During a recent, standard review of the Junior Driver Program (JDP) operating within the Sports Car Club of America® Solo® platform, some potential issues in different facets of the program have been identified. As a result of these developments coming to light, the Solo Events Board (SEB), Solo Safety Committee, Solo National Staff and SCCA® Board of Directors (BoD) have mandated an immediate “hold” be placed on all JDP activities at Club autocross events until a complete review of the program can be conducted.
It is believed potential gaps in course design, equipment, training and licensing standards could currently have an impact on the safety of JDP participants. Upcoming reassessment of the program will cover all aspects of the current JDP effort including, but not limited to, course design, driver training/qualification, Youth Steward training, kart tech standards and more.
Analysis of JDP will begin immediately with the formation of a BoD-approved team comprised of experienced Youth Stewards, Solo Safety Stewards, SEB members, BoD Solo Liaisons, National Staff and JDP parents. An exact timeline for program reevaluation, revision analysis, scalability, training and deployment has not yet been determined. But to remain consistent with SCCA’s Mission to provide a safe and fun motorsports experience for enthusiasts, it was deemed an immediate pause to JDP events was wise.
The Junior Driver Program was started with the philosophy that having children compete at Solo events would allow families to participate in and enjoy the Solo experience together. This, however, is unlike any other activity conducted by SCCA and requires special attention by the parents, Solo Safety Stewards, Youth Stewards and regions which host Junior Kart classes at events.
It is understood this news will be disappointing for some in the Solo community. However, it is the duty of those involved in JDP efforts nationwide to ensure the safety of the Club’s youngest competitors. Those tasked with analyzing the current program respectfully ask for patience and cooperation as the thorough study progresses. Official announcements regarding the program’s assessment, including a possible timeline for redeployment, will be made at a later date.
Photo Credit: Rupert Berrington