The New England Region New Track Committee has been humping on this project for more than 10 years, fighting through many disappointments and setbacks along the way. It looks like something might be starting to budge.
Kind of a dime a dozen when it comes to people wanting to build race tracks. Here is the latest from the old Pine Run group in Mn. They bailed after several years.
[font=Courier New]From the Isanti county news
Motorsports park sought in North Branch Township
By Jon Tatting
Jed Copham is looking to offer some safe entertainment for car, go-cart and
motorcycle enthusiasts as he and his Forest Lake-based firm are preparing
to propose an amateur and competitive motor sports facility in North Branch
Copham, CEO, and Scott Quick, vice president/general manager, of JD
Investments went public for the first time March 2 when they presented the
plan before the North Branch Town Board and township residents including
landowner Glenn Johnson whose selling 752 acres to Copham for the project,
proposed between Zodiac and Potomac streets just to the south and in
eyeshot of County Road 5.
Under the plan, North Star Motorsports Park (the facility’s working title)
would, in part, offer patrons a 3.3-mile paved road course with a potential
for club memberships; go-cart and other rentals; educational opportunities
on different driving techniques concerning personal vehicles or
motorcycles; car shows accompanied with cruises for local car clubs; and
amateur sanctioned events from time to time, Copham said.
“The scope of this facility and who it can cater to is amazing,” Copham
told the NEWS before the town board meeting. “I want to develop a place
where stories are made, where families and fathers and sons can bond.”
“We’re both passionate about this. People don’t have a place to race. It’s
a great fit for the community and economy,” added Quick, stressing the
facility’s educational aspect that would accommodate less experienced
patrons with classroom and mobility instruction.
People will likely see everyday street cars as Dodge Neons, to sportier
cars as Dodge Chargers, Vipers and Corvettes, Copham said.
Copham also noted he has a contact with Spec Racer Fords, “a go-cart on
steroids” with a 110 horsepower engine, which could be introduced to the
Nevertheless, “cars must be road worthy,” Copham added, noting racing clubs
could also use the complex as a training facility “all in a safe and
Meanwhile, Copham and Quick addressed concerns from town residents who
inquired about such issues as zoning requirements, noise, and traffic and
“This property tips no environmental review triggers,” Copham said. He
noted he has already spent a day meeting with environmental quality
officials in St. Paul who had no problems with the proposed project.
Copham further emphasized the project would not involve a drag strip, a
feature that concerned some residents regarding the noise factor. Noise
from the project will be below Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
standards, Copham assured nearby residents through an interview with the NEWS.
The motorsports facility, which would be open daily from spring through
fall, would draw, on average, no more than 500 people during weekdays and
below 1,000 people on weekends, said Copham, referring to inflated estimates.
So in light of concerns over increased traffic in North Branch Township,
“we’re not talking about a large volume of people,” Copham and Quick
pointed out. They aim to draw amateur enthusiasts from the local and metro
areas who desire to use their cars other than an exclusive mode of
“Day in and day out, people won’t see a noticeable impact,” said Quick,
noting patrons will not “plug” up roads.
In addition, Copham plans to build the facility in a fenced-in environment,
which would be surrounded by a buffer zone accompanied by earth berms,
trees and shrubs.
Copham also noted plans to give back to the township by offering to tar a
mile of Potomac Road, a $130,000 value, he said, adding he would further
consider implementing a ball park in the facility’s buffer zone.
“We want to be a part of this community. This could become a proud
destination,” said Copham.
Isanti County Zoning Administrator Tim Anderson last week confirmed he and
County Coordinator Jerry Tvedt met with Copham and Quick for a preliminary
chat on the project a week prior to the township board meeting.
Anderson noted that for the county to approve the project, the planning
commission would have to consider recommending an amendment to the zoning
ordinance to allow for a conditional use permit.
Further, the property would have to be rezoned from ag land to another
classification for a site specific spot, one that would be more conducive
to auto racing, Anderson said, estimating a likely direction.
As of now, the county doesn’t allow a permit for a motorsports facility in
an ag district, he added.
Last January, JD Investments abandoned its Pine Run Motorsports Park, a
530-acre concept that was proposed north of Henriette in Pine County.
The decision was made after a year of detailed work and an extensive
environmental assessment that began in January 2005, when JD Investments
announced the project to the local community, according to the firm’s website.
Issues relating to soil corrections, a wetland delineation and other
factors led the developer to find a new site for the project rather than
pursue an environmental impact statement as required by the Pine County
Board of Commissioners in October 2005, the website continued.
The Pine Run site was proposed on a sod farm, which raised land use issues.
Sod farms in the metro area have been converted to useable land uses, but
regulatory agencies were hesitant to approve a motorsport facility use at
the Henriette site, according to the website.
The Pine Run plans also called for a quarter-mile drag strip again, a
feature that is not included in the current scope in North Branch Township.
“The year-long exercise in Pine County produced overwhelming support from
residents and the business community in both Pine and Kanabec counties,”
said Quick via the website. “We’re especially grateful to all our friends
and supporters in Pine County who welcomed our development and saw it as a
good business opportunity for the area.”[/font]
The site says other tracks rely on professional racing to make money, while this track will cater to the "local" racer.
It seems like Lime Rock is always screaming poverty. I can't imagine they have much of a mortgage. How is it that this new track can be profitable without any professional racing to help pay the bills. I think LRP is booked almost every available day, plus the pro racing, schools ect. And they need donations to pave the place?
What about the new track in NJ? With the NJ track does SCCA really need to build a track?
I mean, this SCCA track. Who is going to pay for this? Where does the money come from to build a race track? The NER members? I don't understand how it is supposed to work.
So if the member dues/race entry is going to jump 4 time the current price, there may be a problem.
So if NJ has its new track, and English town make its track, LRP, GLEN, NHIS, Pocono, and there is another track in NH (some private track?), Summit, does the SCCA really need to spend money on a new track?
I guess I was wondering who is going to pay for it. Because I have to say, at the current ~$300 race entry, I am not willing to pay more.
[size=2]Notice that the $300 entry fees are typically associated with Limerock. There is more demand for track days there than they can serve. If you go to places like Beaver and Summit you don’t see such high SCCA entry fees and at least some of it is due to lower demand for track days. Summit has three active tracks running on some of their weekends and I know I didn’t pay $300 for a two-day race there in the fall. Now ask yourself this. Imagine you live in Fairfield County, you own several banks and you want to play with your Aston, Lambo, Ferrari or collector race car that costs way more than a years pay for most mortals. Hell, maybe it is only a 911, M3, S4, Viper or Corvette. Then NER builds a track with minimal armco, grassy runoff areas and sometimes you even get to play on it on Sunday. It takes only one more hour to get there and you notice the place was paved as recently as a year or two ago and has only a few amusing bumps that you can work around. You find that none of the corners are patched with concrete (yet) and you get to like the place almost as much as your favorite LRP. The result is that I think there is a big opportunity for the new track to rent out to car clubs. They will want to add a date over and above their LRP date, or even replace their LRP date. Once there is some income potential the opportunity to pay back a bond is solid and then the likelihood of us being asked to pay the full $300 entry to pay the whole tab is small. I trust the NER team to have done their homework. I also don’t see the Englishtown track as being a good substitute for someone in NER who lives in the Boston area. It is just too far to travel. I hope it goes. The sooner the better