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How do you get started with SCCA?

Discussion in 'Racing and Driving Techniques' started by wikedeye, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. wikedeye

    wikedeye Well-Known Member

    I am looking into SCCA racing and I have a lot of questions. I have been looking through their website and I have to say it is a lot of info to read. I am having a hard time figuring out how to begin. I know that you have to participate in their sanctioned driving schools to get full access to races. I guess I would like to know what step 1 is. Do I start by signing up for a membership? Should I try some local hpde events first? My next problem is the car. I am planning on converting my civic to a track car since I have a head start so to speak. I am pretty sure that I would be running in the ST class, but I have not been able to determine what types of engine swaps are acceptable. Like I said I am reading everything that I can on their site, but I know some of you know the deal and I would like some guidance.
  2. Korax

    Korax New Member

    Around here (beaverun track) they don't have SCCA sanctioned HPDEs. So I'm not sure if will beneficial for you to join or not. When you go you will be taking classes that will qualify for the SCCA racing license either way. If it makes the day cheaper and it will work out to be cheaper with the membership over the long run do it. I would say show up and take the HPDE for the day. Ask people there which will be best.
  3. B16

    B16 Super Moderator

    Another option is NASA National Auto Sport Association - nasaproracing.com. You would start with HPDE1 and work your way up to HPDE4 where you can apply for your race license. To being with HPDE1 you just need a Snell approved helmet. Once you're ready for your racing license in HPDE4 you'll need to get licensed in a fully prepared race car. NASA has some pretty good series like Spec E30, Honda Challenge and USTCC.
  4. wikedeye

    wikedeye Well-Known Member

    I did not think of that. I need to look them up and see what they have to offer in my area. When you say fully prepped race car what do you mean? Roll cages and belts and what not?
  5. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin

    yeah, cage, seat/harnesses, hans, remote battery cut are ususally the bare minimums. fire suppression may be required in some.

    you need to pick a class first, and build a car for it.

    going any other way, you'll likely either be out-classed, or out budgeted, for 1 simple stupid thing, like a strut bar. heh
  6. wikedeye

    wikedeye Well-Known Member

    I am trying to find a class that my car is close to already. I want to use the civic that I have already been working on. I think I will go to some of the hpde's here at Roebling and start talking to people. That way I can get some practice before getting into real (expensive) competition. Now that I am back in Savannah I have more resources (friends) that will make it easier to convert the car from a daily to a track car. Do roll cages have to be "approved" or could my friend who has been a body mechanic for years help me build one? Before any questions about his qualifications come up, he is ase certified among other things and works for the most reputable shop here in Savannah. He has raced vw bugs before and I don't think it would be to hard for him to copy a civic roll cage.

    Next question is about the safety checks for nasa or scca. Do they actually put your car on a lift and inspect it? I have been meaning to take mine in and have the suspension checked, not by Joe local, but by an actual race oriented shop. I am pretty confident that everything on my car is safe with the exception of the suspension. I get a lot of strange noises when going over bumps. I have no issues with straight line performance that I know of, but there are a lot of creaks from the sway bars, and I notice things that do not seem right when going over bumps. Maybe crappy coilovers or cheap autozone suspension replacement parts. I am not really sure. I have replaced quite a few susp. parts, but I can not track down the culprit.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  7. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin

    roll cages are usually spec'ed by material, bends/angels, tube wall thickness, etc. Anything home made will need to be approved. pre-made ones are basically already approved (if they are), but the welds/bolts will still need to be approved by tech.

    Race cars are VERY squeeky, so i wouldn't worry about noise--- just make sure there's no real issue. It's doubtful they will put it on a lift. but, every league/district may be different.

    generally, if they think anything is unsafe, they will fail you for tech, and you will have to prove it fixed or passable as is.
  8. wikedeye

    wikedeye Well-Known Member

    I have looked at some approved cages and they do not seem to be that expensive. Welding would be free and labor as well, so that's a bonus. I will get a good inspection and hope that nothing is amiss. Back to studying the rules. I looked at nasa and the honda challenge class looks pretty good to me. It seems like they allow quite a bit of modification with little restrictions on brand and amount. Lots more research to do now.
  9. B16

    B16 Super Moderator

    Typically they only inspect the cage and safety gear (belts, seat, cage, helmet, etc) for a race series. For HPDE you just need a helmet and a good attitude. :)

    Every racing organization has their own rules. Here is a link to the NASA CCR which outlines all rules for racing in any NASA class. Then you build your car to the class you like. Check out Honda Challenge H2. Very popular class.

    NASA CCR:
    http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/ccr.pdf

    Honda Challenge rules:
    http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/Honda-Challenge.pdf

    Another alternative is Time Trials. You can compete for time in a street car. This is typically the bridge from HPDE to wheel to wheel racing. It is not necessary to do TT between, just an option for those who don't want to fully commit.
  10. wikedeye

    wikedeye Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the links. I was reading about the honda challenge last night and it seems like it is probably the best fit. I am going to start spending some time out at Roebling and try to meet some people that can guide me down the right path. The more I read the more I realize that it is going to take some time to get going. I need a lot of practice, and I need to slowly gather the various safety items because racing seems to get pretty expensive. There is an hpde next month that I should be able to attend. That will be the beginning.

    Any suggestions about helmets? B16 what kind of helmet do you use?
  11. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin

  12. wikedeye

    wikedeye Well-Known Member

    Good site thanks. I have to pick one up this summer so I can get started. I am thinking that $500 should get a good helmet that will last for a while. I like the Simpson bandit.
  13. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin

    Fit is more important than anything else. sa2010 is a 'crash' standard, so one is not necessarily any safer than another just because it costs more. it's either rated/passed, or did not and is not rated.

    if you can, find a local shop and try some on. even if they are motorcycle helmets. you'll get a better idea of how one brand feels vs another, and if their sizes run big/small, etc.
  14. wikedeye

    wikedeye Well-Known Member

    The extra cost seems to cover things like extra or better vents, better visors, and flame resistance. Also some of the more expensive ones are setup to accept hans devices already. I plan on going out and trying on helmets and gloves to see what I like. I need the gloves...my hands get pretty slippery when driving.
  15. B16

    B16 Super Moderator

    I also have a G Force. Mine is also an SA2000 and needs an upgrade. I really like the fit of my G Force and plan on buying a 2010 version next. You can add the HANS anchors later to any SA helmet, its really easy.

    If you're going to get gloves, might as well get some SFI rated ones.
  16. wikedeye

    wikedeye Well-Known Member

    Yeah I have been looking at the different gloves on saferacer and most of them are sfi rated. Racing is expensive at the beginning.
  17. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage Finally boostin'

    speaking of, bitch, are you signed up for lime rock on the 22nd with CART yet? :)
  18. B16

    B16 Super Moderator

    Racing is always expensive. It never gets "cheap". lol
  19. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin

    no, i'm not doing the track day. can't afford it. 325 bucks is big money for my poor ass these days.

    "sa" are all served with a bit of fire protection already.
    the g-force also has hans hook ups already too.
  20. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage Finally boostin'

    then there is no point saying you're going to buy a helmet if its just going to become a closet ornament :p

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