FCP Euro Continues Its Partnership With SCDA To Help You Get On Track

Blog Feature

One of the most common questions I get asked by my fellow employees and car enthusiasts is how they can get into track days and racing. There really isn't a secret formula, but there are really great grassroots ways to get involved.

The most common progression is to find a local autocross club and learn some car control in a lower speed environment, then graduate to High-Performance Driver Education (HPDE). SCDA is one such organization that has provided performance driving in non-competitive and controlled environments since 1995. I started instructing for them in 2002, and they have a great community of enthusiasts, instructors, and a jam-packed schedule at tracks from New Hampshire to Virginia.  

FCP Euro SCDA Meeting

FCP Euro and SCDA have partnered to give you a fantastic opportunity to drive your own car on a track with an instructor. If you are a first-time registrant, SCDA is offering $50 off your first school, and FCP Euro will give you $50 to spend at fcpeuro.com to get your car ready to hit the track. Just use code: FCPEuro5050 when signing up for your first track day.

If you're curious and have more questions about getting on track through SCDA, here is a quick FAQ. 

WHAT KIND OF CAR CAN I BRING?

The Sports Car Driving Association isn't a marque-specific group. At any given SCDA event, there's a broad selection of cars represented: BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen, Ford, Lotus, Audi, Corvette, Mini Cooper, Alfa Romeo, Mazda, and Ferrari are just some of the types of cars that you'll find at an SCDA event. Everything is welcome, from Dodge Neons to Porsche Turbos; the brand of car is not important, a desire to improve one’s driving skills in a safe and fun environment is! If you don't have a car that is track worthy, the SCDA offers Spec Miata track cars for rent at the majority of their events. Aftermarket modifications are permitted, but not required. All cars participating in SCDA events are required to participate in a Tech Inspection on the day of the event. Convertibles are required to have a roll bar and/or factory hard top. And for local reference, sound limits at NHMS and Watkins Glen are 99 decibels, and the sound limit at Lime Rock Park is 86 decibels.

FCP Euro SCDA Lime Rock Park

 

WHAT IS THE FORMAT FOR A SPORTS CAR DRIVING ASSOCIATION TRACK DAY?

Sports Car Driving Association events start at 7:30 AM. Registration is handled, and each student is assigned to a specific run group. There is a novice group for people with limited or no track driving experience. There are two intermediate groups and an advanced group for the seasoned track driver. Finally, there is an instructor run group. At 8:30 AM there is a drivers meeting which will provide an introduction for the days' events. After that, the various run groups rotate throughout the day, with around two hours of on-track time to be expected. There are several “chalk talks” and classroom sessions throughout the day covering different aspects of high-performance track driving.

An SCDA waiver must be signed by all event participants. No one will be allowed on the track without having read and signed the SCDA waiver. Also, note that all tracks require a signature of the track waiver upon entering the track as well. Please note that this is not the SCDA waiver. The SCDA waiver must be signed at the time of registration for that day's event. If you're at two-day events, a new SCDA waiver must be signed each day before you're allowed on the track.

 

WHAT IS YOUR CONVERTIBLE POLICY?

For safety reasons, all convertibles (Boxster, Miata, Corvette, BMW Z4, Honda S2000, Pontiac Solstice, etc.) are required to have a roll bar that meets the following two criteria to be eligible to run during any event.

  1. The roll bar must be in the fixed position and visible at all times. This means that roll bars which are designed to deploy automatically are not acceptable unless they are in the full upright and locked position at all times.
  2. The roll bar must allow the driver to pass the “broomstick” test, meaning that the top of the driver's helmet must be below the line from the top of the roll bar to the top of the windshield. There are aftermarket roll bars and/or seats which can be used to help meet these requirements. If your convertible meets these standards, then you are welcome to participate! Factory hard tops are acceptable, as well.

 

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS.

The Sports Car Driving Association prides itself on having arguably the best group of instructors in the Northeast. Our Instructors have many years of on-track high-performance driving experience. They have professional race drivers, National Champions, Regional Champions and a great cross-section of highly experienced HPDE and marque-specific instructors who assist at the events. The Head Instructor, Bill Prout, was previously Chief Instructor at the Skip Barber Racing School.

