Driving directions

We were privileged to get this input from a veteran tech inspector and competitor, so we put it on its own "Driving Directions" page:

Here are some of my observations on how not to pass tech inspection:

  • Loose wheel bearings
  • Loose fire extinguisher
  • Loose battery
  • Any leaks
  • Not reading the rules
  • Improper seatbelt installation
  • Improper SFI designation

All these and more have been seen to go to tech only to be remedied at the scene.

Some anecdotes:

A person who tried to bribe an inspector to go to a higher class. When told unequivocally NO! He stated that since he drove to the race faster than we would allow him to run he was going home. We didn't miss him.

A person came to the race with BALD tires and no extinguisher. We asked why and were told he didn't read the rulebook! He was unhappy that excuse didn't get him in.

The roll cage that was grabbed by a tech inspector that came unattached from the car!

The many people who never read any instructions on how to properly mount and adjust seat belts. One gentleman had the lap belt above his belly at the sternum! Sub belts with 4 inches of air under them wrapped around the seat! Shower curtains for rocker rails...

If you fail to finish almost every race and are on first name basis with people who live beside the course you should check your equipment!

Being told that a SCCA tech inspector qualification makes it OK to mount seat belts at the wrong angle and with 5 feet of extension to the rear seat mounts! This is not AUTOCROSS!

One gentleman failed 3 events and said we were picking on him. First event he had a slow leak. Second event he had no Roll Cage and third event no Cage or proper seatbelts! I guess we are hard to please...

One self proclaimed engineer that wanted to argue with Simpson's recommended seatbelt mounting. The lap belts were mounted to the side even with his hips and the only contact was if he moved forward!

Zip ties holding the fire extingusher to the front seat rails!

A racer that had an issue on Thursday. They went to my house and we made a harness bar that would pass and he ran the race!

Harness bars that are not designed for the loads imposed on them. If it bends in a crash and lets the fire extinguisher hit you in the helmet as it passes through the front window, that's bad!

The excuse; "My tuner did all the work. I hardly think that he would install that wrong!" or "I had the manufacturer install it, they must know more about the product than you!" A bad install is a bad install...

A cracked through brake rotor will never pass tech!

There are some funny stories as well:

The time the Tech Inspector failed tech!

The time the Tech Inspector got a flat at the turn around and had to caravan back at 60 while the navigator got a high speed ride back!

Hitting not one, not two but three birds on course! The front of the car looked like Death Race 2000!

Having you wife win you a first place trophy and never repaying the favor!

There are NO bathroom breaks at 160!

The best advice for passing tech: Read the rules! Do a mock tech inspection and have a friend do it. Your wife might not care if you crash... Look under the hood. Is the battery loose? Are there any leaks or anything that looks out of place? Make sure you understand how seatbelts work and that they are properly mounted. Pin the clasps! Make sure you have the proper rating of tire! Make sure you have metal tire caps! Make sure there are no leaks! Grab a front wheel and try to shake it side to side or up and down. If it is loose then you need to fix it! Make sure that there is a cotter pin in the upper and lower ball joints!

The biggest mistake is to prepare for the race. Prepare for the crash! Just because you run the 125 class doesn't mean you will be fine. You can and probably will get hurt. You will probably total your car. Just because you have hit those speeds before on a highway in no way makes you qualified to run at those speeds fo 90 miles! Vibration, rocks, birds and even the occasional fisherman can and will ruin your day!

Advice for running the race: You do not need to account for every mile marker! Some are missing and none are exact! When I ran I didn't look for a mile marker until the NYE Count Line and then I would get us about 30 seconds ahead. Once out of the Narrows we would be right on. This worked at 125 and again up to 145.

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