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  • North American Time Attack Council announced

    I'm not sure what to think about this, but I think this story is a bit hyperbolic.

    I did read a post from someone on facebook that only old people race wheel to wheel. Time attack is the future. My guess is that it was written by someone who has enough money to TT, but not to race. As soon as he has enough money to race, he will.


    https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsp...-council-news/

    It’s not always easy to know when history is being made. Although Cameron Argetsinger certainly knew that his first attempt at a postwar American Grand Prix was a big deal, I doubt that he understood just how important it would eventually be to amateur–and professional–motorsport in the United States. Nor did Jerry Kunzman have any idea that his Capri Club trackdays would lead to the NASA that we know (and sometimes love!) today.

    This time, however, I’m pretty sure that we are all in the presence of history in the making. Today, at the PRI trade show, the leaders of three major time-trial competitive organizations announced the formation of the North American Time Attack Council, NATA for short. (The C, presumably, is silent.) NATA aligns the SCCA Time Trial program with the GRIDLIFE and Global Time Attack series. In the near future, there will be a single licensing program that will, for example, allow GTA drivers to compete in SCCA Time Trial without extra paperwork.

    “It all started,” SCCA Director of Experiential Programs, Heywood Wagner, said, “when we had to work out the matter of a disputed event date at a particular racetrack. Somehow we’d gotten a weekend that was traditionally the property of the other guys. So we worked it out, without any real hassle on either side–and that’s when we began wondering, ‘If we can make this work, what else could we make work?’” A series of discussions with Chris Stewart of GRIDLIFE and Jason Dienhart of Global Time Attack followed, with the formation of NATA as the end result.

    “We will be structuring our respective schedules to ensure maximum participation for all three series,” Wagner noted. “You won’t see us booking events head-to-head in a given area and forcing drivers to make a choice.” In addition to the common licensing and the scheduling cooperation, could there be a common rule set in the future? “That’s something we’d definitely want to discuss,” Wagner said.

    For now, the three series will combine to form a sort of competitive ladder, with the relatively low-stress SCCA Time Trial Regional events at the entry level and Global Time Attack’s wildly-winged unlimited classes at the top. Competitors will be able to rely on advice and assistance from each sanction as they climb that ladder.

    What does this mean to you, the would-be amateur time-trial driver? Quite a bit. You’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of events using a single competition license, although each sanction will remain free to charge its own membership and entry fees. You’ll have a clearly defined set of steps leading you from wide-eyed rookie to Global Time Attack winner. Most importantly, you’ll find yourself at the beating heart of what, in the long run, is likely to replace wheel-to-wheel racing as the destination motorsport for future generations of drivers.

    Which is not to say that conventional club racing is dead. Far from it. Speaking personally for a moment, I cannot imagine that I would ever give up the thrill of banging fenders at 140-plus miles per hour so I can race against the clock–and I’m very far from being the only SCCA or NASA license holder who feels that way. Unfortunately for me and my fellow road-racer dinosaurs, most younger drivers aren’t terribly interested in bashing up their exquisitely-detailed and expensively-prepared trackday rides, many of which also have to perform daily-commute duties. They want to hone their skills behind the wheel, and they want to compete, but they do not want to bump-draft down the front straight of Road America or negotiate a terrifying field full of tumbling spec racers when the green flag waves.

    The sharp generational division between the wheel-to-wheel crowd and the time-trialers is starkly apparent in my local NASA region. The drivers’ meeting for the TT classes strongly resembles an open-mic night at a local coffeehouse; an hour later, when the race groups meet, it looks like a 35-year high-school reunion, with no small number of faculty present as well. We can either continue to pretend that this is not the case, or we can adapt and change to address the needs and desires of younger competitors. Simple as that.

    For these reasons, and many more, the formation of NATA is a big deal. Look for other, smaller organizations to join up as soon as they’re permitted to do so–and look for all three of the original members to experience significantly greater participation across the board. If time trial is the future of amateur motorsports, then NATA is almost certainly the future of time trial. It’s history in the making, and we are right in the middle of it.
    www.TrackHQ.com

  • #2
    Agree that the announcement oversells the potential impact to amateur motorsports in North America. It's a handy co-branding agreement between Gridlife and SCCA. Those two have the largest customer base. Gridlife, by far the greatest growth potential. GTA is a lesser player here. So drivers get a common license, in a branch of motorsports where you need no more than a pulse and mostly spell your name correctly to obtain one now. And they promise not to compete for dates at particular venues. Coalescing rules sets benefits GTA but the reality is that competitive WTAC cars are expensive and there will never be huge fields. The money is in the average HPDE drivers coming to SCCA and Gridlife events.

