SCDA's Elivan Goulart wins both World Challenge GT-4East races at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park

The leadership at the Sports Car Driving Association is actively engaged at all levels of motorsports from karting to top level pro-racing. Every member of the staff are either drivers or their patient and supportive partners.  This fundamental understanding of the risks and rewards of driving well and how to enable others to do the same is at the core of the SCDA. In the latest chapter of the ongoing pursuit for excellence, SCDA President Elivan Goulart delivered a commanding pair of wins last weekend in the GT4-East Pro-Am class of the Pirelli World Challenge races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Co-driving with Elivan was teammate Anthony Geraci in the SCDA-sponsored Krugspeed Ginetta G55. The drivers shared the car in the 1-hour races which saw a charge by Goulart and strong support from Anthony to keep the car at the front of the field when it mattered.  Geraci started the first of two races and Goulart the next. Pitstop execution was flawless keeping the car near or at the front.

The Krugspeed Ginetta G55 is an English sportscar from a marque long associated with racing.  The G55 is the lightest car in the GT-4 class but also has the least power in the series. This combination is a disadvantage at some tracks, but the chassis was perfect at the historic track known as Mosport.  “It was one of those weekends where you roll the car out of the trailer and it is perfect, you never change a thing.” said Elivan. Mosport is known for it’s challenging high speed turns with 1 and 2 being true tests of setup and fortitude.  The late World Champion Niki Lauda called turns 3,4 and 5 the hardest at any track he had ever visited. The way the competitors were not able to make a pass on Goulart and Geraci on the long back straight despite having more horsepower speaks to the pair’s exit speed from the tight turn 6.  The pair will next compete in the Pirelli Word Challenge series at Watkins Glen on August 30th.

The Sports Car Driving Association provides safe and educational ways for drivers to experience speed on some of America’s finest tracks.  The SCDA hosts 30 event in 2019 with schedule and registration available at www.SCDA1.com.  Upcoming events include June 4th at Palmer Motorsports Park and back at Lime Rock on June 13th.


Watkins Glen Track Walk with Elivan Goulart

How does the Sports Car Driving Association go beyond expectations to impart the best training and experience to it’s drivers?  The same way the SCDA knows how to run a safe and client focused event, by taking advantage of their greatest asset, the instructors.  Last weekend at the legendary Watkins Glen International, SCDA’s president and multi-time national champion Elivan Goulart lead a track walk around the 3.4 mile circuit in Watkins Glen, New York.

 

As more than fifty drivers gathered in the most challenging turns, Elivan deconstructed the section of track discussing braking points, banking, traction changes and where and if to downshift. He brought to life his insights with first hand experience.

 

Certain insights were particularly juicy and surely changed some driving lines on the following day.  In the famous esses, turns 2 & 3, the extreme elevation change and lack of camber at the crest of the hill had drivers thinking about moving their turn-in point a little later to make the most turning on the uphill and straightening the wheel at the crest.

 

The entry to the BusStop chicane at the end of the back straight is flanked by high and wide curbing which Goulart used every inch of on both entry and exit of the series of kinks. Visual references were highlighted in turns 5 and 6 with a discussion of turn 6, diving into braking, down shifting and turn in. By visiting the turn first hand, observers were able to grasp the camber of the road and risks of a late turn in.

 

The Toe of the Boot, turn 7, has a dozen different lines, none of which ever feel right, but certain principles will always apply.  Don’t over-slow the car, get to your apex, don’t lift after the apex and use all of the road at exit. Re-entering the short course at turn 9, the camber change on entry and importance of patience mid-corner were the subject of discussion in a slow but important turn.

 

Following the track walk, drivers ventured over to the Jack Daniels building overlooking turn 1 and the esses for further discussion over cocktails at the SCDA’s first social gathering at the Glen.  Raffle prizes were handed out and a scenic sunset finished off a great day at historic Watkins Glen. The SCDA will return to the Glen July 15 and 16.


Helmet Certifications: What is the difference and what do I need to get on track?

Helmets are considered the most important piece of safety gear for a driver or rider.  Over the years helmet technology has changed and so have the requirements for driving events.  While there are several types of certifications for modern helmets, the Sports Car Driving Association requires that all helmets meet the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation.  A Snell certification is considered the gold standard for helmet testing and is recognized by every major racing body.

All drivers at SCDA events are required to wear a helmet with a Snell rating of SA2010 or newer.  Questions often arise about the certification process and what are the difference between ratings.  Don't be caught out at tech inspection with the wrong rating of helmet so here are more details when choosing a helmet.

The Snell Foundation tests dozens of types of helmets based on their designated use and has categories such as Motorcycling, Elite Automotive Sports, Kart, SA Automotive Sports as well as Equestrian, Skiing and Cycling. Some helmets can look similar but are designed and tested for different applications.  The only acceptable helmets for use at SCDA events are rated SA2010 or SA2015.  The rating SA is for Competitive Automotive Sports. The Snell Foundation describes the differences in this way:

The SA standard was designed for competitive auto racing while the M standard was for motorcycling and other motorsports. The K standard was released to accommodate helmets used in karting. There are three major differences between them:

  1. The SA standard requires flammability test while the M and K standards do not.
  2. The SA and K standards allow for a narrower visual field than the M standard (Some SA and K certified helmets may not be street legal).
  3. The SA and K standards include a rollbar multi-impact test while the M standard does not.

