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View Full Version : Who's been to SPK?



Car54
07-20-2009, 10:11 AM
So what are your guys thoughts of this place? I went a couple of weeks ago and found it to be very fast and intense. The carts are awesome. I really didn't like the way the course was setup (with pads) and not knowing what it would be like the next time around. I felt really bad for the corner workers having to rebuild the course with karts zipping by them. People didn't seem to heed the flags or slow down when they did see them. Could have just been the group I was with.

So what do you guys think?

woodym3
07-20-2009, 10:43 AM
Steve Tenney announced at the board meeting that he is working on an organized BMW club event at Summit Point Karts. Date to be determined.

Edit: it may be Aug 1 or 2.

Car54
07-20-2009, 11:16 AM
The one that was three weeks ago or another one?

Scany
07-20-2009, 12:20 PM
I heard the Shenandoah was not permanent, that Washington would eventually be the circuit they would race on. But I just heard this..

mcoupemindy
07-20-2009, 12:23 PM
I heard the Shenandoah was not permanent, that Washington would eventually be the circuit they would race on. But I just heard this..

That's what a little bird told me too!

Ethan Blank
07-20-2009, 02:39 PM
I've never tried Karting, will I (a) fear for my life and never want to do it again or (b) develop yet another hobby that is going to drain the wallet and strain the marriage?

If there is a club karting event in the near future, I just might have to try it....

AG
07-20-2009, 02:53 PM
If there is a club karting event in the near future, I just might have to try it....

There's a karting event at Allsports in Sterling this coming Sunday. Registration opens around 8:00pm tonight.

http://www.nccbmwcca.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=143

stenney
07-20-2009, 06:37 PM
We've been talking with Colin and Jens at SPK since the end of May. They got busy when their karts arrived and it wasn't until the end of June that I contacted Jens directly and he invited us out to see what they have. I didn't want to set up an event without having seen what the operation is all about. So, a group of us went up there on July 4th. They had us do a familiarization run and then we ran their practice, quali, race format. They also had some people they knew with us including Jens Scott himself. Brian Hair was with us and he led every heat. To add to our credibility, we also had Francois with us. It was good to have him there and get his opinions.

It's a neat track all in all, with some reservations. It's pretty obvious that it's almost impossible to pass except at turn 3. Colin and Jens insisted that they pass people almost everywhere. That may be true with novices, but it didn't take long for us to be ahead of and just behind Jens. Turn one is special and a lot of fun with it's elevation change while turning. Once you get past turn three, there's not much left where you can pass unless you've got an advantage. Completing a lap, you have turn 12 as you enter the straight. You've got to push 12 to maximize speed on the straight and in doing that you are tracking out towards the end of the jersey barriers with a stack of tires there. We were just clipping those tires by the end of the day. An incident there might not be much fun.

They told us that they have no problem with some contact between the karts. You know that's not how we approach kart racing at ASGP. I don't think that they've had to pay for enough kart repairs to really know what "contact" will cost. We felt that their karts were already showing signs of wear and tear two weeks ago. At that point they hadn't even been running a month. If you get the SPK Yahoo Group emails, you might have noticed that they are closed today to get ready for events next weekend. I wonder if the karts need repair? I wasn't impressed with the karts. Francois felt that some of what I didn't like was the chain drive. ASGP has converted to belt drive. The belt drive is smoother and easier to repair than the chain drive. We also felt that the gearing might be wrong. They don't accelerate like 13HP ought to. There has also been talk about sending their staff to ASGP for some training. I understand that their staff are not typically racers, so they don't have knowledge of what's going on. As someone said, they spend most of their time replacing the foam barriers.

Anyway, I've proposed to do a stand alone event there. The thought was, let's try it out with a group of our own and see how it goes. We would like to assure a reasonable number of laps. Much like what we get at ASGP with some consideration for the lap time difference and the available track time. We noticed that during the race we lost 4 minutes getting to the grid and that counted as part of our race time. They need to fix that. We discussed with them renting the track for two or three hours, maybe more, depending on the signup. They agree to keep 15 karts running for the entire time and we can execute any format we like. Last Monday I sent them an email where I proposed to put an SPK event on the NCC Calendar for Aug 1 or 2. On Wednesday I emailed again asking if they had a problem and I got a reply from Colin saying sorry we are busy I'll get back to you tomorrow. I still don't have a reply. We even discussed starting the winter league with a date or two up there and then counting the points as part of the season total. So we were thinking long term when we left on the 4th. As of today, I don't know if we have time to create an event on Aug 1. I may have to go back up there just to see what the issue is.

Steve

Car54
07-20-2009, 07:11 PM
Thanks Steve for the status and your recap. I'm glad you're taking caution in committing the kart league to a new venue. We may have our gripes at ASGP, but they are very accomodating and mostly consistent. It may take SPK a year to get to that point. Once the novelty wears off, the customers will be more demanding for consistency and the owners will need to start looking for regulars and a customer base. If you're planning another evaluation run, let me know!

stenney
07-20-2009, 11:55 PM
Craig, we don't want to do anything to jeopardize our relationship with ASGP. We have been testing new configurations there to run next winter. They have worked hard to change the course configuration so we can tryout new courses. We've got three or four good raceable configurations that we can run. It will be different to race on different courses during the season. We might add an earlier date that would take place at SPK. If the weather doesn't cooperate, it might not be so good at SPK in November. All of that remains to be seen.