Updated at end
2007 marks the first year of the rolling Annual Inspection in the SCCA. From this point forward, Annuals are good for one year from the date of the inspection. This has strong points and weak points; one strong point is that over time the spring inspection crunches will disappear. More on that later in this posting, first I'll mention the weak points.
First, harnesses still expire at the end of the year. This means that every spring, between 1/3 and 1/2 of the cars still need to pass through tech so their harnesses can be checked. It'd be nice of the harness expiration rule got rewritten so that harness expiration came in conjunction with the Annual, but it's a complicated rule to write.
Second, gear checks are still tied to the calendar year, so everyone will have to bring their gear through in the spring. Now, about easing spring workloads: if we do nothing other than what we've always done, it will take years to spread out the Annual load. But a few weeks ago at Lime Rock, Kathy Barnes pointed something out to me that seemed really obvious in retrospect -- the authority exists at the race to waive annual techs and make select groups of cars come in for new annuals. In the past, in the Northeast, we did this in an organized program administered by the Divisional Administrator of Scrutineering, but we don't need a dictate from the DA to do this. Given this authority, during the second half of the year, it makes sense to selectively waive annuals for various groups of cars; yes, it'll be a short term annoyance for the drivers, but their attitudes may soften when they realize that they won't have to sit in the long, painful spring tech lines the following year.
I hope to implement this for a class or two at the NARRC Runoffs in September; we'll see how it goes. Update
I've looked over the preliminary schedule for the race, and am leaning towards waiving annuals for some group of cars from Race Group 6 (wings n' things), probably aiming to do annuals on 10-15 cars. I'm thinking maybe FA/FB/FC/FE/FM.