FROM THE ARCHIVES
78 APRIL 2020 scca.com
FROM THE EDITOR
• Trans Am was about to
embark on its 30th season, one
packed with big names, and it
was certain to be memorable.
• Readers enjoyed the
second installment of Ron
Lindensmith’s journey From
ITA to EP in 9,627 Easy Steps.
• Pete Hylton penned a piece
on the origins of Showroom
Stock road racing, including its
impact on Improved Touring
and SCCA Pro Racing.
• The SCCA National
Convention visited Las
Vegas for the second time.
• The 12 Hours of Sebring
wrapped up with the duo
of Mario Andretti and
Ignazio Giunti on the top
step of the podium, while
actor Steve McQueen and
Peter Revson finished in
the runner-up position.
There I sat at the park with my 2-year-old son on my lap. We’re behind the wheel
of a playground racecar that resembles a Lotus 7 as he gleefully spins the steering
wheel faster and faster. I bounce my legs up and down, mimicking overly erratic car
movements, adding sputters and growls as we pretend to race our playground car
through the park. And, while this precious moment was taking place, my mind wandered
to this very issue of SportsCar, the future of racing, and noises that racecars make.
Days earlier, I’d interviewed SCCA Senior Director of Rally/Solo Mike King and
Solo Events Board Chairman Bob Davis. In those conversations (which you’ll find
starting on pg. 32), we briefly discussed the forthcoming EV-specific autocross class.
Back at the park, I thought, if EVs are the future of autocross and road racing, what
noises will my son make when he’s playing with his child some 30 years from now?
Whether or not you agree that EVs should be the future, trends indicate that the
automotive industry is moving in that direction. Norway already has a 50 percent
EV market share, Iceland sits at around 25 percent, and U.K. officials recently stated
that its ban on gas and diesel cars will move up to 2035. Gasoline motors are going
away, and unless CNG or hydrogen infrastructure
suddenly takes off, battery power and its growing
infrastructure seems to be the natural alternative.
The EV play isn’t all far-away politics, either. Case
in point: I know of at least one U.S. racetrack that’s
adding EV charging stations due to the demand
from track day organizers. Then there’s the electrified FIA Jaguar iPace e Trophy
and ABB Formula E series (which SCCA Pro Racing sanctions on its U.S. stop).
That said, EV sales currently sit at about two percent of the global market – perhaps
coincidentally, roughly the same percentage of “early adopters” – and for the most
part, demand is largely government driven. But the trend for EVs is upward.
Late last year, I had a conversation with someone about racing classes and
unlimited rulesets. The good old days of Can-Am entered the conversation,
and that got me thinking about EVs entering Pikes Peak International
Hill Climb and even setting Nürburgring track records. If Can-Am of the
1960s and ’70s existed today, would a modern-day Chaparral 2J actually
be an EV racecar producing 1,200lb-ft of torque at zero rpm?
I’m certainly not opposed to EVs racing. In fact, you could say I’m “EV curious.”
After all, I’m the owner of a racecar with a 13B engine, so the idea of a motor
that doesn’t kill my hearing and won’t blow up is more than enticing. I also know
that racing isn’t going to stop if all cars go electric – as the joke goes, the first
race took place as soon as the second car was built. Racing is in our DNA.
Yet I still wonder: should full electrification happen, what
sounds will parents make while sitting behind the wheel of those
very same playground racecars in 30 years time?
MAKING RACECAR NOISES
EDITOR, SPORTSCAR MAGAZINE
50 YEARS AGO...
25 YEARS AGO...
10 YEARS AGO...
“As the joke goes, the first race took
place as soon as the second car
was built. Racing is in our DNA”