If you are reading this right now we are assuming that you enjoy fast cars, especially the Ariel Atom, and may at some point have the need to get out on the track and drive.  Many of the current drivers in the Spec:RaceAtom series came from the track day market, or simply made the decision that racing was a dream of theirs and took the steps to become involved.

In a future article I will get more into the steps of going from the sidelines to the track.  Currently we are heading into the first race of 2015 that will occur tomorrow, so I thought it would be a good time to outline some of the major things that will happen during the day. 

1.       Registration – This begins at around 7am; the VIR Cup Series is run by the VIR Club that utilize an online registration platform.  All you need to do at this point is sign in, grab a schedule for the day, and wait for the driver meeting to begin.

2.       Driver’s Meeting – This is an important part of any race event.  You will be given any instructions that may have changed from previous events, any changes in procedure that may be different on that specific course, as well as the overview of safety procedures.  The meeting also allows for any questions.

3.       Getting your Spec:RaceAtom Car ready – many participants choose to have a full trackside service & support package which allows them to focus on driving versus worrying about their car; tires, fuel, etc.  If you are inclined to do your own preparation that does occur as well.  At this point in the day you will be setting your tire pressures, filling up with fuel, and doing some final nut & bolt checks.

4.       Practice – The SRA series has 2 practice sessions on Saturday mornings.  These sessions are generally at least 20 minutes in length which allows time for driver, and car, to get up to speed on the course.  Many drivers will make slight changes during the session to tire pressures trying to get the maximum performance.

5.       Qualifying – The SRA series has a 20 minute qualifying session.  Each driver’s fastest lap is recorded and used to set the starting grid.

6.       Tech inspection – The top 3 qualifiers, as well as one randomly selected car, are weighed to ensure minimum weight is adhered to.  In the case of the SRA series the minimum weight, including driver, is 1550 lbs.

7.       Race Time – The SRA series is run based on a number of laps generally a race is approx. 25 minutes in length).  A double file, rolling start is used with the race commencing upon a waving green flag.  It is not uncommon to see multiple lead changes during the event, along with close racing action throughout the field.

8.       Podium – It’s celebration time!  Awards are given to the top 3 racers, along with a nice contingency award from Honda Performance Development to the top 3 drivers. 

9.       Tech Inspection – Once again the cars are inspected to ensure everyone is complying with the rules

10.   Bench Racing – The great thing about the Spec:RaceAtom series is that after the event many of the competitors chat, discuss the race, and enjoy the moment.  Racing in the SRA series is fun; it is competitive on the track but provides a friendly atmosphere off the track.

What is next?  Do it all over again on Sunday! 

If this sounds interesting to you and you would like to become involved please contact us, or come to check us at an event.  Stay tuned for the race report this coming Monday.

Mark Swain