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2024 Annual HPDE Hosted by NJMP Drivers Club - September 6/7, 2024


Croc

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LATE EDIT JUNE 2024 - Effective June 2024, NJMP is mandating all participants at their events must use a recognized head neck restraint system.  This includes brands such as HANS, Simpson Hybrid and the like.  This policy includes any guest/visitor drivers.  This is a change from prior year events.  Only 4 people have registered and paid their fee as of June 30, 2024.  For those four individuals only, if this NJMP safety policy change impacts you and you think it is cost prohibitive to participate and want a track fee refund then PM me offline. 

 

 

Welcome

NJMP Drivers Club has generously invited USA7s back to NJMP in Millville, NJ to run the Thunderbolt Circuit.  This will be the 13th running of our club's participation in the NJMP Drivers Club HPDE.

 

Dates: Friday September 6 and Saturday September 7, 2024

 

Please take the time to read all of the following information prior to registering.

 

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As in prior years, the NJMP Drivers Club is fully responsible for operating the day. Provided we have more than 10 cars sign up, they have generously allocated HPDE sessions to participants that will be Se7en only. This is desirable as you do not have to be out on track with big heavy cars around you, and your momentum will not be impeded by some big heavy car slowing you down through corners.

 

If we do not get 10 cars then likely we will be grouped in the open wheeler group.

 

The NJMP Drivers Club rules and regulations apply for registration, technical inspection, driver qualifications and all aspects of safety in compliance with New Jersey laws. They will offer the registration site and collect all fees for this event and provide all services/facilities.  As an incorporated not-for-profit club, USA7s does not make any revenue or profit out of this event.

 

Please keep in mind that NJMP Drivers Club Member Days are not a racing event but rather a Driver Education Day. You will learn to handle and control your vehicle at high speeds as well as explore the capabilities as a driver and those of your vehicle. At no time will you be pushed or encouraged to go any faster than is comfortable for you. All participants are organized into run groups based on experience, skill, and type of vehicle.

 

Even if you do not wish to drive then there are reasons to join us. 

  • Spouses are welcome to join in the fun!
  • It is a great social event to meet your fellow owners and share in the joy of our cars.  If you are thinking of buying or building a Se7en then we recommend you join us.  You can talk to a number of experienced owners and see a large range of cars in one spot to facilitate your building or buying experience or just get ideas for your se7en. 
  • Photographers have a ready made opportunity for pursuing automotive photography and arrangements may be available to join the official NJMP photographer as he takes photos around the track.  

 

 

Schedule

The event schedule is as follows:

 

Thursday, September 5, 2024

Afternoon: Arrival at NJMP.   Both days are being held on the Thunderbolt circuit. The Thunderbolt circuit may be being utilized on the Thursday and so the pits may not be accessible until close of track operations around 5pm or so. If you arrive before 5pm then head to the either the Finish Line Pub/Clubhouse or alternatively to the on-NJMP property garages at 367 Corsair Drive (NJMP can provide directions).

 

5.30-6:00pm Welcome Pool Party at the Clubhouse/Finish Line Pub. Casual wear is appropriate.

 

Friday, September 6, 2024

8:00am Breakfast at the Clubhouse. Option to get grab and go box to bring back to pits

8:30am Registration and Tech inspection at the Thunderbolt pits area.

9:30am Mandatory Drivers Briefing near the control tower in the pits

10:00am Track is live

1:00pm (est) 1 hour lunch break. Lunch is served at Clubhouse.

7:00pm Track is closed

7:00pm Dinner – Clubhouse/Finish Line Pub. Casual wear is appropriate.

 

Saturday, September 7, 2024

7:00am Breakfast at the Clubhouse. Option to get grab and go box to bring back to pits

7:30am Registration and Tech inspection

8:30am Mandatory Drivers Briefing near the control tower in the pits

9:00am Track is live

1:00pm (est) 1-hour lunch break. Lunch is served at Clubhouse.

5:00pm Track is closed

Dinner - We expect most will be heading home afterwards but for those still around I am sure something informal can be sorted out offsite in Millville.

 

The sessions times are subject to finalization and a schedule for that day will be handed out each daily driver briefing.

 

 

Registration

Online registration for drivers and their guests is via the MotorsportReg.com site.

 

Step 1 is to register as a user. Step 2 is to register and pay for the event using the links provided below. NJMP’s cancellation policy is outlined on the registration page. Late registration will incur a late fee. Drivers Club member' have a different HPDE cost to non-members reflecting their club subscriptions paid.

