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View Full Version : Summit Point, WV Friday At The Track recap



mjanowich
05-03-2014, 05:52 PM
Hello all. My wife and I went to our 2nd Friday At The Track HPDE event yesterday. We met a few other fellow Fiat/Abarth fanatics one of which is Gigante! Here's a little summary and a few video links that I also posted on Camaro5.com (since I drive a Camaro and my wife's baby is the Abarth).

FATT on May 2nd was our (my wife and I) second time there. The first time it was raining all day. This time the weather was awesome, which was good and bad because it meant that we were pushing our cars harder than ever before. I drove the Camaro so hard during the last 20 minute session that the brake fluid started to boil, even with DOT4 fluid and HP+ pads, which is not a good feeling. Luckily it happened right after the checkered flag which ended the session and started the cooldown lap. My oil temp was high too (good thing I have the extra gauges in the Camaro that shows that stuff). We also met a lot of nice people there. One of them was another Abarth fanatic (Gigante) so we asked him park in our paddock. I'm also a huge Abarth fan so it was cool being able to talk with him about what he's done to his car, giving us ideas as to what to modify on our Abarth. I'm sure Gigante will post his review of the track day sometime soon. His car is awesome and he did very well on the track. You wouldn't believe how many people walked over and asked him questions about it and took video/pictures. I think people who go to track events usually are car enthusiasts and even though they may have driven there in a high dollar Porsche or some other exotic, they know how great a car the Abarth is.

On to the video.
Since my wife's camera doesn't have an external mic, there's a ton of wind noise so it's best to just turn down the volume. Otherwise, the crackling sound is a bit irritating. I ran an external mic through my trunk and taped it to the back side of my bumper, so turn it up for some ground pounding American thunder!

Camaro, last session. http://youtu.be/xSubEUkPoBY

View of the Abarth, from the grandstands, turns 4 through 8. http://youtu.be/6ODhJexo5b4

Abarth in car, end of 4th session (turn it down a bit). http://youtu.be/rfBbRNu_WhI

Flyby of the Camaro recorded on my wife's iPhone. http://youtu.be/bHVDo6nZN10

I would like to point out that the aggressiveness of some of the other student drivers there was getting on my nerves. I mentioned this to my instructor and he did say that it's always an issue trying to reign in overly aggressive students. That's a nice way of putting it. Having other drivers so close to my rear bumper through the technical part of the track that I was concerned about getting rear ended was really pissing me off. The Porsches seemed to be the worst offenders.

So, for anyone who reads this and tracks their car, don't give your car's owner group a bad name by driving like a jerk on the track.

Special thanks to Chris aka LostPony on Camaro5.com for the great classroom instruction and running the show.

Shake n' Bake,
Michael, #127, Black 2010 SS
Tiffini, Black 2012 Abarth

Infinite_Day
05-04-2014, 07:07 AM
Huh - you know, I've lived in WV my whole life and never knew we had a decent track complex in this state. Of course, I'm all the way at the top of the opposite panhandle and I've only been out Martinsburg way a couple of times. Nice looking facility - wish it were closer to me.

mjanowich
05-05-2014, 01:29 PM
Yep, Summit Point is a great track though I have nothing to compare it to. Being only an hour away is nice too. Here are a few pics from Friday.

The red Abarth is Gigante's. The white one is a friend of his and the black one is my wife's. The Camaro next to the black Abarth is mine.
http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=11628&d=1399310592

My wife's Abarth headed down the front straight.
http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=11630&d=1399311265

Robert Nixon
05-05-2014, 04:31 PM
thanks for sharing the videos, getting on track looks like a ton of fun!

Gigante
05-06-2014, 01:04 PM
Hello all. My wife and I went to our 2nd Friday At The Track HPDE event yesterday. We met a few other fellow Fiat/Abarth fanatics one of which is Gigante! Here's a little summary and a few video links that I also posted on Camaro5.com (since I drive a Camaro and my wife's baby is the Abarth).

