View Full Version : West Virginia Enduro (SummitPoint)

11-05-2003, 09:15 AM
Anyone in the area who may wish to flag/score/time/etc. at this 4 hour enduro, please go to this link:


If you don't wish to flag, but are interested in attending, admission is free (but write me, so I can put you on the walk-in entry list for the track)

[ 11-05-2003: Message edited by: aeronca65t ]</p>

11-05-2003, 02:05 PM
That's November 22/23 by the way - it's not obvious through that link.

11-06-2003, 04:23 AM
Oops, correct...thanks, Scott.

11-21-2003, 12:01 PM
Off I go with Spridget #11 today for Saturday/Sunday sprint races.. I'll also be team- driving another Spridget (#23) in the 4-hour night enduro. I've been working late on #23 all this week, so I hope it's been worth the effort. Back Monday.

11-23-2003, 11:27 AM
Keep the shiny side up! Good luck!


11-23-2003, 08:27 PM
Danged Nial is up there making me homesick again images/icons/rolleyes.gif

11-23-2003, 09:13 PM
Yeah, and he's racing, and my season is over!
At least I didn't have to replace any sheet metal or suspension parts this year!
Jeff coolgleam.gif

11-24-2003, 03:38 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bugeye58:

At least I didn't have to replace any sheet metal or suspension parts this year!
Jeff coolgleam.gif <hr></blockquote>

Wise guy!

OK, anyway....here's the scoop for the event:

I’ve just returned from my last event of the year (at Summit Point). This has been a busy season and I’m really ready to take a break.

The short story:
I had a good time at Summit n my 1500 Spridget…no trophies, but lots of fun laps. The other Sprite I was to co-drive in the enduro got bashed by another car in the first hour of the event, so we had to withdraw. There’s always next year…

More details:
Summit Point is an excellent track. This was my first time there, and although we didn’t have great results, I’m glad I went. This is rural country. Last year, the event had deer running across the track during practice and during the night-enduro, a cow wandered across the track (prompting this years Flagging-Chief to bring a black-and-white “cow-patterned” flag with a clever pink “udder” sewed to the bottom). We never used the “cow-flag” this year, but I saw two deer run across the track during a race and a ground hog sat near me while I was flagging. He appeared to be watching the race. On Saturday, a cat was run-over during the big-bore race.

The track is about a 6 hour pull, mostly down Rt. 81 South. We went from New Jersey, though Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and eventually, West Virginia. We have relatives near Hagerstown, and I’d just done a similar drive down Rt. 81 the week before….basically a boring interstate road. At one point, there was a huge traffic jam and eventually we saw a news helicopter and a TV satellite-van. The cause was an accident that involved a tractor-trailer running over a passenger car. The car was covered with a huge red tarp, but it was obvious from the droop in the tarp that most of the passenger area was crushed. Sobering…

I ran my car (#11 Spridget) in the sprint race on Saturday. I knew the 1500 engine was tired, the brakes weren’t 100% and even the tires were tired. I figured running the sprints would give me some valuable practice for the night enduro in the other Sprite I was co-driving.

#11 is sporting two new left fenders and new left-front suspension after my Watkins Glen crash. During practice I had a bit of left front tire rubbing, so I figured it was the new fender. The car also seemed a bit unsteady in turns. After a few moments looking at the fender lip, I realized that the front sway-bar link had failed (allowing the rubbing). This is a rubber-jointed stock link that I’ve adapted to a ” bar. We were still sorting the other car, so rather than try to fix the sway bar link, I pulled the bar and ran without one (I’ll replace this with real rod-ends this winter). Running sans sway bar turned out to be OK since I really only wanted track time anyway. I still had a good time racing for last-place against an equally tired FIAT X1-9 that blew a rad hose on the last lap (as I passed him, my windshield go showered with anti-freeze). Between practice and the races I got in about 65 laps in #11, which was pretty good.

The enduro Sprite (#23) had a much more potent 1275 engine in a ’62 chassis. The car’s been a racer for 25 years, and up-close, it has a lot of battle scars. A beauty-pageant winner it ain’t. This is a quarter-elliptic car (like the Bugeye rear suspension), which is supposed to be better. The best addition on this car (in my view) was a new set of DOT-legal, Hoosier bias-ply race tires. They’re much fatter than the Kumhos that I’m running and really stick well! I also liked the close-ratio gearbox, which had a much more useable 3rd gear. Unfortunately shifting to forth gear was exasperating, due to a worn syncro (I tried every method and eventually just settled for shifting slowly). The brakes had a custom Tilton pedal set-up that (I think) caused the brakes to be over-sensitive and hard to modulate. The car went from a gentle stop to full lock-up with a minor difference in foot pressure. I felt like I was driving an old Citroen. For what it’s worth, I turned just under 1:38 in the car, with the owner being about a second faster…not bad, I thought.

