Right Turn Clyde: A Look At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s Road Course

(Press Release from OTB Promotions)

OTB Promotions LogoThe road course at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) is looking at its second full-year since the renovation, and it is tabbed as one of the more challenging places to drive, making for some of the most interesting racing in New England.

With so much history at TSMP – the original road course was closed down in the 70’s – the design team wanted to stay close to the original layout. The Hoenig family, Josh Vanada, and Lou Gingerella took the task of creating a modern facility while keeping tradition alive. The main issue had been the transition off the oval track, which was worked extensively by Jon Hoenig, Donald Hoenig, and OTB Promotions President Lou Gingerella, and now flows smoothly into the rest of the course. Safety was also huge influence in the rebirth of the track – kept in mind when designing corners and run-off – as well as making the course challenging. One of the more unique features of the 11-turn track is the addition of the hairpin turn, leading towards the Clubhouse. This turn was added in order to help increase the length of the track, making it the longest road course currently open in New England.

Theresa Condict, a 9-year road course veteran, likes the new layout at TSMP. “I find it to be technical and a challenge to learn,” Condict explained. “Many of the drivers I’ve talked to who did not like the track at first, have grown to love it for this reason as well. The first time out, it can be a bit frustrating, since it’s not always obvious what the best line is through the corners. After a few sessions on track, though, the pieces start to fall into place and you can get into a great rhythm connecting the turns.”

Condict is quick to mention the tricky Turn 9, a sweeping left-hander where the road course exits the oval track. The turn is a little over 90 degrees, with a very late apex, but wide, allowing for many different driving lines. Adding to the difficulty is a blind exit over the small crest exiting the oval track, and a dip as the ground flattens, which can upset the car if taken lightly. There are many different lines through this turn, making it interesting during a race.

For Gingerella, who has raced various regional racing series in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) over his 25-year racing career, Turn 10 is the most challenging. “This turn sets the car up for the main straight; especially for the lower horsepower cars that will be taking Turn 11 close if not flat out,” says Gingerella. “Get this corner right and you will carry more speed down the straight. Keep in mind, Turn 10 can bite you. Get it wrong and you will be into the Armco. We’ve had a lot of ‘offs’ there.”

The fastest cars to run on the road course, so far, have been the Formula Atlantics, reaching top speeds of approximately 150 on the main straight. The speeds in the corners ranges from about 30-70 MPH, depending on the car and the turn. That can be as much as a 120 MPH difference in speed, making braking points a priority. With all this information, the road course at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is a technical, and challenging, facility.

Many organizations have run on the 1.7 mile course, including the National Auto Sport Association (NASA), Porsche Club of America (PCA), and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). These types of automobiles will be in attendance at OTB Promotions first event, the ICEBREAKER, Road Race Style, on April 24-25. OTB Promotions will also introduce a new breed of race cars to tackle the turns, as the Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series (MRNETS), North East Mini Stock Tour (NEMST), North East Street Stock Tour (NESST), and Thompson-legal Mini Stocks will invade the track at the Stock Car Road Race Challenge on September 11-12. For more information on these events, and more, visit www.otbpromos.net, like on Facebook (OTB Promotions), or follow on Twitter @otbpromos.

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  1. I had a really great time racing at Thompson. It is a very nice track, the food is great, and you can head up to the club house for a beer or ice cream afterwards. There is also a lot of areas to watch at many different track sections. I am looking forward to heading back in 2015

  2. Why don’t they run the mods on this course???

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