    That all said, amateur road racing has never been huge in this country. Autocross is far larger. IMO, both marque and drivetrain layout based time trials are far more accessible than w2w. This both from a logistics and financial perspective but also from an emotional one. w2w is a big commitment. Time Trial, for the most part involves little more than buying a helmet and showing up.
    WWW.949RACING.COM
    SuperMiata

    Aside from their cost I never understood why people race them.
    But obviously I just dont get it. -fatbillybob

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    • #3
      I'm privy to some of the GL numbers, the money isn't in the HPDE, it's the additional features they add to their events.
      Yer pal,
      Force

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      • #4
        Such as?
        www.TrackHQ.com

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        • #5
          Concerts, maybe car shows too. Grid life is seems to be as much culture as it is a track day, if not more so. At least that's how I remember it described on their podcast.

          Comment


          • #6
            Bingo. Ticket sales and such.
            Yer pal,
            Force

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            • #7
              Originally posted by robburgoon View Post
              Concerts, maybe car shows too. Grid life is seems to be as much culture as it is a track day, if not more so. At least that's how I remember it described on their podcast.
              Which is why GridLife needs to do a West Coast event. Track day, drift, concert... rolled into one weekend. Seems like an incredible venue and far more interesting than Global Time Attack/Redline Time Attack/etc.


              Sadly, GridLife decided that their first West Coast event should be a Forza game event at SEMA. Boring.
              4.6lbs / whp -- 4lbs / bhp

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              • #8
                No one on this thread is currently Gridlife’s target market .

                They have thousands and thousands of ticket sales
                S1 Supermiata - 220whp
                13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
                17 GT350R
                03 Miata Club Sport
                96 NSX
                06 EVO MR
                15 Mini Cooper S
                Beck 550 Spyder

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                • #9
                  I'm surprised SCCA would play with these people. I thought SCCA's goal with tracknite in america and scca time trials is to suck people down the slippery slope of green flag racing?

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                  • #10
                    SCCA needs to capture the next generation or two. TNIA events are an unmitigated nightmare. This is about adjusting to other markets, trends, and categories.
                    Yer pal,
                    Force

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kam View Post

                      Which is why GridLife needs to do a West Coast event. Track day, drift, concert... rolled into one weekend. Seems like an incredible venue and far more interesting than Global Time Attack/Redline Time Attack/etc.


                      Sadly, GridLife decided that their first West Coast event should be a Forza game event at SEMA. Boring.
                      It's tricky because of the facilities on the WC. The GL events, like at RA, appeal to different generation and are pretty spectacular. Eastern tracks tend to have easier and multiple channels of lodging, travel/transportation, and containment. West coast tracks would be sort of like Coachella or Burning Man, given the location of venues that could support this sort of event.

                      ***edit*** I have to wonder, too, if there are further implementations that can be initiated. Just spitballing here, but because NASCAR owns RA, I was thinking about how that might translate to a revamped venue like Charlotte. NASCAR has all these facilities and falling interest/viewership. Of the West Coast venues that would immediately make sense is Autoclub. HPDE/TA on the Roval makes sense. It does at Charlotte too. They have the stands, camping areas, infield, etc. The Charlotte Roval is actually pretty entertaining to drive and it's easy to view from the stands. Operating an HPDE event there is quite easy and the staff is very professional. I wonder if a similar update is planned for Autoclub to open more streams of revenue to that facility?
                      Last edited by Force McCocken; 12-12-2018, 07:28 AM.
                      Yer pal,
                      Force

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've been to track days that had car shows and culture stuff going on at acs. Never concerts though.

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                        • #13
                          So, the Gridlife events are like HyperFest in the NASA Mid-Atlantic region?

                          I think events like that are a good way to get people interested in getting on track. They might come for the concert or to see the drifting, and catch a glimpse of some good wheel-to-wheel action.
                          www.TrackHQ.com

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                          • #14
                            Gridlife South at RA this year.

                            http://www.grid.life/gridlifesouthschedule/
                            Yer pal,
                            Force

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