Race Car Tech Discuss anything related to road racing and auto X.


Old 03-20-07, 01:20 PM
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I got inspired after going to see the 12 hours of Sebring...

Im interested in getting into road racing. Mostly I just want to take my car to Road Atlanta and drive on the track. I have heard and seen videos of 'open track days' where people just take their car and drive. Other than this I was not able to find any more information about it. So I decided I want to join the SCCA or NASA but im not sure which club I should join. I dont know the pros and cons of either except by reading on their websites it seems that there is an Atlanta chapter of SCCA which is local to me, unlike NASA.

I am not in any hurry since ive got alot of work to do to my car before it will pass tech according to the rules that I have round on NASA's website.
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Old 03-20-07, 06:00 PM
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I joined and built my car around SCCA. I had not considered or looked at NASA because a buddy only runs SCCA - I did not do my homework. Just yesterday I started looking around NASA. Two very different organizations from what everyone says. I have heard of a lot of guys quitting SCCA and just doing NASA. The latest issue of Sports Car has the survey results from the drivers at the Runoffs, I got the impression from those resulst there were a lot of unhappy SCCA drivers.

My enthusiasm for SCCA in the SOWDIV has dwindled recently. There are happy SCCA members and frustrated ones. Everyone has their own reasons, I'm sure mine are different than many others and there are many that share my views. NASA is run like a business, SCCA is a club run by the members. - It really comes down to what DIV or Region you are going to fall into, how they respond to your particular class, etc. Do your homework, talk to members in that DIV and read the message boards to find out what they talk about. Does everyone complain, do they even discuss things, etc...

Road racing is expensive and takes a huge level of time and committment. Maybe NASA HPDE days are what suits your needs now. Perhaps try a bring your own car high performance driving school - that's what got me hooked.

SCCA or NASA? That's going to depend on the region and what you want out of it. Good luck!!!
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Old 03-20-07, 06:40 PM
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I got inspired after going to see the 12 hours of Sebring...
Heh heh - son, you are hooked. Prepare to kiss your bank account goodbye.

A couple suggestions:

1) Look into HPDEs, like SCCAITS mentioned. Great way of getting the feet wet in terms of getting behind the wheel and driving at speed.

2) There are track days (HPDEs, PDXs, etc.) and then there's racing. As in door-to-door-ohmygawd-wheredidhecomefrom-nowineedanewfrontfender racing! If you have any thoughts of getting out there and competing, go to the following web site and get the book:


Read it, learn it and live it. It's probably the best overview of how to get started.

As for your original question (SCCA v. NASA) right now I would say "neither". You don't need to be a member of either one to participate in their HPDEs. Many track days are operated by independant clubs (Porsche, BMW, www.mazdadrivers.com, etc.) so you can kind of pick and choose. Post questions to the "Southeast" group on this forum and ask about local sportscar clubs. Attend the local SCCA meeting and ask questions. Just remember that you don't need to commit to one organization to have fun at the track.

If you do decide to look into SCCA, definitely look into doing some corner working (aka. flagging) at events. You will get the best seat in the house to watch the race, and you will learn a whole lot about how a race weekend is run. You will also have a great chance to chat with all the drivers. Remember, there are few things a racer likes talking about more than, err... racing!

Good luck,

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Old 03-20-07, 07:19 PM
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Welcome to the black hole that sucks money... also known as a racecar...
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Old 03-20-07, 11:07 PM
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join both! thats what i do and its great because you get the best benefit
NASA has an excellent introductory program if you want to just "drive on a track"
(just check out their website). I would suggest starting in NASA so that you could do time trials and all that stuff through their HPDE program then start doing SCCA club racing and/or NASA club racing if u want to get into it more. but with the HPDE its extremely reasonable as far as pricing and your car can be completely stock as long as your battery is secure and you have good seatbelts. have fun!!
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Old 03-21-07, 07:28 AM
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Atlanta Region SCCA has a good race program. Check their website. I would also post something in the southeast discussion section of improvedtouring.com and hook up with some local racers. Offer to crew and as Bill said volunteer to work some events. You can save yourself some big hassles by checking it all out first hand before you do anything to your car.
I think there is a SCCA event at RA this weekend.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:50 AM
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Yup. What they said above.

I just joined both. I intend to do HPDE with NASA and autocross with SCCA so I can get my MazdaComp membership and cheaper parts (NASA doesn't autox here near me).
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Old 03-29-07, 08:35 PM
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I prefer NASA for these reason but my experience is really limited. Just a couple of races w/ NASA and a comp school with SCCA.

The SCCA school was really fun but atleast 1/4 of the people at the school needed a lot more track time before racing.

With NASA you're required to have lots of seat time before you are allowed into the competition school.

Another good reason is there are less hoops to jump through when racing with NASA w/ the exception of the seat time

However if you want competition at least in the more popular groups like spec miata then most of SCCA drivers will be FASTER. As time goes by I suspect many more SCCA drivers we be running with NASA because it's just easier to do.

The only down side I see with NASA is how jumbled up things can get if something goes wrong because they squeeze a lot into one day. Well that along with some serious disparity among car speeds in the racing groups. I think as NASA becomes more popular this problem will take car of itself. Lets just hope they keep it as casual as possible because amateur racers have enough to worry about without dealing w/ a mountain of red tape.
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Old 03-29-07, 10:06 PM
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Do driving schools first. I've gone to several run by the BMW Car Club of America and one by the Porsche Club of America and they were very well done, and are much cheaper than the professional schools and they don't require you to have a race car (some don't even allow race cars).

After you've "graduated" from the top levels of the schools, then do the competition school in a race car and move on to racing if you want. That way you'll already know the driving and all you'll need to learn is the racing, so it'll be a lot easier on you.
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Old 03-30-07, 09:35 AM
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Fritz hit the nail on the head - NASA makes it easy to get your car on a track. They try to make the ordeal as easy as possible, and as safe as possible. Just sign up, tech your car and drive!
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Old 03-30-07, 09:47 AM
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Old 03-30-07, 10:08 AM
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I just joined NASA last week. Looking forward to this season.
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Old 03-30-07, 08:19 PM
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I'm with the SCCA but I mostly auto-x.

I do plan on taking advantage of the PDX's that will be running at Road Atlanta this year, however, those require SCCA membership.

I would also recommend talking to drivers from both SCCA and NASA and get a feel for what they like and dislike about the program. In the end, both will get you in there.
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Old 04-20-07, 07:14 PM
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I've only run NASA. I prefer Norcal's additional track time. Dunno how the other NASA regions run, but compared to SCCA, I get far more track time for my weekend.
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Old 04-20-07, 09:24 PM
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My advice: prepare a car to SCCA club racing specs, then race it in NASA as well. The reason I say this is that SCCA at the national level classes (which you'll want to get to eventually) has super strict car prep rules, whereas NASA has several catch-all classes where you will undoubtedly be able to run your SCCA prepared car too (Performance Touring allows almost any car and groups by weight).

My $0.02
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Old 04-21-07, 08:28 AM
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I have road racer with both organizations. SCCA has better insurance to protect you.

NASA is very loose on there car classing structure; you have a better chance of making your modified car fit into one of NASA's racing classes.
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