 

Non-driving visitors are required to be registered by NJMP. If you are a driver bringing a guest, then there is space on the registration site to do this. The fee for non-driving visitors covers all refreshments during the day plus breakfast and lunch.  

 

If you are attending as a non-driver then we recommend you register on the day when you turn up as the registration site is not designed for guest only attendance.

 

The following links should be used to sign up for each day individually

 

Please sign up as a Non-Member Guest in the yellow open-wheeler group, identify your car as a seven of some description, and we will will work with NJMP to move your registration into the right group later.  

 

If you need to list a Drivers club member who you are a guest of please use "Joe Mills" as he is the NJMP Drivers Club Lead Coordinator.

 

Friday Registration Link - September 6, 2024

https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/drivers-club-member-day-late-start-njmp-thunderbolt-new-jersey-motorsports-park-736161

 

 

Saturday Registration Link - September 7, 2024

https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/drivers-club-member-day-njmp-thunderbolt-new-jersey-motorsports-park-033786

 

 

 

Event Requirements

Safety: All safety requirements that are mandatory for all participants are specified in New Jersey Law – Chapter 62 here:

https://www.njsp.org/divorg/operations/pdf/mvracetrack/20150709_racing_regulations.pdf

 

Please read the section on HPDE as it will specify all safety and tech requirements you are subject to.

 

Driver’s License: All drivers must have a valid Driver’s License and be at least 18 years of age to participate. You will be asked to present your Driver’s License at NJMP.

 

Attire: NJ State Law requires all participants on the track wear long pants and closed toe shoes. No one in shorts will be permitted to enter the racetrack or pit lane. Driver overalls are perfectly acceptable but are not mandatory to those without them.

 

 

Technical Inspection/Rules & Regulations

You will be required to complete a tech inspection prior to the event. During the registration process, a link is provided to the tech inspection form. Please download, print and complete yourself ahead of the event – bring the completed form with your car to the tech inspection.

 

Please read the HPDE section of New Jersey Law Chapter 62 seen here.  These regulations are yet to be updated for 2015 helmet requirements:

https://www.njsp.org/divorg/operations/pdf/mvracetrack/20150709_racing_regulations.pdf

 

Some essential criteria for being able to participate in an HPDE at NJMP:

  • Helmet required: A Snell M or SA rated full face helmet dated 2015 or newer is required for all drivers and passengers on the track. Open face helmets are not permitted in Se7ens.  Rental helmets are available with prior arrangement through the NJMP General Store.
  • Arm restraints: NJMP requires these as mandatory safety equipment in open cars
  • Open top cars: Must have approved rollover protection. No pop up roll-bars or detachable hard tops.
  • Broomstick rule is applicable for roll over protection. Broomstick is from top of roll bar to front chassis tube (at nosecone) as the windscreen is not viewed as structural.
  • Belts: Only 5 or 6 point belts are acceptable. Belt age must be on a label on the belts. No label – no driving. SFI belts must be 2 years or newer. FIA belts must be within 5 years or newer. No 4-point belts allowed. No DOT 3-point belts are accepted in open cars like ours.
  • Numbers: Painters tape or vinyl sticker numbers on both sides of your seven are acceptable. Please don’t pick “7” as everyone does that and you will be asked to change it.
  • Tires: Please anticipate tire wear and do not turn up with marginal tire tread. Consider that the track may be damp in which case slick tires are unsafe. If you are close to wearing out a set of tires, then consider ordering and bringing a new spare set. TK Autosports can mount these on your wheels at the Thunderbolt pits for a small fee.

 

Effective June 2024, NJMP is mandating all participants at their events must use a recognized head neck restraint system.  This includes brands such as HANS, Simpson Hybrid and the like.  This policy includes any guest/visitor drivers.  This is a change from prior year events.  Only 4 people have registered and paid their fee as of June 30, 2024.  For those four individuals only, if this NJMP safety policy change impacts you and you think it is cost prohibitive to participate and want a track fee refund then PM me offline. 

 

You will have to go through a tech line on the day and complete a tech form.  These forms will be available from NJMP in the pits on the day of the event.

 

Other Matters

Getting to NJMP: The GPS address of NJMP is 8000 Dividing Creek Road, Millville, NJ 08332. If you are coming to Millville on Rt 55 South, then it is strongly recommended that you exit off Rt 55 at Exit 24 as this route option avoids trailers having to make a sharp right turn in downtown Millville. While the signposts on Rt 55 say you should use Exit 27 to access NJMP, we do not recommend this option because of the difficulty you will have making the turn.

