenging yourself to become a better driver over time.