FATT on May 2nd was our (my wife and I) second time there. The first time it was raining all day. This time the weather was awesome, which was good and bad because it meant that we were pushing our cars harder than ever before. I drove the Camaro so hard during the last 20 minute session that the brake fluid started to boil, even with DOT4 fluid and HP+ pads, which is not a good feeling. Luckily it happened right after the checkered flag which ended the session and started the cooldown lap. My oil temp was high too (good thing I have the extra gauges in the Camaro that shows that stuff). We also met a lot of nice people there. One of them was another Abarth fanatic (Gigante) so we asked him park in our paddock. I'm also a huge Abarth fan so it was cool being able to talk with him about what he's done to his car, giving us ideas as to what to modify on our Abarth. I'm sure Gigante will post his review of the track day sometime soon. His car is awesome and he did very well on the track. You wouldn't believe how many people walked over and asked him questions about it and took video/pictures. I think people who go to track events usually are car enthusiasts and even though they may have driven there in a high dollar Porsche or some other exotic, they know how great a car the Abarth is.

On to the video.
Since my wife's camera doesn't have an external mic, there's a ton of wind noise so it's best to just turn down the volume. Otherwise, the crackling sound is a bit irritating. I ran an external mic through my trunk and taped it to the back side of my bumper, so turn it up for some ground pounding American thunder!

Camaro, last session. http://youtu.be/xSubEUkPoBY

View of the Abarth, from the grandstands, turns 4 through 8. http://youtu.be/6ODhJexo5b4

Abarth in car, end of 4th session (turn it down a bit). http://youtu.be/rfBbRNu_WhI

Flyby of the Camaro recorded on my wife's iPhone. http://youtu.be/bHVDo6nZN10

I would like to point out that the aggressiveness of some of the other student drivers there was getting on my nerves. I mentioned this to my instructor and he did say that it's always an issue trying to reign in overly aggressive students. That's a nice way of putting it. Having other drivers so close to my rear bumper through the technical part of the track that I was concerned about getting rear ended was really pissing me off. The Porsches seemed to be the worst offenders.

So, for anyone who reads this and tracks their car, don't give your car's owner group a bad name by driving like a jerk on the track.

Special thanks to Chris aka LostPony on Camaro5.com for the great classroom instruction and running the show.

Shake n' Bake,
Michael, #127, Black 2010 SS
Tiffini, Black 2012 Abarth


Hello mjanowich,

It was really great meeting you and your wife Tiffani, how awesome that you both enjoy cars so much that you do track events together soooo great! Thank you for having me paddock with you it was my first time at this track and great to be with someone who knew where to go and what to do.

I really did not know what to expect as I have been a spectator at this track a few times but never could schedule to be there with my own car - I had put this off twice. It was a bit intimidating showing up and seeing all of the high dollar sports cars and hearing all of the awesome sounds. I did not know what to expect and I was hoping some of my prior years experience would come back to me.

What a great day it turned out to be and my instructor was awesome... very patient guy and I learned the track a turn at a time and then put it all together. As the day progressed my instructor pointed out where I need to be (to improve) if I wanted to go around faster. The more time in the car the more I learned what I had to do to keep up with cars in my group. By session #2 I really was into the swing of things and breaking late and using all of the available road (and some) to stay with the faster cars and or stay ahead once I got passed them. I was running my car without an aftermarket ECM (Sport mode and ESC Full Off), but with everything else. I was really, really happy with the handling as the Nue-f front and rear swaybars (thank you NGen Customs & Performance) were worth the money and effort (front) to install together with the rear Koni's, NorCal Bumpstops, RRMS Corsa Chasis braces and CPR lower brace. I had my air pressure at OEM settings (38 psi F / 32 psi R). This event made me think of many things regarding future modifications the little Abarth surprised me. It was a great feeling to have after track session visits by many of the other drivers, they were very curious about the car, what a great testimony of how great our little cars truly are. I did an interview (video) with a guy who was driving a Porsche Cayman as he was so impressed with the performance of the car and another guy in a Lotus, we kept trading places throughout the day. There was a Honda CRX that was very quick and he would pull away from me like the Lotus on the straights as If I was stopped but once in the turns I would reel them in - what a great time.

