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Introduction to SCCA Racing Rules

Like any older organization, the SCCA has a fairly complex body of rules. This introduction is intended to provide a sense of their organization, along with some basic concepts about how cars are classified in SCCA Racing, and what sorts of modifications are permitted.

There are a number of thumbnail images of various types of race car associated with the Club Racing section of this page; clicking on one will fetch a large picture of the same vehicle.

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  • Pro Racing
  • Club Racing

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    Pro Racing Rules

    SCCA Pro Racing has a number of different race series, some running unique rules and some running rules that are closely related to Club Racing Rules.

    Trans-Am

    Trans Am cars are tube framed cars with body work that resembles a street cars. There are some engine equivalency formulas, but most cars use pushrod engines that displace roughly 310 cubic inches. Cars are front engined, rear drive. These cars are very similar to Club Racing's GT-1 cars, and some of the cars that run in GT-1 are Trans Am cars.

    There is an unofficial Trans Am series web page. Click Here to see it.

    World Challenge

    Spec Racer Pro

    The Spec Racer Pro series runs the same car used in the Club Racing Spec Racer Ford class.

    Player's Ltd/Toyota Atlantic

    This series runs Formula Atlantic chassis similar to those classed in the Club Racing Formula Atlantic class, but restricted to Fuel Injected 4 valve Toyota Motors. In order to control costs, apparently the chassis will be restricted in the future.

    North American Pro Series

    The cars in the North American Pro series are derived from Sports 2000 rules as used in club racing. The engines used are the Cosworth YAC, the 2.0L Ford "pinto" motor, and the Olds 2.3 Quad 4.

    American City Racing League

    The ACRL uses similar rules to the North American Pro series, in order to permit crossover between the two series.

    US Pro F-2000 Series

    This series, run jointly with USAC, runs Formula Ford 2000 chassis generally similar to those classed in Club Racing Formula Continental.

    General Competition Rules (Club Racing)

    Rules for Club Racing are to be found in what are called the General Competition Rules and the associated Category books; new editions of these are made available at the beginning of each year by the National Office. Updates to the rules are published periodically in SportsCar magazine, which is sent to all SCCA members.

    The General Competition Rules (commonly refered to as the GCR) provide the basic outline for organization and management of a race; a description of the various types of race officials and their jobs; the requirements placed on all competitors and other participants; and a basic set of safety and prep rules that apply to all Club Racing participants and their vehicles. The Category Specification books describe the individual competition classes, focusing on minimum standards and legal modifications to the cars, often refering back to the GCR.

    A driver competing in SCCA Club Racing should be equipped with a current copy of the GCR and a current copy of the appropriate Category book for the automobile being raced. These books may be obtained from the National office, and often are available from the merchandise chair of individual SCCA regions.

    Outline of SCCA Club Racing Competition Classes ("Categories")

    Introduction

    SCCA classes have evolved substantially over the years; some things in SCCA classification that seem nonsensical are the result of historical events, both accidental and otherwise. Keep this in mind when reviewing the current rules structure, and be aware that the rules continue to evolve; for example, there is every likelyhood of changes in how the Showroom Stock category is handled in the near future.

    Some classes are National in scope; these classes compete at both National and Regional races throughout the year and eligible drivers in these classes may be invited to compete at the Runoffs each fall. Some classes are Regional in scope; these classes compete only at Regional races, and drivers in these classes are not eligible for an invitation to the Runoffs.

    The photographs in this section were taken by Roz Rosintoski of Rosintoski Motorsports Photography.

    Formula Cars

    Formula cars are open-wheeled, purpose built race cars. There is a wide variation in classes, ranging from the small F500 powered by a 2 stroke engine up to winged Formula Atlantics powered by very serious Toyota motors.

    Formula Car rules are contained in the Formula Category Specifications Book

    An F500

    Formula 500

    Formula 500 is a low-cost entry level class; engines are two stroke and the transmission is a CVT. The suspension in older cars consists mostly of the driver's kidneys; newer cars have fairly modern designs. The original engines in this class were 440cc Kawasaki and Fuji motors; they are now being replaced gradually with a 500cc motors from AMW and Rotax. Formula 500 generally shares a race group with Formula V.

    The minimum weight of an F500, w/driver, is 750lbs. AMW and Rotax powered cars must weight 800lbs.

    Formula V

    Formula V is another low-cost class; the suspension pieces and the motor are mostly based on the classic 1200cc VW bug. In some non-SCCA clubs, there is a 1600cc version of the Vee class, and 1600cc versions of the Vee are permitted in SCCA Solo II competition as well. Formula V generally shares a race group with Formual 440.

    The minimum weight of the FV is 1025lbs, w/driver.

    Formula Ford (FF1600)

    Formula Fords are powered by 1600cc Ford Kent motors; modern Fords have fully adjustable, 4 link independent front and rear suspension with inboard springs and shocks. Construction is space frame; bottoms are flat, no wings are permitted and in general aerodynamics are tightly restricted.

