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Old 01-05-2004, 11:21 PM   #1
imprezaf
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Default So I've been doing some research on The Bridge...

Some of you may remember a few weeks back, that I was going to try to submit a little something to a few magazines about our little trip on what remains of the old Bridgehampton Raceway.

Well, I've been doing a lot of research, and trying to find good historical information on Bridgehampton. It hasn't been as easy as it sounds. Ninety-five percent of the websites all have the same quick two paragaph blurb about the track. Other finds include personal stories. While these are fine, it wasn't good enough for me.

Finally, tonight, I came across a wonderful site, which really lays out all the historical importance of Bridgehampton. Although the read is quite lengthy, it is full of very interesting information. Click here for the read Some interesting tidbits:

Bridgehampton Raceway predates Lime Rock
International racing greats such as Mario Andretti, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney and others raced at The Bridge
Bridgehampton may have been the countries FIRST built road course
NASCAR's very first road course event was at Bridgehampton

In 2002, Bridgehampton Raceway was NOT made a historic location because those on the governing body did not care enough about it


There are many, many more interesting facts about the history of the track. Unfortunately, as many of us know, and have seen, nearly half the track is gone, ripped up and replaced by fairways and greens of the golf course "Golf at the Bridge". Ironic isn't it, that it retains the track in the name? As many have speculated, the chemicals and pesticides used to maintain the golf course, is threatening the aquafirs of the East End. The drinking water is slowly becoming dangerous to drink. Although the golf course has only been around since 1999, there have been serious talks of bringing the track back.

Although the only recent articles I can find are circa 2002, it appears as though this could be a very serious movement to bring the track back. Although most of the track is gone, aerial pictures show that the track is STILL THERE!!! The way the holes have been laid out, it preserves the tracks original layout. Also, if the track were still around, it would have needed some heavy renovation; which ironically by putting the golf course in, has taken care of that. (read the above link to find out how) The only threatening measure, is the golf community wanting to build housing/resorts and swimming pools.

So far the topography of Bridgehampton raceway remains ~98% true. If housing and or resorts are built, and swimming pools built, then there is no chance of The Bridge returning. Mind you, if all this building is done, it would be done "illegally" as none of this has been approved. The owners of the golf course were required ot test the water ever since the golf course has been built, but never have.

(Additional reading- although shorter than the above link- can be found at: http://www.september8th.com/news_bridge1.htm )


I guess my reasoning for posting this is two-fold:

1. I knew that Bridgehampton had "some" history behind it, I didn't realize just how much that "some" was. I guess by posting this, some of you guys and gals could learn a little bit more about it. Maybe if there is enough interest, I'd be happy to sart a collection of letters to try and get the track back.

2. I'm hoping that maybe some of you guys and gals out there may have heard or read some new information or have something more current. It'd be great to know just exactly what is going on with the issue.


I apologize for the long post, but I hope you guys find this as intriguing as I do... For some reasoning, I can't help but picture a bunch of Scooby nuts, circling Bridgehampton Raceway in the near future...

-Mike
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:27 PM   #2
N'CTRL
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Wow Mike, great stuff and info. Thanks.

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Old 01-05-2004, 11:37 PM   #3
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Good info, some of us who have been around for a while are already aware of some or most of it, but it's a great education for others.
While the idea is commendable, attempting to start a new independent effort to save the track is probably a waste of time, as this fight has already been fought by many who are far more passionate about the track than we are and you can see how far they got. You'd be best off trying to get in contact with the "save the Bridge" groups already in existence and ask what type of assistance would potentially be of the most benefit to their cause.
One name I didn't see mentioned in that link is Guy Frost. He was a major player in the campaign to save the track some years back, you might try looking him up.
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:46 PM   #4
Qbushido
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good job man, the effort shows.
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Old 01-06-2004, 12:29 AM   #5
Greg - LI
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Nice research Mike. The loss of the track is a damn shame. The most ironic thing I think is that the property's owner is a vintage race car collector and is supposedly VERY involved with vintage racing. According to other sources I've read, when Mr. Rubin bought the property he promised to keep it a track. He has refused several efforts to buy the property by those wanting to save the track.

You know its kind of funny........the track was there long before there were any houses in the area. Then people moved in, built mansions and started to complain about the noise. ***??? Now, If I build a house adjacent to JFK airport do you think I'll be able to shut the airport down if I complain about the noise? NO. But in Bridgehampton that's a big part of what happened.
Money (lots of it) talks.

Arrrrgh!!!!!

With all the wealthy Porsche, BMW and Ferrari owners here, Long Island really needs a road course. At one point there was proposal to built a track in Calverton at the huge old Grumman/US Navy property, but that never really got rolling. I think that was the last possibilty of a track on LI.

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Old 01-06-2004, 01:06 AM   #6
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they should have gone the rute of VIR and other tracks around the country and made it a country club with a track laid out ont eh grounds. all teh rich porsche, fararri, ect owners would have probably been all for it. then we could ahve gone out there and showed them how to realy flog it around the circut.
i do remember an announcement at a NYRSCCA autocross a few years back that they were building a road course. everyone was very exited. i was planning on doing my first hpde there. figured by the time it was built, i would be ready. but the whole thing just faded. the air strip is still out there and kids were drag racing heavily on one of the roads out there durring the summer. a road course there would be so awsome...........

