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New Jersey Motorsports Park NJMP with EvolveGT Track Days

I'm so ready for the track.  As much as I thought I "wouldn't be one of those guys" hassling their friends to come out to the track and thinking and talking about nothing else- but I guess I'm one of those guys now.
 My buddy Jeff needed a serious weld on his frame (after going down on his 848 at New York Safety Track), and bailed out on a weekend down to New Jersey to NJMP.  I thought I might swing down to Pa for a bit along the way, but after learning my sister and her family were spending the weekend in Ship Bottom, Long Beach Island,
 I showed up at the family friends' beach house and slept on a pullout couch, waking up at 5am.
 I had never been to NJMP, but New Jersey Motorsports Park is one of the most respected tracks on the East Coast.

NJMP hosts AMA (MotoAmerica) races, our American version of WSBK as well as being a favorite on the track circuits of many clubs, including Absolute (ACE), Team Pro-Motion and one of the most frequent stops with my group, EvolveGT.
Driving into the track you realize how massive the compound really is.  The circuit is comprised of two racetracks (Lightning and Thunderbolt) plus a go-cart track, as well every amenity you could possibly imagine.
There is a hotel literally sitting on top of the start/finish of Thunderbolt, with garages situated downstairs, so you can basically roll out of bed and onto your bike for tech inspection the next morning.
The grounds are massive, and include a country-club-styled pub, a concession stand, and a store stocked with racing gear, apparel, and then basic necessities you might want on a race day.
Tech inspection happens in a big hangar, and there were a ton of people out this particular Saturday.

I set up my canopy in the middle of the field, and immediately made friends with my next-door neighbor Jeff and a few guys riding CBRs a few feet away down the paddock.
The session was packed though... I think there were over 60 riders in E2
The first few sessions I was a little squirrely, as even though NJMP has much more run-off and no blind corners (compared to NYST's trees and hills)

My friend Paul showed up racing his Ducati Supersport, and offered to show me the lines.  This led to his friend Sean showing me the lines as well, and they got me out of my shell to ask for some help from a coach. 
After the few coaching sessions, I realized I had SOOO much more runoff than I had initially expected.  Though I wasn't focusing on lap times, a review of my sessions throughout the day showed I dropped from over 2 minutes a lap into the lower 1:50s.  
The second to last session, I scraped a knee, and on the final session, I started to drag both knees a couple times around the track.

Elated and exhausted, I grabbed dinner with Paul and Sean, and waited for another few friends to arrive.
My boys James, Jerry and Tommy were coming down,  and had rented a hotel room and a garage. 
© 2018 Tigh Loughhead


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