A Lap of Le Circuit Mont Tremblant

Le Circuit Mont Tremblant race track is a 2.65 mile road course located about 75 miles north of Montreal. There are 14 turns on the long course including three straights of which one is approximately 1/2 mile in length. There are a number of elevation changes, including two uphill braking zones. The fastest part of the track has a fairly large runoff area with the other sections having guard rails and tires a car width or so from the edge of the pavement.

Turn 1 is approached in third or forth gear depending on available horsepower.

You approach the turn from the middle of the front straight and slowly edge your way to the left tremblntside of the track as the elevation drops but before you reach the turn-in point. A slight application of brake or a lift as you approach and then an even throttle brings you through this thrilling late apex corner.

As you turn in, the elevation changes from downhill to a steep climb which crests just after the apex and is labeled Turn 2 on the map. Smoothly apply the throttle at this point and make a correction to the left to counter the bump at the top of the hill. The elevation changes again to a steep downhill. Let the car track-out and you just have enough time to tap the brakes hard in preparation for Turn 3 (Le Diable). Then drive a straight line across the track for Turn 4.

As soon as the car is settled you apply the brakes for Turn 4, the first part of The Esses. The Esses are a very tight right-left but are essential since they lead onto the very fast left-handed sweeper.

As the car tracks out from Turn 3, you must use maximum threshold braking. The right-hander (Turn 4) is a very late apex. It is critical that you hold the inside line in order to setup for the exit of The Esses.

The distance between the right and left in The Esses is little more than three car lengths. As you hold the line coming out of the right hander you can either lift or tap the brakes to settle the car then turn-in and smoothly apply the throttle as you pass the apex cone. You should be at track-out just before the end of the turtles and prepared to do an up-shift for the long sweeping Turn 6.

As you approach Turn 6 begin your turn-in at steady throttle and hit the apex somewhat late in order to carry appropriate speed into Turn 7. If this is done correctly you will track-out at the end of the turtles and bring the car across the road in a straight line and apply the brakes just after the frost heave.

Turn 7 is taken at steady throttle and leads to a short straight. Care must be taken when approaching the apex of Turn 7 because there is a large frost heave just before the apex which wants to throw the car to the outside. Full-throttle can be smoothly applied at the apex and then let the car track-out and prepare for Turn 8.

The short straight between Turn 7 and Turn 8 is the first passing zone since the front straight so it’s a good idea to check your mirrors for faster cars. A firm application of brakes and a quick downshift is required for Turn 8. This corner can be taken as a one or a two apex turn. I find that if, after making the initial turn-in, I bring the car within 4 feet of the inside of the turn and then hold the wheel, the car will track-out and then back in to the second apex at which time I apply full throttle and let the car track-out for the quick run down Mont Tremblant’s longest straight.

Another passing area, the “Back Straight,” has a quick rise in the center of it called The Hump which has a small kink to the left (Turn 9) at the crest of the hump. To prepare for this rise, bring the car over so that you reach the left side of the track just as you crest the rise. If you allow the car to stay in the center of the track the hump will want to throw the car out to the right just as it gets light going over the crest.

This is a good time to check all your gauges and mirrors before reaching the braking zone. As you descend the hump keep the car over on the left side of the track and prepare for the right-hander Turn 10. A combination of smooth braking and a heel-and-toe downshift sets you up for the entry to 10.

You can build up throttle before reaching the apex but you cannot allow the car to track-out completely because there will not be enough time to bring the car back over for Turn 11. I estimate Turn 10 to be between a 35 and 40 degree right-hander, making it more of a sweeper than a conventional right-hander.

On exiting Turn 10, keep the car on the right side of the track and apply short braking to settle it. Turn 11 is a fast off camber left-hander. Just as you reach track-out you reach the steep uphill which holds the car in and allows you to set up for some threshold braking and a quick downshift on the uphill, also known as The Bridge Turn. You can brake much later than you are normally used to because of the hill. Under the Bridge you are in Turn 12 a slow left-hander with a very late and blind apex.

Turn 12 is entered after coming up the hill. The turn-in for Turn 12 is slow. As you reach the apex you slowly apply the throttle until you are at full song, just as you reach the end of the turtles, and then grab a quick upshift as the track bends to the right at The Kink.

Bring the car to the outside and prepare for another uphill braking area leading into the slowest turn at Mont Tremblant, Turn 12 known as Namerow.

Exit the Namerow corner onto the front straight. Again, as you approach the uphill you can late brake and grab one of two downshifts. This turn must be entered at low speed if you are to have any hope of getting a good run on the front straight. Namerow, Turn 14 is a very tight, right-handed turn that drops off at the apex. Taken at low speed, the throttle must be applied slowly and smoothly until full throttle is reached approximately the same time that we reach track out and select the next gear.

The track has a light left bend called the Paddock Bend just at the point where we upshift. This is also the entrance to pit lane. The car will track out at which point we start to bring it back over at approximately the start/finish line in preparation for another lap.

Russell Castagna
Northeast Region PCA
[email protected]
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