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Old 09-27-2009, 10:27 PM   #1
WeeAsp
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New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP)

After a LOOOOOONG Hiatus, I am back...

Lots of things going on with the family, the house, work and not much time for forums or track events (Only 3 this year). However...

3 weeks ago, I got a semi-paniced phone call from the President of the GWS Mercedes Benz Club asking for a favor. He needed me to run the Fall driving event at NJMP.

For a while now, driving is an itch that needed scratching. So, I checked with the family, got clearance and off I went. BOY WAS I GLAD I DID!!!

What an amazing facility. NJMP is the sister track to VIR and it lives up to it. The track amenities are still coming along, but I had a blast on the LIGHTNING Circuit.

Unfortunately, I was not able to drive both days. Yesterday, I was way too busy scrambling and running the grid and keeping up with the membership.

I was really excited to see fellow FF'ers Schroeder, Viney, ZX3Chick, and Aaron. Schroeder did so well that I drafted him as an instructor (we were WAY short, but everyone had an instructor - those guys HUSTLED).

SO BIG THANKS TO BRIAN FOR HELPING OUT !!! You are officially on my roster for future events. Welcome to free track time.

In the midst of all the goings on, I was able to catch up - a little with life here on the forums. It was great to see everyone.

On track action -

Absolutely PERFECT weather on Saturday with NO INCIDENTS !!!!

Brian had a really, REALLY good showing with his SVT and left a lot of people scratching their heads at how quick he and the little roller skate were on the track.

Interesting cars (non-SVT):

2008 CLK63 AMG "Black Series" - An utter DEMON on the course. This thing would fly down the main straight sounding like Lucifer's Hammer. Radar gun speeds had him at 134MPH into the braking zone and the car wasn't sweating.

2009 Corvette Z06 - This is a great story. The owner, Bob, is in his late 60's and drives the SNOT out of this car. Viney commented on how beautiful it was because of all the brake dust all over the wheels. The owner bought the car specifically to run track events - and run them HARD. Why would he do this with such an expensive car? Because he has nothing to lose. Bob has terminal cancer and is checking off his "bucket list". He is the most positive person you will ever meet. I applaud him for using his time (and retirement money) well.

2009 Porsche GT3 RS - I rode in this thing to day and the only description that comes to mind is "WEAPON". I've never been a big Porsche fan, but this car made me a believer. The driver is a true novice and the car would let him do no wrong. 111 MPH under the bridge (it has WAAAAY MORE) and 85+MPH exit speeds from the "light bulb" terminating at 143MPH into the braking zone for turn 1. Unbelievable balance in the car with TONS of power.

Sunday (Today) -

Absolutely MISERABLE weather in the morning. The only complaint that I come close to having is that the Lightning course doesn't drain well. But with frogs falling from the sky, I am not sure that ANY track could keep up with the water. The afternoon cleared up really nicely.

Significantly slower speeds all the way around. I went out in my car for recon laps (I never got to put the sticky rubber on) and really liked the layout and flow of the track. It is not nearly as technical as other tracks, and was really easy to drive fast - even in the wet. Within 2 laps I had the line and was picking up speed in every corner. However, to be on the safe side, I dialed it back and brought her in. I LOVE driving in the rain.

Others didn't like it so well...

We had a Benz 190e loop it in the entrance to turn 5 and introduce himself to the ARMCO. Fortunately, the driver wasn't injured and the car only suffered minor cosmetic damage. The corner work described the incident as "a rock skipping across a pond".

In the same run group, 5 minutes later, a 190e 16V was a little too aggressive coming out of 10 and went agricultural. Lots of mud and dirt, but no damage to the car.

As the day progressed, we saw the run groups get smaller as people headed for home early - even after the weather cleared. I combined run groups where I could and it resulted in drivers getting 40 minute sessions vs. the standard 20. We even finished 15 minutes early.

All in all a great weekend.

If you ever have the opportunity, I HIGHLY recommend that you attend an event at this track.


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Old 09-28-2009, 12:28 AM   #2
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Cool Njmp rules!

Sounds like a fun weekend.

I think NJMP is a great facility, and it's still under development. They need to get the water and dust issues sorted out. Until they can get the grass to fill in better, it won't drain properly when it rains, and you get too much dust when it's dry.

I've only been on thunderbolt 2X, and Lightning about 4X but both are laid out pretty well. Lots of runoff and no real scary places. IMHO these are both great tracks for newcomers since it's easy to be comforatble and build confidence at your own pace. There's nothing holding you back, but your own will and or equipment.

What kind of times did our FoFo driver's hit there?

I got down to a 1:20.014 there back in July.

If anyone is interested in stopping by to say hi, I'll be there again with NNJR SCCA Mid Oct, on the 16th > 18th.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:44 AM   #3
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This sounds like a blast...I'd love to get my car on a full track. Autocross's are a ton of fun just too short, but excellent value. I'll have to try to juggle things around to see if I can make this next one.....
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tb1999 View Post
Sounds like a fun weekend.

I think NJMP is a great facility, and it's still under development. They need to get the water and dust issues sorted out. Until they can get the grass to fill in better, it won't drain properly when it rains, and you get too much dust when it's dry.

I've only been on thunderbolt 2X, and Lightning about 4X but both are laid out pretty well. Lots of runoff and no real scary places. IMHO these are both great tracks for newcomers since it's easy to be comforatble and build confidence at your own pace. There's nothing holding you back, but your own will and or equipment.

What kind of times did our FoFo driver's hit there?

I got down to a 1:20.014 there back in July.

If anyone is interested in stopping by to say hi, I'll be there again with NNJR SCCA Mid Oct, on the 16th > 18th.
Drainage is still an issue. Standing on the grid, I had water trickling over my shoes. They were completely soaked through by 11:00.

They are working on it and as I understand it, it is better. That is a scary thought. One of the security guys told me that earlier this year, when we had that long stretch of rain, some open wheel cars (he couldn't remember which group) were there for a school. They left the cars in the pit lane overnight. It POURED rain. When they came back the next morning, water was up to the cockpit sills...

Some VERY unhappy people.

I didn't put a clock on Schroeder, but he was getting around faster than most.

The run-off for this track makes it ideal for HPDE events.

Big fan.

I won't be able to make the October date. I am still working on my wife for late October here at Summit Point. That and I have to go pick up my new race car in the next 2 weeks in Pittsburgh.

I just bought an American Iron Mustang for a song. Fresh motor, extra wheels and tires with a trailer. I couldn't say no.
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:12 PM   #5
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Damn wish I coulda been there but I was sick
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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It was great to see you again Tom.

I loved my ride in Brian's car. It was so awesome and so much fun!
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
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It was great to see you again Tom.

I loved my ride in Brian's car. It was so awesome and so much fun!
Glad you were able to come up!

Now, you have absolutely no reason not to give it a try yourself.

Instructors a plenty and I know your car!

Next thing you know, you'll be tearing out the back seat, buying extra wheels and tires (not caring what they look like), bending tubing for roll cages, cussing stripped out brake bleeders, wondering what a*sh*le talked you into this nightmare...
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:07 PM   #8
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If I had the money and the knowledge I'd give it a try but I don't see that happening anytime soon. I'm just happy getting a ride.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
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The run-off for this track makes it ideal for HPDE events.

I agree, I tested the run off room near turn four, I almost got lost trying to get back on track
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:22 PM   #10
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I thought the facility was great. The ride in Brians car was amazingly fun. It was nice seeing you again Tom.
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