 

Participants, including Drivers Club Members and their guests, are responsible for any damage to NJMP property including on track and off track. This includes damage to the Armco and tire wall barriers or for the white powder to soak up oil and coolant spills on track.

 

A layout map of the NJMP property is provided below:

 

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Fuel: NJMP houses fuel stations at the Thunderbolt and Lightning pits. The stations are open from 8:30am to 3:30pm. The fuel station at Thunderbolt pits offers 93 & 100 octane (unleaded) and 110 & 112 octane (leaded). The fuel stations are permitted to fill containers in 5-gallon red fuel contains, as per NJ state law. Larger fuel containers of 10 gallons or more (any color) are permitted to be used as long as they are marked appropriately (stickers or writing on the container reading “FUEL”).

 

General Store: NJMP has a convenient General Store open during Drivers Club days. Located at the back of the Thunderbolt pits, it sells refreshments, ice, driving equipment (helmets, boots, driving suits, gloves, etc.), oils, some tools, safety gear and other related items. It also does rental helmets (with advance notice) should they be required.

 

Spares: Consider what may or is likely to break on your cars and consider bringing some select spares of known frequent failure items that will keep you mobile during the weekend. Prior events have shown a need for bearings, throttle and clutch cables, TPS, brake pads/fluid, duct tape, silicone tape, Hylomar (for making fuel seals). Millville does have a Napa Parts outlet and Advance Auto but beyond this, specialist parts suppliers do not exist.

 

Pit Set Up Location: We normally set up in the big barn-like garage in the center of the Thunderbolt pits. There are also garages underneath the Pit Suites complex. You are entitled to use of a garage during the daylight hours of the event. You can also choose to set up on the pits outside if you prefer a more outdoor setting. Overnight garage storage is available plus there is some storage space at Garage 367 of Exotic Car Garages on the Thunderbolt pits access road.  In prior years we have had as many as 12 sevens in there plus an eclectic selection of other automotive money pits.

 

Seating: We strongly encourage you to bring a folding chair or other seating as there is no seating in the pits provided by NJMP.

 

Accommodation: There are a lot of preferred options available.

 

  • In Millville, there is a Fairfield Inn and Holiday Inn Express.  Conventional check in/out hours.

 

  • In Vineland, about 10 miles away, there is a Hampton Inn or Wingate by Wyndham.  Conventional check in/out hours.

 

  • Camping is available at NJMP by permit along with power hook ups for RVs with a fee. Showers and bathrooms are at the Officers Club at the back of the Thunderbolt pits.  Those with RVs also have the option of parking outside my garage and hooking up to my power.  
  • Camping and Electric – New Jersey Motorports Park (njmp.com)

 

 

Mechanics: TK Autosport has been our trusty mechanic of last resort when our cars have broken/melted/fallen apart. TJ Kenny and his team are a fantastic resource during Drivers Club event days, usually saving the day when it has all gone wrong. They are not free.  Their rates are very reasonable given their experience. While they do frequently save the day, they are not miracle workers, so you are encouraged to take your preparation seriously. If you need help preparing your car in advance of the event, then TK Autosports can be reached at (888) 978-5506. They are located at Millville Airport, adjoining the NJMP site. They also have a tire shop located in the Thunderbolt pits.

TK Autosports - Home

 

 

Other attractions in the Millville area:  There are a number of other things to do around this part of southern NJ.  The NJMP website has some suggested options:

Around NJMP – New Jersey Motorports Park

 

Contact: NJMP can be reached at (856) 327-8000. After hours, the main switchboard will not be answered. In this event, you should call the Main Gate security office on (856) 327-7255.

 

 

Driving Format

As we are participating in an NJMP Drivers Club event, we follow their practices for on-track behavior. We will have a series of exclusive Se7ens-only sessions if we meet the 10 car minimum threshhold.  To accommodate the range of driving experience participating we follow intermediate HPDE group rules when we run se7ens only run group.

 

Passing will be by invitation on. That is, a passing car will need to receive a point-by from the car being passed. No point-by, then no passing. It is courteous for drivers to monitor their rear vision mirrors and let cars past promptly. Passing zones are defined at the straights. You will be briefed on these at the Drivers Briefing or please ask and we can walk you through the track map.