    There is a common regional class named "Club Ford"; rules vary slightly but in general, there is a spec tire such as the Goodyear 600, and cars must be fairly old (usually having outboard suspension on at least one end of the car.)

    The minimum weight of an FF1600 with the uprated Kent motor is 1100lbs, w/driver.

    Formula Mazda (regional)

    Formula Mazada is a spec car running a 13B rotary motor, at roughly FF2000 speeds. In some regions, FM runs in FC, and in others, there are enough cars to make up a Formula Mazda class. At National races, Formula Mazdas compete in Formula Atlantic.

    Formula Continental (including FF2000)

    A Formula Continental (FF2000)

    Formula Continental is somewhat of a grab bag; the class presently components/old old FC race cars, old aircooled Super Vee race cars, and Formula Ford 2000 race cars. The latter are generally dominant.

    FF2000 is based on FF1600; the differences are the use of the 2.0L Ford "pinto" engine, and front and rear wings. Bottoms must remain flat. Note that while there was a brief period where conversion of FF1600 chassis into FF2000 chassis was common practice, this conversion was limited to 1984 and 1985 vintage FF1600 chassis, and is almost never done these days.

    The older FC cars are a bit different; engines are smaller (below 1100cc), and ground effects are permitted (the FC rules are essentially Atlantic/FB rules with the much smaller motors.) Air cooled Super Vees may run 1600cc flat VW fours.

    The minimum weight for a 2 stroke FC is 1180lbs w/driver; for a 4 stroke FC, 930 lbs w/driver; for an air cooled Super Vee, 1062 lbs w/driver. The minimum weight for an FF2000 is 1175lbs w/driver.

    Formula Atlantic

    Formula Atlantics are derived historically from the old FB class; the old FA (F5000) class is distinctly different, and the fact that Formula Atlantic is commonly refered to these days as "FA" is potentially very confusing.

    FA cars are permitted both wings and ground effects tunnels; in the Pro series they must use a 1600cc Fuel Injected Toyota Motor, but in the Club series, they may use a non-FI version of the motor, as well as a number of older motors of displacement between 1100cc and 1600cc uch as the Cosworth BDA. In general, only the Toyota and the Cosworth BDA will be seen at races these days.

    The minimum weight for BDA and Toyota motored cars is 1230 pounds with driver; for other motors in an FA chassis, 1160 lbs w/driver; and for a water cooled Super Vee, 1190lbs w/driver.

    Also note that old water cooled Super Vees may run in Atlantic, with a 1600cc VW motor, prepared to either 1987 Club racing rules or to the rules for the Pro series of that time.

    A C Sports racer

    Sports Racers

    Sports Racers are closed fendered, purpose built race cars, the descendants of what the SCCA once called "modifieds". A, C, and D Sports Racers are the direct descendants of of the old modified classes; the other forms of Sports Racers are somewhat unique. In particular, Spec Racer/Spec Racer Ford and Shelby Can-Am provide a venue for drivers of nearly identical skills to compete against each other instead of against each other's wallets.

    Sports Racer rules are contained in the Sports Racer Category Specifications Book.

    A Sports Racer (regional)

    This little-seen Regional class is home to old F5000 (FA) cars and the second generation Can Am cars derived from F5000 cars. F5000 cars may compete either with Sports Racer bodywork or with their original formula car bodywork. Low participation is what killed this class at the National level, and this trend continues to this day. This class is occasionally mis-used to permit "unusual" cars that don't meet normal SCCA rules to get into a race.

    ASR permits more varied cars than those implied by the F5000/Can-Am description above; a variety of normally aspirated engines ranging from 1300cc to 5000cc is permitted, with varying weights depending on the displacement. Rotary motors of 2292cc max size are also permitted.

    Two examples of Weights: Rotary motored ASRs must weigh 1326 lbs w/driver; 5L ASRs must weigh 1811lbs w/driver.

    C Sports Racer

    CSRs share bodywork and suspension rules with ASR and DSR, but have a different sent of engine/weight rules. The maximum displacement is 1615cc, in a 2 valve crossflow engine, with a minimum weight of 1300lbs w/driver. By way of comparision, 2 cycle or 4 valve/4 cycle motors of between 850cc and 1300cc are permitted with a minimum weight of 1200lbs. Supercharging and turbocharging are permitted within limits, and with a maximum displacement of 765cc.

    One sometimes sees conversions of Formula Atlantics to CSRs; this can be done with the addition of suitable bodywork.

    D Sports Racer

    Bodywork and suspension rules are shared with ASR and CSR; engines are limited to 1300cc max (2 valve 4 stroke); with 2 cycles up to 850cc. Belt and chain drive cars must weigh 900lbs w/driver; others must weigh 1000lbs w/driver. Turbocharging and supercharging are legal with a max displacment of 603cc.

