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Thompson Update
We have spent several days down at Thompson in recent weeks. The paving of the course is now all done and they are making the final preparations for the racetrack to open in June. Thompson has a lot of history as one of the oldest road courses in the US. I actually remember being there when I was very young and the AAMRR (the predecessor to LRRS) was racing there. The road course there is essentially a repave of the old road course with a new section that leads into the infield. I spent time at the racetrack with a lot of people from both the car and the motorcycle industry, and I feel like we have a good plan. The track has a couple sections that look like they will be really fun - including a front straight with a kink that will be quite fast (for those of you who have traveled, think VIR). The Penguin days at Thompson will be Track Experience schools - not race licensing or race oriented events.

July 4th - Canceled (no airfence) see below
August 4th - Registration Open
September 1st - Registration Open


Layout
Thompson, like Loudon, is going to be a really fun course, but is one that needed input in several key areas in order to be safe. It's like a little jog through history. When we first came to Loudon 25 years ago, the layout as presented was not going to work for motorcycles. Penguin, together with Dale Quarterley (our advanced instructor at the time) came up with the chicane in turn 12 that allowed us to safely re-enter the speedway. We still use a version of that today. Imagine coming out of Turn 11 straight and using the end of the pit wall as the apex - that was what we were originally looking at! Thompson is similar....there are two places where we will set up chicanes to take areas that would be crazy on a bike and reduce the entry speeds in order to make them safer. Penguin, together with other motorcycle providers, will collaborate on a setup for these chicanes several weeks before any events at the facility to help make Thompson a viable motorcycle course. My personal goal is to work with all motorcycle groups so that we have a consistent layout that is the same no matter who you ride with. Penguin rider or not, we want you to be safe!

Penguin has Airfence!
Thompson, like Loudon, has several areas that are mandatory to protect with airfence. Just like Loudon, I am happy to ride Thompson with airfence, but I will not ride there without it. We feel it's just too risky and this applies to both track day riders (who will be the focus of our events there) and racers. The ways that racers and track day riders crash may be different, but the exposure to risk is the same in these critical areas. Through some considerable effort and expense, Penguin has managed to source airfence from our partners at Team Pro Motion just for these dates. This was not an easy thing to pull off, and at present we believe that we are the only track day provider with access to airfence at Thompson. We'll be trucking it back and forth to them between events (as they need it for one of their tracks down south), and it is only available for our August 4th and September 1st dates. As a result, we are canceling our event at Thompson on July 4th - Penguin will not run at Thompson without air fence!

With everything now in place, we are opening our registration dates for both August 4th and September 1st at Thompson. We look forward to seeing you there!
 
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