 

Passing in the turns is not acceptable. No passing in braking zones. Given sevens have such remarkable cornering and braking skills it is not expected that passing cars will be held up for any length of time if drivers of slower cars monitor mirrors and point-by promptly. These rules are intended for your safety and if followed should prevent car-to-car contact.

 

In the past we have had no traffic issues or people being unreasonably held up on track. I put that down to good drivers participating and our remarkable little cars.  Being considerate of other drivers on track goes a long way.  

 

If you are new to driving on track, then we encourage you to participate in the “Green Run” group. This is progressive paced laps and includes classroom sessions to help you understand the best techniques for driving on a circuit. It introduces the concepts progressively in a way to maintain the safety of you and your car plus facilitates your learning of core driving skills.  It is a very well designed program to get you familiar with the basics of a se7en on track. 

 

A number of NJMP Drivers Club members who will be participating in the event have done substantial time on this track since it was first built in 10+ years ago and we can coach you on specific lines and driving approaches to get the best from your car on this circuit.

 

 

Driving the Thunderbolt Circuit

This circuit is technical in nature. The first half of the circuit is fast, long straights, fast sweepers, where the key is to carry as much speed as possible. The second half of the circuit is tight, technical and quite slow in average speed. This part contains the Jersey Devil section, comprised of the most radical decreasing radius corner (Turn 9) of any racetrack in North America, then a heavily off camber slow left corner (Turn 10) which rewards experimenting with different entry points, apex points and exit lines.

 

Turn 1 was slightly reprofiled at the beginning of 2024 to make it much faster.  So it will be slightly different for those returning to NJMP. 

 

 

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For an instructional look at the circuit, below is a 360-degree video. This video is before this year's turn 1 mild re-profiling to increase speed.  For those who have not used one before then:

 

  1. Click through this video into YouTube itself.
  2. Play the video
  3. Move the camera around by (a) the arrows top left, or (b) clicking your mouse on the video playing and dragging to look behind, up, sides or down

 

If you move the camera to point down slightly you will see I overlaid a track map on the passenger seat below the speed. You may have to move the view slightly right to read the various captions anyway as the YouTube screen size is narrower than my video edit app. Sorry no sound as this camera does not have an external mic.

 

Time:

  • 0:00 Leaving the pits - where to line up to await going out on circuit
  • 0:23 Pit lane and the turn onto the circuit
  • 0:40 Leaving the pits and the blend line you should follow merging onto track
  • 0:52 For the next two warm up laps I have added text commentary on some of the more tricky corners and what you should not do.
  • 5:35 Some clean laps at a good moderate pace to illustrate the lines.  I deliberately tried lots of different lines in the Devil section of the Thunderbolt track to show you what happens - the speed is relatively low. Experimentation will teach you a lot about your car in this corner. Just watch the entry speed on the decreasing radius right hand corner on entry into the Devil - it will catch you out first time.
  • 19:19 I follow Tom so you can see the track lines from a different perspective.
  • 23:50 Returning to the pits and back of pits

 

 

 

For those that have never participated in this event then two videos of the event by Glen S, a USA7s member, Lotus Enthusiast and all-round good guy, will help you appreciate it.

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

This is above all a social event. We do it to enjoy our sevens’ unique handling and performance capabilities in a facility that allows safety compared with doing the same on road (which would be illegal too). There will be no racing or timing of events. We want the atmosphere to be relaxed and social, above all, enjoying our cars as they were designed to be used, in a mutually respectful and safe manner.

 

We look forward to meeting you at the 2024 event!

 

Questions: Should you have event related questions, then you can post them via USA7s (either PM or public on this event thread).

 

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  • Croc pinned this topic

I'm new to my 7 on the track but not new to this track with the old layout. 6x Lemons races here with 140 other cars on track. 

 

Have done multiple bike track days too.

 

Is it OK if I do the morning session in green group as I need to get used to the car on the track? Is it possible to move up to passing group? Or should I just book separate days?

 

 

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@slowdude  Easy to accommodate.  Book into yellow.  On the day, ask to go out in green first session to check the car and then join yellow for the rest of the day or variation there of.  A lot of us have done that with cars new to us.  Its a smart idea. 

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I am signed up for Saturday already. Will see how the work schedule shakes out, and if still room avail add Friday. I am going to try and do one/some track days before that to get comfortable in the new car. Also want to make sure it passes Tech (which it should) prior to arriving for the event. @croc let me know if you have any days between now and Sept 7th. Would love to pick up any tips from the master. 

