Registration is open for NASA’s Eastern and Western States Championships. Each event promises to deliver competitive fields on difficult tracks in a winner-take-all weekend of top-tier racing. To help you secure your place on the grid, and get in on all the prize money and contingencies, we thought we’d offer a brief primer on what it takes to qualify for either of those events — or both.
The short answer is that it takes five race results to qualify to race at a Championships event or four Time Trial results to be eligible to compete in TT. If that sounds like a tall hurdle to leap, well, it’s not because of the way NASA structures its race weekends.
“It’s easier to qualify than people think it is,” said Event Director for the Eastern States Championships Jon Felton. “One thing I’ve heard from a few drivers is that they see the number five and think it means five weekends. They don’t internalize that it means five races and all of our weekends are multiple-race weekends.”
Let’s break down the qualification process for the three types of entries at a typical Championships event: racing, Time Trial, and racing and Time Trial.
Assuming your license, medical and membership are in good standing, the easiest way to qualify is to run in five points-paying races between now and Championships time. If you regularly attend NASA events in your region, you’ll qualify in three weekends of racing in the regular season. You don’t even have to qualify before you register, and you can reserve your place for just $249 right now. The remainder of your entry fee is due Sept. 26, and you just need to meet the requirements by the week before the Championships.
Racers who need to qualify in a hurry can supersize to get as many as four races in one weekend, depending on the event. For example, the Florida event in June at Sebring will stage four races on Saturday and Sunday.
There’s even an option for racers to enter enduros or the Time Trial group and have those results count toward your five-race total. For instance, you could run in three races and two TT days or four races and one TT day to complete the requirements. Also, enduros of any length count as two races for all drivers on a recognized team who can verify participation.
There are allowances for hardship, too. If you can demonstrate you attended three events, but crash damage or mechanical failure prevented you from fully meeting the requirements, you could still qualify. Though rare, those instances will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Again, with a license and membership in good standing, you can qualify to compete in Time Trial in the Eastern or Western States Championships with four results.
“What that means is you have to have posted a time for the day at four single days of Time Trialing,” Felton said. “Of course, this could be in any region, but all of them must be official results. Fun races and TT warm-ups won’t count toward this. By going into http://timingscoring.drivenasa.com, we need to be able to verify that someone has turned a time in a TT session on four separate days.”
You can accomplish that in two weekends of competition during the regular NASA season. It’s that easy.
Racing and Time Trial
There are some NASA members who compete in racing and in TT at the Championships. Those people will have to meet the requirements of each category separately: five race results and four TT results before the weekend of their chosen Championships.
“So, the five races qualify them to race in the Championships,” Felton said. “If someone wants to go for a double or a triple title in racing and in TT at a Championship, he’s going to have qualify for TT separately.”
That’s all there is to it. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details, but the reality is that if you compete regularly in your region, you should have no difficulty in qualifying. However, if you can’t make it to an event or two, NASA offers you ways to make up for events you missed and still qualify for the Championships.
“We want to see a great turnout as always,” Felton said. “This is our chance to showcase what we’re all about and get the best of the best out to win some hardware.”
Register for the Eastern States Championships