Furthermore, several classroom sessions are provided that discuss the fundamentals of high performance driving on a race track. As part of your SCDA experience, all students will be provided with two classroom sessions. The classroom sessions include very detailed presentations covering such topics as vehicle dynamics, threshold braking, and line theory. It should be noted that if you bring a guest to an SCDA event, they are welcome to sit in on the classroom sessions as well.

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IS IT SAFE?

Safety is the first priority. These events are for educational purposes, not for racing and they're not competitive in nature. Wheel to wheel racing is not permitted. 

Novice students are required to drive with an Instructor in the passenger seat at all times. Under certain circumstances, and at the discretion of the Pit Lane Chief, it would be possible for a passenger aged 18 or over, to take a ride around the track with an SCDA instructor. The passenger must come to registration with a signed waiver.

Passing is allowed on designated straights only, with a point-by signal. All novice drivers will be provided with one-on-one in-car instruction throughout the SCDA track day. The SCDA adheres to a two spin policy–any person that spins twice during an event, regardless of run group, will be done driving for the day. The SCDA reserves the right to black flag any driver that is not able to adhere to club rules, or that drives in an unsafe manner.

Helmets:

Helmets are important. "SA2010" and "SA2015" helmets are required. If you don't already own a helmet, we recommend buying an "SA2015" as it will last you longer. If you're looking for a good first helmet, Racequip offers a decent value. 

"M2010" and "M2015" helmets are not allowed as they don't meet the specifications for rollbar impact protection.

FCP Euro SCDA Lime Rock Park Sign

 

WHEN AND WHERE ARE THE EVENTS?

The SCDA offers numerous events up and down the East Coast. You can view a full list and register, here

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND AND DO I NEED TO BE A MEMBER?

Drivers must be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid drivers license in order to attend. SCDA events are offered on a first come, first served basis, and there is no membership fee. Long-sleeved shirts and pants are required whether driving or riding along. 

FCP Euro SCDA Lotus Elise Exige

 

HOW DO I PREPARE MY CAR BEFORE AN EVENT?

Before attending an SCDA event, it is each student’s responsibility to ensure that his or her vehicle is up to the added challenges of track driving. First of all, all loose items should be removed from the automobile, take time to clean out the trunk, and empty the car completely. Don't forget to remove your floor mats; the last thing you want is for it to get stuck on/underneath any of your pedals.

Fluids should all be checked prior to an event. Specifically, make sure that your oil is fresh, as is your brake fluid. Old brake fluid will appear brown or even black in color. Brake fluid should be fresh and golden in color. If at all in question, have your mechanic bleed your brakes, and have him check the thickness of your brake pads as well.

Both passenger and driver side seat belts should be fully functional, and the same restraint system must be used for both driver and passenger. Tires should be inspected closely, and air pressure should be set to the appropriate amount before the car goes on the track. Furthermore, cars with body rot or rust will NOT be permitted to participate. The SCDA reserves the right to inspect any car for any reason at any point of an event.

Having your mechanic check over your automobile before the event is strongly encouraged. The last thing you want is to drive to an event and not be able to run due to a failed tech inspection. It should be noted that each participant will be provided with a tech inspection form on the day of the event. Tech inspection will be an on-site process, we do not require that you tech your car prior to the event. 

 

CANCELLATION POLICY

All SCDA events are offered on a first come, first served basis. Our events run rain or shine. There's a $25 processing fee for any entry that is refunded; if transferred to another event more than three weeks in advance, no penalty will apply. Cancellations two to three weeks prior to event date forfeit fifty percent of the total amount, the remaining fifty percent will be stored as credit for twelve months valid towards another event. No shows on the day of the event, as well as cancellations within two weeks of the event date, forfeit the total amount. No refunds, transfers, or credits will be issued.

HOW DO I ENROLL?

Enrollment is easy. You can follow the link below to register online. By using this custom code, FCPEuro5050, you can save $50 when signing up for your first track day.

 

WHAT IF I DON'T LIVE IN THE NORTHEAST?

If you don't live in the Northeast, don't worry! There's a multitude of other organizations just like SCDA to get involved with. One such organization that we've partnered with is, #GRIDLIFE. You can learn more about #GRIDLIFE through the link aboveand in the very near future you'll be able to find an article on attending your first track day with #GRIDLIFE HPDE right here on our Blog.

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