Video: New Jersey Motorsports Park Renovation Phase One Nearing Completion

Video: New Jersey Motorsports Park Renovation Phase One Nearing Completion

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By New Jersey Motorsports Park:

Multi-Million Dollar Repaving and Renovation Project Phase 1 Nears Completion

NJMP’s Thunderbolt Receives Final Preparations for Season Opening

With over 2.25 miles of new pavement, upgraded curbing and runoff, fresh paint, and a wider entry to Turn 1, the major repave and renovation of New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Circuit will be ready to open the 2024 motorsports season for a members-only debut March 2nd and 3rd 2024.

And with an action-packed schedule of events announced for 2024, there will be new track records set, personal bests achieved, and many smiles ahead for drivers, riders, and spectators on the completely renovated yet classic road racing venue.

As work continues aggressively ahead of opening day, NJMP’s Director of Track Operations Mike Murphy and veteran driver Tom Smith took to the track in the NJMP Ciocca Corvettes for a filming session, to inspect the track, and to share their observations.

 

 

Murphy, who joined NJMP after a number of years with the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), said as he came off the track:  “I’ve had the opportunity to drive many world-class circuits around the country, and today’s experience on Thunderbolt was the best one yet – taking the first hot laps around its 2.25 miles is something I’ll remember the rest of my life.  As I drove down the new pit lane and entered the track, there was immediately a different feeling.”

Smith agreed.  “While there is still curbing and landscaping work underway, and a slick ‘green’ new track covered with the dust and debris, after pushing for a number of laps I can say with confidence I will be going faster around Thunderbolt in 2024 than ever before.  The grip will be fantastic as the track gets rubber laid down and cleaned off when drivers take to it in earnest.”

In its 16 seasons of motorsports activities – beginning in August 2008 with the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Supercar Life 250 race – New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt circuit has been enjoyed by professional automobile and motorcycle drivers and riders, by grassroots racing clubs with national and regional events, by NJMP Drivers and Riders Club members, and it has played a role in driver and rider education through the many schools and development days held there.

“The buzz around here has been incredible since we broke ground on the project four months ago,” commented Brad Scott, President and COO of New Jersey Motorsports Park.  “The construction equipment, trucks, and people, the designers and engineers and quality testing, every day has been a new challenge and a new milestone met.”

He also highlighted the ongoing nature of the project.  “It’s like completing a new construction house.  There’s landscaping which will need to come in.  Paint and accessories to be finished up.  Details to be addressed once we move in, as it were.  And Phase 2 with the new track configurations ahead beyond that.”

Phase 1 has included the milling and removal of the track surface, followed by the base paving and surface paving of the original Thunderbolt circuit layout, pit lane, and chicanes.  Select curbing has been removed and renovated based on the input of a panel of riders, drivers, and partners.  

The entry to Turn 1 has been improved.  The front straight no longer narrows approaching Turn 1, eliminating the prior funneling effect, and setting up for more racing and passing both braking into and accelerating out of Turn 1. 

Murphy noted the improved visibility through Turn 1, from both the racetrack and for cars exiting the pits.  

Smith agreed.  “Having driven thousands of laps around Thunderbolt since 2008, today was like seeing it for the first time again.  Something totally new to experience, while still the classic Thunderbolt lap.”

“This project is an investment to sustain NJMP far into the future.  Everyone on the team is committed to delivering the best product possible.  I know I speak for many people when I say this – I can’t wait to see the first cars hit the track on opening day on the new Thunderbolt,” Scott concluded.

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