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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports – this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 06-18-2015, 10:59 AM   #1
325ragtop
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SCCA TrackNight in America - Review and Discount info

Hey all,

I've done a couple of these events at NJMP and had a really great time. This is a fairly new program and I didn't find much chat about it here so just thought I'd share my own experiences and get the word out.

The events are organized by SCCA and TireRack. Basically, it's a relaxed, low-pressure, weekday afternoon event, aimed at providing folks with easy access to their local track. They're really trying hard to take away the mystique of road racing and cater to folks with little or no prior track experience, and do so in a way that won't break the bank.

Both events I participated in were at NJMP on the Thunderbolt track, but they have TrackNight Events all across the country. Gates open at 3pm and cars hit the track by about 4pm. Drivers are split into 3 run groups… Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Each group gets 3 20min sessions and they also have 2 paced lap sessions, 1 at the beginning and another mid-way through the event. There are brief drivers meetings at the beginning and end of the event.

You self-select your run group when you register online, and while they do provide good guidance on how to pick the right group, I think there is opportunity for improvement here… I ran in the Intermediate group in May and Advanced group in June. From what I saw, folks in the Beginner and Advanced groups did a pretty good job of placing themselves appropriately, but things got a little more dicey in the Intermediate group. During the initial Intermediate drivers meeting, it was obvious from some of the questions being asked, that some folks had never been on a road course before and were completely unfamiliar with the concepts of point-bys and the meanings of the flags. That inexperience was evident on track as well, given the number of spins and 4-offs I saw. So here's my advice… No matter how awesome a driver you may be, or how many years of Auto-X you have under your belt, if you've never been on a road course before or never attended an HPDE, do yourself a big favor and sign up for the Novice group. Trust me, this is were you will have the most fun and best experience. All the groups will be moving along significantly faster than anything that driving on the highway will have prepared you for. Intermediate drivers will have had at least a few HPDEs under their belt, they'll already know the protocol and will be moving along at a faster pace. Advanced group drivers will have a quite a bit more experience and the pace is even faster.

They had the course very well marked (Probably because these events are expected to bring in a lot of new drivers) , with cones at turn in, apex and track out, although I did question placement on a couple turns. Passing zones for the Novice group were also clearly mark and set up for safety.

Event coordinators were friendly, knowledgable, very approachable and did a good job of keeping folks in the paddocks informed over the PA system.

For first timers, you need a helmet, and you need to do a tech inspection on your car. They let you self-tech, which is awesome for those who are mechanically inclined. If you don't have a helmet, I think you can buy a decent Bell helmet for a ridiculously discounted price when you register. Pretty sure Novice group is also allow to use motorcycle helmets, but don't quote me on that.

One big difference between these SCCA TrackNight events and the other clubs I've run with is availability of instructors. PCA and BMWCCA events have highly skilled instructors paired up with the drivers and beginner/intermediate drivers benefit hugely from their experience. From what I saw, these SCCA events did not have in-car instructors for any of the groups. If they did, there was a shortage because when I ran with my buddy in the Advanced group there were Novice drivers asking us for ride-along instruction. I think this is another area that could use some improvement. If it's your first time out, you have to be aware of the fact that driving at-speed on a race track has some inherent risks. It's a fantastic venue to get an introduction to road racing with others who will be learning along with you, but it's not the place to probe your limits and drive at 10/10ths. Ideally, you'll attend a TrackNight session, find you like it, and sign up for some more formal instructed HPDEs, then come back to run with the Intermediate/Advanced groups.

That said, if you've got some prior track experience, and are looking for a venue to get a little more seat time, or dial in your car, I think these TrackNight events are ideal.

You can get all the details here:
http://www.tracknightinamerica.com

Oh yeah, and if you want $25 bucks off your registration, PM me for a private promo code… I'm forbidden from posting it online, but allowed to distribute via PM, text, email.
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:48 PM   #2
Rob43
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Here's something from 3 months back:


http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...666&highlight=





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Old 06-18-2015, 01:39 PM   #3
325ragtop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob43 View Post
Here's something from 3 months back:


http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...666&highlight=


Rob43
Yup, you had it first Rob! I missed that in my search. Other than our two posts, I don't find anything…. kind of surprised by that.

I can't think of a better way to spend a Wednesday afternoon and $150 bucks ($125 if you use my promo code)

Pack your car Tuesday night…. Wednesday afternoon, tell the boss ya ate something bad for lunch and gotta check out early…. jump in the car, head to the track…what could be easier?!?! Or, for those of us morally conflicted folks, just schedule a 1/2 off … come to think of it, you definitely want to schedule the 1/2 day, cause when you get back to the office on Thursday, you're really going to want to brag about the awesome time you had. It's the ultimate mid week stress reliever.
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 325ragtop View Post
if you've never been on a road course before or never attended an HPDE, do yourself a big favor and sign up for the Novice group. Trust me, this is were you will have the most fun and best experience.
This is excellent advice.
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:06 PM   #5
Rob43
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Totally agree, plus your first post is solidly written !

This program really would be a Great time for any of the E46F members to enjoy.


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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
SUMMIT POINT WV 1:24:229 S.C.C.A.
(DynoDynamics https:vimeo.com/8486878 Dyno Video)
"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

Need Help With Your Nitrous Ambitions ?.....PM ME
Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:09 PM   #6
325ragtop
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I just registered for the July 8th event @ NJMP Thunderbolt. Will be out there in my silver 330i. Hope to see some fellow E46Fans out there.
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