During this year’s annual Sports Car Club of America National Convention the official announcement was made that SCCA Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack will indeed be back in 2016 to provide everyday drivers in everyday cars access to REAL race circuits across the United States. A rundown of motorsport facilities to be visited in 2016, as well as an event calendar will be announced later in February.
A concept launched last year by the SCCA’s Experiential Programs Department, the very popular Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack was created as a non-competitive, no-stress, entertaining, easy and inexpensive way for nearly anyone who loves cars or motorsports to get on a real racecourse in their own vehicle during weeknights. All that is required is that participants be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license and have access to a helmet and street car in good working condition.
The price in 2016 will again never be greater than $150 per event, and no previous on-track experience or SCCA membership is required to join in the fun. Every driver gets three 20-minute sessions on course, as well as feedback from SCCA driver coaches on site. Admission is free for people who just want to stop by and watch the fun, and leisurely circuit parade laps are provided for all Track Night in America guests.
Heyward Wagner, SCCA Director of Experiential Programs, said this year’s participants will again be divided into Novice, Intermediate or Advanced groups so on-track activities remain fun for all. Novices get extra attention from the start, including help removing loose items from a vehicle, paced lead-and-follow laps, and tutelage throughout. To make life easier for Intermediate and Advanced participants, drivers can fill out tech sheets and complete a Track Night drivers’ meeting online prior to events.
“The inaugural season of SCCA Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack was very well received, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive,” Wagner said. “At its heart, Track Night in America is a get-together where people can share their passion for cars. From rookies to track veterans, the SCCA loves being able to open up motorsport venues to everyday people and eliminate hurdles frequently encountered in getting out on real racecourses.”
Wagner said the goal in 2016 is to fine-tune on-track activities while also developing Track Night in America into an exciting car-culture carnival. The SCCA Experiential Programs Department is working with SCCA Regions to turn Track Night in America dates into automotive and motorsport showcases with participation from race teams, race drivers, car clubs and automotive manufacturers. Ultimately, the vision is to produce fun, weekday gatherings at high-energy motorsport facilities with everyone welcome from local Girl and Boy Scouts to the brands that drive the automotive industry.
Lisa Noble, SCCA President and CEO, noted that Track Night in America set some impressive marks in its first year. In 2015, almost 4,200 thrill seekers ventured to nearly 90 Track Night events at more than 15 challenging locations to grab 500 hours of track time. More than 40 percent of participants registered as “Novice” for racetrack activities, and more than 60 percent were not members of the Sports Car Club of America. Of the people that rolled on track for an adventurous evening, 44 percent were 35 years old or younger. Another 24 percent were between 36 and 50 years old, and 32 percent were above 51 years old.
“The SCCA is constantly looking for new ways to connect with automotive enthusiasts and racing fans, and Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack has proven to be an excellent way of achieving this goal,” Noble said. “None of this would be possible without Tire Rack’s backing. For more than two decades, Tire Rack has been involved in a wide array of SCCA activities, and we’re proud to claim Tire Rack as the ‘Official Tire Retail Partner of the SCCA.’ By supporting entry programs such as Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack, The Tire Rack SCCA Starting Line Performance Driving School, and the Tire Rack SCCA National Solo Program, the company has done a lot for motorsports and racing fans in the United States.”
Matt Edmonds, Vice President of Tire Rack, believes Track Night in America provides a great pathway for the curious to follow as they explore their desire to become car enthusiasts.
“With guidance from many SCCA members, these car owners can see what it’s like to become drivers and experience the rush that comes with time behind the wheel at speed on some of our country’s great motorsports venues,” Edmonds said.
More info about 2016 dates and racecourses will be coming soon, so check back frequently to the SCCA Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack website to stay abreast of the latest updates.