We’re publishing the Loud Pedal a little early this month because I’m headed to Bowling Green, Kentucky for the second annual Time Trials Nationals.
The Time Trials program has been going for a few years now, and it’s growing into a full-fledged SCCA competition venue. I think it’s one of the most important things we’re doing to secure the future of SCCA.
We’ve all noticed a cyclical slowdown in Road Racing. It happens. 20 years ago, Don Smethers explained that he’d been observing for 30 years (at that time - up to 50 now) how attendance rose and fell over time. We’re a low point these days, but I believe racing will always come back.
Part of coming back is looking at what new people want to drive, and how they want to race. When we see hundreds more cars show up for marque club track days than are turning up for SCCA events, that’s a big clue.
There’s a large market out there that wants to drive their street car on track. That makes sense, as many current street cars have more power and better handling than race cars did just a few years ago. But it’s also that in the midst of a busy life, a person may not want to invest in a truck and trailer for a dedicated race car. Time Trials gets back to SCCA’s “run what ya got” roots, when drivers taped up their headlights and drove to the track in their race cars. We need to provide a place for people who just want to have fun with cars in their own way.
As I write, the Solo Nationals and RallyCross nationals are complete. We’ve got coverage of the RallyCross champions in this issue, and we’ll get reports from our Solo folks in November.
The Runoffs are also coming up in the next few weeks, over at Virginia International Raceway. The distance has kept a few west coast drivers away, sadly, but I will be there to cheer for our Oregon and Northwest drivers who make the long tow.
I’ve been going to the Runoffs since 2004, and it never loses the excitement I felt the first time I went. This is more than a championship race - it’s a tribal gathering. At least we don’t have to do it in the desert in the middle of summer!
After the Runoffs, we’ll gather once more to honor this year’s outstanding drivers, and then it’s a short wait to the SCCA national convention in January. The fun really never ends, does it?