Sanctioning Organizations

There are two major autosport organizations in the U.S.:

  1. SCCA (Sport Car Club of America)
  2. SCCA Logo

  3. NASA (National Auto Sports Association)

    NASA Logo

 The SCCA has been around for years, founded in 1944.  So you can imagine they’ve got their act together.  It starts at the autocross level (they call Solo).  They also have something relatively new they call the PDX (Performance Driving Experience).  At these events you use your street car at professional racing circuits.

NASA is a relative newcomer, started in 1991.  They are small, but growing in influence.  They’ve had something they call the HPDE (High Performance Driving Experience) for some time.  Again, this is taking your street car at speed at a large variety of pro racing circuits.  They are just getting started with their version of autocross, called NASA-X.  From what I’ve been reading they are in the final stages of finalizing their car classification system. 

Since I’ve been “out of the loop” for some years, I am just getting reintroduced to these organizations.  A few months ago I didn’t even know of NASA’s existence, but from what I’m reading on the web, I feel their approach is more refreshing, not like the “good old boys” at the SCCA.  Don’t ask me which group you should become a member of.  My recommendation would depend on what events are sanctioned by a local version of these organzations close to your home.

Also (and this is just a teaser, for now) they both offer contingency money (dollars for winning and placing well using specific performance product brands)!

This is just a quick introduction to these organizations – spend the time to reviiw each of their sites.

Are you Racing Ready?
Dan

P.S. – Finally got a start to changing this blog theme – still is a work in progress…

Some Qualifying Background (& Pix)

So you say, “Who is this guy?

That’s a fair question…
My name is Dan Scanlon & I live in San Antonio, Texas – USA.

Me!

What are my racing credentials?

I’ve been interested in racing & going fast since I can remember.  I even said so in an answer to a question in a job interview over 20 years ago.  It was, “What do you see yourself doing (as a goal) in the future?”  Straight-faced I said, “I’d like to be an Indy Car racer!”  He rolled his eyes, but eventually I got the job.

But seriously, I “campaigned” a circa 1982 Nissan Sentra 4-door in autocross back in the early 1990’s.  It was fun, but that poor car couldn’t take the abuse and later I only autocrossed my new (at the time) 1993 Honda Civic Coupe once.

My old 1993 Honda Civic Coupe

I’m up for getting back into this.  But my current daily driver, a 2000 Nissan Maxima SE 5-speed, is not doing very well.

Not exactly autocross material...

This morning I went about an hour SSE of SA (San Antonio) to Pearsall, TX.  Here, at a remote Cooper Tire test facility, the Austin SCCA group was co-hosting a Divisional Solo II (that’s SCCA talk for autocross).

What’s an autocross?  I’m glad you asked.  An autocross is event in which the driver “races” through a course set up on an expanse of pavement (like a big parking lot).  The driver is not racing directly against other cars, but competing against the clock.  Runs are typically in the 60 second range.  The cars are divided into specific classifications, and you compete within your class of car (which are similar to yours).  You can look at more details at an SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Forum.  For further clarification, here’s a video of an autocross run.

Autocross is not the be all & end all of amateur auto racing, but its easy cheap & simple – its a good place to start.  It will help you to decide if you want to pursue this further.  Find a local club and make the following modifications to your daily driver:

  • Increase your tire pressure to close to the max rating on the sidewall
  • Get rid of all the clutter inside your car, including floor mats
  • Remove your spare tire & anything else populating your trunk
  • Fold in your side mirrors (this keeps the distractions down)
  • Borrow a helmet (most clubs have free loaners available)

That’s about it.  The only cost is registration (averages $25), some bottled water on ice in a cooler, some snacks & sunscreen.  I’d recommend visiting and watching an autocross to see if it peaks your interest.  I know it did for me about 15 years ago & the bug has bit me again today!

Here are some pix (pictures) from this morning’s event – just a few to whet your interest:

The Cooper Tires Test Tire & Vehicle Test Center entrance.

Cooper Tires sign

A gathering of the variety of vehicles you can see at an autocross – no first-timers today!

Ready to roll!

A luscious example of a non-typical (not boxy) Volvo, an 1800 model.

Vintage Volvo

Some beautiful models to drool over – they both sounded good, too!

Sweet metal & rubber!

A very recent model Mazda MX-5 (Miata), not exactly stock.

Very well prepared Mazda MX-5

A fun to drive Dodge SRT-4 (not a Neon!).

A well sorted entry!

An overview…

Competitor field overview pan

And another from a distance…

Overview from a distanceOverview from a distance

…and the T-shirt!

Event T-shirt

That’s all for tonight!

Next time, more about some of the auto racing sanctioning organizations that will give you additional information…and inspiration.

Laters,
Dan

Why Racing Ready?

Upon reviewing all that is the Internet, there are many auto racing sites dedicated to both the new and exprienced car racing fan and racer.  Many driving/racing schools,  products to purchase and so on.

What I have found missing is a place to give the racing beginner/competitor some general to specific guidance – to get & be ready.  This is for those that want to start and/or continue amateur racing, up to the level one wants to and can afford.  We’re going to take this one step at a time…I hope you’ll come along with me.

I will have to admit that there is an alterior motive for doing this.  I’ve always wanted to compete in a car racing environment (I even mentioned it in a job interview, once).  As I learn and find resources, I will share and help to make this do-able.  This will push me forward, and bring you along if you’d like.

Bare with me as I get up to speed with this blogging process.  The blog will generally evolve and (hopefully) settle down in the next few weeks or so.  Of course, there will be an associated website.  That’s something I can already do, as seen at DosKas Website Design.  Any feedback will be most welcome – thanks!

So, let’s get going and hang on for the ride!!!

P.S. – The next post will have some pix of the 2008 Southwest Solo Divisional #2 I attended this morning – can’t wait to download & share…