I was a bit on the fence about going to Summit Point for the SCCA Majors this weekend, not so much because I didn’t want to go, but more so because of my limited transportation options at the moment (too many broken cars in the driveway). But I bit the bullet and said screw it, jumped in the Jeep and went… thanks to a little encouragement from my buddy Tim and a timely reminder from another friend Richard.
The drive down was quite excellent actually, since I was babying the Jeep I stuck to the speed limit, well… actually 60mph which was well below the speed limit south of the Mason Dixon line. Got great gas mileage and arrived at the track just in time for registration. Another beautiful part about using the Jeep, with the rear seats folded down, it was my camping spot for the weekend, and with a bunch of blankets and pillows – a comfortable one at that. But enough about the car and the road trip. The racing was COOL!
This being a National event, some of the best regional drivers came out to put the pedal to the metal. They didn’t disappoint. The racing was remarkably clean, but you’d expect it to be considering pretty much all the competitors own their own vehicles and causing a spectacular crash is a big hit on the wallet. Though we did have several good crashes at my station. Everyone walked away but tempers flared. Had to whistle and yell at one driver at the top of my lungs because he kept on coming close to the track’s edge after he was crashed out signalling profanities at the driver that caused the incident.
My station for the weekend was a bird cage between turns 3 and 5. A fantastic blue flagging spot that was advertised as a great black flag station, though we only used the meatball once. I’m glad I got to switch my station assignments with my buddy Tim, because the original station I was assigned to was quite crowded and relied on a busy rotation focusing a lot on working safety rather than flagging. Instead I had a great conversation with an experienced corner worker from the Nelson’s Ledges track region, that had a lot of funny stories to share.
Camping at the track also meant hanging out with all the corner workers after the racing, and having CouchSurfed before every time I visited Summit Point, its an experienced I got for the first time. Tim was sporting his cool new Sponsor A Flagger t-shirt from Jessie, and we got to walk around the paddock chatting up various competitors which was all very down to earth. All in all, a great weekend!
Spent another excellent weekend in West Virginia 🙂
This time I found a new host in Winchester, Virginia so there was far lesser country feel to it compared to last time, though there was no shortage of country music on the radio, lol
After spending a nice evening hanging out at the Union Jack pub, I hit the Summit Point track bright and early and to my surprise the security guard at the gate started acting up, wanting to charge me $25 admission… cause he never heard anything about “volunteering” what a prick. Anyway, after checking his list, and then another list, and then a third… well you get the idea, I made it in.
I was pleasantly surprised to see some senior corner workers from up north show up and since we were all from the North East we got put on the same corner, at Turn 1. Boy did it not disappoint. Lots of action followed, including a high speed rollover wreck involving an open wheeler formula car. The driver ended up upside down in the gravel with fuel dripping over him… which meant we had to lift it off the ground for him to get out, I was stationed with a fire bottle opposite the gravel trap so that was a quick response running across a hot track to his aid. Luckily there wasn’t need to pull the pin, came very close though.
Had a nice drive home, with another 33mpg run so the car is back to normal on the highway with about 5,000 miles after this trip just in time to change oil for the road trip to Canada.
for more info on the MARRS visit Washington DC SCCA web site: http://www.wdcr-scca.org/ClubRacing/tabid/59/Default.aspx
SCCA’s DLB Racing web site: http://www.dlbracing.com/ listed this event as the first possible option to register once I arrived back in New Jersey. And I did. I’ve been to Summit Point Motorsport Park in West Virginia before as a spectator for the Cannonball One Lap of America tour, but this time was my first attempt working there, and I had a blast.
The event was well organized and I learned a lot from my team mates at Sector 5. There was much to learn as SCCA rules seem to differ from International rules in SG or NZ. For one we did not have a green flag on point, instead there was a black one. None of the flags were waived, except in case the track was blocked. And all marshals rotated through various positions on point from blue flag to communications, even fire/rescue positions on the other side of the track stationed with a fire extinguisher. It was then I got a bit nervous I hadn’t memorized the hand signals yet.
Regardless it was an amazing experience and I certainly will be back. It was also a great trip to CouchSurf. I spent the night across the border in Virginia only 8 miles away from the track with a wonderful couple that treated me to dinner and a great conversation. As usual it was a good opportunity to source some cheaper goods, like cigarettes for my dad which were more than half the price per carton compared to New Jersey. And fuel was cheaper in Virginia compared to West Virginia.
Next event is in Milville, New Jersey at the New Jersey Motorsport Park.