RULES - National Competition Procedures
NATIONAL COMPETITION FORMAT AND RULES
The Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour presented by Hagerty is a series of events where competitors go for the fastest lap time (Time Attack) and the fastest time from a standing start at a segment of a track (TrackSprint). Multiple sessions or courses can be run during an event, with combined times determining how you stack up at the end of the event.
These are the rules for how each of those formats are run, what penalties there might be and how drivers should conduct themselves on track.
Of course, all of the Rules of the Track apply, and these National Competition Rules build on those basics to create the procedures for National Tour events.
Time Attack is a competitive, scored session with specified allotted time or a specific number of laps. The fastest single lap in a session will be used for event scoring. Time Attack is not a race, so competitors will need to manage themselves and traffic to allow for everyone to get the best shot at a good lap.
Vehicles will be released from pit lane for a warm up lap led by the first car leaving the grid. The start of each session will be signaled by a Green Flag at the start/finish line after the single pace lap, but competitors may separate and accelerate before they reach the start/finish and the Green Flag. Warm up lap pace should be at such a speed as to allow all cars to enter the track before the first car comes around in order to create track space and give the best chance for clean laps for each driver.
2. Track Limits
Drivers are expected to use hard-paved surfaces only and keep a portion of one tire within the marked track limits at all times. Drivers deemed to have exceeded track limits will have their fastest lap of that session disqualified and receive a verbal warning after the session. A second offense will result in disqualification from that session. Further offenses may result in exclusion from the event. Track limits are defined as paved track surface and adjacent curbing. Exceptions may be made if the off-course resulted from controlled avoidance of an unsafe situation.
3. Off Course/Loss of Control
Any vehicle leaving the paved course area with all four wheels OR deemed to have a “significant loss of control” on course in a Time Attack session shall self-report to the pit area for a discussion with the Driver Coach for that session. If appropriate (and timely), the driver may proceed back on track after receiving appropriate signals from the Pit Marshal. Drivers who do not self-report will be black flagged for a discussion with the Driver Coach. Drivers may be black flagged for discussion with the Driver Coach in the case of repeated two (2) or three (3) wheels-off situations.
4. Session Interruption
Any driver deemed to have caused a Black Flag All or Red Flag condition for a driving error or mechanical issue will receive one warning. A second offense will result in exclusion from resuming that session. Further offenses may result in exclusion from the event.
5. Sportsmanship Standards
Drivers are reminded that SCCA Time Trials Events are not wheel-to-wheel competition, but a contest of lap times. Drivers are expected to share the track and work together so that all drivers may perform to the best of their ability. Drivers deemed to have interfered with a competitor intentionally or thoughtlessly will be disqualified from that session. Further offenses shall result in exclusion from the event.
6. Session End
Sessions shall normally be ended by a Checkered Flag shown at the Start/Finish after the session time or number of laps has elapsed. After receiving the Checkered Flag ending the session, drivers will be given cool down time to exit the track.
- It is permissible to use a second Checkered Flag as a reminder after competitors have seen the Checkered Flag at the Start/Finish line.
- It is permissible that a session be ended with a Black Flag All all in the event of an incident requiring that flag condition.
- If the session is ended with a Black Flag All, no more lap times will be officially scored once the Black Flag is shown and competitors should slow down and proceed to the pits.
7. Flag Violations
- If a driver fails to obey a yellow, black, red or checkered flag they may lose their fastest lap of that session.
- Repeated offenses may result in exclusion from sessions or the event
TrackSprint is an SCCA event format which utilizes a specific portion of a track for a point-to-point course which competitors attempt to complete as fast as they can. Vehicles should be separated by enough time that they will not be caught or catch the cars running in succession with them. There should not be passing in a TrackSprint.
TrackSprint layouts shall be defined no later than the Driver’s Meeting of the event. TrackSprint events may run portions of tracks backwards, if the Safety Steward and track management approve.
Vehicles shall be staged in a grid area near the course.
Vehicles will be released from a grid to the start line. A driver’s run is considered to have started when they are released by the Starter. A driver’s time starts when they trip the timing light, and the start line shall be clearly indicated.
