KVRG National Tries Out New Heartland Park Course Configuration TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 21, 2007) -- SCCA National drivers got the first taste of the new Runoffs Configuration at Heartland Park Topeka last weekend, with over 200 drivers taking...
KVRG National Tries Out New Heartland Park Course Configuration
TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 21, 2007) -- SCCA National drivers got the first taste of the new Runoffs Configuration at Heartland Park Topeka last weekend, with over 200 drivers taking part in the Kaw Valley Race Group "Last Chance" National. It was the final SCCA-sanctioned event prior to the National Championship Runoffs® Presented by AT&T in October.
Following the changes to Turns One, Two, Eight and Nine, lap times were reduced by anywhere from five to nine seconds from last year's records, with average speeds climbing as much as 8 mph.
"This is a kick ass racetrack now," GT-2 winner and Spec Miata track record setter Tony Rivera, of Houston, Texas, said. "There were people concerned about removing hard brake zones for passing, but the track races just fine.
"You can still pass going into Turn One, although side-by-side is not the fastest way through. Turns One and Two are great setup corners now to get a run going into Turn Three. Eight and Nine are now also great setup corners, although it's pretty tough to pass going into Turn Eight."
With regard to the high speeds and barrier placement in the new sections, Rivera felt that many of the revered racetracks in North America have similar characteristics.
"[Turn Two] is not any different than The Kink at Road America as far as the potential to have a problem. There are some that don't like it right now and it's because the new turns at Heartland don't have the respect that a corner like The Kink does. It's too new. I respected it for the potential of what can happen just like The Kink at Road America, and I didn't have a problem.
"Turns Eight and Nine have so much runoff room, that it's not hard to push to go fast. I tested the limits and went four-off in both the Miata and the Panoz there and didn't have an issue."
The weekend provided some valuable information for Heartland Park staff, and the track plans to have its curbing additions in place this week.
Regarded as the Pinnacle of American Motorsports, the 2007 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by AT&T features a full week of action, capped by three days of racing Oct. 12-14 at Heartland Park Topeka. Now in its 44th year, nearly 700 drivers annually travel to the Runoffs to race against the best and fight for the honor of being crowned National Champion.
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For more information about Heartland Park Topeka, please visit www.hpt.com.