    Spec Racer/Spec Racer Ford

    Spec Racer and Spec Racer Ford are intended to be cost-controlled classes with nearly-identical cars; drivers must use the spec tire (currently a Yokohama A008RS), and all components must be supplied by SCCA Enterprises. Motors are sealed units, and modifications are strictly prohibited. Drivers may adjust some suspension settings and ballast the car, but otherwise all the cars are theoretically identical.

    Spec Racers were introduced with a 1.7 liter Renault motor, and the class was originally named "Sports Renault". It was renamed Spec Racer when Renault support was withdrawn. Now that the supply of rebuildable 1.7L Renault motors is drying up, a (somewhat controversial) program is underway to convert to a 1.9L Ford motor supplied by Roush Racing.

    Sports 2000

    Sports 2000 rules for engine and suspension are nearly identical to FF2000 rules; the difference between the two classes is primarily bodywork, as Sports 2000 has full fendered bodywork and no wings. FF2000s may be converted, although cars which are purpose built will be somewhat different from converted cars for various reasons.

    Shelby Can-Am

    This is a spec class using a Dodge Turbo II motor which has had a somewhat short, difficult history. There are not that many cars out there, and in most parts of the country, there are very few racing.

    GT

    GT cars are tube framed race cars which resemble, more-or-less, vehicles that have been sold for the street in the US. In addition to these modern cars, there are grandfathered cars which once raced in the old SCCA "Sedan" classes, and cars which once raced in the old A, B, C, and D Production classes. GT classes range from GT-1 (large detroit iron) to GT-Lite (cars like the Austin Mini.)

    A GT1 Camaro

    A GT5 Mini Cooper

    GT-1 cars are very similar to, but not exactly the same as, the cars which run in the modern SCCA Pro Racing Trans Am series, and often older Trans Am cars are converted to GT-1 cars later in life.

    GT rules are contained in the GT Category Specifications Book.

    Production

    An F Production Car

    Production is one of the oldest SCCA types still active; originally Production classes were restricted to open roadsters and convertibles, with the occasional 2 door coupe body permitted. An ill fated effort to rationalize Sedan and Production classes into a single GT class was abandoned about 10 years ago, after all of the Sedan classes and A, B, C, and D Production were eliminated, and no new cars had been added for quite some time after that, leading to smaller and smaller fields. Several years ago, a large number of new cars were added to the listings for the remaining production classes (EP, FP, GP, and HP) which it is hoped will eventually lead to larger numbers of cars in Production races.

    Production rules are contained in the Production Car Specifications Book

    American Sedan

    American Sedan is a relatively new class for cars which resemble the original SCCA Trans-Am cars of the 60s; legal American Sedan cars are Camaros, Firebirds, and Mustangs with 5 liter pushrod V-8s. Legal engine modifications are fairly limited, but considerable suspension tuning of spring rates, sway bar sizes, and shocks are permitted.

    An American Sedan Mustang

    American Sedan rules are contained in the 1995 Improved Touring and American Sedan Category Specifications

    Improved Touring (regional)

    Improved Touring is intended as a place to compete in relatively inexpensive Sedans and Coupes; engine modifications are strictly limited but suspensions may be tuned significantly. The fastest IT cars compete in ITS; this components/old vehicles such as the Nissan 240Z, the 13B motored Mazda RX-7, and the Porsche 944. Other IT classes are ITA (16 valve VW Rabbits & Golfs, 12A motored Mazdas, BMW 2002Tiis), ITB (Volvo 142/4s, 2 liter Alfa GTVs & Spiders, larger motored 8 Valve VW Rabbits & Golfs, non-injected BMW 2002s), and ITC (BMW 1600-2, Ford Fiesta, smaller motored VW Golfs & Rabbits.) These lists of car types are not even remotely complete, of course.

    ITA Nissan 240SX

    Improved Touring rules are contained in the 1995 Improved Touring and American Sedan Category Specifications

    Touring and Showroom Stock

    A SSB Neon

    Showroom Stock is intended for cars which differ at most only slightly from cars that can be purchased from your local auto dealer. Cars must have bolt in 6 point roll cages, fire extinguishers, race harnesses, stock wheels, and tires only sightly different from stock sizes. Racing seats for the driver are an optional modification.

    A T1 BMW M3

    Touring is a new class for 1996; Touring will include the old SSGT types of cars (such as Mustangs and Camaros), and some SSA level cars that have been moved up. A more extensive set of modifications is permitted, although milder than those in IT and AS, and minimum weights are set so as to attempt to equalize the racing.

    Showroom Stock rules are contained in the Showroom Stock Specifications Book

    Enduro/ITE

    Some SCCA regions provide a class for competition in orphaned production based cars; the rules vary from region to region as does the name of the class. There is no rulebook available from the National office covering these classes.


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