Summit Point Main
Summit Point Main is a 2.0 mile road course with 10 official turns.
This is a slow right which is also fairly long. There are at least three different possible lines through it:
- The "standard" line: follow the painted line on the left edge of the track through the braking zone until the turn in point, but do not cross it. Turn in from that painted line, hit the apex which is a late one due to the length of the turn, and track out.
- The "wide" line: there is a pavement extension past the braking zone on the left. Different cars and drivers use a varying amounts of it, but the car moves left over the painted line into that pavement extension after the 1 brake marker before turning right into turn 1. This makes the turn geometrically wider but also makes the initial turn in sharper. Higher horsepower cars and novice drivers seem to prefer the wide line. Personally I am not convinced that it offers more than it costs.
- The "trailbraking" line: because the turn is actually quite long, the car cannot accelerate until it clears the late apex. Instead of following the painted white line on the outside until turn in, turn slightly earlier and trailbrake into the turn, roughly until the apex. This makes the line sharper at the apex but increases the average speed through the turn in portion. I think this is the fastest line, if the car can hold it.
The track continues to curve after turn 1, and that bend is turn 2. In most cars turn 2 is taken flat out. Cars with a low grip to power ratio should feed increasing amounts of throttle with the goal of being flat out somewhere mid track between the apex of turn 1 and the the pavement extension on the left (see below). Cars with medium to low horsepower and good grip are likely to benefit from the trailbraking line into turn 1 and run a late enough apex that they can be flat out from the apex of turn 1 through the entire turn 2. Look for the end of the pavement extension on the left, where an access road is, as you are passing the apex - that is the track out point. There is a "pothole" where the pavement ends, so be careful not to drop a wheel there.
The car should be positioned track right as soon a turn 2 ends, and follow the right edge of the track the entirety of the straight between turns 2 and 3.
Fast uphill left, which is partially blind. I think the track narrows a bit past the apex which would make this turn a somewhat late apex, except it is also an uphill which makes especially lower horsepower cars lose speed through it, which in turn makes it into an earlier apex. The turn in point is approximately where the second access road on the right begins. The faster you go, the earlier the turn in point is. Most novice/low intermediate drivers turn in too late and take the turn too slowly. In a car which is set up to slightly understeer at speed you should be on power through most of the turn, and definitely from the apex forward. Follow the inside edge of the track for about 3 feet around the apex.
This turn is quite fast and requires a good amount of confidence. Novice and intermediate drivers tend to be way under the theoretical maximum speed there. There is a large amount of time available in the turn itself, and higher exit speed helps on the 3-5 straight as well.
Turn 3-4 Hill
A common issue is drivers lifting off power before the crest of the hill prior to turn 4. In just about any car the crest should be taken under power, and if you need to brake for turn 4, the braking should be performed on the downhill past the crest.
A fast downhill right. Similarly to turn 3, novice and intermediate drivers do not carry enough speed through turn 4. You should start out with a late apex, positioning the car on the right edge of the track for the entire duration of the braking zone into turn 5. Then experiment with tracking out more and transitioning from left to right later.
High grip to power ratio cars like Miatas can take turn 4 flat out with the right line on good tires.
Turn 4 should not be early apexed.
Stay off the apex curb there as well as it unsettles the car too much.
Turn 5 Braking Zone
This is a special feature of Summit Point. Some cars feel it to an alarming extent, and some not at all. In the downhill braking zone leading up to turn 5 there is potentially a large difference in grip level from the left edge of the track to the right one. Most cars execute a late apex in turn 4 and follow the right edge between turns 4 and 5, and brake on the right side of the track. This makes the rightmost third of the pavement significantly grippier than the rest of track width. Fewer cars travel in the center and nobody travels on extreme left, resulting in gradual grip fall off as you move from track right to track left.
Until you determine whether your car is affected by the varying amount of grip in that braking zone, be extra careful with braking more left than you usually do and do not assume that you can maintain your braking distance if you move track left.
A slow left at the bottom of a hill, with not much runoff. Easy spot to go off track in non-ABS cars. People also tend to spin at the exit of turn 5 when driving high horsepower rear wheel drive cars.
There are at least two popular lines through turn 5:
- The "standard" line has the turn in point on extreme right, executes a normal apex and tracks out to about mid track before going back left to set up for turn 6.
- The "trailbraking" line starts mid track or slightly right of center at approximately the half way point between turns 4 and 5 and runs diagonally toward the apex of turn 5, with braking being performed all the way up to and possibly through the apex. The goal of this line is to put the car on the transition between the pavement and the curbing on the inside approximately 2-3 feet prior to the apex, and follow that seam through the turn. When executed correctly, the seam will rotate the car into the turn. When you are learning this line, place the car further into the curb until you feel the transition, then stay in the seam until well past the apex.
In order for the trailbraking line to work, you need to have a reasonable approach angle, which basically means you cannot be on the extreme left as that makes the initial turn in too sharp. Hence, starting mid track or slightly right of center.
