Summit Point Raceway

[summit track]

Click here for another map, (includes Jefferson circuit), and here for an elevation map.

Summit Point is a 2 mile road course located near Summit Point, West Virginia, approximately equidistant between Charles Town, West Virginia and Winchester, Virginia (about 15 minutes from I-81.). The state line borders the track, and an off road excursion can put you in the next state!

Newly constructed in 1995 is the Jefferson Circuit, on the right as you enter through the main gates. The new track has been constructed on a bed of gravel to try and prevent the bumps forming which plague the old track, and Nascar asphalt has been laid in the turns. This new track is also designed to hold races run in both directions. Track length is about 1.1 miles.

Track Office

Summit Point Raceway
P.O. Box 190
Summit Point, WV 25446


Where To Stay


Travelodge, Summit Pt, WV. Tel: 703 665-0685.

Comfort Inn, Rt.340 & Union St, Box 980, Harpers Ferry 25425. Tel: 304 535-6391. Fax: 304 535-6395.

Battletown Inn, 102 W.Main St, Berryville, VA 22611. Tel: 703 955-4100.

A Hot Lap with Pete Cage

Pete Cage is chief instructor for the Washington, D.C. Region of the SCCA, and instructs for many marque clubs and other events at SPR. He has logged well over 40,000 laps at the track in vehicles ranging from a Mercury Marquis station wagon to a Tiga/Ferrari Camel Lights car. He currently holds the Club Ford lap record at the track.

Summit Point is considered by many to be a true "driver's" track, with a unique combination of turns and straights that seems to favor no particular type of car. The pavement is quite slippery, especially in the wet, and the track seems to change with each session. It's a course that rewards smoothness and commitment. Walking the course will help the driver spot landmarks and pavement changes that pass by too quickly at speed.

Use this as a guide; your line may vary. I've found that the basic line is pretty consistent among a wide variety of cars, with minor adjustments for power differences and driving styles.

The front straight is 3000 feet long, and is entered at fairly high speed from Turn 10 (Paddock Bend). The straight runs up a slight incline until near Start/Finish, then begins a slight descent. Low cars may bottom over some bumps about 2/3 of the way down.

The braking zone for Turn 1 has white painted markers every 100 feet along the left edge of the track. The first marker (at 500') is unnumbered, the rest have a single digit calling out hundreds of feet. There is a long cement patch, about 3 feet wide, along the left edge of the track beginning at the 300-foot mark. This is a reference point that is easy to see from a distance. While a traditional braking line into Turn 1 would put your left wheels over this patch, some cars may be upset by the bump. These cars may do well to move about half a car width to the right as they begin braking, carrying the braking in a diagonal straight line to the Turn 1 entry point.

In the event of braking failure, an access road leads slightly left off the end of the straight to the skidpad area.

Turns 1 and 2 combine to produce an increasing-radius, 180-degree right hander. There is a cross-hatched concrete patch, about eight feet wide, that leads from the entry of the turn until past the apex. Begin your turn in at the left edge of the concrete, making sure to keep your left tires on the patch. Apex by the red dot on the curbing, taking care not to hit the curbing too hard, as it will pitch the car up on two wheels and may cause a rollover. Accelerate hard through the turn as you unwind the steering, taking as wide a line as necessary to keep the rear end in line. An access road on driver's left can be used as a track out point for more powerful cars (but watch out for the hole as the pavement ends.) A smoothly increasing radius will bring the car back to the right edge of the track just as the track straightens out. Keep the car to the right as you head toward Turn 3 (Wagon Bend.)

Turn 3 is a tricky, uphill left-hander with a somewhat blind exit. Most cars will require some braking for the entry, although it will be more of a squeeze to settle the car than outright threshold braking. There are two access roads to the right which can be used for reference points. There is also a sharp bump/dip combination near the entry which requires some brake modulation to avoid upsetting the car. The track curves a bit before the entry point so you can either follow the track edge or go straight toward the entry, leaving the track edge. I prefer a straight entry, as it leaves a bit of pavement to play with if the car should wiggle under braking. Turn in from the extreme right edge of the track at the point where the scarification (grooving) begins. The entry is level, and the car will slide a bit until the uphill portion catches the car. Follow the long white patch (epoxy) to the apex and let the car track out to the last tooth of the zipper on the exit.

