The ``Annual'' Inspection of the race car in SCCA

[Notes keyed to the inspection list used by the Washington, D.C. Region. The original was done for the 1994 season. Update for 1995 is not entirely guaranteed.]



Most of the rules governing these items can be found in GCR Sections 12, 13, 16, 17, and 18. The intent here is to emphasize safety, and a little bit of surface ``legality''. Remember GCR 13: Receipt of a tech sticker is an indication that the car is safe to go on course. It is not a certification of legality.

Cars should be fully inspected at least once each calendar year. However, they are subject to re-inspection

Interior of the Car

Cage Hoops and  18, 18.1,    In addition to the material here, think about
Braces          ITCS         overall design, number of attachment points,
                D.10,        number of bars and location. Are all required
                AS D.9       braces present? Are they attached within speci-
                             fied locations? Materials: do not use 18.6.2!
                             Check for inspection holes (18.1.6.E) on ALL
                             cars. No exceptions, even for pro series cars.
                             Mounting points: hardware graded; welds full and
                             complete. Mounting plates big enough and backed
                             up. Check for rust.
                             Inspect welds, feel bars (as per video).
                             Is everything that the driver's helmet could hit
                             padded, without blocking the view? (18.1.3)

Composite       Formula      Read special sections in Section 18, and various
Structures      specs        formula spec sections.

Driver's Seat   18.1,        Is the seat safely attached to the floor and the
                18.2.10,     cage, if required?
                18.3.4       Is the top braced to prevent collapse backwards?
                             With driver seated, will the top of his helmet
                             meet required clearances: 2" vertically, under
                             front/rear line? If in doubt, check with driver
                             in car.

Head Restraint  18.1.2.      ALL cars must have the required pad. Design must
                             prevent whiplash and rebound. Soft foam is dis-
                             couraged. Should be same material as roll bar
                             padding. 1995: exceptions added for certain
                             types of commercial seats.

Belts           17.1,        Are the belts wide enough? (3" lap, other 2"
                17.2,        except as noted.)
                17.4         3" at shoulder.

                Fig. 2       Lap belt should go down to side of seat. IT and
                             SS tend to use stock points, that draw further
                             back.  This is not safe, but not prohibited.

                17.3,        The belts should be pliable, not stiff, not
                17.8         frayed. Starting 1995, must have an SFI Spec,
                             and date showing age less than 5 years.

                             (Note: manufacturers can reweb belts and add
                             SFI labels w/o replacing hardware.)

                Fig. 1       Are the belts threaded safely at mounts?

                Figs. 3-6    Are belts anchored correctly?

Window Net      12.29        No bungee cords or plastic tie wraps as sole
                Fig. 4       attachment mechanisms.
                             Check condition of net. 1/1/95 SFI label re-
                             Occasionally an IMSA car running ITE has a net
                             attached to the door. Check with Chief Steward.

Steering Wheel  12.27,       Look for collapsible column structure in Produc-
and Column;     13.2.1.U,    tion and GT cars. It is required in GT, recom-
Steering Lock   PCS          mended in Production. Statement of standards
                D.5.e,       varies considerably. Not required in formula and
                GT1          sports racing. Highly preferable to have a stock
                D.5.e,       structure, but many cars rely on combinations of
                D.9.b.1,     U-joints and bushings. If it appears question-
                D.10.b.1,    able, discuss with the driver where the shaft
                GT2-5        will go in case of a head-on collision.
                IT           Removeable steering wheels are permitted in
                D.10.b,      anything except SS; recommended in formula cars.
                AS D.9.b     IT may not change stock column.

                             Steering locks should be removed from ALL cars.

Passive         SS Specs     Showroom stock only. Airbags should be deacti-
Restraint       12.1.3.      vated or removed. Ask the driver or mechanic how
                D.12-13      it was done. Also - if car is driven on the
                             street, bag must be reactivated. For automatic
                             seat belts - unfasten the belt from the travel-
                             ing buckle.

Firewall        12.21        GT and Production: get down under dash and look
                             for light from the engine compartment.

Floor           12.21        Check for rust, especially around cage mounts.
                             Drain holes are OK. Showroom Stock: floor mats
                             must be in place, along with insulating materi-

Mirrors         13.2.1.R.    Be sure mirrors are on the car.

