RACE: HPT road course configuration changes announced

Heartland Park Announces Road Course Configuration Changes TOPEKA, Kan. (April 23, 2007) -- Heartland Park Topeka announced today several changes to the course layout of the 2.5-mile configuration utilized for the SCCA National Championship...

Heartland Park Announces Road Course Configuration Changes

TOPEKA, Kan. (April 23, 2007) -- Heartland Park Topeka announced today several changes to the course layout of the 2.5-mile configuration utilized for the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by AT&T.

Two sections of the race track, including turns one, two and eight, will be modified prior to the 2007 Runoffs, held Oct. 8-14.

The turn one-two complex will become faster, with wider radius turns to encourage side-by-side racing while making it less probable for cars to run off course. The higher speeds into turn three will also open up the corner entry for out-braking maneuvers.

Turn Eight will no longer be a hard braking zone, with a gradual bend to the left before feeding into the right-hand Turn Nine. This section of the course is expected to be much faster. Turn 10 will become a heavier braking zone due to increased speeds out of Turn Nine.

"The new course changes will accomplish several goals. It will create faster average lap speeds, faster overall speeds, at least one very fast, 'signature' corner and address two problem areas where cars would frequently leave the course and bring debris back on the track surface," Heartland Park Topeka Owner Raymond Irwin said. "Both sections will be at least one gear higher, and the Turn Eight-Nine section will be very fast, requiring both skill and courage, not unlike The Kink at Road America."

"Raymond Irwin and Heartland Park Topeka have listened to its customers and taken a course of action that they feel best addresses the feedback from the 2006 event," SCCA President and CEO Jim Julow said. "While the changes are minor in comparison to the complete renovation of the facility completed in 2006, we expect them to have a major positive impact on the racing."

Construction will begin this summer and, while Irwin does not rule out the possibility of completion before late-summer events, it is expected that the new changes will be run for the first time during the Oct. 1-7 test week leading up to the Runoffs.

The SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by AT&T, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America's Club Racing National Champions for the 44th-consecutive year in 2007. More than 700 of the best amateur drivers from across North America convene on Heartland Park Topeka's 2.5-mile road course each fall in what is considered the "Olympics" of motorsports.

Heartland Park Topeka, a multi-purpose racing facility located in Topeka, Kan., annually hosts NHRA POWERade drag racing, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and many other pro and amateur drag racing, road racing and dirt racing events throughout the race season.

-credit: scca

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