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NASA Introduces Team Racing Endurance Challenge — No comp license required

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  • NASA Introduces Team Racing Endurance Challenge — No comp license required

    TREC) is a new NASA enduro series that focuses on fun and lots of track time — and you don’t need a competition license to be part of the action.

    Anyone with a driver’s license can participate in a TREC race. Minors who race with NASA are also eligible to participate. Cars are classed using a combination of time brackets and base classing listed in the TREC rules, and all vehicles compete on tires marked with treadwear 180 or higher by the manufacturer. This new series is a definite departure from the typical NASA competition event with a heavy emphasis on fun above all else.

    “NASA’s High Performance Driving Events have introduced thousands of people to the joys of driving their cars on track,” said NASA Vice President Jeremy Croiset. “Now, with our new TREC series, drivers with little to no experience can get in on the fun of wheel-to-wheel endurance racing with a professional sanctioning body like NASA. This new program establishes a new pathway for people to attain a NASA Competition license.”

    Drivers who complete four TREC events may apply for a TREC license qualifying them to participate in the fastest TREC class. Anyone with previous racing experience may apply for a TREC license. Those who holds a TREC license and successfully complete six TREC events will be eligible to apply for a full NASA competition license.

    TREC events will be offered in various NASA regions in the latter half of 2019 with many additional regions coming online for the 2020 season. Check out #DRIVENASA Community for updates when new TREC events are added to the calendar. You can also contact your local NASA region to find out when their first TREC event will be.


    Q: So, let me get this straight, I don’t need a competition license to race in TREC?

    A: Nope. Anyone with a valid driver license may participate in TREC 2, TREC 3 and TREC 4. To participate in TREC 1, you need a TREC, Time Trial, Instructor or Competition license. We do recommend that each participant attend NASA HPDE events before participating, though it isn’t required.

    Q: Cool, so how do I get a TREC license?

    A: Anyone who successfully completes four TREC events may apply for a TREC competition license. Anyone with previous racing experience outside NASA may apply for a TREC competition license.

    Q: Then I can get a real NASA competition license, right?

    A: Yes, after a driver completes six TREC races, he or she may apply for a full NASA Competition License.

    Q: Can I run slicks?

    A: Nope, all TREC cars must compete on tires marked with treadwear 180 or higher by the manufacturer. Don’t bring grooved slicks with 180 burned into the sidewalls with a soldering iron. We’ll spot that and make you change tires.

    Q: What kind of car can I race?

    A: Appendix B of the rules has a huge list of all permitted cars, but suffice it to say you can use almost any mass-produced four-wheel, fendered/closed wheel production road car with an internal combustion engine and the required safety equipment. No prototypes or sports racers, please.

    Q: Do TREC events run at night?

    A: Some will run from day into night, so you will need to have working head, tail and brake lights. No excessive lighting systems that pose the danger of blinding other drivers, and no lights on the roof, please and thank you.

    Q: How many classes are there?

    A: There are five regular classes: TREC 1, TREC 2, TREC 3 and TREC 4 and an unscored class, TREC U. To find where your car fits, check Appendix B of the TREC rules. There are entries from lots of other sanctioning bodies, so we’re sure you can find a home for almost any car in TREC.

    Q: How many drivers can we have on a team?

    A: The more the merrier.

    Q: How does the car-classing system work?

    A: TREC 1 uses a 10:1 power-to-weight ratio. These will be the fastest 20 percent of the scored cars at the event. TREC U cars might be faster, but they’re not scored. TREC 2 uses a 12:1 power-to-weight ratio. These will be the next fastest 25 percent of the cars. TREC 3 represents the next fastest 25 percent of the cars, and it uses a 15:1 power-to-weight ratio. The slowest 30 percent of the cars will be in TREC 4, with an 18:1 power-to-weight ratio.

    Don’t worry. We’ll do all the math homework, but each team must declare their race class before the start of the event.

    Q: Yeah, but how do you keep faster cars from “sandbagging” in a slower class?

    A: In addition to enforcing the base-classing system and the power-to-weight ratios, each vehicle’s declared class will be verified using the official event qualifying session. Any team that has drivers with vastly different experience levels should have their most experienced and least experienced driver complete laps during this session. Failure to do so will likely result in the team being re-classed during the race.

    Our very clever race directors and timing and scoring people will be scrutinizing lap times and classes to ensure that there are no “inexplicably fast” cars in slower classes.

    Any team that continually exceeds the class performance envelope will be moved up to the next class.

    Q: But how will they know for sure?

    A: We’ve been doing this awhile. We’ll know.

    Q: What about slow drivers? What happens to “moving chicanes?”

    A: Any driver observed to be driving so slowly that he/she hinders or otherwise significantly interferes with other drivers may be ejected from the competition

    Q: OK, what about setting the grid? How does that work?

    A: The race director will determine gridding. It could be based on season points, an inversion of season points, lap times from a qualifying session, vehicle number, alphabetical — or even numbers pulled from a hat.

    Q: What is the action like on track? Is rubbing racing?

    A: Rubbing might be racing in bad ‘80s movies, but not in the TREC series. Car-to-car contact within the TREC series is strictly prohibited. All car-to-car contact must be reported immediately to a Pit Official or a Race Director. Any team found at fault for multiple contact incidents may be ejected from the event.

    Q: Are there flag stations?

    A: Yes, and we’ll have lots of corner workers, too. Read section 19 of the NASA rules for a full explanation of the flags and what they mean. Flags are the only way corner workers can communicate essential information to drivers on track. What’s more, any team that receives more than one penalty for missing flags must report to the Race Director for potential disciplinary action. So, yes, flags are critical to your safety, and your safety is essential for having fun.

    Q: How do you measure lap times?

    A: Each team is required to obtain and properly install an AMB/My Laps transponder.

    Q: How do we know who won?

    A: The finishing position is determined by the total number of laps completed, regardless of whether the vehicle is running at the end of the race. If two vehicles have completed the same number of laps, the one that crossed the finish line first will be scored ahead. If two vehicles break down on the same lap, then the vehicle that completed the most distance measured from the starting line.

    Q: What about pit stops? How do those work?

    A: You are going to want to read the rules carefully about fueling and pit stops. Safety is no laughing matter during pit stops and especially refueling, so, no kidding around here, read section 14 of the rules and know them well.

    Q: What if someone dive-bombs under me at an apex? Can I defend?

    A: Uh, no. The drivers of a car overtaking and of the car being overtaken are responsible for safe passes. In a passing situation, “defending” or “protecting” a position is strictly prohibited. This means that a driver must maintain the standard racing line in the braking area. That means staying to the right for a left-hand turn, thus “leaving the door open.”

    Q: What if I find a loophole in the rules?

    A: If you find a loophole and hope to exploit it, you’re taking things too seriously. TREC is just for fun, for sharing the sheer joy of the racing experience. If you do find a loophole, let us know so we can keep things fun.

  • #2
    Translation: "we noticed that how much business we're losing to lemons / chump / WRL etc... and decided to jump on the bandwagon."

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