If you wanted to learn how fast your street car could go in a safe, controlled environment, your only outlet since the 1950s was a test ‘n’ tune night at a drag strip. The SCCA’s Track Night in America program — coming to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park starting on May 6 — removes all the barriers to real competition on real tracks.
The SCCA’s Track Night in America allows nearly anyone over the age of 18 with a valid driver’s license, a helmet and a functional automobile to experience the thrill of driving on a road course.
The biggest barrier to driving on a track is the lengthy and expensive process of getting licensed, but the Track Night in America program doesn’t require any previous on-track experience.
Theresa Condict from Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park gave us a run-through on how the program works. “This program is geared towards drivers of any skill level. There will be different run groups and classroom instruction available, based on the driver’s track experience,” she says. Entrants are divided into Novice, Intermediate or Advanced groups, and no race cars are permitted.
For $150, drivers are offered three 20-minute sessions on track, along with access to SCCA driving instructors. Anyone who’d like to come and watch can enter for free, and if you’re interested in displaying a car, you can participate in a “leisurely track parade lap.”
“This event is open to any street cars that pass a basic safety tech inspection,” says Theresa. “Purpose-built race cars are not allowed at these events. It’s one of the most affordable, quickest ways to get on track. All you need is a helmet and valid driver’s license.”
The first event at Thompson happens tomorrow, May 6, from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, but if you can’t make it, there are three more sessions scheduled this summer:
June 30 (Tues.) 3pm-9pm
July 9 (Thurs.) 3pm-9pm
August 6 (Thurs.) 3pm-9pm
Heyward Wagner, SCCA Director of Experiential Programs, said: “Traditional road courses have always been a bit of a secret society. But SCCA Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack removes the mystery, eliminates hurdles and opens the doors so everyone can come play. Whether you’re a driver, friend or just hanging out, there is an experience for everyone at Track Night: Boston.”
SCCA Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack is supported by the FIA Sport Grant Programme and Grassroots Motorsports. Each Track Night participant will receive a complimentary six-month subscription to Grassroots Motorsports magazine.
For more information on Track Night in America events near you, visit www.TrackNightinAmerica.com.
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is located at 205 E. Thompson Rd. in Thompson, Connecticut.