A Class For Everyone Over the past couple of years you've seen CHP spread its interest beyond what just goes straight; from the 24 Hours of Lemons to open track days, CHP is getting into all facets of motorsports. Funny thing is, I've always been heckled by road racers saying drag racers never make a turn. My response to most of them is that we turn at least twice, "Once onto the track, and once off!" I invite others to come sit in my Super Gas Roadster when it's running wide open on a cold winter day. All you're doing from the starting line to the finish is turning the wheel to stay in the center of the groove.
Well, way back in the late '80s, I was the chief mechanic on an SCCA Showroom Stock team; this was the closest I got to going around turns. Then, when my son Daniel was 11, we got started in Karting; in the final year he raced (four years later), we both ran the same kart-Daniel in the Adult class and me in the Grand Masters, with the rest of the old guys. We had an absolute blast that year and both finished in the top five for the season.
Now here we are in Southern California, where there are all types of motorsports events every weekend. Daniel has gotten to know an SCCA Pro Solo team and they invited him out to test in their car-of course he jumped at the chance. I'd never been to one of their events, and it was a lot of fun and very easy to race your street car at the club level. If you're not familiar with Autocross, they set up a track (usually in a parking lot or airstrip) using cones to mark off the circuit. You start from a standing start and are timed through the course, then you're given an elapsed time at the end of your run. So we've picked up a set of slicks for my Mazda Miata (Hey, I've got to get around L.A.), and we're back to going around turns.
Check out the Sports Car Club of America's website (scca.com) for all the information you need to get out to a local club event and race around the track, including the rules and classifications for any type of car. You can see where your car stacks up against other brands and which class you fall into. There are regional clubs all around the country, and all you have to do to race is get a weekend pass and volunteer to help with the event. They run practice sessions throughout the day, which can give you up to 12 runs, and breaks when you work the track.
Daniel has been invited to drive the Pro Solo team's car at the National here in SoCal this summer, so I guess we'll be burning up some tires practicing until then. I hope my little Miata is up to the abuse, since we'll both be trying to break it. If you're looking to try something a little different, get out there and have some fun!
Q: I'm trying to get some final answers on my '71 Nova build. With so many different views and ideas, I have to go to the pros at Chevy High. I have a four-bolt main 350 block with a steel crank and 0.060-inch over pistons that is fully balanced. I have a Comp Cams XE274H-10 and aluminum roller rockers. The top end is a Dart Pro 1, 180cc kit (PN 01111111) with a dual-plane intake. I will be installing a set of Hooker long-tube headers, 13/4-inch primary and 3-inch collectors into 21/2-inch duals out back. Torque is key to me, and a redline of 6,000-6,500 is tops. This is my street car. There will be a 3.08:1-geared 10-bolt rearend for now with 26-inch-tall tires. I have a great all-new ignition system and have not bought the hood for the car yet, so hood clearance isn't an issue if spacers are required. So should I use my Holley 750-cfm carb with vacuum secondaries or an EZ EFI from FAST? Do I use my TH400 with a 2,200-stall or a TH350 with a stall speed that I'm not sure of? Will I have any trouble running pump gas? Can you estimate the torque and horsepower, please? Thanks for your time.
Big Valley, AB, Canada