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Carolina Motorsports Park

Carolina Motorsports Park is a 2.23 mile road course located near Kershaw, South Carolina. Track construction began in mid 1998 and the track opened in July 1999. The track may also be operated as a 0.99 mile west course and a 1.18 mile east course.

New: 2000-09-07  Last Updated: 2005-09-08

TrackTapes.com has in-car video of this (and many other) tracks

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Track Facts

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Track Office

Carolina Motorsports Park
3662 Kershaw Highway
Kershaw, SC 29067

Carolina Motorsports Park
P.O. Box 366
Kershaw, SC 29067

803-475-2448 (Office)
803-475-3303 (Fax)

info@carolinamotorsportspark.com

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Getting There

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Carolina Motorsports Park is located four miles south of Kershaw, SC and seventeen miles north of Camden, SC on Highway 521.

Racer's Guide to Carolina Motorsports Park

Notes courtesy of Chris W. Ingle, 2003 & 2005 Southeast Division T1 National Champion, #7 T1 Corvette Z06.

General

CMP is a fairly narrow track. It was built in a very sandy region and the sand is constantly on the track getting into the cracks and crevices; therefore, the track is almost always very, very slick. Getting power down to the ground is key. He who is able to put the power down and control oversteer will generally do the best here. It has very high curbs that you must stay off of especially the rumble strips on the exits. They are highly ridged and will destroy your suspension if you ride on them long. CMP is also brutal on brakes. Ensure you have plenty of air flowing to your rotors, fresh fluid and bring an extra set of pads - you'll need 'em. CMP is a torque track. It's better to use a bit higher of a gear to exit the corners and let the torque do the work as opposed to getting much higher rpms in a lower gear. That normally just amounts to power-on oversteer and burning up your tires.

Safety

CMP is generally considered one of the safer tracks in the Southeast. There is lots of run off room and the only real dangerous part is coming down the front straight. If your brakes fail, there is a tire wall with Armco behind it waiting for you. Most spins on this track though are fairly harmless and the dirt off track is soft so it slows you down fairly quickly.

Hot Lap

Hot Lap courtesy of Chris W. Ingle, 2003 & 2005 Southeast Division T1 National Champion, #7 T1 Corvette Z06.

Track Tapes has a video of a lap of this track as driven by Chris.

Shift points and gear suggestions are using a T1 prepared Z06. Coming down the front straight, stay right across Start/Finish, get hard on the brakes and downshift 4-3. You'll most likely have to hit the brakes before SF to get the speed low enough. Turn one is a very tight 90 deg left-hander and you can go side-by-side through it, however neither of your exit speeds will be very good. If you're by yourself, it's a standard turn. Be careful on turn in though. As mentioned before, sand is almost always on the track in some variation and it's very easy to loop the car here, especially with cold tires. The curbing is high so stay off!

Immediately exiting #1 you'll turn right for the turn 2 kink. Again, watch the curbs.

After #2, get back to the right quickly to get set up for the fast lefty #3. Squeeze the brakes just before entry and take a standard apex. Power on oversteer is very common here (and on virtually every turn). There is a small strip of curbing on the exit of the corner if you get too loose - it's bumpy though so watch it.

There's about 900 ft of straight before turn #4 and in my T1 Z06, I just stay in 3d gear up until 7K rpm and it's time to get hard on the brakes. Turn 4 is very fast, but the curbing is again high. Don't bother trying to get back to the left for #5. Just stay on the gas as long as possible and straight-line brake the entry into 5. The exit of 5 is very slick and push (understeer) is common. Turn 6 is a throw away - focus your eyes on the apex for #7. It leads to the longest pure straightaway so it's critical you get the exit right. As you put the power down, control the oversteer as much as possible and nail that apex! Shift to 4th once the car gets straight and settled. This straight is about 1500 ft or so. Focus your eyes on the entry to the next turn and don't follow the slight curve in the track.

Turn 8 is a tricky right hander and tighter than it looks. The braking zone for this turn is also down hill so there's a tendency to hit the brakes too late. Hit the brakes a bit earlier than you think you need and downshift to 3d! #8 is actually up hill and the car will bog down trying to exit if you don't. The exit drops off a bit to the left and is one of the hardest corners to get right. The exit of 8 is critical too because it leads to the second longest straight. Sacrifice entry speed for a great exit. Control that oversteer.

Turn #9 is simply a small kink but stay tight to the right. Shift 3-4.

Turn #10 is a real pucker-factor right kink after 1300 ft of straight and separates the men from the boys. You can either brake a bit on the entrance or try lifting depending on your exit speed from 8. With new tires, you can get away with just a big lift. With older tires, squeeze the brakes before entry and then take a smooth throttle thru the turn. The apex can either be over the curb or to the left of the curb depending on how compliant your suspension is and the make of your shocks. Try going over the curb as far as possible at first and see how your car handles it. Under smooth power, the car will drift nicely out to the left edge of the track. [I've seen several people try to take this kink flat out - I've passed them all as they were spinning in the grass afterward.] As soon as you get the car settled and check your shorts, get back to the right quickly, hit the brakes very hard and downshift 4-3 for the ultra tight left hairpin #11. Trail brake this corner, but power-on oversteer will be very prevalent here. Turns 11, 12, 13, and 14 are very tight and slow. Treat them that way. It's better to exit smoothly, control the oversteer and not burn up your rear tires than dirt tracking thru them. If you do that, your tires will be shot in the first 5 laps of the race and you'll be dead last very shortly.

Once thru 11, get back to the left as much as possible to get set up for the slow right #12. It's a standard tight turn - just be smooth.

Brake hard for the entrance of another tight right-hander #13 and scrub the curb at the apex. There is another rough teeth-jarring strip on the exit, but stay off of it as much as you can because it is very rough.

Stay to the left of the track and brake at the 3 marker (initially) for the right hand turn #14. You can take the braking point a bit later and later until you just can't get slow enough to make the apex of the next turn. Always late apex this turn and brake harder than you think you need. You should still be in 3d gear. You can try downshifting to 2d, but unless you have new tires, you'll probably just spin the rear tires too much on the exit. Turn very hard and stay off the exit curbing. It's rougher than an old Wisconsin back road and will wreck your suspension and jar your teeth.

In 2004, a decent lap with a well prepared T1 Z06 Corvette is in the 1:45-1:50 range. Ensure you get turns 7 and 8 right and you'll be in the lower time bracket!

CMP in the rain

CMP in the rain is brutal. The only good thing about it is that it's CONSISTENTLY brutal. That is to say, you know what to expect in every corner - absolutely no grip. In a light rain, the puddles aren't too bad and you can stay on line; however the braking zones are very, very slick so be conservative on your marks at first. One of the keys to winning here in the rain is tire heat. You simply must get heat into the tires and keep them hot. My starting pressures for the Kumho Victoracer is about 30 psi, but it still takes 3 or 4 laps before you'll notice anything. If you can, set the back end of the car very soft and beware coming out of the corners - it is very, very easy to loop the car, especially turn 14. Use higher gears and treat the gas pedal very softly or you'll just get tire spin. If it's a heavy rain, look for another hobby that day.

Accomodations

Chris Ingle notes: "There is very little in the town of Kershaw. There's only really 2 hotels and very few eating establishments. If you want some place decent to stay and eat, you'll have to drive to Camden, which is 20-30 minutes away."

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Fine Dining and Otherwise

Chris Ingle notes: "There is very little in the town of Kershaw. There's only really 2 hotels and very few eating establishments. If you want some place decent to stay and eat, you'll have to drive to Camden, which is 20-30 minutes away."

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