The 2020 Racing Season Starts, But With New Norms

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Jun 12, 2020 | SCCA, Events

After a tumultuous spring–one marked by confusion, worry and more–the 2020 sports car season started to show signs of reemergence this May as organizers made announcements for a summertime return to the track.

Who’s running where? Considering the rapid rate of releases, we’re going to play it safe: Keep an eye on our site and also check with your favorite series, venue or sanctioning body for the latest info.

One of the first groups to return to the track, though, was the SCCA, as it hosted a Time Trial National Tour event at Carolina Motorsports Park May 23-24. The SCCA Track Night in America program restarted that same week.

How did the club decide to make a comeback? Its policy has been to follow the guidelines presented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local municipalities, explains Heyward Wagner, the SCCA’s senior director of marketing and experiential programs.

The club rolled once the tracks were ready to host events and the participants felt comfortable to return, he explains, adding that the fact that these are non-spectator events streamlines production. “We didn’t have to make any hard decisions whether to do this with or without spectators,” he notes. “We actually set an attendance record with that event,” he says of May's Time Trial Nationals event.

Wagner also offered advice for other groups getting back into action. “I think the biggest thing that we have learned is take your time and be as overstaffed as you can be,” he says. Instead of a single novice coach, for example, add a second one so each coach works with half as many people. Open registration early, he continues, to spread out the crowd.

This isn’t a right-now thing,” he notes. “It’s a foreseeable future.”

The motorsports community needs to take a wider look at the situation, Wagner further explains. “We need to approach this as stewards of the sport. It’s not going to serve motorsports well if a COVID hotspot is tracked back to motorsports.”

And as far as wearing masks at events? “We don’t think twice about putting on a helmet, and I feel there are a lot of parallels there with putting on a mask,” he says.

 

More information:

24 Hours of Lemons
24hoursoflemons.com

American Endurance Racing
americanenduranceracing.com

BMW CCA Club Racing
bmwccaclubracing.com

Champcar
champcar.org

Gridlife
grid.life

HSR
hsrrace.com

IMSA
imsa.com

NASA
nasaproracing.com

Optima Street Car Shootout
optimabatteries.com/experience

PCA
pca.org

SCCA
scca.com

World Racing League
worldracingleague.org

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Comments
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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/9/20 2:42 p.m.

Anyone else been to the track yet? I was at Daytona yesterday morning to photograph the Alzheimer's research BMW M4.

It's been a while since I have been at the track, and it felt good to roll through the tunnel, even if it was to watch not quite three laps. But it did feel comforting. 

I'll be back at Daytona later this week for World Racing League. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/12/20 8:57 a.m.

Look for some of us today at WRL's Daytona event. Yes, I'll have my mask. 

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