Steven Cole Smith
Steven Cole Smith Contributor
1/3/20 9:32 a.m.

Story by Steven Cole Smith • Photography as Credited

 

Precisely 30 years ago, in 1989, sports car enthusiasts Jerry Kunzman and Ali Arsham began discussing a different kind of automobile racing club, one that was perhaps less rigid and a little more inclusive than the Sp…

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_
_ Dork
1/3/20 10:04 a.m.

Does nasa do autox, or just road racing? I've never really looked into either with them. I just assumed nasa did only road racing. 

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
1/3/20 11:10 a.m.
_ said:

Does nasa do autox, or just road racing? I've never really looked into either with them. I just assumed nasa did only road racing. 

Don't ever, for any reason, do anything to anyone for any reason ever, no matter what, no matter where, or who, or who you are with, or where you are going, or where you've been, ever, for any reason

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
1/3/20 11:18 a.m.

Never been to an autox event with NASA.  All the ones close to me in the Great Lakes region are road course events.  I did SCCA Autox way back, and quite frankly got bored at driving for a total of 5 min while standing in the sun for the rest of the day picking up cones.  

I also went to a driver school two years ago, and upon completion was told that it qualified me for an SCCA wheel to wheel racing license and all I needed to do was apply.  Knowing what I know from a few events under my belt with NASA at the time, I quickly ruled out running with SCCA in any road course racing environment as I was in no way qualified for any wheel to wheel racing license!  

_
_ Dork
1/3/20 12:01 p.m.

In reply to ebonyandivory :

Yeah but the link doesn't work. Maybe they just don't have a great presence here in the PNW. 

SavageHunter11
SavageHunter11 None
1/6/20 9:41 a.m.

N.A.S.A., We're the race guys, not the space guys

Kreb
Kreb GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/6/20 10:03 a.m.

Admittedly I live and participate in NASA's home region, so can't speak for the rest of the country, but have always been very impressed at how they run their events. 

One thing that happened when I was actively participating was that Jerry thought that driver instruction was getting lax. At which time he decertified his entire instructor pool and made them do a training before he'd allow them to resume their duties. This pissed off a number of guys who felt disrespected, and he lost a few, but that was the price to pay to keep standards up.

I'm sure that there are track day organizers who run a similarly tight ship (I imagine that SCCA does a good job), but I haven't run with any yet. In fact, that's become a little bit of a problem, because NASA makes drivers exhibit skill and/or work through levels 1-3 before they turn them lose altogether, and self-styled hotshots prefer to go to events where they don't have that oversight. This has resulted in smaller event fields, but again, safety.

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
1/6/20 11:20 a.m.
Kreb said:

I'm sure that there are track day organizers who run a similarly tight ship (I imagine that SCCA does a good job), but I haven't run with any yet. In fact, that's become a little bit of a problem, because NASA makes drivers exhibit skill and/or work through levels 1-3 before they turn them lose altogether, and self-styled hotshots prefer to go to events where they don't have that oversight. This has resulted in smaller event fields, but again, safety.

I can't echo this enough.  NASA is by far the most organized and well run group in the great lakes region.  The standards are high, and safety drills are run starting in group 1 at random to emphasize safety above all else (e.g, black flag for cars that have done nothing wrong, red flags during a session, etc.).  I am a far faster, safer driver due to the training I've received there. On top of that, a really friendly and genuine group of folks!

Carbon
Carbon UltraDork
1/7/20 5:36 p.m.

I believe way more of what this nasa says than the other one. cheeky

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
1/7/20 6:05 p.m.

I've loved the folks running, instructing and participating in NASA Mid-Atlantic. They're running a tight, tight ship that is also very friendly and welcoming.

codrus
codrus GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/7/20 6:34 p.m.

There used to be a NASA autox chapter here, but some kind of internal politics about 15 years ago resulted in it splitting off into another club.  Dunno about other areas -- certainly it's not the same level of focus as SCCA has.

 

 

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