SCCA Time Trials Philosophy
Time Trials—first and foremost—is about the quest for speed. This is a place for mechanical creativity, driver development and envelope pushing. There is no room here for balance of performance, spec classes or slowing down the fast to make a better show.
The quest is first personal. This is much more about your experience and personal challenge than it is about winning and losing. The sport is based on creating a space where participants can push their own development and have a consistent way to measure their progress. Yes, there are classes, and yes, we will give trophies for people who do well in their class, but at the end of the day the more important questions are: did you go faster than you have before, did you learn more about driving than you knew before, did your car perform better than it did before?
This quest is also collective. It is about a community that has accepted the challenge of the track. One that believes that the battle is best fought on the same team, and that the next best thing to achieving greatness is witnessing it.
And in all of this, there is the Same Team Approach. The Time Trials program is founded on the idea that every person on site—from Event Lead to Drivers, and flaggers to family and friends—is there united in the pursuit of #funwithcars.
The Time Trials Experience
TT National Tour events are designed to be highly engaging, accessible and inclusive. Camping at the track is encouraged. Friends and family are welcome, and food and drink is available on site.
Competition is only one aspect of the Time Trials experience which also includes social elements, personal challenge, partner engagement, food, media, photography and fun. Each of these elements is crafted to create an experience where every participant has the opportunity to enjoy the event, regardless of finishing position.
Most importantly, the on-track experience is facilitated. Each group has a coach and each session has a debrief. The coach’s job is to make sure everyone approaches the event from the perspective of “Same Team,” with shared goals of clean laps and safe, fun and fair competition.
Sport Category—place an order at Tire Rack, get a basic tool kit, a jack, and a set of jackstands from the local parts store and you can have a fully prepared Sport car the day after the boxes arrive.
Tuner Category allows builders to develop a car as far as possible without fundamentally changing the core DNA of the car.
Max Category is the maximum allowable modification for a vehicle that could still be driven on the street. This is the place for your dream car, built or bought
Unlimited no holds barred. If you can imagine it, do it.
Advanced safety equipment (i.e. cages and bars) is allowed in all categories, but only required in Unlimited. To facilitate and incentivize installation, vehicles with bars may remove carpet, trim and seats behind the driver and passenger seats, and vehicles with cages may remove all carpet and trim pieces aside from the dash. If the vehicle does not have advanced safety equipment added, it is a street car… and street cars have full interiors.
Whenever possible, like vehicles are classed with like vehicles, but ultimately classifications are based on a vehicle’s potential when prepared to the limit of the Rules. This may mean that some classes become pony car classes, while others have a mix of sports cars, sedans and coupes.
The framework of Sport and Tuner Categories is based largely upon Track Night in America participation numbers. Simply, vehicles that come out for Track Night in large numbers were classed first and the rest of the classing was done to ensure that the popular track cars remain competitive. The goal is not to have the popular cars dominate, but rather to ensure that the most popular enthusiast cars have a home in Time Trials.
Sport and Tuner Classing uses a 2/10 Rule. This rule is based on Track Night data that suggests that most cars are not tracked until they are at least two years old, and that vehicle modifications are much more common on cars that are 10 years old or older. The rule dictates that cars 2–10 years old get preferential classing in Sport, cars 10 years old and older get preferential classing in Tuner and cars two years old and newer will be classed conservatively until their popularity and performance is proven.
Max classing philosophy is as simple as this: you have all the room in the Rules to make any logical make/model choice competitive. Start with a car you like, and build the car you love.
Unlimited is split into two classes. U2 is for smaller displacement cars, with a sliding scale minimum weight designed to create opportunity for a wide range of 4- and 6-cylinder vehicles. U1 doesn’t care about any of that.