November 11, 2008

What's My Line: Thunderbolt Edition.

I truly enjoyed New Jersey Motorsport Park's Thunderbolt track. It has a bit of everything and it's not a track that is much more fun if you have a monster horsepower car.

As it's a rather new track I though I would do a track guide like I did for Monticello. Keep in mind this is MY line and lines are like..... everyone has one. To that effect I would encourage you to share your own version.

The line I describe is not the strict "driving school", safe line, please keep that in mind. It is always useful to learn the official version first before you start exploring what might work best for you and your setup. Safety first, don't forget. As coveted as th title may be, there is no sponsorship deal for the Track Day World Champion.

After the jump you will find a video of three laps, each faster than the previous, from my last session on Sunday. My fastest time over three days and I had a passenger with me, guess I need a little more work down there! To my chagrin I was not able to fully destroy my now ancient v710's which though certainly heat-cycle'd out, stubbornly refuse to chord or become fully gripless. Amazing tire in my opinion, now I'll have feel bad about buying a new set come next spring.

You can download my Traqmate file HERE.
And if you are a sick bastard you can download Stee Traqmate file for the Cayenne Turbo which he ended up running HERE

For the Video ->
PDA and NASA put on a great show, we had open track, NASA races (Congratulations Spencer Lo-Buk Anderson for your third in the Honda Challenge Championship!) HPDE, demo rides...and a beyond awesome BBQ. Joe Cassella truly threw the gauntlet down on NASA Mid-Atlantic with that feast!

Great way to end the season.

(Additional pictures by The Dough)

more pictures at TrackTime Photos.


  1. That Z06 with the vented hood looks fantastic!

  2. Ohh, the helmet cam made me motion sick and I'm just sitting in my office!


  3. let me get this straight... You will do aerobatics but a helmetcam will make you queezy? I had no idea you were such a selectively delicate freepin flower! :0)

  4. Funny that tight left-hand turn before the esses before the front straight I was telling students to stay out for a late apex there. I see what you're saying in terms of racing but I think if you stay out late, you get a tremendous run and if you set up the esses right, you can gain some serious ground on other cars through there with a good-handling car. If it weren't for the fact that my student's Miata had stock seats/belts and I was wasting so much energy keeping myself in my seat, I could've crushed many other cars through that section (using all 90WHP!)

    That track definitely grew on me from when we were there in August. Too bad it's so far away though :(

  5. Kieran, for me the shortest line is always the fastest: you compromise the turn before less by not going all the way right at the exit and you can still turn the car by making your arc more of a "V" shape on that long turn. As long as you can be full throttle on the second apex you are good. I don't think there is any way to geometrically turn in late enough on such a long turn to straighten out more than you can by doing a double apex.
    By like I said....lines are like...

  6. I'll honestly have to trust you on this... I only drove MY car on the track last August for a half session and I was still feeling out the track. This past weekend I was only instructing and the only driving I did was the M5 in the rain and the Miata but, like I said, I was having major issues staying in the seat! Sometime when I drive either my car or my friend's (just a car that I'm familiar with!) I can fool with the line there and see which one I prefer.

  7. Where are the other cars? Doesn't feel like a PDA event!!

  8. AC and KL: direct me to a timestamp on the vid so I can see what you're talking about.


  9. Freep, the section comes up the fist time between 1:08 and 1:20 or so. It's the decreasing radius right into the long 180+ left...

  10. AC,

    What are you using for a helmet cam?

    Do you know what the story is behind the GTR? I am guessing from the pics it had problems so it didn't run?

  11. The GTR did run on Friday...what a sound!

  12. I am stealing your line thru the left after the sweepers so I thought I'd give a little something back:

    Turn one is faster than you are giving it credit for - go a little early and use the pit out curbing to the right... and go right back to the throttle. Bring it all with you up in to 2. The uphill will provide the grip to make it stick and then go in early and as you crest the hill drift it right out to the edge where the camber falls away.

    It requires a little practice to see exactly how much you can drift out because it blind on entry... but you can also use the hill to scrub until you get the rhythm. I was giggling like little kid watching old people fall on ice.

    OH! And if you are a little softly sprung you can use all four on the curb next to pit-in at the entrance to the main straight... it lets you keep it pointed straight.

  13. I'll agree there, look forward to working on that next season. Towards the end I found that if you are hitting turn 1 right and fast enough, 1 and 2 pretty much link up as one long turn.

    I love the curbs there, you can really put wheels inside them almost every one with relative impunity....sweet!


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