David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/4/21 11:34 a.m.

Through most of recorded history–say, into the early ’90s–sports car racers didn’t have that many choices. You could run SCCA amateur events on the local or national scene, and if you wanted to travel and had the backing, you could jump into one of the professional touring series–something under the IMSA or SCCA Pro Racing umbrellas. 

Then sprinkle in some …

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Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/4/21 9:45 p.m.

I’ll bite lots of real estate (track dates) available to rent. Plenty of room to differentiate the experience, all leads to loads of choices.

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
11/5/21 8:26 a.m.

Don't forget to add disposable income to your list. Even if we don't feel like it that's a big player.

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/5/21 8:43 a.m.

The internet.   The internet provided a forum for people to explore common interests and easily organize vs being dependent on organizations such as SCCA as the only outlet for amateur racing.  Oh, and disposable income.

Bizwacky
Bizwacky GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/5/21 12:27 p.m.

I think you've got to give a lot of credit to the Lemons guys. In kind of a funny way, they've become the benchmark a lot of the other series exist relative to. I.e. Lemons but more serious, or Lemons with more driver requirements, or Lemons but faster cars. 

It was truly innovative of them to create a much lower barrier-to-entry option that appealed to a broader range of folks, and I think that validated the demand and proved that the economics could work for other series too. If you get 100 entrees at $1500 each, you know, it's not that hard to make this hosting races thing pencil out. 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
11/5/21 3:25 p.m.

Decreased interest in local asphalt oval. Sounds negative but is probably true. Think about how many tracks have closed.

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/7/22 9:32 a.m.
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) said:

The internet.   The internet provided a forum for people to explore common interests and easily organize vs being dependent on organizations such as SCCA as the only outlet for amateur racing.  Oh, and disposable income.

I was just talking about this whole topic with someone at an event over the weekend.  There definitely weren't all these options when I was young, and moreover, how did you find out about any of it?

  Now that I really think about it, I'm not even sure how I found out about autocross and got in contact with someone in the first place.  I remember I emailed someone, but how I found out about what autocrossing was and how I got this person's email I can't recall.  It wasn't from a website or anything.  I think I talked to someone.  If I hadn't talked to this random person, maybe I never would have gotten started on this path!

GTI_2032
GTI_2032 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/7/22 9:39 p.m.

I think it's great.  I don't race, just do HPDE/track days and am fortunate to have so many options in my area.  Having so much track event info online definitely helped me get involved.  This far have done Track Nights and some NASA events.  Shout out to both for well organized and well run events.  

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
6/7/22 11:51 p.m.

I remember doing a Capri Club track day around 1990.

 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/8/22 12:07 a.m.

I first heard about about track days and autocross on the "Fordnatics" email mailing list in the mid 90s.  I didn't actually make it to a track day until 1999 though (2-day Miata school at Thunderhill)

 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/8/22 7:35 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Wow, I can't believe that you missed Vintage.  
Post Vietnam Vintage racing had been going on back East and migrated as far west as Elkhart Lake by 1975. 
   At first it was small potato's with fields of 30-40 cars and often  the midday Event at Professional races.   
However as the 1980's arrived the fields were 600+ cars with attendance exceeding that of the June sprints.  
   Globally events increased to the point where they were major  events on promoters calendars. Some events such as Lauguna Seca were over subscribed by 2-300%   
      Vintage speed weeks in the Bahama's was a major event drawing factory attendance by Aston Martin Ford Company and many famous drivers from Grand Prix and Indy car.  

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