Here’s #23:

Normally #23 doesn’t run an alternator (just total-loss system), but we had fit a neat transmission-driven Delco unit sitting where the passenger seat would normally be. Since the enduro started at 4:00 PM, we’d need the alternator for the lights. The unit drove from a little belt coming out of a slot we’d cut in the trans tunnel. The car would start making juice at about 40 MPH, which was fine. On the front, we fit two 7” high-power motorcycle headlamps and two large fog lamps.

During enduro practice, the track had a mix of cars. The big cars (like ‘Vettes and Mustangs) would whistle by on the straights, but the Sprite could pass most cars in the twisty “carousel”. I got to 6100 RPM at some of the braking points, which works out to about 107 MPH in this car….decent.

The biggest concern for everyone was the “Spec-Miatas”. There were about 6 of these cars in the enduro. These guys are nice fellows, but their driving is a bit rough with a lot of “nerfing” (fender-contact). The SCCA runs Spec-Miatas in a separate class, and mostly, these races look a bit like demo-derbies. EMRA doesn’t run a separate SM class; in fact, many of our classes are quite mixed…here’s some of the typical mixes:
At Lime Rock they ran Spec-Miatas in a mix of other cars and I had warned some of them to knock off the rough driving. Despite complaints from non-Miata drivers, they were still doing it at Summit. Our Flag-Chief was calling them “Special-Ed Miatas”, which may be a bit mean, but seemed true. During practice in #23, a Spec-Miata ran me off the road at the end of the main straight and then got completely out of shape, so that I ended up re-passing him. On the next straight, he cheerfully waved as he passed me and later, he even apologized for the dodgy pass. The SM drivers are all nice guys, but they drive like NYC cabbies. This was a precursor to the event.

Our little team consisted of 4 middle-aged guys…three drivers plus a crew chief/re-fueler. Pete (the car owner) would drive the first stint (80 minutes). He’s been racing the car for car for 25 years, so he figured he’d be able to guide me and Bill (the other driver) about condition and strategies when he came in. I’d drive second stint and Bill would finish-up. Bill’s been racing front-wheel drive Dodges for the last 10 years and he’s the points leader in another class. He’d never driven the Sprite, but he owns an MGA….close enough. Tim (crew-chief) has a beautiful ’63 Mini he bought brand-new when he was 16. Later on, he raced it. He’s restored it to nice street-car condition, and it got a lot of appreciative comments in the paddock. In ’83, this Mini was the overall winner of the first EMRA Four-Hour at Summit Point. Even better, he brought it with a cooler in the back seat filled with Sam Adams beer.

The pits are kind of a circus compared to a regular club-race. Many crews have set up generators and powerful overhead lights with lap tops, spare parts, gas cans, stacks of tires, etc. Sort of like a “LeMans-Junior”, I’d like to think.

We run this enduro somewhat like the “index-of-performance” concept. The slow cars start first and faster cars start later. It’s all based on lap times of the cars in previous events. In theory, all cars should end in a dead heat. Four hours after the first car goes out, the event ends. Our car went out first (Yeaaah! We’re in the lead!). Some of the ‘Vettes and Porsches started almost 30 minutes after us (so they’re on the track for about 3.5 hours).
After about 60 minutes of trouble-free racing, a Spec-Miata bashed into the left front side of the Sprite, bending the upper suspension arm (the lever shock). Pete limped back to the pits and we decided to pull the shock off mine (we didn’t have a spare). All 5 of the Sprites that race in our club run tube-shocks all around, but we still have to keep the lever shocks in place as upper suspension members. We got the lever shock off mine with no problem (it had only been on the car a week), but #23 has reinforcing bars welded around the shock, and they were pretty bent…we tried everything, but after a heroic effort that went on for about an hour, we bagged it. After submitting an official withdrawal, we brought the Sam Adams and some chairs onto the roof of a two-story paddock building and watched the rest of the race. It was a cool, clear West Virginia night with lots of stars out…..we had a great view of almost the entire track. Not what any of us wanted to do, but not bad, just the same.
On Sunday, I skipped the sprint race and decided to flag instead. This was fun because we had a nice turnout…..flagging is the second-best way to get up-close-and-personal in racing.
On the pull home, I noticed the skid marks and the spot where that tractor-trailer ran over the car…..a good reminder that life is much more than a few silly car races.

[ 11-24-2003: Message edited by: aeronca65t ]</p>

11-24-2003, 06:33 PM
All things considered, it sounds like a pretty good weekend, Nial. I'm already deep into the "racing withdrawal syndrome".
The Spec Miatas (or as we refer to them, Miasmas) race in my group here at Waterford, and the perception is the same. Loose cannons. They hold me up in the corners, big time. Oh well, life goes on.
So, when are you going to ditch the 1500, and put in a rumpty rump 1275? Make you go faster!
I switched to Hoosiers, from Goodyears, two years ago, and love them. They may wear a little faster than the Goodyears, but they stick like glue. Of course, I'm on slicks, which does make a bit of a difference.
I envy you the trip. I'm dead in the water until the first of May, next year.
Jeff graemlins/cryin.gif