Main - FAQ

What are SCCA Time Trials?
Time Trials are the SCCA program which is made up of Time Attack and TrackSprint. During a Time Attack, drivers get a multiple-lap session to get their best lap or laps. A Track Sprint is when a specific section of a track is run, one car at a time.

Do I need to be an SCCA Member?
Depending on the event, you will need to be either a full SCCA member or have a weekend membership. It’s best to check with the organizers or “Supplementary Regulations” of the event you’re thinking of doing to see which you might need. Often, when an event allows people to compete as a “weekend member” the weekend membership is added to the event entry purchase.

Do I need a special license?
Basically – you need a valid state driver’s license which allows you to drive unaccompanied in a car. If it’s your first time, we’ll set you up with a Time Trials Novice License. As you get more experience, you can upgrade to an Intermediate or Advanced Driver. As always, read the Supplementary Regulations to see which license grades an event might allow.

What are “Supplementary Regulations”?
The “Supplementary Regulations” or “Supps” are the extra or special rules for an event. These are where you will find things like track and event-specific rules. They should be included with the entry form and schedule for an event.

What kind of cars can participate?
Depending on the event, SCCA Time Trials are open to street cars, racecars, and some special-built cars like Legend/Dwarf cars or Formula Cars and Sports Racers. Different events may have different allowances for what they let run, so it’s always good to look closely to make sure your specific car will be allowed. Motorcycles, go-karts and 3-wheel cars like the Can-Am Spyder and Polaris Slingshot are not allowed.

Do I need a helmet?
You will need a helmet to drive in an SCCA Time Trial, and that helmet will have to meet certain specifications.

Do I need a Roll Bar or other safety equipment?
It’s always a good idea to install the best safety equipment in your car, but for many Street Cars you will not need a roll bar or more safety gear

Are Time Trials a Race?
Time Trials are a competition, but not a race. In racing, drivers fight for position to be the first to cross the checker after a specific number of laps or elapsed time. Because Time Trials are made up of events where a driver is trying to get a fast single-lap or run on the course, there is not any racing, and drivers are expected to give each other the most room possible so that everyone has the best chance for their best lap.

Will I be on track with other cars?  
In some formats, like Time Attack, you will be on track with other cars. It’s up to everyone to work together to allow fellow-competitors to get clear laps. Organizers will try to help by grouping cars by speed, and coaches should teach strategies for everyone to use to get the best chance at traffic-free “clear” laps.

What if I catch a car on track or get caught by another car?
For a format like TrackSprint, it means you get another run, or they get another run. In a format like Time Attack, if there is passing allowed it will depend on your level of experience. Typically, if you’re new it means all passing will be by “point-by” and those with the most experience may be allowed to pass without point-bys – which is known as “open passing.” It’s best to check with the organizers or “Supplementary regulations” of the event you’re planning on going to.

What is a Point-by?
Point-bys let the driver behind you know that you are prepared for them to pass. A point by will probably be done by pointing out the window and coinciding with you making room on that side for a pass.

Why don’t you use Dyno Classing?
Ultimately, Dynamometers or “Dynos” are great tools for seeing what a specific modification or tuning did for your car that day – but across dyno brands and types, cars, days, weather, altitude and other factors – dynos are not consistent, and as you will frequently hear from dyno operators, “just tell me what you want it to say.” asking participants to go get their car dyno’d for classing is an extra complication which doesn’t work anyway and just increases the barriers to entry.

Why don’t you use classing based on modification points?
Assigning points per modification and then basing classes on those points is tempting because it looks like it allows a fair way to give choice. Choice also creates complication and opens windows of exploitation. As we say elsewhere on the site, it’s easier to admit every rules set will be exploited, create practically chosen and easy to understand boundaries, and make sure the most popular cars are best served.

I just put a ________ on my car, why does that one item put me up a level?
Typically – if your one modification moves you from Sport to Tuner – it’s because it’s not a simple bolt-on part. It means more adjustment or more complication in how to handle that modification or system, and more well, tuning. If your “one modification” puts you in Max, then chances are that modification opened a rabbit hole of fundamentally changing the car. Maybe it is changing suspension geometry or doing internal engine work which can have all kinds of repercussions or gains, depending on how far you went.  Essentially, if the modification opened massive window to the amount of change, it’s a Max-class car. If you find yourself in Unlimited – it’s because the things you have done are probably not within the parameters of what is considered a “Street” car.

Can I bring my friends?
Guests are not only invited, they are encouraged! Bring your friends, your family, and your grandmother and show off what you do. They probably miss hanging out with you, anyway.