Last edited by lo-buck; 01-06-2004 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:28 AM   #7
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wow, that brings back memmories. i almost thought that little kid w/ backward hat was me for a sec. that was my main viewing spot. man i miss that place
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Old 01-06-2004, 09:08 AM   #8
links_courses
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Nice job, Mike.

I agree that golf courses that do not use natural pesticides could be a serious threat to our drinking water.

Here is a good read on a 1989 study (revised in 1995) of golf course pesticide use:

http://www.oag.state.ny.us/environment/golf95.html

However, there are more important causes of water problems:

1) Pulling out more water from the aquifier than can be naturally supplied by rain. This causes salt water to extrude into the aquifier and is the single greatest threat to our drinking water. Water conservation is the key.

2) Home use of pesticides and lawn fertilizers. Home use on lawns and gardens has a higher annual total useage because there is a MUCH LARGER area of Long Island that is residential than golf course areas, even though the golf courses use these chemicals more often.

3) Leaking pipes, tanks, etc. These tanks, piping, etc. are designed to keep pollutants out of the aquifier but are leaking in many places. These leaks are MUCH CLOSER to the water source because they are below ground.

4) Development. Less permeable ground means less rain water can get below the surface. Water cannot go through concrete!

Here is a pretty easy to read blurb on Long Island aquifers:
http://people.hofstra.edu/faculty/J_.../aquifers.html

OK, enough science for the day.....
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by links_courses

OK, enough science for the day.....
You seem quite knowledgible regarding water table conservation... I'm curious, are you a member of your local municipality's environmental commission?
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:49 PM   #10
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Hey ImprezaF, nice work. Hopefully we'll get you out to an HPDE this year!

-mike
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Old 01-06-2004, 03:15 PM   #11
links_courses
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Nope, but I am an earth sciences professor and an avid golfer.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cosworth
You seem quite knowledgible regarding water table conservation... I'm curious, are you a member of your local municipality's environmental commission?
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Old 01-06-2004, 06:05 PM   #12
4or2wheels
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I miss Bridgehampton
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Old 01-06-2004, 11:13 PM   #13
Rick G
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Nice Mike!
Mike: I have an 8mm video tape with footage of my friends and I on the track racing motorcycles but don't have anything to play it on.
And you know Mitch has pics, if ya need them.
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:18 AM   #14
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8mm camcorder, or 8mm reel to reel?
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Old 01-07-2004, 09:44 AM   #15
Rick G
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Quote:
Originally posted by Boxologist
8mm camcorder, or 8mm reel to reel?
Cam
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Old 01-07-2004, 10:30 AM   #16
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anyone with a Hi8 or D8 camcorder in their closet that can help rick out?
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:15 PM   #17
imprezaf
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Here's a picture of the proposed Grumman track... It looks quite wide open to me, but I'd rather still have The Bridge back!

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Old 01-07-2004, 12:38 PM   #18
slalomfever
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Thumbs up

WOW bring back a lot of memories...if I remember right, I saw some races aired on ESPN2 or SPEEDVISION. have you tried contacting them for further info? Also EMRA (eastern motor racing assc. ) should have info.
Nice work
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Old 01-08-2004, 02:53 AM   #19
N'CTRL
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Any pics like that of what the old layout was?
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Old 01-08-2004, 01:11 PM   #20
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nice info. good to hear some more on that since i never knew it existed before the backroads drive.
luis
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Old 01-08-2004, 02:42 PM   #21
Barry
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Quote:
Originally posted by N'CTRL
Any pics like that of what the old layout was?


http://www.na-motorsports.com/Tracks...dgehampton.gif
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Old 01-08-2004, 03:38 PM   #22
N'CTRL
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Quote:
Originally posted by Barry
http://www.na-motorsports.com/Tracks...dgehampton.gif
Wow, I like the old layout better.
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Old 01-09-2004, 12:50 AM   #23
imprezaf
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Mike,

there's no O"old" or "new" layout. The Bridge s one track that exsisted, while the Grumann site was a proposed track at the Grumann airfield in Calverton. Two totally different sites.

I'd love a chance to run the Bridge.
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Old 01-09-2004, 07:27 AM   #24
Barry
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Quote:
Originally posted by slalomfever
WOW bring back a lot of memories...if I remember right, I saw some races aired on ESPN2 or SPEEDVISION. have you tried contacting them for further info? Also EMRA (eastern motor racing assc. ) should have info.
Nice work
ESPN and Speedvision came long after the Bridge............EMRA used the track quite often as did local car clubs and the SCCA.

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Old 01-09-2004, 09:20 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by imprezaf

I'd love a chance to run the Bridge.
I would too.

Why not any of the other track that are within a 3 hour radius too. There is Limerock and Pocono and they actually still exist. And then there is Watkins Glen and Summit Point which are both about 5 hours away and since you are driving an STi it should take you less time than that to get there.

Paisan posted a huge list of most of the track days that will be happening in the next year so for all you guys who are whining about The Bridge being closed should get off your tails and come to these events and learn what your cars are capable of.

Z
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