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Bridgehampton, NY, USA 1.0

Steve Smiths original of Long Island's famous road course

  1. Dennis Phelan
    This Bridgehampton is an original track created in Bob's Track Builder, pains-takingly modeled after the world-famous Bridgehampton Race Circuit, circa 1967. Steve Smith and I have spent many hours adjusting the track geometry and test driving this version to produce a driving experience as close to that of the actual track as our modest computer-modeling skills allow.

    Version: 2.0
    Date: September 10, 2009

    Track modeling: B. Dibble

    Horizon images: Bud Lucas (borrowed from Bud’s excellent rFactor version of this track with his kind permission)

    Testing: Steve (Toonces) Smith, Kurt (von Kliest) Dibble, Greg (Greg7) Davis, Umma Gumma, et alia.

    We wish to thank Brendon Pywell for his wonderful Bob’s Track Builder, without which we could not even dream of building tracks, and the following individuals for publishing BTB Xpacks containing textures and objects used in constructing this track: EnnisFargis, Jay_P-666, WierdBeard, Chub Pearson, and Big Carva.

    Installation: unzip to the "Add-Ons\GameData\Locations" subdirectory


    Track History:

    FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS, IT'S GOING TO BE A BUMPY RIDE

    Bridgehampton was never smooth, and B. Dibble's meticulous recreation of this wonderful old track represents the sorry state the surface was in toward the end of its life. It was built in 1957 and paved by a local contractor who never did lay down a proper foundation, so it was kind of dilapidated from the git-go and never got the wrinkles out even after it was repaved a couple of times. In its heyday, in the late Sixties, Bridge-hampton hosted a couple of USRRC (U.S. Road Racing Championship, a precursor of the Can-Am series) races and a couple of full-blown Can-Am events (the winged Chaparral 2E debuted there in 1966). It fell into disrepair in the Seventies and faded away, like Riverside--another great track of that era--in the Eighties. I think its last race was a club event in the Nineties. As the track lay dying, some city-slicker came along, promising to restore it to its former glory, but everybody knew that was horsepucky--he really wanted to build McMansions--and now the property is a rich guys' golf course (sitting atop the area's only aquifer). You can still walk the main straight and the first three turns, but other than that, it's G-O-N-E.

    When I was growing up, my parents had a place on the Island not far from the track, and one day in the spring of 1960 I heard a big V8 thumping off in the distance and went to investigate. Briggs Cunningham (who had won the America's Cup and wanted to win Le Mans) had prepared three Corvettes for the 24-hour race at the Sarthe, and brought a couple to "the Bridge" (which was named after the most distinctive feature of the old round-the-houses race on the outskirts of town) for a 25-hour test run with drivers Bob Grossman and John Fitch, who went on to finish tenth with the car (after its sister cars dropped out). I bought the car later, and always intended to race it there, but never got the chance.

    I did eventually race a Porsche Speedster at the Bridge, and even later, when I was the Editor of Car and Driver, we tested there in everything from Holman & Moody-prepped muscle cars to an 18-wheeler (minus the trailer) and a gaggle of race cars, including a demon Mini-Cooper (based on the Alec Issigonis original), Mark Donohue's Camaro, and a wicked fast Formula Atlantic. The best race I ever saw there was a NASCAR Grand National, where the fearless fender-benders spent most of the lap wreathed in roostertails of sand. The sand could be deadly; Hodge Brush was killed soon after the track opened when he went off at the exit of T13 in his Porsche Speedster and flipped it over.

    Lap times in modern cars are sure to beat the old absolute lap record, 1:24.6, set by Bruce McLaren. I can't be totally sure, but cars from the GTL-GTR2 mod might compare with real steel (or fiberglass) times like these:

    Richard Petty (1964 NASCAR Plymouth), 1:50.1
    Dan Gurney (1968 Shelby Cobra 289), 1:49.0
    Skip Scott (1966 Shelby Cobra 427), 1:47.4
    Mark Donohue (1968 Chevy Camaro), 1:46.5
    Skip Scott (1967 Ford GT), 1:46.2
    Herb Wetanson (1966 Porsche 906), 1:43.8
    Mark Donohue (1969 Chevy Camaro), 1:43.0
    Swede Savage (1970 Plymouth Barracuda), 1:42.2
    Chris Amon (1966 McLaren M1B), 1:33.4
    Jim Hall (1966 Chaparral 2E), 1:32.9
    Jo Siffert (1969 Porsche 917PA), 1:29.2
    Denny Hulme (1968 McLaren M6B), 1:27.7
    Bruce McLaren (1969 McLaren M8B), 1:24.6

    This is the third ver of Bridgehampton I've worked on (first with Lou Magyar's GPL ver, then Bud Lucas' ver for rFactor), and thanks to the realistic bumps, this ver is the most immersive. My thanks to B. Dibble for reviving all those old muscle memories, and to the unofficial track historian, Peter Klebnikov, for all his help with the proper historical perspectives.

    Enjoy!

    --Steve Smith