Summit Point halts use of EVs and hybrids

By Colin Wood
Apr 7, 2023 | electric, Hybrid, ev, electric cars, Summit Point, Summit Point Motorsports Park

Photograph Courtesy Tesla

[Updated as of April 7]

Summit Point Motorsports Park recently announced that both all-electric and hybrid vehicles are no longer permitted in motorsport activities on its grounds:

Our commitment to the safety of participants, clients, spectators, and employees at Summit Point Motorsports Park is an ongoing process. Best practices are continually scrutinized and revised.

Upon review of SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) document J2990 and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) document 70 and in consideration of the requirements specifically requested by event organizers we have halted the use of Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles in all motorsports disciplines.

This decision was not taken lightly, and we endeavor to better understand, support, and develop policies to meet industry best practices for emergency support and response requirements related to Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

As of April 7, we now have a new statement from Edwin Pardue, Director of Motorsports Operations at Summit Point Motorsports Park:

Summit Point supports the growth of Electric and Hybrid vehicles in motorsports. Summit Point Motorsports Park’s decision to take a “tactical pause” in halting the use of electric and hybrid electric vehicles in all motorsports disciplines at our location is purely based on ensuring we establish an EMS response policy and procedure based on technical knowledge provided by the electric and hybrid electric vehicle industry community to better support the motorsports community. 

To our knowledge, Industry best practices supporting emergency response procedures to electric and hybrid electric vehicles in motorsports are under development. We hope to be a frontrunner in development of the industry standard to ensure that we can support a safer response to all stakeholders in the future.

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MiniDave Reader
4/3/23 1:02 p.m.

They're only talking about on track activities, right? They don't care what you drive to the track, just what you drive on the track?

Puddy46 Reader
4/3/23 1:10 p.m.

In reply to MiniDave :

Being able to show up and park is still ok was how I interpreted it as well.

 I wouldn't consider showing up and parking as a motorsports activity for the vehicle.  

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/3/23 1:14 p.m.

well, frell

hopefully this develops in a different direction, eventually... especially for cars with "nonvolatile" battery chemistries?

guess I have some SAE and NFPA documents to read

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/3/23 2:18 p.m.

Can someone summarize what the concern is here? Battery fires?

84FSP UberDork
4/3/23 2:27 p.m.

While rare, when EV's catch fire it is just like a road flare and can't really be put out.   While I get the frustration, I imagine this is a valid safety and likely insurance cost issue.  We'll all figure it out but it sure isn't addressed yet.

Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/3/23 2:33 p.m.

There may also be concerns about damage to the track surface if they can't extinguish the fire. That could shut the track down for extended periods.


dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/3/23 2:37 p.m.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Motorsports Park is moving in the opposite direction, as announced in a press release last week.

Atlanta Motorsports Park Becomes First Race Track to Install Level 3 Fast Chargers for High Performance EVs

camopaint0707 New Reader
4/3/23 2:39 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

Their inability to safely extinguish the battery fires.

johndej SuperDork
4/3/23 2:44 p.m.

They appear to post updates/notes/photos/etc. daily on their facebook page but I guess have avoided mentioning this there or on their main website so far.

frenchyd MegaDork
4/3/23 2:45 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

As a gear head I know just how stupid and provincial  some regulators  are.  In fact I'm sure anyone who has been through race tech inspection often enough can cite example after example. 
         That's OK.  We have countless places to race, they don't have countless numbers of entrants. 

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