The date code (2010, 2015) refers to the expiration of the certification, which is 12 years from the date shown. For example, a SA2010 helmet is acceptable until 2022.  Helmet shoppers should look for a helmet with a 2015 certification to get the longest use from their investment.  The Snell Foundation also offers guidelines for purchasing the right helmet. 

Helmets with an M-rating or DOT-ratings are not acceptable.   Motorcycle helmets do not have the proper safety requirements for car use, specifically a rollbar multi-impact test.

Helmets MUST have one of these two labels on the inside.

Helmet Suppliers:

 


April Showers Make Way for Horsepower at Palmer Motorsports Park

The Sports Car Driving Association’s first visit to Palmer Motorsports Park in 2019 was a huge success.  Spring weather in New England can be unpredictable, and somehow racetracks see the best and worst of it. Built on the side of a mountain in central Massachusetts, Palmer Motorsports Park has the distinction of having the “most improved” weather throughout the day and April 6th was no exception.

 

Drivers arriving early found a damp track as they brought their cars through the Technical Inspection process where SCDA staff ensure that cars and driver gear are safe and ready for the day ahead. As the sun got higher in the sky, the asphalt dried quickly and slippery surfaces gave way to a dry racing line and finally a warm and completely dry racetrack.  Despite being only the third event of the season for Palmer Motorsports Park, the facility was fully prepared to host close to 100 cars and the drivers and crew that comes with them. Garages were clean and ready, the paddock area was free of puddles and the track was ready to go green for the first Instructor session at 9:00.

 

Palmer Motorsports Park is the only road course in Massachusets and combines the thrills of such legendary tracks as Bridgehampton, Laguna Seca and Bathurst.  “Also known as Whiskey Hill Raceway the 2.3 miles long track is 40-feet wide and sees 190 feet of elevation in an alpine wilderness.  Designed by grassroots racers and professional designers and carved from Whiskey Hill granite, Whiskey Hill Raceway is a one-of-a-kind roller coaster ride,” reads Palmer’s website and the track does not disappoint. Pictures by Shawn Pierce of Saturday’s event are here.

 

The Sports Car Driving Association will visit Palmer Motorsports Park four times in 2019, with the next visit on June 4th.  To sign up for an SCDA event just click here.  View all 2019 SCDA events here.

 

Upcoming SCDA track events:

 

SCDA Event Photos

 

 

 


Spring Lime Rock Opener sees Serious Drivers with Serious Equipment

Spring Lime Rock Opener sees Serious Drivers with Serious Equipment

The Sports Car Driving Association hosted many new and returning drivers at it’s Lime Rock Park season opener on Saturday, March 30.  Following a short off season, and an early Spring event at the New Jersey Motorsports Park on March 10, the SCDA returned to it’s home track, the historic Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.  The event consisted of a Car Control Clinic in the morning with drivers moving to the full 1.53 mile road course after lunch.

The SCDA Car Control Clinic is open to drivers of all skill levels.  The half day event hosts a limited number of drivers who want to develop driving skills and master vehicle control in a low risk setting.  Following a chalk talk on vehicle dynamics by veteran instructor Rob Slonaker, the group is split between the large skid pad and Auto-Cross course.  The skid pad is a wet circle of asphalt that lets drivers work with instructors on board to develop the skills needed to control a car at the limit. Drivers are trained to use steering and throttle to balance the vehicle in a slide when facing understeer and oversteer, the loss of traction at the front or rear of a car.

Following the skid pad, drivers move to the Auto-Cross course, a tight 10-turn track with elevation changes and a variety of corner types.  On the Auto-Cross course, drivers are able to use their car control skills to build speed and manage slides for five laps at a time, while working with an instructor. Following several sessions with an instructor on board, drivers continue to be coached between sessions to master their new skills.

In the afternoon, intermediate and advanced drivers headed down to the full course to stretch their legs in some very powerful and well handling machines. For most drivers, this SCDA event was their first track day of 2019 and many experienced drivers were joining the SCDA for their first time, coming from other groups.  Many drivers new to the SCDA reported that they were impressed with the well organized event and client-focused atmosphere.

As well as quick and experienced drivers, the event also saw a broad variety of serious equipment on track including such standouts as a new Ford GT, a dozen Corvettes, McLaren, Porsche GT3 and GT4’s, Dodge Viper, Mercedes AMG, Lotus as well as the usual slew of BMW and Mazda performance models. Drivers enjoyed great weather and nearly two hours of track time.

The SCDA will host 11 more events at Lime Rock in 2019, plus 7 Car Control Clinics.  As well as Lime Rock, the SCDA hosts events at the epic Watkins Glen International, Virginia International Raceway, New Jersey Motorsports Park, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Palmer Motorsports Park and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Most events are open to novice drivers also.  Novices are accompanied by instructors at all times and receive extensive classroom training.

The SCDA is one of the oldest and largest High Performance Driver Education organizations in the United States with 30 events throughout the Northeast.  More information is available at www,SCDA1.com and by calling 516-500-SCDA (7232).

Upcoming SCDA track events:

 

SCDA Event Photos