Through The Esses - Who Is Coming To NJMP In 2008?
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Carroll Shelby had input into NJMP
© Andrew S. Hartwell

A few months back we interviewed two gentlemen by the name of Lee Brahin and Joe Savaro about a new Motorsports facility under construction in New Jersey. Called the New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP), this facility is slated to wave its first green flag in the spring of 2008. Recently, Grand-Am President Roger Edmondson made this comment at the annual season ending Annual Champions banquet in Las Vegas: "The series is also exploring a Labor Day event at a new venue being built between New York City and Philadelphia."

Ka-ching! That got our antennae up. Could he possibly be referring to NJMP? We wanted to learn more so we asked Harvey Siegel, the owner of NJMP and Virginia International Raceway (VIR) to let us in on the potential secret.

According to Siegel, the development of NJMP - located near an airfield outside of Millville, in southern New Jersey - is coming along nicely. Also according to Siegel, no announcements about Grand-Am or anyone else putting this new venue on their schedule is ready to be made public.

We are not in a position today to make any specific announcements about which series or clubs will be racing at our facility in 2008. Those announcements will come from the respective sanctioning bodies at the appropriate time. I can tell you that we have had conversations with virtually every major sanctioning body - from Grand-Am to the ALMS, the SCCA, WERA, CCS and more - and with a great number of racing clubs and racing organizations. We are starting to fill in some dates on the calendar now, but again, we aren't in a position to make any specific announcements.

One well known racing icon, Cobra creator and racing legend Carroll Shelby, has at least some of the dates reserved for the Shelby American Club. Shelby himself was involved in some of the early design work of the facility.

Here is a Siegel quote from a recent press release from NJMP:

Lee Brahin, the project co-developer, and RJ Valentine shared vision for the development of New Jersey Motorsports Park, and having Carroll Shelby's collaboration on the layout and conceptual design of our Thunderbolt Raceway and Lightning Road courses is a new high-water mark for our team. In the American racing world, there isn't another man who's accomplished as much as Carroll and we're honored to have his participation in our project. It's unusual for new Motorsports facilities to have help from the get-go on track design, and I think this will give us a signature aspect to what we anticipate will be one of the marquee facilities in North America.

As he has done with the revitalization of VIR - the track property was used as farmland for many years when it ceased racing operations in the 1970s - Siegel is taking bold steps to provide racing enthusiasts with a facility that will give them an outstanding venue in which to enjoy themselves.

Our business plan for NJMP is very similar to what we have done with Virginia International Raceway (VIR). That is, we intend to offer everyone who enjoys the racing lifestyle - and that's what it has become over time, a lifestyle, not something you do on a whim or for temporary enjoyment - an opportunity to be a part of an entity that exists solely to provide a premier venue for living that lifestyle.

From the website:
Amenities on this circuit will include concession buildings, event garages, twenty (20) VIP Suites, banquet rooms, a covered false grid, and a three (3) story timing tower with media center and VIP facilities.

The New Jersey Motorsports Park will also feature our members only Driver's Club and our spacious and well appointed clubhouse facilities. Play on our tennis courts, take a dip in the pool or cozy up to the bar after dinner, all after a challenging day at the Motorsports Park.

Siegel has the financial foundation in place to make his dream a reality. And given the location - 40 miles west of Atlantic City, 50