This past weekend in Bowling Green, Kentucky, around 210 drivers gathered at NCM Motorsports Park for the fourth annual Tire Rack Time Trials Nationals Powered by Hagerty. What does that have to do with Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack? Well, a giant chunk of those drivers are regularly seen at Track Nights across the country.
Motorsport Fraternal Twins
Why do many Track Nighters take part in Time Trials, you ask? It's because SCCA Track Night and Time Trials have so much in common. First, in general, you only need a car in good working condition and a helmet to take part in either activity. Second, several tracks used for Time Trials are the exact same tracks where Track Nights take place. And of course, both pursuits are all about having fun with cars.
Both Track Night and Time Trials divvy up sessions into Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced groups so people with similar experience levels can run together out on course. Passing is only allowed at certain portions of a track or with a "point by." Both endeavors boil down to you and your car out having fun on track.
Let's Talk Competition
Of course, there are a couple differences between the two hobbies. To begin, Track Night is non-competitive, whereas Time Trials records the lap times of participants. However, it isn't like wheel-to-wheel racing. In fact, Time Trials is really more about you competing with yourself to see if you can better your best-ever time. Sure, trophies are handed out after Time Trials weekends. There are a variety of car classes to keep things even. Still, most drivers are just out there to see how they do, how they improve personally and look forward to hanging out with many others who share their passion for motorsports.
Time Trials Coming to a Track Near You
SCCA's Time Trials National Tour (TTNT) holds events around the U.S., so take a look at that program's schedule and make plans to check out an event. And keep in mind that several TTNT events have Track Night sessions that run the day prior to or during TTNT stops. Wanna just check it out? This is a good way.
Photo by ABI Photo