You’ve participated in SCCA’s Track Night in America program, and now you’re beginning to itch for some competition. Mazda racers Joel Miller and Tom Long talk about your options
If you’ve participated in Track Night in America and are now beginning to think about competition – luckily, there are several options available to you. While road racing is one that requires a specially outfitted car, there are many forms of motorsports that can be contested in the same car that you drove at Track Night, as Tom Long and Joel Miller explain in this video.
Some of those options are Track Trials, autocross, RallyCross and RoadRally. Club Trials and Track Trials are similar, with Track Trials requiring a bit more commitment in safety equipment due to more advanced courses. Autocross only requires a helmet, and the emphasis on the courses marked by cones in large parking lots or airport runways is on handling, not speed.
“Autocross is an easy, safe and fun way to develop your car control,” says Miller. SCCA conducts Starting Line schools at many of its national autocross events, where experienced coaches provide instruction to beginners. Miller adds that RallyCross is a similar experience to autocross, only the competition is on non-paved surfaces such as grass, dirt, gravel or even snow and ice.
“RoadRally is a road trip adventure, focused on the journey,” says Long. “It’s great for team building, and a lot of fun on the street.” The focus of RoadRally is following a course on public roads while maintaining a set average speed; it’s a lot more difficult than it sounds.
But if track driving has really grabbed you and you want to try wheel-to-wheel racing, then club racing is where you want to be. Club racing, though, requires a dedicated car with the proper safety equipment, including a full rollcage. While you’re building a race car or looking for one to buy, there are still ways to get some insight into the club racing culture and make some friends that can help you down the road.
“If you’d still like to be involved, try volunteering,” says Miller. “Race control, registration, communications…there are many areas to help out on a race weekend, and it’s a great way to get involved in road racing.”
Don’t forget that any Mazda driver involved in any of these forms of motorsports, including Track Night in America, are eligible to join the Mazda Motorsports Team Support Program, which offers access to discounted stock and competition parts, but also to Mazda Motorsports technical experts. You can find more information about Mazda Motorsports Team Support Program here. For more information about SCCA’s Track Night in America, go to www.tracknightinamerica.com.