Tiffini (mjanowich's wife) did so awesome. She was tearing it up with the Miatas and the VW GTI's. One of the VW guys (R32 driver) came over to me and said "Wow your little Fiats do great, I having a heck of a time keeping up with the black Abarth" I said yes they do well on this track and Tiffini can really drive her car well... At that point he said "WHAT A woman is driving that car" I said yes and he said "Wow now that just ruined my day". I said don't worry just keep coming as you'll get better every time. She really did well and my hat goes of to the husband and wife team who truly plays together. It was great meeting them and I know I will see them again - more great Fiat friends. I also want to thank forum member Radagast, as he came out in his white Abarth to support us as well - good seeing you again buddy and next time you need to be out there with us.

In summary, I can say that this track is really awesome for our cars and so are the instructors. It's a 3rd and 4th gear road course with plenty of elevation change and off camber turns, if our car was geared differently we may have more opportunity to use 5th gear a little more (I only managed 116 MPH at the end of the straight). If you have the opportunity to attend make sure you visit the skid pad as many times as possible - it's a blast and you'll learn so much. mjanowich is correct some of the drivers are very aggressive and impatient, they can also get sloppy so you just have to follow the race line and they'll eventually pass you or you'll pass them.

Thank you for your time,
Gigante


http://i.imgur.com/Ln044j6.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/g3dpGKn.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/3nuseac.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/e8Ucemg.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/vN0R0iI.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/qkoEeCe.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/8NbuQpb.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ESKp6mo.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIPundvFu7Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIPundvFu7Y

mjanowich
05-06-2014, 07:07 PM
Gigante, this just made Tiffini's day "At that point he said "WHAT A woman is driving that car" I said yes and he said "Wow now that just ruined my day". " She read that and say "yay, I ruined someone's day!" LOL :) I'm going to have to get her a bumper sticker that says "You've just been passed by a girl".

Again, it was a great day. We're looking at September 12th as our next track day at FATT/Summit Point. Maybe we can get a few more Abarths to show up.

Your pictures and video look really good.

By the time of our next track day, we'll probably have a few suspension mods on the Abarth. Tiffini was drooling over your car too much to resist.

Were you running stock brake pads and regular brake fluid? It's my impression that you two didn't do too much hard braking other than in turn 1.

Gigante
05-06-2014, 08:39 PM
Hey Mjanowich,

Yup, I thought Tiffini would enjoy that post. I did not want to tell her so she would not worry and keep trearing up the track like she did. She"ll remember the car it was a silver R32, he was with another guy who was driving a early 80 's 911SC (brown in color). I loved that he was struggling as he called my car a little red expresso machine :spank:. I wish he was in our group I would have ground him up to bits... Tiffini did so good so he got it anyway:thumbsup:

No HP brake fluid just OEM stuff... The only two braking points that required lots of effort were turn #1 and #5 the others were a little tap on the brake pedal while downshifting and back on the gas.

It truly was lots of fun and I have signed up for the May 23 event - if I can get off work. If not, I will move this registration to the September 12th event for sure.

Like I shared with you and Tiffini, I have lots of little things done to my car and I did 90% of the installs. My offer to assist you with any installation is open, now that I have done these I know the sequence of the modifications I would do if I were starting over.

Look forward to seeing both again and it was great meeting you too,

Take care,
Gigante

Crazy Otto
05-07-2014, 07:37 PM
Nice....wished you had put this in the track day / abarth experience section.

summit point is very well liked by the northeast racers. Track has flow and rhythm.

2 yrs ago I blew my race cars tranny on 6th lap and haven't had a chance to go back. Hyperfest is the big amateur event...held in june.

Gigante
05-08-2014, 06:13 AM
Nice....wished you had put this in the track day / abarth experience section.

summit point is very well liked by the northeast racers. Track has flow and rhythm.

2 yrs ago I blew my race cars tranny on 6th lap and haven't had a chance to go back. Hyperfest is the big amateur event...held in june.

Hello Crazy Otto, thank you for your time and the kind words. I was responding to Mjanowich post, honestly I did not know where to post this to share and he was quicker to post so he beat me to it. SP is an awesome facility with so much happening on the various tracks. It's just awesome once you get the hang of the course and everything just flows as you have mentioned. I plan to return on the 23rd of this month, hopefully everything works with my schedule to make this happen.