Trim                         Check spec books. Rules vary, but in general SS
                             cars may not remove ANY interior or exterior
                             trim; GT cars must keep exterior trim and rain
                             gutters; IT cars must keep interior door panels
                             and exterior trim; Prod, AS, and IT must have
                             facsimile of the original dashboard - etc.

Door glass                   Must be in SS and IT; removed from Prod and GT.
                             Optional in AS.

Passenger seat  13.2.1.N.    If it folds and has no lock, it must be secured.
secure                       Usually done with a restraining belt.

Ballast Secure  12.9.1       If a car is permitted to have ballast, and it is
                             there, it must be secure, and serve no other
                             purpose. Ask the driver.

Fire System     12.22        On board for all except IT and SS. Must be an
                             approved substance, not FM100 or FM200. Nozzles
                (two         must be appropriate for material.     Be sure
                parts)       tank is safely attached - metal straps, fastened
                with         to metal or with backing plates; quick release
                cross        not tied down. If there is a gauge, check it.
                refs         Otherwise - ask driver when it was last refilled
                Form.        or weighed. SR - take tank loose and heft it.
                book top     Are there at least two nozzles, in required
                p. 1.        locations? Is the bottle big enough? Required
                             rating? Is the "E" decal in correct place?

Shielded lines  12.23,       No line, tank, cooler, filter, etc. carrying
                13.2.1.V     fuel or oil may be exposed to the driver. Must
                             be aeroquip, metal, or behind a fluid-tight
                (D.10.j)     Also may not be in same
                             compartment with exhaust, to rear of engine
                             firewall, i.e. in the doors.
                             No fuel system component may be in the driver
                             compartment (filter, pump, cooler, tank).

Camera Mount    13.2.1.AA    SAFE AND SECURE! Same for radios. Do NOT allow
                             heavy cameras on jointed arms without opposing
                             stabilization; bungees and tie wraps do not

Air ducting                  In GT: ducts may not be built into C-pillars. In
(interior)                   general, ducts may come from standard body open-
                             ings only.

Scattershield   12.23        If driver's legs are exposed to (pass alongside
                             of) the flywheel or clutch, then there must be a
                             scattershield. It may be in the driver's compart-
                             ment or underneath the floor.

Battery Mount   12.11        Wet-cell batteries must be in a nonconducting
(interior)                   marine-type box. The battery itself must fasten
                             to the frame or chassis. The hot terminal must
                             still be insulated. Racer's tape is not suffi-
                             cient. Gel-packs may not have to meet the insu-
                             lating box requirement, but it's a very good
                             idea. IT/SS - may not be inside compartment.

Engine Compartment

Fluid leaks     13.2.1.J     Self-explanatory.

Radiator Mount  PCS          Prod cars must have original mounts.

Hoses, belts,                Check condition.

Carb fittings   13.2.1.X     Except for SU and certain motorcycle carbs, fuel
                             inlet fittings must be threaded.

Carb return                  Extra no longer required, but is a very good
springs                      idea.

Catch Tanks     12.25        All breathers - engine, transmission - must have
                             a catch tank. It must be securely mounted, and
                             set so fluid does not blow through. Must be 1
                             quart capacity - many formula cars are marginal.
                             Check also for coolant overflow tanks. Gray
                             area: if one can is used for two fluids, should
                             capacity be 2 quarts?

Air ducts       Spec         As a general rule, ducts can only come from
                books        existing holes (lights, grilles), and should run
                ITCS         horizontally. IT and SS should not have any,
                12.1.4       except IT is allowed brake ducts facing forward.

Firewall        12.21        See interior above - check from other side.

Exhaust mani-                The individual pipes should collect through a
fold                         manifold into a single exhaust.

Scattershield / 12.23        See under interior above. Also, chain driven
Chain guard                  cars must have a shield and retention system.

Battery mount   12.11        Be sure it is securely fastened down, and hot
                             terminal insulated. Racer's tape is not suffi-

Fuel pump lines              Safety check. Given the nature of "annual" in-
and fittings,                spection, brake fluid check may not be produc-
brake fluid                  tive.

Fuel Tank Compartment/Trunk

A fuel cell meeting the specs of GCR 12.12.1-5 and Section 16 was required on all cars registered after 1/1/83, except for SS and IT. It is permitted in IT. Cars registered before 1/1/83 were permitted to continue to run with stock tanks. As of 1/1/91, the grandfather was removed from formula cars (See the first page of Formula Specs, top, in bold type.) As of 1/1/95 the grandfather will be removed from all other cars except IT and SS (12.12 p. p73).