At the exit of Turn 3, aim for the left hand edge of the track where it disappears down the hill by the Black Flag station. At the crest of the hill, you'll begin to follow the left hand side of the pavement as you start down Turn 4 (The Chute.) The Chute is a very fast and scary right hander that leads downhill with precious little runoff room on either side. Taken correctly, it can save you quite a bit of lap time. When conditions permit (i.e.: car, driver, track, and weather optimal) this turn can be taken without braking, but you definitely need to work up to it gradually. Get your braking done before your turn in, and be back on the power at the entry point to transfer weight to the rear tires. Turn in from the extreme left edge of the track just before the large black and white square patches, and clip the apex curbing gently at about the middle of its length. Your speed should carry the car out to the left edge of the track at the exit, which should be truly exciting if you've carried enough speed through the turn. The instant the car is straight, begin hard braking for Turn 5, the slowest turn on the course.

While a traditional line would have you enter Turn 5 from the right side of the track, it is faster to sacrifice this slow turn in favor of high speed down The Chute. Therefore, you enter Turn 5 from the left edge of the track, putting your right side wheels in the middle of the long curved concrete patch and following it around the corner and out to the middle of the track. The concrete is very grippy; beware if you should slide off of it onto the asphalt, as you will most likely go for a ride! Let your left turn carry you back to the left side of the track to set up for the entry to The Carousel. You should touch the left side of the track at the point where the pavement is scarred up from errant cars running off and bottoming out.

The Carousel and the Esses (Turns 6a through 8) make up the finesse portion of Summit Point. Much time can be gained (or lost) through these turns, and a small error usually compounds itself as you go along. The grippy concrete patch through 6a guides your turn in; try to keep your outside wheels in the center of the long curved patch. Let the car drift out to near the left edge where the pavement is broken up (leave about 2 feet, as the road goes off-camber at the edge) and allow the same arc to bring the car back to the apex of 6b. When taken correctly, one steering wheel movement will connect 6a entry, apex, track out, and 6b apex. Apex 6b quite late, and keep the car to the right of the track centerline. Make a smooth transition to the left, apexing Turn 7 just past the end of the curbing. The pavement here is quite slippery, which may come as a surprise after The Carousel. Keep the car to the left side of the track to set up for Turn 8.

Turn 8 is a very important turn. This quick right-hander leads onto the second longest straight, which runs uphill under the bridge to Turn 10. There is much more pavement at the exit of 8 than can be seen at the entry, and it is easy to wait too late to turn in, pinching the turn and scrubbing off precious speed for the uphill straight. Turn in at the pavement change and run along the entire length of the apex curbing. At the exit, let the car run wide to the left edge of the track, joining it where the white edge line ends.

Taken properly, The Carousel and The Esses will be one long acceleration zone, and will be flat out (except for shifts) in many cars when taken correctly.

From the exit of Turn 8, aim the car under the center of the bridge. The road makes a long, lazy right turn between 8 and 10, which you can straighten out by driving under the center of the bridge. Your line should rejoin the left edge of the track just before the entry to Turn 10.

Turn 10 leads onto the long front straight, and a fast exit is important to good lap times. The corner, however, has a decreasing radius, which means that your apex will be very late as you try to fit an increasing radius line on the pavement. Most cars will need to brake for the turn, and many may need to drop down a gear, but be sure to do so smoothly so as not to upset the chassis on this fast transition. Begin your turn in just before the pavement scarification (grooving) and aim for a very late apex. Your apex point will not be visible when you turn in; walking the course is helpful here. (Hint: Look for the red spray paint dot marked "A.") The car should track out to the very end of the zipper on your left at the exit. If you should drop a wheel off here I recommend driving the car off driver's left rather than fighting it, or you might get to visit the tire wall along the pit straight.

There's a lot to remember on a fast lap at Summit. Add in some traffic and passing, and you'll be pretty busy. SPR is a track of nuances, and I hope you'll find it as rewarding as it is challenging.

Summit Point homepage.