You've raced in a few 24 Hours of LeMons and ChumpCar events which means you've already got a roll-cage installed in Mom's Oldsmobile. Where do you go from there? NASA's Western Endurance Racing Championship series.
National Auto Sport Association (NASA) runs an endurance racing series on the West Coast that culminates at the end of the year with the longest endurance race in the United States, The 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The cool part about the WERC series is almost any production car can qualify for one of the six classes (ESR, ES, E0, E1, E2 and E3) based on NASA's Performance Touring series points system. Rules for the endurance racing series can be found here.
LeMons and ChumpCar safety regulations have become more stringent recently, for obvious reasons, which means that your $500 car is actually closer to moving up to NASA than you think. The only major hurdle to get over at NASA is a competition license, which you can earn through a High Performance Driving Event (HPDE) ladder system. You will also need to get a log book issued to your car. Oh, and I forgot to mention, your car can't look like total crap. NASA has a 60-60 rule, the car must look straight from 60 feet away at 60 miles per hour. Yup, that means a lot of LeMon's cars will need some serious body work before they can compete, present company included.
In preparation for the upcoming WERC series, we headed to Buttonwillow Raceway Park in central California, home to 7s Only Racing, to see if our car would pass inspection and earn a coveted NASA log book. Tom and Betty Dragoun took time out of their busy race shop schedule to go over our car with great detail.
While we were there we hung around the 7s Only Racing shop for a while and picked Tom Dragoun's brain as much as we could in hopes of finding some pearls of race wisdom. We definitely got a few (but I won't be telling you about them until after the first WERC race at Buttonwillow on April 17, 2010).
The NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship series schedule for 2010 is:
April 17, 2010- Buttonwillow Raceway Park, 3 Hour Enduro
May 22, 2010- Thunderhill Raceway Park, 2 Hour Enduro
June 26, 2010 Buttonwillow Raceway Park, 3 Hour Enduro
August 21, 2010- Thunderhill Raceway Park, 2 Hour Enduro
October 9, 2010- Buttonwillow Raceway Park, 3 Hour Enduro
December 4, 2010- Thunderhill Raceway Park, 6 Hour Enduro (During the 25 Hour Event)
For teams who want to step up their game an run with the big boys, this series is the opportunity. The 25 Hours of Thunderhill plays host to the who's who of the sportscar racing motorsports world, including Boris Said and Randy Pobst. How cool would it be to say you raced against Boris?