No sooner had the checkered flag waved on the last race of the 2019 season that drivers began wondering about 2020. I’m sure you can relate.
Depending on how you conduct your racecar maintenance, you might end your racing season with a white board full of projects. That’s usually how my winter goes. There’s a lot of maintenance and parts swaps to be done on the racecar and a fair amount of service to be done on the tow vehicle and trailer. Luckily, only the trailer needs tires this year. The truck is good to go.
As for NASA as an organization, 2020 is going to be a fun and interesting year. The NASA Team Racing Endurance Challenge is going to launch in earnest and what we’re hoping for is that TREC will become a primer for HPDE drivers of all stripes to get access to a racecar, throw on some 180 treadwear tires and go out and have some fun.
But here’s something NASA members also might consider. If you know people who are always asking what race weekends are like or what it’s like to race a car, TREC is an ideal way to let them get involved in a racing team, without all the licensing requirements associated with NASA’s sprint racing programs. As a reminder, four TREC races earns a driver a TREC license. Eight TREC races nets them a real competition license.
Another thing that the TREC program can do is bring out a lot of older cars out of mothballs. Cars that are no longer competitive in a given sprint racing class can be “repurposed” for racing in TREC. I can think of a few cars in my region alone that could be dusted off to find a new home in the TREC series.
In terms of the regions, there’s a lot going on. Several regions are staging crossover events, which are always fun, and a great way to meet new people from other regions. SoCal and Arizona are sharing a couple of events, as are Texas and NOLA. NASA Florida and NASA Southeast are joining forces at Daytona in October, and Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic are converging upon Pittsburgh International Race Complex in July. Mid South is going back to Barber Motorsports Park in July, and even though it isn’t officially a crossover event, that track is such a big draw that it pulls in drivers from all over the country.
In September, we return to Utah Motorsports Campus for the 2020 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires. The last time we held a Championships event there was in 2013 when it was called Miller Motorsports Park. I know it’s a long tow for racers from regions east of the Mississippi, but consider all the NASA NorCal drivers who made it to Mid-Ohio in 2019! Like Circuit of The Americas, Utah Motorsports Campus was built to FIA Formula 1 standards. It’s truly a world-class facility and a great place to race.