Summit Point Point Motorsports Park, specifically the Main Course, is arguably one of the best race tracks in America. While It may not have the speed of Road Atlanta nor the the history of Watkins Glen, it certainly makes up for it with a wildly fun two mile track that penalizes and promotes the powerful cars as equally the momentum cars. Oh, and let’s not forget one of the best EV crews, combined with easily the most laid back atmosphere you could ever ask for.
Over the last two seasons, SP Main has grown to be one of our teams favorite tracks for the above mentioned reasons. With the Jetta being a lower powered (180whp) car, that doesn’t pound the scales (2650lbs), we’re able to catch up to the fast guys quickly in the brake zones, and give them fits for nearly ¾ of the racetrack, if not sometimes giving them a headache for multiple laps. The track flows well for the FWD layout of the #202 Krabby Kraut Jetta, as we’re able to apply power sooner through ‘the back section’, which through consistency, helps us compete with even the class 4 and some 5 cars.
However even with such an advantage, the #202 Krabby Kraut Jetta “The Krab” has had it’s own fair share of ‘self inflicted wounds’, notoriously keeping us off the podium (loose wheels and faulty rear wheel bearings on rear, followed by fuel issues the next) However this year we were prepped and ready to take on ‘the beast’ and attempt to kick the curse now only left to Watkins Glen…that is, the only track we’ve yet to podium on in AER.
Thursday practice and Friday qualification day went really well. It was one of the first times in a while where the only adjustments we made were tire pressures, and testing out the Hankook RS4 tire (which proved to be a great wearing tire, but slippery and slow). We had set the car up with our new rear beam modification firmly in place and were ready to attack the weekend.
Saturday Race Day started out really well. We opted to run the Hankook RS4 up front, and our venerable RE71 in the rear. The car handled phenomenally, and any light front push was mitigated with MO’ POWA through the Wavetrac Diff. We honestly couldn’t have run a more flawless day, aside from preemptively changing a rear left tire with about an hour to go during one of our 3 minute pit stops. Because of a fast acting team, we got the #202 Krabby Kraut Jetta back out and were able to win by 2 laps to take First Place in Class 3 on Saturday.
Overnight, we always lean on the side of caution, and change front spindles (with new FAG wheel bearings, packed with Redline Grease) and changed the rear left wheel bearing as well, just to be safe. We didn’t want to let a mechanical failure ruin the weekend like it has for us in the past. We also discovered in our post race inspection that our calipers/brakes are getting WAY too hot (through temp strips) so we’re certainly in need to revamp our ducting and cooling situation. This inevitably is also a root cause of bearing failure so we hope to kill two birds with one stone in that regard.
Day two we opted to run with the Hankook RS4 on all 4 corners, in an attempt to avoid making any unnecessary pit stops. The day started out slow for us because of this, as they didn’t have the grip of the RE71r. Through mid day the car was still running very well but the lack of grip was showing in lap times and position, and we eventually made the call to throw two RE71rs up front to try and salvage position. With our large fuel capacity we’re able to only need fuel on 4 of the 5 stops so it was a no-brainer.
Unfortunately for us it was too little too late, as we found out that our car needed the REAR grip much more than the front, as our times barely improved late into the day. The final ‘nail’ in the coffin however occurred with roughly 30 minutes to go, when an on track incident with another car washing across the nose of our car forced me off into the tire wall, ending our Sunday campaign putting us in 6th place for the day. We suffered damage to the lower subframe, and tie rod, so we’ll be good to go after getting replacement Lemfoerder parts and new subframe bolts for the car.
Thankfully through our great performance on Saturday, and ‘decent’ finish Sunday we were able to salvage second overall in class for the weekend, a much welcomed result after such hardship at our favorite race track. We’re already prepping for MID OHIO in a few weeks and hopefully back in battle there as well! The #202 Krabby Kraut Jetta lives on to fight another day!