A fuel cell consists of a bladder within a container, with foam baffling. (IT may use a rotary molded cell.) There may be more than one on a car. Capacity is restricted only if specified. Cells must be located within 12 inches of stock tank location unless otherwise noted, as for Fiero and some BMW's.

Bulkhead        12.12.4.     There must be a bulkhead (as fluid-tight as
                GT-1 D.9.    possible) between the fuel cell compartment and
                d.4.A-D;     the driver's compartment. In closed-wheel cars,
                GT2-5        the bladder enclosure does not count as this
                C.3. a.1     bulkhead. In formula cars, the "can" around the
                             bladder does count as the bulkhead. The bulkhead
                             or enclosure requirement includes the filler,
                             except as noted for formula cars (16.5).

Container       16.2         In formula cars, be sure the bladder is com-
                             pletely enclosed and not exposed anywhere.

Filler Cap or   16.5         Cap must have positive lock, no flip-tops. Check
Drybreak                     this on IT and SS as well.

Check Valves    16.5         Check valve required if the filler cap is not
                             directly on the bladder. Usually visible. Open
                             the cap and check for a valve or flapper.

Discriminator   GT specs     If used, must be within the required bulkheads.

Foam baffling   16.3,        In all but IT cars, open the filler and check
                16.6         for foam. May have to use a probe.

Clearance 6 in. 12.12.       Cell must clear ground by 6 inches, unless en-
                2.A.         closed within the bodywork (naturally, not

Fittings, vents 12.12.       Vents may not discharge into the driver/ passen-
                2.C.         ger compartment even if the car was manufactured
                12.12.3.     that way. Breathers must vent outside the car
                16.5         (not into the engine compartment). Fuel breath-
                             ers may not vent into the roll cage (but oil
                             breathers apparently can).

Fuel pump                    Check for leaks, and that the kill switch shuts
                             off electric pumps.

Battery Mount   12.11        See interior section.

Exterior of the Car

Neat and Clean  13.2.1.      Check for primer; dents; dirt, etc.
                B.-C.        Advertising should not interfere with identifi-
                12.6         cation or Club marks.

Trim modifica-  Spec         In general, exterior trim should not be removed.
tions           books        See various spec books.

Numbers         12.5.1,      One or two digits, minimum 8 inches tall, 1.5
                12.5.2       inch stroke, separated by at least the stroke.
                Fig. 3.      Must be entirely on contrasting background. Red
                             is a dark color. Sides and front, rear no longer
                             required. Side planes of formula car wings are
                             usually not large enough.

Class marks     12.5.1,      Must be complete, including "P" for production,
                12.5.2,      "GT" for GT, "SR" for CSR, DSR; "F" for formula,
                12.1,        "IT" and "SS" as appropriate. Must be at least 4
                Fig. 3       inches tall, half inch stroke, entirely on con-
                             trasting background. Should be near car number,
                             and not hidden on rocker panel, wheel well, etc.

Decals          12.5.3,      Be sure SCCA logos as required, plus series
                Fig. 3,      logos and contingency decals are in correct
                SR, SRF      locations, visible, and do not interfere with
                             number and class.

Master switch   12.26        Be sure the switch is correctly located, that
                             the lightning bolt decal is present, and that
                             the switch cuts off fuel pumps.

Mirrors         13.2.1.R     Be sure mirrors are present on the car.

Fenders/ flares Prod         Side view must look stock. Prod, GT: fenders
                D.7.b.2;     must cover tread completely at the highest point
                D.8.a.       of the tire. Stand by fender and look straight
                2.A          down.
                GT-1 D.      GT 2-5: flares may not carry into the door.
                8.a.1.3      IT: No flares permitted, tires must be within
                GT C.4.      fenders.
                IT D.7.

Doors           Prod:        Doors must be able to be opened or removed.
                C.8.a.4;     Production must retain hinges. Check fastening
                GT-1 D.8.    mechanism, whether handle or pin. IT not yet
                a.10; GT     allowed to pin doors. AS can be pinned, not
                C.4.b.6;     bolted.

Hood secure,    PCS C.8.     Hoods must be closed and secured, may not be
closed          a.4;         blocked open. GT can modify shape to clear air
                a.2.B        cleaner. IT cannot. One piece bodies are some-
                GT D.8.      times acceptable. Grilles must be original stock
                a.4          or a very good replica.

