Since the re-opening of the 1.7-mile road course at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) in 2014, the facility has worked on developing a robust and varied schedule of events that will cater to drivers and fans alike. This year’s schedule will see the return of some events that have quickly turned into annual traditions and new events will complement the already robust road course schedule. The most important is the launch of Thompson’s own Summer Road Race Series, which will offer New England racers and fans the opportunity to try something completely new in a friendly one-day format.
“We are delighted to continue on with some of the road racing traditions that we have started over the past several years. In addition, we are looking forward to hosting our own Summer Road Race Series, which will be headlined by the Legends. Last year they provided some of the best racing we have seen on our newly renovated road course has opened,” TSMP General Manager, Josh Vanada, remarked.
The road racing season will once again kick off with the 2nd Annual Icebreaker, Road Race Style on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30. This event will be first opportunity of the season to race, giving competition license holders the opportunity to dust off the racing cobwebs after a long winter. The event is open to holders of all licenses eligible for regional competition in SCCA, NASA, IMSA, PCA, VRT, ChumpCars, LeMons, VSCCA and BMWCCA. The event is unique in its format, giving drivers much more track time than is typical. An addition to this year’s event will be the first TSMP points race for the INEX Legends.
The next event on the schedule will be the inaugural Vintage Motorcycle Classic, on Sunday, May 15, immediately following the Historic Oval Invitational. This event will include a track event, swap meet, antique motorcycle show, and vendor area.
Another returning event will be the Open Wheel Weekend on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, featuring the Formula Lites, along with the INEX Legend series. The Formula Lites, a new open-wheel racing series with machines based on Formula Three cars, held their inaugural race at TSMP last year. This series is part of the development ladder for young drivers looking to move up into Formula 1 or IndyCar. They will be joined on Friday by the INEX Legend cars, who will be returning to the 1.7-mile track, as one of their five road course stops in the schedule. The weekend will also see Formula Vee and Formula F cars, two of the oldest open-wheel classes, take to the track.
The premier event of the 2016 road course season will once again be the 3rd Annual Vintage Motorsports Festival on June 23-25. This event showcases cars from each of the periods in which the Thompson road course has operated, and embodies the rich history of the track. The 2016 event will see over 150 cars, including sports cars, open wheel, production and sports racers, race wheel-to-wheel throughout the 3-day event, and will be co-hosted by VRG (Vintage Racer Group) and VSCCA (Vintage Sport Car Club of America).
The Optima Batteries ChumpCar World Series, one of the most popular endurance series in the country, will also be coming to the road course at TSMP for the first time on July 1-2 to run a 12-hour endurance race on the 1.7 mile track.
TSMP will play host to StarFest, the Mercedes-Benz Club of America’s (MBCA) largest national event, for the first time this year,. This event sees MBCA members from around the country converge on the “Quiet Corner” of Connecticut for track events on the road course and autocross skid pad at TSMP, Road Rallyes, a Concours d’Elegance and more. This event will be August 3 – 6, 2016.
Other returning events will include the 24 Hours of Lemons, “GP du Lac Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg,” which will be held on August 12-14.
The SCCA New England Region will once again run two regional races as part of the New England Road Racing Championship (NERRC) series, on July 22-23 and October 7-8.
Thompson will also be launching its own Summer Road Race Series to be held on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer. This series will give drivers a cost-effective way to race on the road course, with a one-day format providing the opportunity to get a full weekend’s worth of racing in one afternoon. This series will be held on June 5, July 10, and August 7 with classes for Fiat 500 cars, small bore (including Miatas), big bore and the INEX Legends. Registration for these events will be available through the TSMP website, beginning February 1st. For more information about the series, contact the TSMP office at 860-923-2280.
In addition to racing events, the 2016 schedule will see the long-awaited return of Skip Barber Racing School to the track where it first started as it will hold several schools throughout the season on the road course.
TSMP will also host several car shows throughout the year, including the New England Dustoff Volkswagen & Audi meet on May 1, Honda Fest on June 12, and Toyota vs. Mazda “Bragging Rights” on September 18.
With a full schedule on the docket for 2016, there is sure to be something for every race fan and driver at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. For more information about our 2016 schedule, including ticket prices, visit www.thompsonspeedway.com or call 860-923-2280. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube to stay up to the date on the latest news and events.