In Pursuit of Performance

Cars in Competition

Kevin Harper - April 25, 2014 02:00 PM

ImagePhoto: Keplinger Designs
Image Photo: OPTIMA
Image Photo: John Gunnell

Image 1 of 3

It was a common question at the Performance Racing Industry show last December. Everyone wanted to know the other guys’ plans for the 2014 season. The answer to that question is here.

The time period where one racing season ends and another begins is getting tighter and tighter. It’s a good thing if you’re prepared and if you’re a spectator. It can be a bit of a negative if you are making a big move and need a little more time to get ready.

Early season events have been completed and documented, especially for the professionals. The vast majority of the enthusiast community, though, can’t consider themselves to be professional. There are plenty who like to occasionally see what their car can do or occasionally whet that competitive appetite to pursue a purse or trophy. A larger number of enthusiasts simply fall into the classification of spectator, some with the hopes of someday competing, but others content to sit on the sidelines to watch it all happen.

There are more opportunities for those who aren’t professionals and like to “exercise” their right foot (and their braking foot as well, though they don’t talk about that). There are more than 300 dragstrips in the United States and Canada and many of them open their gates for “test and tune” sessions.

That’s the perfect place for a novice to get the thrill without running the risk of a speeding ticket or unfortunate circumstance that can arise with street racing. High performance driving events will allow you to take your car onto one of the many road courses that exist, coaxing speed through elevation changes and working on maximizing the thrill of speed with the essence of control. There is an increase in the field of cones used to mark autocrossing courses that allow for plenty of fun at reasonable speed. No matter where you may live, there is usually some kind of performance driving activity not far from you.

With so many racing facilities, it’s impossible to list everything that is going on or what is scheduled for 2014. Racetracks usually provide schedules and stand ready to help with information for those who are venturing out for the first time. Where do you want to go and what do you want to do? There’s going to be answer from the host track or the activity leaders. All that remains is the desire to do it.



Read the entire story, which includes more photos and a listing of activities where you can take your car, in the June Issue of Cars & Parts, on sale now.