Hyperfest sounds really great, the summer months a bit more difficult to get away from work but I will check the calendar, maybe I can come and spectate at some point in the day. Hopefully, you will have your car repaired and out again at SP enjoying it like you have in the past. The great thing for me SP is only 35 min from my home.

Thank you again for the info and your time,
Gigante

Gigante
05-08-2014, 12:05 PM
Yep, Summit Point is a great track though I have nothing to compare it to. Being only an hour away is nice too. Here are a few pics from Friday.

The red Abarth is Gigante's. The white one is a friend of his and the black one is my wife's. The Camaro next to the black Abarth is mine.
http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=11628&d=1399310592

My wife's Abarth headed down the front straight.
http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=11630&d=1399311265

Hey, I found two more pictures in my cell phone photo library to share from our FATT event.

Thank you for your time,
Gigante

http://i.imgur.com/6BkOQNF.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/3hlazyZ.jpg

Gigante
05-08-2014, 01:10 PM
Yup, that Camero was really nice.

mjanowich
05-08-2014, 05:00 PM
Give me the Camaro lol
Thanks! Yea, that's my baby. She's hard on the brakes though. It makes me lust after the new Z/28 that much more. I only have SS money though ;)

Thanks for posting those last 2 pics Gigante. I'll be adding them to the photo album.

If a moderator wants to move this thread to the Racing subforum, that's fine by me. It would be nice if that subforum was a bit higher on the main page list though, so it could get a little more traffic. Right below the Abarth and above the 500L groups would be good :)

Tweak
05-09-2014, 12:28 AM
Thanks! Yea, that's my baby. She's hard on the brakes though. It makes me lust after the new Z/28 that much more. I only have SS money though ;)

Thanks for posting those last 2 pics Gigante. I'll be adding them to the photo album.

If a moderator wants to move this thread to the Racing subforum, that's fine by me. It would be nice if that subforum was a bit higher on the main page list though, so it could get a little more traffic. Right below the Abarth and above the 500L groups would be good :)

Went ahead and moved to the Racing section.

GQRob
05-15-2014, 12:03 AM
I spent a lot of time at Summit Point when I lived back east. I used to run HPDEs in my Subaru with NASA. I raced karts there too with WKC and WKA. I also used to pit crew during the ole 12 Hours at the Point.

Did you happen to record any lap times for the Abarth? What tires and brake pads were on the Abarth for track use?

mjanowich
05-15-2014, 04:50 PM
I spent a lot of time at Summit Point when I lived back east. I used to run HPDEs in my Subaru with NASA. I raced karts there too with WKC and WKA. I also used to pit crew during the ole 12 Hours at the Point.

Did you happen to record any lap times for the Abarth? What tires and brake pads were on the Abarth for track use?

If you use the timestamps on the videos we've posted, you can get a rough guess at lap times. We didn't use a track app like Harry's Lap Timer but I sure will next time! My instructor's fastest lap of the weekend (he was there for some SCCA events) was 1:36 I think in his little 2007 VW Rabbit. That thing was FAST in the corners.

My wife's Abarth was on stock tires and pads. Same with Gigante I think. Only upgrade was DOT4 brake fluid. From what she and Gigante were saying, the Abarth doesn't really abuse the brakes on that track, so there's probably no need for a brake upgrade for heat issues.

GQRob
05-15-2014, 10:59 PM
As her skills improve she will need better brake pads even being in a 2500 pound car.
Be sure to head down to VIR If you haven't yet. The uphill eases are awesome.
Have fun and keep posting pics from the events. I miss Summit Point.

mjanowich
05-16-2014, 02:25 PM
As her skills improve she will need better brake pads even being in a 2500 pound car.
Sounds like a nice problem to have ;) I've been eyeballing the Road Race front pads.

We'll get to VIR eventually. Probably as a spectator for the Tudor sports car championship first. There's another road course that's opening just south of Fredericksburg, VA called Dominion Raceway next year that will be another option that won't require us to get a hotel.