TrackSprint: Tasty Addition to Motorsport Smorgasbord

TrackSprint: Tasty Addition to Motorsport Smorgasbord

Time trials, track days, autocross, volunteering, RallyCross, RoadRally, HillClimb and road racing; the Sports Car Club of America offers quite the buffet of motorsport activities for those wanting to have fun with and around cars. And for each of the menu items listed above, there are a multitude of sub-options that appeal to every type of automotive fanatic.

Today, let’s talk about TrackSprint. In a club with more than 75 years of history, Time Trials is the newbie as a national program with a national tour. Very well received by participants, the Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty includes a TrackSprint challenge scored as part of the overall event. What is TrackSprint? According to author Jack Baruth in a Hagerty article, TrackSprint equates to a high-speed autocross (without cones) that uses part of a racetrack, and each driver gets only a handful of runs to set a fast time.

“For competitive autocrossers who are just getting their feet wet in time trials, the TrackSprints are an equalizer, a chance to use their adaptability and first-run-fast-run mindset to their advantage,” Baruth states in the article. “For experienced time-trialers, the TrackSprint adds challenge and variety to the event.”

As an example, let’s look at the recent Time Trials National Tour at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California. That venue has 40 different configurations available, and most recently it was layout No. 13 clockwise that served as the battleground, which comes in a little short of three miles in length. For the TrackSprint challenge of the program, organizers pretty much cut the distance in half, added a previously unused portion of the circuit, and ran the layout counterclockwise. The result? A refreshing and COMPLETELY different challenge for participants. Literally, it’s like running two tracks for the price of one over the course of a weekend.

Ray Guerrero came all the way from Houston, Texas to play with his yellow Porsche Turbo S 997.2 at Buttonwillow. He was actually there to compete in Global Time Attack (GTA), which ran alongside Time Trials National Tour that weekend. For those unaware, GTA is a high-end, professional, very competitive version of SCCA’s Time Trials program. According to Jason Dienhart, Director of GTA, “Global Time Attack is the ultimate track challenge where top drivers compete for fastest lap times in fully-tuned, track-built, street-based cars.”

With that being said, know that Guerrero—who has also had fun at SCCA autocrosses over the years—was in California for some heavy-duty competition. But Friday afternoon at Buttonwillow, he caught the start of SCCA’s Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack, which was traversing most of the same course layout being used by GTA the rest of the weekend. And if you came all the way from Houston to have fun with your fantastic Porsche, why wouldn’t you join Track Night in America on a whim and get a little extra seat time on the cheap?

“I was glad that was available,” Guerrero said about Track Night in America. “Honestly, it was at a pretty good price point. I also think it’s a great introduction… where everyone is very comfortable and you can introduce newbies to this really cool hobby.”

Furthering his fun with cars along with GTA competition, Guerrero decided to jump in on the TrackSprint portion of the Time Trials National Tour at Buttonwillow.

“I thought it would be a lot of fun to try out,” said Guerrero, who had participated in regional TrackSprint opportunities previously at MSR Houston. “I like it. The mixture of having the autocross elements on a road course format, and getting to see your time each lap, that’s cool.”

TrackSprint, SCCA Time Trials, autocross or GTA; Guerrero is gobbling the whole experience with gusto.

“It’s just so fun driving your car on the track,” Guerrero proclaimed. “There’s no other environment where you can duplicate this kind of a setup and you actually get to see what you’re doing against the clock. Then you can try to make improvements to the car, and make improvements to your driving. You can see yourself developing.”

The Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty continues May 22-23 at Eagles Canyon Raceway in Decatur, Texas. Registration is open today, so save your spot now. As for Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack, check out the nationwide schedule here and reserve your spot.


Photo by: SCCA Staff