Technical Rules Compliance

 

BMW CCA Club Racing has a set of rules under which we operate. By participating in Club Racing, we agree to abide by these rules. While it may seem like a lofty ideal, Club Racing has always maintained that we must trust each other to follow the rules as published. There are no prizes and no trophies; at the end of the day – what we take away is the knowledge that we performed to the best of our abilities in a fair and honorable manner.

 

It is a reality that Club Racing does not have the technical staff that professional series, or very large programs such as SCCA, have to monitor for rules compliance. Club Racing believes that every racer in the program is of the highest integrity and that no one is blatantly ignoring or bending the preparation rules. However, it is recognized that the rules may not be absolutely clear. For this reason a process exists to obtain guidance.

 

The Rules Clarification Process is in place for racers to ask questions before embarking on a path that may not be crystal clear. This process also provides for the rules to be updated with these clarifications so that others will benefit from these efforts. The rules are declarative – they state what can be done. However, the catch-all rule is the statement “if it does not say you can, you cannot.”

 

There may be many items that should be in the “you can” list that are not, simply due to omission, but that does not mean that the rules allow them to be done until an official clarification has been issued. Our rules do not define every term used in them. This is unfortunate as we all tend to interpret words and phrases differently and usually with a slant towards whatever position we favor – we are human. There are certainly cars in the program that are not 100% compliant. This is not because the driver is a cheat, far from it, but because BMW CCA Club Racing is made up of volunteers who are trying their best to define and comply with the rules as they go. Club Racing does not have a paid staff of motorsports professionals who have the time and experience to create a set of rules that are clear and unambiguous. We do not have a staff to enforce the rules though compliance inspections at each event (this, in fact, may not be what we want – at the end of the day, this is supposed to be fun for all of us). For that reason, we have a Rules Change Process to include or exclude allowed modifications and ensure that everyone is working from the same baseline. This is how racers guide the Rules Committee on what should be allowed at each preparation level. 

 

However, rules are rules. They are not “guidelines.” This means that, to keep within the spirit of Club Racing, racers must adhere to the rules as written, weaknesses and all. Going outside the rules violates both the letter and the intent of the program. The Rules Change Process it the correct method to adjust the rules over time.   One of the factors applied by the Rules Committee when reviewing Rule Change requests is what the financial effect will be upon racer community. While some items are very desirable to one group, they may place others at a disadvantage because they simply cannot afford to implement the item on their car. To maintain as level a playing field as is practical in racing, to keep from violating the spirit of what makes BMW CCA Club Racing such a welcoming venue for motorsports enthusiasts, we must abide by both the letter and the spirit of the rules.

 

Originally published via email,



2008 Annual Technical Inspections  –  published: 12/31/2007

Beginning in 2008, BMW CCA Club Racing is instituting an annual inspection program that promises to make race weekends much more enjoyable for both drivers and officials.

Local shops will be qualified and authorized to conduct annual inspections. The regional technical stewards will interview nominated shops and, if found satisfactory, they will add them to the approved list to conduct inspections.

The shop will conduct annual inspections by appointment and per any fee schedule of their choosing. They will complete only the annual inspection form, the log book is reserved for Club Racing official notations.

Annual inspections are in-depth safety inspections designed to look at various items in detail and normally take 30-45 minutes. This has been an area of great concern as inspections at the track have not been as thorough as we would like. This change will allow you to schedule your inspection well in advance and provide you with time to correct any discrepancy prior to arriving at the track.

When you arrive at an event after a recent inspection, the Technical Steward will need to see the annual inspection form, your log book and your personal equipment. The Steward may ask to see your car to do a spot check – this is primarily to verify that the shop did the annual inspection properly. Should a spot check reveal that the shop did not conduct the inspection with diligence, that shop will be removed from the authorized list until the Technical Steward is satisfied that they can and will comply with BMW CCA Club Racing standards.

Your annual will be good for 365 days from the date is it issued. Should there be a mandated safety equipment change incorporated in the annual rules update, that change alone will be inspected at the first event of the year in which the car participates.

Helmets will be inspected annually and an approval decal will be affixed that is valid for the entire calendar year.

Annual inspections at the track are discouraged. There are simply not the facilities or the time to conduct a quality inspection in that environment. If you do not have an annual you can expect to miss session(s).

Remember, the Tech Inspectors can ask to see your car at any time during an event. These inspections are not limited to safety but can include compliance inspections.

During the shop qualification process, it may be necessary to make at-event inspection exceptions in early 2008. 


For more information about BMW CCA Club Racing, or to find out how your organization can become a sponsor, contact chairman@bmwccaclubracing.com, or check out our website at http://www.bmwccaclubracing.com

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