Summit Point Motorsports Park

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Summit Point Motorsports Park
Summit Point Motorsports Park-logo.jpg

Summit point satellite.png
Location Summit Point, WV, USA
Capacity open seating without capacity limitation
Owner Bill Scott Racing, Inc.
Operator Bill Scott Racing, Inc.
Broke ground 1969
Opened 1970
Major events The 12 Hours at the Point - SCCA
Summit Point Main Circuit
Length 3.22 km (2.0 mi)
Turns 10
Jefferson Circuit
Length 1.80 km (1.12 mi)
Turns 7
Shenandoah Circuit
Length 3.54 km (2.2 mi)

Summit Point Motorsports Park is a road racing and driver training facility located in Jefferson County, West Virginia about two hours west of Washington, D.C. in the state's Eastern Panhandle.

Current status[edit]

Owned and operated by Bill Scott Racing, Inc.,[1] Summit Point Motorsports Park features three road racing circuits that are currently used for amateur automobile, kart, and motorcycle racing, high-performance driver education and emergency training for local and federal law enforcement, as well as foreign service officers who may be posted to dangerous locales.

History[edit]

Built in 1969 - 1970, Summit Point Motorsports Park (née "Summit Point Raceway"), opened in 1970 as a professional racing venue.

The first races held there were IMSA International Sedans,[2] later to become The Radial Tire Series, and IMSA Pro Formula Ford. The event was held on Memorial Day, 30/5/1970. The holiday was still celebrated on the 30th back then. Rasey Feezell won in an Alfa Romeo 4-door sedan, whose modifications were very questionable, taking home the grand sum of $200 prize money. Five of the eleven entrants were from Raleigh, North Carolina.

During its early years SCCA held numerous events at the track. Several Regional and National races were run each year. Many racers got their start in the popular SCCA Driver's Schools held there by the DC Region.

Paul Newman ran several of his early races there in a Bob Sharp-prepared Datsun 510 sedan. He wished to be just another "racer" and did not want to be recognized at racing events as a "superstar", so he and wife Joanne Woodward kept to themselves and eschewed signing autographs. Few realized they were racing in the company of famous actors. The only outward clue was the plate on his 510's front bumper... "PLN"

Over time the track was host to a number of professional races sanctioned by IMSA and the SCCA Trans-Am Series through the late 1980s.

Due to financial problems, the track was closed for a period in the late 1970s. It was subsequently purchased, and reopened, in the early 1980s by 1970 Formula Vee World Champion Bill Scott.[3]

Racing resumed. In addition to races, the track and its environs became a training ground for various federal agencies and other security organizations.

Two additional road courses, "Jefferson" and "Shenandoah", were constructed on the property in 1996 and 2004, respectively. Jefferson is mostly used for training purposes, Friday-At-The-Track (FATT) events, and various drifting and driving events. Shenandoah is used for similar reasons. To date, the only actually "series" to use the Shenandoah circuit include the Bill Scott Formula Series (run by the FRCCA) and the Woodbridge Kart Club (WKC), which are normally run simultaneously.

An additional course, the Washington Circuit, opened in Spring 2009. It is a "triple skid pad" focused on autocross and driver training. Since its inception, it has been fitted as a sprint kart track, hosting events by Summit Point Kart and by the Maryland Sprint Divisional Series. SPK runs its own leagues for both juniors and adults. It is also popular for autocross as mentioned, and clubs such as the local BMW club have run their events there.

Circuits[edit]

Summit Point Main layout

Summit Point Main[edit]

Summit Point Main is a 10-turn, 2.0-mile (3.2 km) road course that features a 2,900-foot (880 m) main straight. This original circuit opened in 1970.

The original layout did not include the "Carousel", presently denoted Turns 6 and 7. In the original layout, Turn 5 was a ~90 deg. left-hander leading to a 90 deg. right-hander at the entry to what is now denoted Turn 8. Therefore, the original layout had 8 turns (or 9 depending on how you counted them). The "Carousel" wasn't added until sometime after mid-'73.[4]

No longer used for professional auto races, it hosts many WKC, WKA, SCCA, Audi, Mazda Drivers, BMWCCA, NESBA, and NASA club races, track days, and schools. In addition, motorcycle races are run by CCS and WERA, which also holds national-level 6-hour endurance race.

The Main Circuit is also the annual home of the Jefferson 500 vintage race and The 12 Hours at the Point endurance race.

The Main Circuit was repaved in the Fall of 2007.[5]

Jefferson Circuit layout

Jefferson Circuit[edit]

The Jefferson Circuit is a seven-turn, 1.12-mile (1.80 km) road course that was designed and built by Bill Scott as a dedicated course for high-performance, accident avoidance and emergency operation driver training. Opened in 1996 or 1997, the Jefferson is a course that demands constant attentiveness and smooth inputs from drivers.[6][7]

The circuit hosts a number of driver training schools, as well as a handful of motorcycle trackdays each year.

The Jefferson Circuit is currently under construction with extensive upgrades, according to the track's website.

Shenandoah Circuit[edit]

Shenandoah Circuit layout

The Shenandoah Circuit is a 22-turn, 2.2-mile (3.5 km) road course that first opened in 2004. Widely considered one of the most technical circuits of the recent crop of race courses, the Shenandoah also boasts a smaller scale replica of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife's famous banked Karussell turn. It's also known as the concrete jungle.[citation needed]

Since opening in late 2004, the Shenandoah has played host to a number of high-performance driver education clinics, a handful of road races and a number of motorcycle races. After a number of races and schools, minor changes were made to the track layout in late-2004/early-2005, including the addition of a straight between turns 5 and 7.

Washington Circuit[edit]

The Washington Circuit is Summit Point's newest addition and is home to Summit Point Kart, constructed and opened in 2009. Although used primarily by Summit Point Kart, it is capable of being configured for many uses.

Several layouts are used depending on the types of events occurring and the weather conditions, but the course is most often configured as the "Washington Long Course". This is .52-mile (0.8 km) and 11 turns, including a sweeping 160-degree decreasing radius corner and 3 straights. Full course lighting is also available, allowing for night racing, including 12-hour endurance karting events.

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Russian) BSR Inc
  2. ^ Results of Spring Sprints for Sedans, Summit Point Speedway, 30/5/1970 http://homepage.mac.com/frank_de_jong/Races/1970%20Summit%20Point.html
  3. ^ Herald-Mail http://articles.herald-mail.com/2009-12-08/news/25157356_1_race-car-bsr-formula-vee by Julie Green 2009-12-08 retrieved 2010-01-16.
  4. ^ Per Steve Coleman, 1972 IMSA Radial Sedan Class A Champion, from a testing session late summer 1973.
  5. ^ http://www.trackpedia.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3293 retrieved November 12, 2007
  6. ^ http://www.nccbmwcca.org/index.php?id=17,167,0,0,1,0 retrieved November 12, 2007.
  7. ^ http://www.rtr-pca.org/50th-Anniversary/driversed/Making_Tracks07.html retrieved November 12, 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°14′04″N 77°58′31″W / 39.23439°N 77.97529°W / 39.23439; -77.97529