Submit Content  |  Subscribe  |  Customer Service  |  Place An Ad 
* Weather * Events * Visitor's Guide * Classifieds * Jobs * Cars * Homes * Apartments * Shopping * Dating
*
Cincinnati.Com
*|* The Enquirer

*
*
*
Cincinnati.Com
* NKY.com
*
Enquirer
*
Post
* CiN Weekly
* Community Press & Recorder
* cincyMOMS.com
* CincinnatiUSA
* Data Center
*
*
*
*
*
Sports

A country club for driving fast
3.38 miles of private track with no speed limit
E-mail thisE-mail    |    Printer-FriendlyPrint    |    digg us!    |    del.icio.us!
*

GLENCOE, Ky. - Brad Poppell eases his BMW sport utility vehicle along the rugged hillside path to a spot where the tree line opens up and reveals a sprawling and picturesque meadow.

Other owners envisioned a golf course community or a private airstrip for this scenic 515-acre tract of Gallatin County property.

Poppell sees the perfect spot for the Bluegrass Motorsports Club & Road Course - a country club where thrill seekers with octane in their veins and high-performance sports cars at their disposal can zip around a track set in the rolling countryside.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I'm a speed freak," said Poppell, the fledgling club's president and the owner of a BMW M3. "But if you get past third or fourth gear on public roads it's going to get you a pretty hefty fine. Here you'll be able to hit 150 mph in a safe, controlled environment."

The $16 million project - not including $3.9 million to buy the land from former Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones - is scheduled to break ground Oct. 15 and open next summer.

The asphalt jewel of the Bluegrass Motorsports Club will be a 3.38-mile road course designed by renowned motorsports architect Paxton Waters.

"I think for car guys it's the perfect alternative to a country club with a golf course," said Cincinnati attorney Alan Statman, who owns and races vintage Porsches. "To have an interestingly configured track in your backyard makes it convenient and exciting because there are a lot of guys that are all into it around here. There are many race cars hidden away in people's garages here in town."

Course renderings show a 3,000-foot straightaway and plenty of turns, along with safety barriers and ample run-off areas.

The course can also be divided into two separate circuits - one for members and the other available to rent - and configured several ways to keep things interesting.

A safety team of course marshals, stewards, corner workers and emergency personnel will be present any time the track is active. But drivers also will be required to show competency behind the wheel with an instructor present before hot-lapping the track alone.

"The unique thing about this project is it's on the top of a hill where there are trees and a lot of grade changes," Waters said. "It's completely different than most facilities where you just have flat ground and you're just laying out the track. This has such a three-dimensional aspect to it.

"I think the driving experience with the grade changes and the atmosphere is what will really set this apart."

A go-kart track, clubhouse, residential lots overlooking a 10-acre lake and RV spaces with electrical hook-ups are some of the planned amenities for club members. In keeping with its Kentucky setting, the garages will resemble horse stables while actual stables and riding trails will be available for member use.

"If you were playing the 16th and 18th holes every day at your golf club, your membership would last about a month," Poppell said. "I'd get bored in about a day. ... We want to keep life from getting mundane."

SPEED COSTS

The privilege of belonging to a private club - membership will be limited to 200 people - comes with a price.

The Bluegrass Motorsports Club & Road Course offers five different membership levels with initiation fees ranging from $100,000 for the Founder's Club to $9,000 for the Motorcycle Club. A Founder's Club member pays no annual dues for life. Annual dues for the other membership levels start at $1,200 for the Motorcycle Club and associate membership to $15,000 for the corporate membership.

"The more you pay," Poppell said, "the more you play."

A Centerville High School and Miami University graduate, the Cincinnati resident hatched the idea for the club a couple of years ago. There are clubs like it around the country, but none catering to the Cincinnati, Louisville and Lexington markets.

'DISNEYLAND FOR CAR GUYS'

The Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill., opened in April 2005 and now boasts 350 members who use two tracks that form a 3.56-mile road course.

"It's like Disneyland for car guys," said Mark Basso, founder and president of Autobahn Country Club. "It's amazing the growth of the facility and the improvements."


E-mail thisE-mail    |    Printer-FriendlyPrint    |    digg us!    |    del.icio.us!
*

Alan J. Statman (left) of Mount Adams with his Porsche 911-GTSRS and Brad Poppell, president of Bluegrass Motorsports Club & Road Course, with his BMW M3. Their cars will be able to cut loose at the new club.
THE ENQUIRER/JEFF SWINGER
Zoom Photo   Buy This Photo
Alan J. Statman (left) of Mount Adams with his Porsche 911-GTSRS and Brad Poppell, president of Bluegrass Motorsports Club & Road Course, with his BMW M3. Their cars will be able to cut loose at the new club.


 Tracks built by Paxton Waters

Other motorsport tracks by Bluegrass' designer:

Oval/Road Courses

Pikes Peak International Raceway, a 1-mile D-shaped oval with a 1.35-mile road course that opened June 1997.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile tri-oval with a 2.45-mile road course that opened September 1996.

Oval Courses

Iowa Speedway, a 7/8-mile D-shaped course that opened September 2006.

California Speedway, a 2 mile D-shaped course that opened June 1997.

http://www.paxtonwatersarchitecture.com/


Artist's rendering of the design of the Bluegrass Motorsports Club's track.
PROVIDED
Artist's rendering of the design of the Bluegrass Motorsports Club's track.


Advertise Here


Ads by Google

*


*
Home      Local News      Sports      Business      Life      Opinion      Entertainment      Nation/World      Obituaries      Archives      Search      RSS
Site Map:   Cincinnati.Com  |  NKY.com  |  Enquirer  |  Post  |  CiN Weekly  |  Community Press & Recorder  |  Cincinnati USA
Customer Service:   Search  |  Subscribe Now  |  Customer Service  |  Place An Ad  |  Contact Us
Classified Partners:   Jobs: CareerBuilder.com  |  Cars: cars.com  |  Homes: HOMEfinder  |  Apartments: apartments.com  |  Shopping: ShopLocal.com  |  Dating: eHarmony
Copyright 2007   The Enquirer. All rights reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights (Terms updated March 2007)

GannettGannett FoundationUSA Today