Thunderbolt SBN: Lapping Session Times

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In SBN’s only on-track session of the day, Conor Daly got in 16 laps on Thunderbolt; Daly’s seventh was his quickest.

Nick Tonkin was also fast, about a half-second behind Daly, putting him fourth-quick in the session. Tonkin got in 18 laps, his best being lap 13.

MILLVILLE, N.J. – On Thursday, a big Scott Pruett Grand-Am DP crash into the entry-end of the pit wall had officials concerned about the possibility of similar incidents and hence called off the remainder of the promoter test day at N.J. Motorsports Park/Thunderbolt to work on a solution. The BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda series did get a test session in before that incident, however, and the quickest was Conor Daly. His 1:26.094 saw him about a 10th clear of Fabio Orsolon and 3/10s up on Josef Newgarden. Nick Tonkin and Stevan McAleer rounded out the top five. Daly had tested on Thunderbolt in an FF2000 car about two weeks ago.

The track is fast and flowing through its opening third, then a bit technical and fiddly in the second sector, then flat-out from T11 onward.

T1 is a fast righthander needing a downshift from 5th into third, then T2 is an uphill 4th-gear righthander that’s flat – if you get the turn-in correct, which is difficult due to few reference points. Three is a non-corner, then T4 is a fast right that brings you down to a less-than-90, compromised left. T6 is a 90-degree right that sends you down to a long, right-hand, decreasing radius caroussel (T8-9-10) that then throws you into a small but fast left-hand horseshoe, Turn 11. This is an important corner as from the apex onward – through a right-left esse section, then a fifth-gear sweeping right onto the front straight – is absolutely flat, no lifts.

Thursday, August 28, lapping session times
BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
NJMP/Thunderbolt, 2.25-mile, 13-turn road course

1. Conor Daly, 1:26.094
2. Fabio Orsolon, 1:26.248
3. Josef Newgarden, 1:26.464
4. Nick Tonkin, 1:26.628
5. Stevan McAleer, 1:26.841
6. Sean Rayhall, 1:26.869
7. A.J. Riley, 1:26.936
8. Alex Ardoin, 1:27.016
9. Felipe Polehtto, 1:27.048
10. Joel Miller, 1:27.049
11. Connor De Phillippi, 1:27.111
12. Victor Pedrosa, 1:27.627
13. Peter Ludwig, 1:27.730
14. Lee Carpentier, 1:27.772
15. Dom Bastien, 1:29.608
16. Jim Matthews, 1:29.793

Rick Roso, words & photos

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