Pushing sports cars to the limit in the Catskills

- When you crave velocity and live to accelerate, Monticello Motor Club is a place without speed limits -- a place where auto enthusiasts come to play. In the Catskills, 90 minutes north of New York City, the club is where owners of elite sports cars can harness the power of their vehicles, says co-owner Ari Straus.

The racing resort is run like a luxury club here a membership will run you from $45,000 to $185,000. It comes with a range of services from gourmet meals to private lessons and a driving school.

Track manager Chris Duplessis squeezed the 3-day course into about 20 minutes for Alison Morris and me. We'll be driving the Porsche Cayman. Before the 300-horsepower engine propels one of us to a checkered flag, we go through a safety check.

Full throttle, engine revving, the Porsche is precise, even on this rainy afternoon.

The key, Chris advises, is to brake hard into the curves. The car responds by hugging the 90-degree turns at nearly 50 mph.

Keep the hands loose. Grip the steering wheel at 10 and 2. Don't forget to breathe.

And in the straights, put the pedal to the floor, almost instantly powering this automotive royalty to 75, 80, 90, close to 100 mph.  

After the drive, I feel like I accomplished something.

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