A slow right, faster than turn 5 but not by much.
At novice and intermediate levels, this is a throwaway turn. For competitive driving you will want to use data to determite if a trailbraking line toward the apex similar to turn 1 and 5 lines, a "standard" line or a late apex line is the fastest.
A faster still right.
This is a late apex turn and it begins the setup for turn 9. Come out of it on the right edge of the track to set up for a late apex in turn 8.
In high grip to power ratio cars like Miatas, the back straight can begin as early as the turn in point for turn 7.
An even faster left.
Same as turn 7, this turn is a late apex in preparation for turn 9. Come out of it on the left edge of the track.
A fast right leading onto the second longest straight. Exit speed is paramount. Because the turn is uphill, lower horsepower cars especially need good entry speed.
This turn should be taken with a sufficiently late apex to be on power at least from the apex forward, and before the apex if possible.
Lower horsepower cars take turn 9 flat out.
High grip to power ratio cars can try a diagonal line through turns 8 and 9 instead of late apexing those turns.
Some higher horsepower car drivers complain about a bump in turn 9. There is indeed a bump there, but this is no reason to go slow. You can account for lateral shift of the car as it momentarily loses traction, essentially aiming more toward the inside of the track at apex, and when the car hits the bump it will correct its trajectory to the "correct" one.
Turn 9-10 Hill
Aim to crest the hill in the middle of the track, where the white dashed line is painted. You should not follow the white line itself for any distance; rather, the car should travel in a straight line from extreme left as it exits turn 9, to track center over the crest, back to extreme left to enter turn 10.
A common issue is drivers lifting before the crest. As with turn 4, the crest should normally be taken under power. The braking zone for turn 10 typically starts where the pit road splits from the course.
A fast 90 degree right linking back straight and front straight.
This is the most important corner on the track as it leads to the longest straight.
Being a 90 degree turn, it is one of very few corners on road courses in Northeast where the line is close to an actual circle, as is drawn in novice classrooms.
As with turn 9, exit speed is paramount. Most novice/intermediate drivers overslow for turn 10. As with turns 3 and 4, confidence in the car and one's driving ability is required for taking turn 10 at respectable speeds.
Lower horsepower cars tend to need all the entry speed they can keep because they simply do not accelerate much between turns 10 and 1. Higher horsepower cars should put a premium on exit speed.
If you run wide at turn 10, you definitely want to go off with the wheels pointed straight.
Summit Point Main is quite slick in rain, especially on the conventional lines. That said, a rain line through any particular corner is not necessarily quicker than a conventional line, depending on conditions and your tires. Experiment!
In turns that have a rimshot line, there is a band of pavement approximately one car wide on the outside that in rain is significantly less shiny than the remainder of the track. When running a rimshot line, you can either put the entire car on that darker pavement or keep the outer two wheels on that pavement with the rest of the car more mid track. The mid track line generally requires more tire grip, but rewards with higher exit speeds due to line geometry.
There are several rain line options:
- Run a line similar to the dry "wide" line, but put the car further out on the pavement extension and do a rimshot around turn 1.
- Run a line similar to the dry "trailbraking" line but turn even earlier and be tighter at the apex, obviously at a reduced speed. Stay tight past the apex and hug the right edge of the track.
- A combination of the lines - start with the "wide" line but perform a sharp turn and follow the inside edge of the track from the apex forward. This line crosses water typically accumulating mid-track, but if you can pull it off you will be on power earlier than either of the first two lines.
The rain line is a rimshot on the right side of the track.
One possible rain line is a rimshot on the left side of the track.
If you have the grip for it, instead of doing a rimshot you can run a later apex and leave the car mid track or so at the apex.
With even more grip, try a later apex only.
The rain line is a rimshot on the right side of the track.
Entry is somewhat awkward because the line in 4 tends to keep the car more left than usual, and there is a very limited distance to transition from left to right.
A tight line in turn 5 tends to not work. Attempting to cross track center in turn 5 is an even poorer proposition.
You can do a rimshot on the left side or hug the right edge of the track.
It is possible to transition from a rimshot in turn 6 to a tight line through turn 7.
Either a rimshot on the left or a tight line on the right.
The tight line probably will provide a better setup for turn 8.
A rimshot on the right is the rain line.
Water tends to accumulate right on the standard line. You want to either run a significantly later apex and come out inside of the standard line on track out, or run a rimshot on the left and go on the outside of the standard line. Line choice will depend on whether your car has more lateral or forward grip.
You want to run the line that allows you to get on power as early as possible.
Similarly to turn 9, the standard line becomes quite slick. Do a rimshot on the left or a tight line at the apex.
Car Specific Notes
Main course paddock has fuel pumps accepting credit cards only. In 2013, prices for 93 octane fuel are fairly reasonable. Given that the closest gas station is at least 20 minutes outside of track property, if your car requires a small amount of 93 octane fuel it can be cheaper to obtain fuel at the track.
Men's restroom has a shower.
OG Racing has a store in the Main course paddock.