Reflection on the SPK 1040 Endurance Race
On a beautiful, sunny Saturday last week, Summit Point Kart kicked off its racing season with the IRS1040 endurance race. For 10 hours and 40 minutes, 15 teams battled each other for top honor, and the track they did it on was like none other. Dubbed the SPKburgring, it comprised 30 turns, 3 straights, and an overall length of 7/10th mile. That’s the same length as Richmond International Raceway!
Arriving teams eyed the track with equal parts awe and excitement as they set up their bases, renewed friendships with their competitors and worked out their team strategy. A couple practice sessions gave everyone the chance to see just how amazing this track would be, and what it would take to master.
After practice and qualifying, it was time for the race. 15 teams roared off the line in freshly prepared karts decked out in brand new sponsorship livery. You could feel the air vibrate as they rumbled by, the smell of rubber and combustion mixed in to complete the experience, with every spectator on their feet.
As the day progressed drivers split their attention between mastering the course, duking it out with other racers, and watching or listening for team orders. Meanwhile, team managers focused on fuel consumption, position gaps and gauging their teams’ performance. Is my driver getting tired? Do we have enough fuel for one more lap? The delicious smell of burgers and brats on the grill and the sounds of laughter and loud boasts also hinted that teams weren’t focusing exclusively on strategy.
Most drivers completed 2 or 3 1 hour stints, with sore arms, stiff legs, and huge smiles for their efforts. Late into the evening, there were still several heated battles for position, and the checkered flag waved sooner than many wanted. “It can’t be over already, we were gaining!”
The awards ceremony involved lots of back slapping, laughs, and pictures, and of course champagne, trophies and pretty girls. As people were packing up, everywhere you could still hear snippets of excited drivers recounting their individual war stories, complete with “he did this, so I did that” hand gestures. But the one thing that was heard practically everywhere from everyone….“When’s the next one?”