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I have a room booked at Holiday Inn express in millville. I also reserved a room at the track over the covered pit lane garages. Never seen those rooms so not sure what that's like. But in theory I will only use one of them. Likely keep the other till just before and can pass it to someone in need. (Just friday night as I will likely head back on saturday night - ideally with the car if it isn't in the armco)

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4 hours ago, CBuff said:

I also reserved a room at the track over the covered pit lane garages. Never seen those rooms so not sure what that's like.

 

With the pit suites make sure you note the check in and check out times.  Its a very late checkin and check out.  Its intended to match up with days on track. 

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7 days prior cancelation. 
7pm check in 3pm out 

I’m planning on getting it for Friday night only. Come up Friday night and leave Saturday after the track day. 

 

I think gates close at 10pm at night. Still have Vineland holiday inn as well.  I’m going to see how work unfolds and maybe try and make it out thurs night and run Friday as well 

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On 6/13/2024 at 7:24 PM, CBuff said:

I think gates close at 10pm at night.

 

NJMP gates are open as you need them.  If you arrive and they are closed then call the number on the gate and the security guy will let you in.  He goes off and does drive arounds periodically but there is someone there 24 hours a day to let you in or out. 

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Mike/Tom-

Went to Motorsport reg site to sign up.  Definitely plan to be there but you never know what could cause the need to cancel.  Motorsport reg says "non members-No refunds"

 

I know it hasn't been this way in the past.  Any updates/thoughts?

 

Would just hate to register now and then something changes 3 months from now.

 

Having asked all this- look forward to seeing everyone!

 

Jim

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5 hours ago, FE07 said:

.... Definitely plan to be there but you never know what could cause the need to cancel.  Motorsport reg says "non members-No refunds"

 

I know it hasn't been this way in the past.  Any updates/thoughts?

 

Would just hate to register now and then something changes 3 months from now.

 

 

Motorsportreg has gone through a lot of monetization changes in the last year under Hagerty ownership.  They now offer a lot of "insurance offers" as you check out and pay for your selected event.  One of which is event cancellation by person attending.  I assume the event organizer gets a cut of the money for this plus gets the certainty of knowing they have secure revenue.  I have not focused on the fine print of the "insurance offer" but it will come with conditions I expect. 

 

The alternative approach you are going to follow killed the event last year.  Only three people were registered in 2023 a week out from the event and so NJMP cancelled.  And then NJMP did it again on the month later back up dates for the exact same reasons.  All the dates ended up being fine weather.  If no one ever takes a risk nothing happens.  NJMP will cancel a week or more out if no one registers.  NJMP do not want to take the risk of the event not paying for itself and they have been making this decision earlier and earlier over the years. 

 

Not complaining but laying out the rules we need to play by if we want something like this to happen. 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Croc said:

 

 

Motorsportreg has gone through a lot of monetization changes in the last year under Hagerty ownership.  They now offer a lot of "insurance offers" as you check out and pay for your selected event.  One of which is event cancellation by person attending.  I assume the event organizer gets a cut of the money for this plus gets the certainty of knowing they have secure revenue.  I have not focused on the fine print of the "insurance offer" but it will come with conditions I expect. 

 

The alternative approach you are going to follow killed the event last year.  Only three people were registered in 2023 a week out from the event and so NJMP cancelled.  And then NJMP did it again on the month later back up dates for the exact same reasons.  All the dates ended up being fine weather.  If no one ever takes a risk nothing happens.  NJMP will cancel a week or more out if no one registers.  NJMP do not want to take the risk of the event not paying for itself and they have been making this decision earlier and earlier over the years. 

 

Not complaining but laying out the rules we need to play by if we want something like this to happen. 

 

 

 

Any reccomendation for track insurance? Go right to an underwriter instead of a broker?

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Hagerty does track insurance off the motorsportreg.com site. 

 

Lockton also does their version of track insurance.

 

Neither are insurance companies - they are managing general agents but they are cheaper than using a broker. 

 

There will probably be other names and a google will surface those. 

 

If you are a member of PCA or BMW CCA then they had discount offers for track insurance.  The savings more than paid for the annual membership. 

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9 hours ago, slowdude said:

Paid. Now to do a track day beforehand to see if I can justify a new clutch.

 

Where is the clutch engaging relative to the pedal travel?  Up the top?

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