A Chat with Alan Wilson, Course Designer
Alan stated “The spectacular location provided me with challenges that were different from any of those I’ve faced in the eighteen other road courses I’ve designed. I was presented with the task of creating a track that would not only meet all appropriate safety standards but one that would challenge both expert drivers and sports car enthusiasts alike, while still appealing to the exclusive membership of the Alpine Motorsports Club.”
Alan has laid out a facility that offers nine (9) different driving configurations including two separate layouts that can be used simultaneously.
Each course offers distinct challenges for high performance cars, road-going sports cars, sport sedans, GT cars, and collector & historic sports cars, all in a package that will provide a totally unrivaled motoring experience for Club members and visitors.
Alan described the primary Alpine road course, “nearly three-miles long with 14 turns and a laser-smooth, polymer race-mix surface 40 feet wide, it leads from the pit lane into a medium speed left/right/left combination that exits uphill into a long 2,300 foot, fast section that rises some 220 feet before entering a very challenging high speed left hand sweeper (Turn 7) that crests at it’s apex. Turn 7 leads onto another 2,300 feet of gradually rising and then gradually falling, high velocity and gently curved roadway. Because of the speed potential of this section, I’ve included an alternate, medium speed left/right combination, midway between Turns 4 and 7 for use when lower speeds are more appropriate.”
Wilson continues, “Turn 8 requires straight-line, hard braking as you enter into a downhill 180 degree left-hander, which is the beginning of a series of three uniquely different, switchback downhill curves that drop the track 120 feet through the steepest part of the course into an undulating and faster right/left/right and left sector that brings drivers back onto pit lane. Reminiscent of mountain passes made famous in international rallying, this section gives the facility its Alpine identity and is truly unequaled in the world of motor sports.
“The 2-mile East Course turns left off pit lane and climbs steadily up through a fast ”S” series before joining the full road course half way along the top straight in a sharp, climbing left-hand turn. Designed to be a stand alone road course, this course provides the Alpine facility with the ability to operate a second independent road course, the West Course, while the East Course is in use.”
“The West Course is a shorter, nearly 1-mile layout that is intended for driver training purposes and even Auto-Cross events. Slower and technical, its 11 corners will present a variety of challenges to a driver’s skill that will offer Club members hours of intensive use and will be suitable for all types of road-going cars.”
In designing the Alpine Motorsports road course, Wilson has met the demands of a wide variety of potential users. Alan concluded, “Every type of road-going sports, touring, or performance car will find challenges appropriate to its design while the course will enable amateur, club and recreational drivers to drive side by side or pass in safety. In other words, each driver can establish and meet his or her own personal driving goals, or simply enjoy … a fast drive in the country.”