Things are changing at Summit Point Raceway in wild and wonderful West Virginia. Over the winter, some extra concrete walls were erected in front of embankments to keep out of control cars contained within the race track and not vaulting through or over spectator fences. Stacks of tires bolted together are placed in front of these walls. These walls and tirestacks have a negative effect on any vehicle or human that runs into them at speed. Racing motorcycles have been broken in half on impact with these immovable barriers. Kart racers have the same problem. For motorcycle racers to hit these objects, it is a certain trip to the hospital or even worse. SCCA racers hate to hit anything too. So, what is the solution? The 'Move the Mountain Safety Project' at Summit Point Raceway,www.mtm.nbinteractive.com has been established by racers for racers in co-operation with Summit Point Raceway management and all users of the track.
The big problem area is 'the chute' between turns 4 and 5 on racers' left. Racers fly down the chute at over 100mph and have to turn right in the off-camber turn 4 and then jump on the brakes to set up for left hand turn 5. On the racers' left is an earthen and rock embankment just 30 feet from the track. With the concrete wall and tire stacks in front of the embankment, there is not enough room to save it if you leave the racetrack at 100 mph. Racing technology and speed increases every year and we need to come up with safety solutions to keep our sport healthy and in good hands. As racers, we need to be pro-active for our own safety. Roger Lyle, former motorcycle racer, former President of the Mid-Atlantic Roadracing Club (MARRC) for 18 years, and also current National Safety Director for Formula USA Motorcycle Roadracing, arranged a meeting with Mr. Bill Scott, owner of SPR, and national motorcycle champions David Yaakov of CAD Racing and Greg Harrison of WGH Excavation Inc., and team owner of Loudoun Motorsports Racing, and laid out the options available. The ideal solution would be to have ample run-off room, move the embankment back as far as possible, install a pea gravel trap to slow off-track vehicles, and put the wall and tire stacks 80 to 100 feet back up against the remaining embankment. There still may be a need to purchase some foam safety barriers to put in front of the tire stacks to keep cycles and karts from impacting the hard stacked tires. These foam barriers can be used by karts and cycles on their weekends. Area to be excavated is roughly 300 feet long by 100 feet wide. Depending on the amount of rock to be removed or blasted these dimensions could be smaller. The 'Move the Mountain Safety Project' has been presented to the board of directors for MARRC, WKC, and SCCA. Each group's suggestions and needs are being considered and incorporated in the master plan to benefit all users of Summit Point Raceway. WERA, CCS, F-USA, NESBA, and Team Pro-Motion have been contacted too.
So, how do you get involved? The 'Move the Mountain Safety Project' needs money. We hope to raise $50,000 to cover the excavation costs and purchase some foam safety barriers for the cycles and karts. Mr. Bill Scott has pledged that he will match us dollar for dollar. Any leftover money will be put into other safety improvements for Summit Point Raceway that will benefit everybody who visits Summit Point. All contributors will be listed on the MOVE the MOUNTAIN website at www.mtm.nbinteractive.c om
. Check out this site for excavation updates and notes from the enthusiasts who support this project. Thanks to Ryan Chapin of Nuts and Bolts Interactive at www.nbracesites.com
for providing this website for Move the Mountain Safety Project. Thanks to everybody who has gotten involved already.
Make checks payable to Move the Mountain.
Donations to the fund can be sent to:
Move the Mountain
4413 Sigsbee Road
Wheaton, MD 20906
For more information, call Roger Lyle at 301-933-2599 or e-mail www.mtm.nbinteractive.c om
. Your contribution will definitely make racing at Summit Point safer and more fun for all. With your support, we can ensure the future of great roadracing at Summit Point Raceway. After all, "Summit Point is Roadracing!"