New Jersey Motorsports Park (Thunderbolt) Official Race Track Guide
New Jersey Motorsports Park Thunderbolt Track Guide
We are braking here typically somewhere between the 5 board and the start of the curbing on our left. It is important to hit the brakes hard and then immediately start to lighten up so you can roll a decent amount of speed in as turn 1 is faster than it looks. We want to turn in about the 1 board and apex the middle of the apex curb.
We are picking up initial throttle only at our apex point! It is important to get your eyes up so you can start to unwind the steering wheel as early as possible to maximize your run in and out of turn 1.
Turn 2 is a fast, uphill and blind right hander - so start off a little conservative. We want to start our turn in near the end of the curb on our left and apex the middle of the apex curb. It is mostly a lift of a very light brake, you want enough entry speed so you only pick up the throttle at the apex point. At exit use all the road on exit.
Another very fast right hander. Entry speed is the most important thing here, so light and early brake and let it coast to the apex. Again we want to apex the middle of the apex curb and only pick up initial throttle around there.
Drivers can roll a deceiving amount of speed into turn 4. Most drivers will sacrifice turn 4 to setup for turn 5, do not do that. You can use all the road on exit and maximize your drive through here and still have enough time to work your way back to the right to setup for turn 5.
The exit for turn 5 is critical and you have to be disciplined to get your eyes looking towards the apex early. We want a nice deep trail brake all the way down to the apex (mid apex curb) at which point we want to aggressively get back to throttle.
If you can’t get aggressively back to throttle or have to get on and off of it that means you picked up the throttle too early. Open your hands as early as possible and use all the track one exit.
We want to roll as much speed to the apex as possible. Get your speed manipulation done early, almost always it will be a light brake and coast to the apex. We want to turn in roughly around the 1 board and apex right as the apex curb get’s wider.
Really important to have your eyes looking far ahead here and open your hands and get out and parallel with the exit curb early on.
Turn 7 is quite tricky, it is easy to brake too late or bring in too much entry speed. Focus more on a light and smooth brake zone here so that you have just enough weight on the front end at turn in.
We want a nice trail brake all the way down to the apex, again middle of that apex curb. We want our right-front tire on the flat curbing and get back to aggressive throttle at the apex point. Open your hands as early as possible and use all the road on exit as it can be tough sometimes to put the power down.
As we are setting up to brake into turn 9, usually around the end of the curb on our right in the long right-hander, we want to slightly open our hands and brake in a straight as possible line to about mid-track before turn in.
We don’t want to be all the way to the left, so you are holding it decently tight but not all the way to the inside. This will open up the radius into turn 9 and make it easier to keep it slightly to the right at exit.
We want to trail brake all the way down to the apex in turn 9, that should again only come mid curb. Once we can start to open our hands get aggressive to throttle, it’s easy to be lazy in-between turns 9 and 10 so don’t, get after it!
We don’t just want to run around the inside turn 10 and make it one super long corner, instead let’s treat this a bit like a double apex. So, attack the entry and first apex which comes at the start of the apex curb.
We want enough speed so the car takes us off the inside by about a half car width or so in the middle of the corner.
As we start to get the car rotated and heading back towards our second apex that is where we want our initial throttle to come in.
The important thing in turn 10 is to try and get back to full throttle as early as possible and keep it there all the way to turn 1 if you can. So, start off by holding it left on exit of turn 10 to setup for 11. Slowly use more and more track to your right on exit until you can no longer hold it flat.
Turn 12 is a very fast right-hander that in some cars is flat and in others could be a small brake. Either way, slowly work up to it. We want our turn in to come just as the front end of the car reaches the end of the bridge.
Slow hands is critical here as with any high speed corner. So, apex mid curb and get your eyes up as early as possible so you can open your hands early on exit and use all the road onto the front straight!
That’s all of our notes for a fast and safe lap around New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt layout. It is fast, challenging and fun - enjoy and we hope our coaches can continue to help you at any track, in any car, on any weekend!