When you overhear friends talking about the healthy competition at their country club, the hazards on the course’s back half, or the hefty initiation fee, you can no longer simply assume they’re talking about golf. A day at your very own track offers many of the same appeals—you test skills against friends, and then brag about it later. Familiar amenities include fabulous condos (built to spec, clearly), spas, fine dining and après-drive drinks. Here’s a look at a few of our favorite private race circuits around the country.
Atlanta Motorsports Park
THE LOCATION: Dawsonville, Ga., an hour from Atlanta.
THE TRACK: 1.8 miles, with various configurations.
FEES AND DETAILS: $37,500 initiation; $150 monthly fees, for as many as 140 days of driving.
UNIQUE FEATURE: Ice-driving hill.
BEST SUITED FOR: The gentrified thrill seeker.
The Thermal Club
THE LOCATION: Thermal, Calif., around 2.5 hours from Los Angeles.
THE TRACK: Three separate circuits, 5.1 miles in total.
FEES AND DETAILS: $85,000 initiation; $14,000 annual dues; plus, members must buy a property lot and build a condo within five years.
UNIQUE FEATURE: Thermal puts an emphasis on resort-like amenities, from the cuisine to the service.
BEST SUITED FOR: SoCal’s supercar cognoscenti.
Virginia International Raceway
THE LOCATION: Alton, Va., near the North Carolina border.
THE TRACK: 4.2 miles.
FEES AND DETAILS: $3,500 initiation; $3,200 annual, with 18 driving days.
UNIQUE FEATURE: Some of the world’s greatest racers have driven here.
BEST SUITED FOR: Motorsport-history buffs with a bucket list.
Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club
LOCATION: Pahrump, Nev., one hour from Las Vegas.
TRACK: A road course of 6.1 miles (and counting).
FEES AND DETAILS: $60,000 initiation; $6,000 annual, with 16 track days a month available.
UNIQUE FEATURE: Home of Ron Fellows Performance Driving School, Corvette’s official high-performance course. Buy a new Corvette ZR1, you get two days at Spring Mountain.
BEST SUITED FOR: Muscle-car mavericks.
Palmer Motorsports Park
THE LOCATION: Palmer, Mass., about 1.5 hours from Boston.
THE TRACK: 2.3 miles, 14 turns and 190 feet of elevation.
FEES AND DETAILS: $22,500 initiation; $2,500 dues, for 30-plus days of driving annually.
UNIQUE FEATURE: The track can be driven in both directions.
BEST SUITED FOR: Drivers who aren’t afraid of change.
Monticello Motor Club
THE LOCATION: Monticello, N.Y., approximately two hours from Manhattan.
THE TRACK: 4.1 miles, with the ability to separate the track into north and south courses.
FEES AND DETAILS: $95,000 initiation fee; $13,900 annual dues, for unlimited driving days.
UNIQUE FEATURE: A total of 1.5 miles of straightaways means speeds of 170 mph are possible.
BEST SUITED FOR: Urbanites looking to diffuse traffic-induced road rage.