NJminiGP Says Track Priced Them Out To Start Its Own Mini Racing Series (Updated)

NJminiGP Says Track Priced Them Out To Start Its Own Mini Racing Series (Updated)

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Update: Early Saturday morning, New Jersey Motorsports Park announced via Facebook that it was cancelling its new mini motorcycle road racing series. Scroll down to see that announcement.

NJminiGP, a.k.a. New Jersey miniGP, has been holding mini road races and schools for 15 years on the kart track at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP), in Millville, New Jersey.

MotoAmerica Pros Anthony Mazziotto, Brandon Paasch, Gus Rodio, and Tyler Scott are just a few of the riders who started their road racing careers with NJminiGP.

In 2024, however, NJminiGP will not be holding mini road races at the south New Jersey racing facility and New Jersey Motorsports Park will instead be running its own mini road racing series called NJMP Mini Sprint Series.

“The strong interest among riders and their families was clear when an organization that ran youth races on the east coast [NJminiGP] announced their 2024 schedule without a sprint racing program,” Brad Scott, President and COO of New Jersey Motorsports Park, was quoted as saying in a press release issued March 29 by New Jersey Motorsports Park.  “Riders and their families reached out to us, expressing their concerns, and seeking a sprint race series for young people to develop their skills and passion for the sport.”

But that’s misleading, says Nathan Granoff, who co-owns NJminiGP with Ryan Fleming and oversees several miniGP franchises (SFLminiGP, SCminiGP, DMVminiGP) that have scheduled sprint races in the eastern U.S. in 2024. In fact, Granoff is accusing New Jersey Motorsports Park of intentionally pricing NJminiGP out so the track can run its own mini racing series.

“In November, when our season ended, New Jersey Motorsports Park came to us and basically gave us [2024] rates that were four times what we were paying [in 2023],” Granoff told Roadracingworld.com in a March 29 telephone interview. “And we were very suspicious, like this doesn’t seem right and we’ve seen them do these things before to push people out. And what made us more suspicious was that not only did they do that, but the rates for the schools that we run, those were only marginally higher. It seemed like they were only jacking the sprint races really high.”

Granoff said he was told by Scott that the cost of ambulance service as well as the cost of providing New Jersey Motorsports Park staff members for events had doubled. When Granoff pushed the issue, NJMP came back with a reduced 2024 rate offer for NJminiGP.

“The final numbers were still more than double,” said Granoff. “I can’t double rates on our members. We don’t have that big of a [membership] to make up. It’s not like we have 100 plus riders where we could do a marginal increase and cover that.”

Scott confirmed that all prices for most things at New Jersey Motorsports Park, including track rental rates, are going up to pay for the $3 million bill for repaving Thunderbolt Raceway and making additional improvements, but he disagrees with Granoff’s math.

“Yeah, that’s not accurate at all,” Scott told Roadracingworld.com. “I mean, to give you a little background story. When we rent out to groups, whether they’re karting groups or bike groups or even, you know, MotoAmerica does their their [Mini] Cup series, our rate to rent half the [kart] track for weekends is about $10 to $15,000. And throughout the years we’ve given them [NJminiGP] a very, very reasonable rate with with moderate increases, you know as we went on, due to the increases of expenses and so forth.

“Moving from ’23 to ’24, unfortunately with everything going up [in cost] in this world that we’re all familiar with–insurance, we repaved Thunderbolt–we went up on everything that we do business in, whether it’s renting the track, the membership fees, our hotel room rentals, food and beverage. And included in that was increases for groups who rent the karting facility. Yeah, the the numbers that he’s using are extremely inflated.”

Scott didn’t want to make public the rate he offered NJminiGP for 2024, but the numbers he shared with Roadracingworld.com represented a 50% increase over 2023. 

As to Granoff’s claim that New Jersey Motorsports Park was pricing NJminiGP out just so the track could start its own mini motorcycle road racing series, Scott said, “It’s completely false. You know, honestly, we prefer they would continue. It’s not something we traditionally do. Our relationship is mostly we want to rent the property out, as we do for all the racing organizations. It’s something we’re probably gonna lose money doing, but we listen to our members and their families and the outpouring and [we] just kind of wanted to help and give back something that’s been here and that went away.”

Scott added that New Jersey Motorsports Park will re-assess the mini road racing situation at the end of the 2024 season and see if it’s something they want to continue doing.

As for NJminiGP, Granoff said they will spend 2024 focusing on their mini road racing schools at New Jersey Motorsports Park (which only saw a modest rental rate increase due, Scott said, to not needing cornerworkers and ambulance service), including the addition of a two-day invitation-only school August 24-25, and creating new options and new programs for the 2025 season.

The full press release announcing New Jersey Motorsports Park new mini road racing series is included below.

 

Exciting News for Young Motorcycle Racers and Their Families

New NJMP Mini Sprint Series Announced:

Five Weekends of Practice and Racing for Riders Aged 5-17

 

MILLVILLE, N.J. (March 2024)

New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) has announced the launch of the NJMP Mini Sprint Series – five weekends of practice and racing at NJMP’s Tempest Raceway facility, created to provide a competitive and fun racing program for riders aged 5-17 years old.

“The strong interest among riders and their families was clear when an organization that ran youth races on the east coast announced their 2024 schedule without a sprint racing program,” said Brad Scott, President and COO of NJMP.  “Riders and their families reached out to us, expressing their concerns, and seeking a sprint race series for young people to develop their skills and passion for the sport.”

The NJMP Mini Sprint Series will include five classes of racing including stock and Ohvale bikes of various displacements, with the option to run multiple classes. 

The format consists of a Saturday practice day with six 15-minute sessions for each of the five classes, followed by a Sunday race day with each class having morning practice, two qualifying sessions, two races, and of course podium celebrations to end the day!

“These will be professionally run events,” commented Charity Giovanelli, Director of New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Riders Club and Two-Wheel Event Operations.  “From Tech Inspection to on-track operations and the racing rules, our young riders will have the same high-quality experience that we offer across all of our motorcycle events here at NJMP.”

Glenn Jazikoff has been named as Race Director for the NJMP Mini Sprint Series.  Glenn is an experienced rider and coach at NJMP, and the parent of a young aspiring racer.  “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help grow youth road racing, and I am looking forward to a great season,” Glenn commented.

“We had to act quickly to fill a gap and respond to our customers’ needs,” added Scott.  “We believe the resulting NJMP Mini Sprint Series will become a staple in the regional racing scene and provide a fantastic venue for young riders up and down the east coast.”

The series schedule consists of four events on Tempest Raceway’s Liberator circuit:  April 20-21, May 18-19, June 15-16, and July 13-14.  The season series finale will take place on Tempest’s full 1.1-mile track on September 28-29.

Registration is required and is available on Motorsportreg.com, where full information about the classes, rules, and event schedules can be found.

Interested participants can contact Race Director Glenn Jazikoff at [email protected] for more information in preparation for the events.

 

 

The following was posted to New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Facebook page at 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time March 30:

News Announcement
 
We have heard concerns regarding our recent announcement about the Sprint Race program at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
 
Due to a number of factors, we have decided not to run the program at this time. We appreciate all the support and requests and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We are always evaluating our racing options to serve our customers and supporters.

 

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