4. Track Limits
Drivers are expected to keep all four tires fully inside track limits at all times. Drivers deemed to have exceeded track limits will have that run/lap disqualified. A second offense will result in disqualification from that session. Further offenses may result in exclusion from the event. Track limits are defined as paved track surface and adjacent curbing. Exceptions may be made if the off-course resulted from controlled avoidance of an unsafe situation.
5. Session Interruption
Drivers deemed to have caused a Red Flag condition or cause another driver to slow because of mechanical difficulty or loss of control will have their single fastest run from that session disqualified but may complete all runs in that session. A second offense may result in exclusion from the session or event.
The Finish is defined as the timing line where the recorded competition time stops and will be clearly indicated. Drivers are expected to slow their vehicle to pit-lane speed and proceed back to the grid area. Drivers who do not slow to pit-lane speed may lose their fastest run.
A re-run may be granted to a driver who has had to slow for a Yellow Flag, debris on course or for catching the car in front of them. If a driver has already had an issue on that run, that driver may not be granted a re-run.
- Re-runs will be granted only for timing failure, object on the course, Red Flag, catching the car in front, or other situations at the discretion of the Competition Director for that group and will not be given because of mechanical or other failure of the competitor’s car.
- Re-runs should be taken as soon as practical, subject to the discretion of Event Officials.
- If a competitor has had an issue on course which would disqualify that run (such as an off-course), no re-runs shall be given to that competitor for that run.
- In the case in which a flag condition or slower car disrupts a competitor’s run, the competitor must thereafter continue through the remainder of the course at a reasonable pace, below competition speed, and will be granted a re-run if appropriate. Delaying the event by failing to complete the remainder of the course in a timely fashion, or incurring additional penalties, may result in forfeiture of the re-run.
- Being caught by a competitor (having a car appear in your mirrors) is not grounds for a re-run, but any driver who catches another is cautioned not to cause a distraction to the driver ahead of them by staying too close. Passing is strictly prohibited unless the car ahead is having mechanical difficulty or has gone off course. Aggressive or distracting behavior behind a driver you have caught may result in penalties.
Cones are NOT required for TrackSprint but may be used at the discretion of officials for safety reasons or to define a course in a non-traditional location or area of the course.
- Organizers may assign penalties for the displacement of cones or missing sections of the course; any penalties to be assigned should be noted in the Supplemental Regulations.
Unscored lapping sessions or passes of the course may be timed and may be used for practice or group seeding. Passing rules should be the same or more restrictive as the group’s scored sessions. Unscored sessions may be done at speed, or controlled by a pace car and used as familiarization. Any unscored sessions run at speed shall have the same minimum safety standards as scored sessions.
Unscored Session Etiquette
Despite not being scored, drivers are reminded to share the track, not to hinder other drivers, give point-bys when needed, and may be asked to report to the Driver Coach for any off-course or loss of control.
- Groups in “Time Attack” style sessions should be divided by competitor experience and license grade without regard to class. Group passing rules should follow a graduated progression based on experience.
- SCCA TrackSprint Grouping may not need to be heavily influenced by experience, because there should not be passing during TrackSprint runs.
- Organizers may allow competitors to run outside of their groups for mechanical problems, re-runs or other issues, but may assign penalties for competitors running out of their assigned groups.
Whenever possible, competitors at SCCA Time Trials Events should be positioned on grid in order of their best times from previous scored and unscored sessions. Competitors late to grid may lose their earned grid spot.
1. Late Session Starts
Drivers are not required to be on grid to participate in a session, they may join late.
A. Drivers who start late may be held until every car has gotten a clear lap so as to cause the least disruption to those already on track.
2. Early Session Exit
Drivers entering the paddock before a session ends may keep any times run during that session but may forfeit those times if they return to the track during that session—if the event is one which uses impound procedures.
If Event Officials declare a “rain event,” then competitors may change to an alternate set of tires, even if the rules require a single set for an entire event.
Scoring of SCCA Time Trials National Tour and Time Trials Nationals final results will be determined by the cumulative time of fastest laps or runs of a given event.