New Jersey Motorsports Park is located on 500 acres immediately adjacent to the Millville Airport in Millville, New Jersey. The Millville Army Air Field was dedicated in 1941 and, during its four-year existence, it played a key role in the country’s World War II military efforts as a gunnery school for fighter pilots for the Republic P-47 “Thunderbolt” fighter aircraft. New Jersey Motorsports Park embraced the rich history of its neighbor by naming its marquee southern 2.25-mile road course “Thunderbolt Raceway.” The northern 1.9-mile road course – “Lightning Raceway” – is named after the Lockheed P-38 “Lightning” fighter aircraft.
The southern 2.25 mile-long road circuit at New Jersey Motorsports Park is our signature “Thunderbolt Raceway” featuring 12 challenging turns and a one-half mile long straightway. There are two optional chicanes on Thunderbolt, one around Turn 2 and another one around Turn 3, giving rise to four possible track configurations in total. The most common configuration uses the chicane around Turn 3 only and the second most common configuration uses neither chicane.
Turn 1 is a fairly fast righthander, which features a heavy downhill braking zone as you slow the car from more than 120 mph down to 50 mph to make the apex. After Turn 1, you climb a hill into Turn 2, which is completely blind, followed quickly by Turn 3 and Turn 4. These are very fast kinks that require little braking and a lot of courage.
Turn 5, a long sweeping righthander, rewards a trail-braking entry and a sideways exit that leads into one of the most daunting corners on the circuit, a long sweeping right-hander that can break the rear end loose at high speeds.
The infield section, known as the “octopus”, through Turn 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 is a challenging test of low-speed handling ability or a chance to slide your car through each and every low-speed bend.
Turns 11, 11a, and 12 are considered to be the most dangerous section of the track as your speed is climbing rapidly approaching the front straightway and the run-off is very limited.
It’s the fast turns that dominate this circuit. The track is hard on tires, especially with a heavy car, and your brakes take a hammering before cooling on the long, fast sections.
The 1.9 mile northern road course is a fast and challenging circuit known as “Lightning Raceway”.
Turn 1 is an uphill right-hand turn with a blind exit. Make as late of a turn in as possible to set up a later apex (and a straighter exit onto the short straight between Turn 1 and Turn 2) as you head towards the braking zone for Turn 2.
Turn 2 and Turn 3, both right-hand turns, should be treated like one continuous corner. Brush the brakes before turning left for Turn 4.
Turn 5 is a blind turn. Approach Turn 5 along the right side of the track and, as you clip the first apex cone on your right side, release from that side and begin straight-line braking to the outer left side of the track.
Turn 6 is a long right-handed sweeper, which leads under the bridge and into a hard braking zone for Turn 7. After the hard left-hander, accelerate through Turn 8, a mild left-hander, and begin your braking for Turn 9.
Turn 9, a very long right-hander, is a tough turn to get perfect and will dictate your speed down the front straightway. Begin your braking zone on the left side of the track. As you see the turn approaching, fight the instinct to turn early. Once you begin to turn, hang around mid-track at the beginning before dropping all the way to the bottom. At this point, release the inside and let the car begin to drift outwards towards track out. This is a very long turn, so do not rush any part of it, and remember, slow in is fast out!
After you track out of Turn 9, keep the wheel slightly turned to the right as you will be closing in on the blind crest of Turn 10. Keep the car right of center as you track out of this slight right-hand bend and approach the hill leading onto the front straightway.