The second session featured a few spinouts but no crunched fenders or hurt feelings.
- We Try the SCCA's Low Cost, No Instructors, No Hassle Track Night in America.
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Failure to yield to faster traffic was punished by aggressive "black flagging", a procedure by which wayward drivers are brought to pit lane for a brief chat with the SCCA stewards. We were black flagged once ourselves, even though we were in the "Advanced" group, for pitching a car off the end of one turn in a fit of late-braking enthusiasm.
A survey of the participants showed a wide variety of cars and drivers, from the GT-R pilot who had been racing motorcycles for ten years but had never put a car on a track to the sixty-something Cayman driver who had turned in his SCCA license years ago but wanted a low-speed introduction to this particular course.
None of the novice drivers with whom we spoke expressed any regret that they weren't receiving in-car instruction. More than a few of them expressed additional confidence that "the SCCA wouldn't let anything bad happen," proof positive that the club's brand still commands respect despite its relatively low profile among the fast-and-furious crowd.
My previous experience with the SCCA, both as a National Solo autocrosser and as a club racer trying to get my NASA and Grand-Am licenses honored for an Improved Touring race, has been that the organization just loves to operate by the letter of the regulations. Not everyone is welcome in the club. For years, you couldn't even attend an SCCA race as a spectator unless you were listed as someone's crewmember. The Track Night crew doesn't work like that. Every driver who arrived received personalized attention from the staff.
Want to Get on Track? The SCCA has an Offer You Shouldn’t Refuse!
Although the folks at Corvette Motorsports Park had multiple SCCA National titles to their credit, everyone was friendly and determined to make each driver's experience pleasant and safe. At the end of the night, the staff walked around to make sure that everyone was satisfied. In terms of safety gear, participants are only required to have a helmet with the most current or the two most recent applicable Snell, FIA, or SFI standards. The SCCA provides a list of suggested items to bring with you right here.
We Try the SCCA's Low Cost, No Instructors, No Hassle Track Night in America
One of the biggest detractors for enthusiasts interested in getting on track is the confusion surrounding what memberships, permits, licensing and types of prerequisite experience are required to be eligible to participate in different types of events. Intermediate and Advanced run groups are offered to drivers with some prior track experience and provide more freedom to pass with a point-by in different parts of the track, and these drivers can skip much of the pre-track minutiae by completing their tech sheets and drivers' meeting forms online ahead of the event.
What Are The Costs Involved? Track Night in America is open to all road legal vehicles that are in good working order — that means all lights are functional, brakes and tires are in good working order, and the vehicle does not leak fluids or otherwise have any known mechanical maladies. An important distinction to note, both in terms of vehicle performance and driver mindset, is that these are not races. We saw drivers in showroom stock VW Passats and Lexus sedans having a blast out on the track.
After going through the checklist, making sure the brake pads had plenty of meat left and verifying the car was leak-free, we decided that it was time to swap out the tired set of Hankooks on the car for some new rubber before making our way out to the event. More importantly, not only do high performance tires like the Azenis provide excellent lateral grip in the turns, that additional stickiness also equates to significantly shorter braking distances than typical OEM all-season tires.
Instead of kicking off early on a Saturday or Sunday, Track Night in America events are held on weekday afternoons and run until sundown. Offer email will be sent by Tire Rack no later than three days post-event. Offer valid February 13, to December 31, Applicable products and Performance Partner offers subject to change.
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