Snow is falling as I write this column, and it sure feels like the middle of winter, but in fact it’s almost the end of February and the first events of the competition year are just three days away! I’m pretty sure Pacific Northwest Solo drivers can handle ice and snow, but a quick course in the Pro Drive SkidCar would help anyone under those conditions.
For me, the first race is still a month away. I’ll be competing in SCCA’s new Time Trials program this year, and I’m excited to get back on track in a car I enjoy just for the fun of going fast and driving a good lap. My plan is to run the whole season of Time Trials in Oregon and Northwest Regions.
Time Trials entries const only $150, plus an extra $20 to rent a transponder if you don’t have one of your own. I encourage everyone who enjoys having fun with cars to consider entering. It’s just about the best deal on open track time that you’re likely to find.
Serving on the national board of directors is keeping me busy - there are scheduled phone meetings every week, and a steady flow of e-mails. As I gain experience with the rhythms of the conversations, I’m seeing the workings of the club more clearly.
The first thing I noticed is how hard the club’s national staff and our program board and advisory committees work, and the depth of knowledge that is encompassed by all these people.
For example, I am a board of directors liaison to the Time Trials Board, and I am watching the incredible amount of time and effort that goes into classing cars appropriately. It’s easy to take classing for granted - or to complain about it - in Road Racing or Solo. But if you think about it, you’ll see that it’s an incredibly complicated jigsaw puzzle because different cars make speed differently.
On the Time Trials Board, we’re trying to define classes for cars as they’re actually being built and used in the track day and street performance world. So rather than asking drivers to build or adapt a car to a set of rules, we’re attempting to tailor the rules to fit around the cars as they already are.
My own car will be competing in the Tuner class, even though it’s almost stock, because of one nifty part that solved a problem for me. I’m viewing this as a positive, however, because it means I can justify some fun performance enhancements over the course of the competition year.
If you have an interest in deep learning about your car’s class or category, consider applying to join the relevant advisory committee. It’s a lot of hard work on occasion, but I think you’ll find, as I have, that it’s worthwhile work.
See you at the track!