Imagine, if you will, a vehicle that can be built once, then driven competitively in different Sports Car Club of America® (SCCA) competition types without further modification – and then driven on the street to and from events, or even to work. Impossible, you say? This is no pipe dream – this is the Club Spec concept.
Built on the success of Solo Spec Coupe, Club Spec is an idea that would introduce a series of spec classes over the next few years that do everything SCCA does. One class would perhaps be based on a roadster with another on a muscle car, with each Club Spec car utilizing a designated performance kit and optional safety items that would allow enthusiasts to participate competitively in any SCCA program.
Want to be competitive in SCCA Autocross and at Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty events, while also having a car built to withstand SCCA RallyCross, can turn every lap of every session of a Track Night in America® Driven by Tire Rack event, is capable of climbing mountains in SCCA HillClimbs, and will run without fault at RoadRallies? Club Spec can deliver.
As more members push toward participating in multiple disciplines, the concept of “one car for all the things” is not only gaining momentum, it’s a necessity. “Long gone are the days where every member picks their competition type and stays there forever,” explains SCCA’s Senior Director of Rally/Solo and Experiential Programs Heyward Wagner. “Yes, we do have members who autocross or road race and have no interest in trying out other forms of participation within the SCCA – and that’s great. But at the same time, the Club has more and more members looking for a one-size-fits-all vehicle that can be competitive and fun no matter the venue, allowing them to autocross one weekend, run a Time Trials event the next, and be competitive in both.”
There are two ways to learn more about Club Spec, and one involves reading the text below. The other involves checking out the Grassroots Motorsports Live broadcast on Wednesday, June 14, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, where Wagner will be chatting with the folks from Grassroots about this very concept.
The Definition of Fun
The way SCCA competition is structured, participation in multiple aspects of the Club in one vehicle is possible; being competitive everywhere isn’t guaranteed. The Club Spec concept takes participation and competitiveness and mashes them into one fun and relatively affordable package.
“Club Spec is in the early stages of development, meaning we’re considering which car or cars would best complete the goal of ‘one car for all the things,’” Wagner says. “We know that a roadster doesn’t fit into everyone’s lives, and not everyone wants to drive a sedan. Some people may want to drive something newer and more expensive than others are able to. So, we really want to understand buying preferences and interest first, and then we can work with SCCA program boards and our partners to come up with options that are both realistic and exciting.”
Fun is the primary tenet of Club Spec, but so are tuning allowances that are easy to understand and implement, with no loopholes in the rules. Club Spec also eliminates the “car of the year” problem that plagues certain competition classes. Club Spec allows members to buy once and compete for years.
It’s important to note that Club Spec may eventually involve wheel-to-wheel racing, but it would (at least initially) target SCCA events that do not require an SCCA Full Competition License. In the event that Club Spec cars are classed in Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing’s wheel-to-wheel series, a full roll cage would not be required for the likes of autocross, track days, RallyCross, and so on.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Sounds good, right? So where is Club Spec? Much of it is in your brain.
Club Spec is in its infancy, and to grow the concept, SCCA needs your help. What we do know is that Club Spec should initially target competitive classing in National Time Trials competition and SCCA Autocross as a supplemental class. From there, Club Spec will hopefully advance into RallyCross and SCCA HillClimb, incorporating Track Night and RoadRally from day one due to the incredibly welcoming nature of those programs.
To reach Club Spec as an SCCA-wide initiative, the Club needs your help. SCCA is looking for input on a variety of topics, including which car or cars should be included in Club Spec and whether 200TW street tires offer an acceptable performance level.
How do you tell us this information? There’s a survey!
I’m Pumped! When Does This Roll?
The survey will gauge interest in the concept, largely steering Club Spec’s timeline.
SCCA’s drive is to maintain momentum on Club Spec, with the results of the survey – and a gameplan – shared around the time of the 2023 Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships. Should the response be overwhelmingly positive, Club Spec’s launch could involve as many as two classes introduced in National Time Trials and SCCA Autocross (as supplemental classes) in 2024, expanding in 2025 and beyond.
All of that largely depends on you and the results of the survey – so take the survey.