Hello, NASA racers! I hope you are all having a fantastic season. It’s that time of year already where many of us are full speed ahead on our plans for the 10th Annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires. An entire decade of this prestigious event has gone by and with all the fantastic feedback from the two-event format in 2014, this year’s events are certain to be exciting at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Virginia International Raceway.
I always feel like a kid during the holidays this time of year. I’m excited to see who’s coming to the big events. I love to see what changes people have made to their machines to make them more likely to take a step on the podium. Of course, the Championships still have the great social aspects we all love about our regional events: people camping and cooking out, sharing beverages from their corner of the country. Fellow competitors helping each other patch up hurt cars to make the grid. Except there is an elevated level of competition with everybody fighting to be crowned a NASA Champion.
Moving this event every year has presented huge challenges, but it’s all for the best that we put the event in different regions each year so that competitors aren’t required to tow all over the country to compete at one of two staple tracks. Now everybody will get to see how they stack up against their out-of-region rivals, at their own home track as well as in their rivals ‘territory.’ By making the event more accessible to more regions each year, we hope to spread the willingness for competitors to travel to their neighboring regions, to go “steal some trophies” and, of course, take home the title of a NASA Champion.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a special place for the Western States Championships. Not only is it smack in the middle of our two biggest West Coast regions, but it’s such a historic track that is extraordinary to race on. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of driving through The Corkscrew. Eleven turns over 2.2 miles of fast and technical track promise to make for exciting competition to crown our Western NASA Champions. If you don’t have a lot of experience at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, be sure to check out two features in this issue.
“One Lap Around” will help you learn the finer points of getting around the track quickly. “Motorsports Tourist” will help you find your way around town and figure out where to stay and where to eat. Monterey has a lot to offer in addition to a fantastic racetrack.
Site of our Eastern States Championships, Virginia International Raceway also has a long and rich history. VIR, might be one of the coolest tracks in the country to do a big NASA event. From the time of arrival, until departure, there is almost no reason to leave the track. There are three different levels of lodging right at the track. There’s a rental go-kart track, rally course, drift course, shooting ranges, and of course the famous Connie’s Pub. Oh yeah, and all that is just in case the world-class 3.27-mile road course isn’t enough to keep you occupied for the weekend. There is a fantastic mix of low speed, high speed, and technical sections, good elevation changes, and a monster straightaway. All this with a huge paved paddock make for a great experience coming to VIR.
For all those coming to our big events this year, I wish you the best of luck. I can’t wait to see the show you all put on. And for those of you who are not coming, I hope you follow your friends along their journey to becoming a NASA Champion while you make plans to join us at a future NASA Championships event. See you at the track!