Front spoiler   12.13        A plumb line dropped off the front bumper should
                             clear the spoiler. If the bumper or a replica is
                             present, it must at least appear to be a sepa-
                             rate part. See  PCS, GTCS, ITCS as well.

Front & side    PCS C.8.     Prod and GT must remove all glass in front end.
lights          a.11; GT1    Headlight bezels must be original, and coverings
                D.8. a.12    of light openings, whether duct or not, should
                GT C.4.      have contour of original glass. AS may remove
                a.6;AS D.    parking lights. Any of these openings may be
                7.b          used for ducting. IT and SS must tape all glass
                             or plastic lenses, but leave in place. IT lights
                             should also have wiring.

Windows         13.2.1.W.    Glass must be clear, not tinted. In Prod and GT,
                12.20        rear and side windows may be lexan, and may have
                             no ventilation holes / ducts in them except as
                             specfically authorized. Prod and GT must have
                             original glass windshield (closed car); replace-
                             ment (open car); lexan (some GT-1).

Windshield      12.32 and    Required on all closed cars except SS and IT:
clips           spec         three clips along the top, two along the bottom.
                books        All 3 x 1 x 1/8, bolted or riveted to the body
                             and coming over the windshield, spaced well
                             apart. Three inner supports are recommended.
                             Exception: GT-1 lexan.

Wipers/heater                Must be on IT, SS, wipers only on AS.

Rear Spoiler    GT1 D.8.     GT allowed only a flat plane spoiler, height
                a.11.B;      according to class, that does not overhang rear
                GT C.4.      bodywork, fully attached. Porsche 911, 914 al-
                b.12.        lowed original parts (stamped Porsche, with
                             well-fitting rubber lip).

Wing                         Allowed in FC, FA. In annual check, be sure it
                             is secure. Dimensions in spec book.

Rear window     12.32        ALL closed cars in Prod and GT must have two
straps                       retaining straps securing the rear window, 1
                             inch wide and 1/8 inch thick. Sometimes mounted
                             partly interior to the window. Permitted in IT.
                             Required for AS but not WC running AS.

Brake / tail-   12.19;       Non-formula cars must have two working brake
lights          Prod C.      lights; GT-1 must also have separate taillights;
                8.a.11       Prod and GT must have original lenses in origi-
                GT1 D.       nal locations. Formula cars must have a single
                10.i         light at least 15 watts, to be turned on at
                             order of Chief Steward (rain light).

Exhaust         13.2.1.G     Must terminate directed away from the body and
                Prod D.8.    at least at or behind the midpoint of the wheel
                a.15         base. Prod: muffler but no other part of exhaust
                             may be recessed into floor pan. Formula cars -
                             lengths specified within overall dimensions.

Belly pan       Spec         Formula cars must be nearly flat-bottom. No
                books        aerodynamic curves or skirts. GT and Prod also
                             may not have aerodynamic pans, especially behind
                             rear wheels.

Tow eyes        12.30        All closed cars except IT and SS must have tow eyes
                             both front and rear; easy to get to, 2 inch
                             inside diameter; should not be a dangerous pro-

Removeable      12.24        Detachable tops, panels, and doors shall be
panels          13.2.1.F     removed unless authorized in spec book. Moveable
                             panels shall be closed. All other required pan-
                             els shall be secure.

Suspension and Running Gear

Steering link-               Check for play

Springs,                     Generally cannot check these, except ride
shocks, ride                 height.

Wheel bearings               On formula cars, move wheel to check. On other
                             cars, it is highly recommended that a wheel be
                             jacked up and checked.

Brake lines                  Check condition and clearance.

Spherical rod                No longer required, but highly recommended. For
ends (captive                rod ends in critical parts of suspension, add a
washers)                     washer to keep the joint together if the plastic
                             center of the spherical joint pulls out.

Wheel covers    13.2.1.F.    Must be removed.

Wheels          IT: 12.-     IT wheels must be metal; SS wheels must be
                1.4.D.7.-    stock. Knockoff hubs prohibited in IT, allowed
                a.1          in GT.

Tires           13.2.1.D.    Some classes have spec tires or restricted
                             tires, but in general, tires must be 120-mph
                             rated or better. Must also be in good condi-
                             tion - no cord showing, or, for slicks, some
                             dots left.

Fog lights, mud SS 12.1.3    On SS: mud flaps must be removed. Fog or driving
flaps           D.5, 11      lights on or below the bumper must be removed
                             and resulting holes covered.

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