Seekonk, MA — Looking toward the future, Seekonk Speedway Race Director Dave Alburn announced the introduction of a new entry level class of racing at Seekonk Speedway. The Sport Four division will be a true entry level class of racing, added to the Fast Friday schedule in 2009.
“We are always looking for new and inexpensive ways for the fans to get involved in racing here at Seekonk Speedway”, Dave stated. “We have had things in the past that had gotten way beyond what we were trying to accomplish”. What Dave was talking about was the previous Formula Four division which was scuttled after the 2003 racing season. While they share the same basic format, the cars that competed previously in the Formula Four class will not be eligible. “We want a class of cars that people can race, not race cars.” The rules package that has been put together clearly outlines the basics of entry level racing.
Eligibility to compete in this new venture will be open to anyone with no prior, or at the very least, a driver with very limited, experience in racing. “We are trying to get the fan that wants to try out and compete without having to go up against someone who has done this for a long time.”, Dave continued. “We are looking at high school kids, young adults, looking to get experience behind the wheel. That’s why we have put the minimum age at 15.” Indeed, some of the local technical vocational schools with an automotive program will be well suited for this. With the rules for the car itself being limited to just about completely stock, the cost to start is minimal.
The number one rule for the Sport Four’s is that the car must remain stock. It is open to 4 cylinder compact sedans and wagons manufactured from 1980 to 2004. Both front and rear wheel drive vehicles will be racing against each other. Unfortunately, Camaros, Firebirds, Thunderbirds, Vans, SUVs, trucks, rear and mid engine cars, sports cars, all wheel drive, convertibles, rotary engine and turbo/supercharged cars are not eligible for competition. “While we want the cars to be stock, we understand going with certain cars can drive up the cost of getting involved”, Dave stated. “We have put a claimer rule into effect for this class, as we have for the Pure Stock class. If there is a car that seems to be dominating this class, after three wins, the speedway has the right to purchase the car from the competitor for $800.00. As long as the car is prepared within the guidelines of the rules, no one should be worried about that, though.”
While this is a beginners division, safety is still at the forefront of the management. Drivers must have a fire retardant racing drivers’ suit, gloves and shoes. A helmet that meets Snell 95 rated or better is mandatory. A 5 point racing harness must be used, and an aluminum racing seat is highly recommended for safety. A driver’s safety net is also mandatory.
For the car itself, rollover bars are mandatory, fuel tanks MUST be replaced with an approved fuel cell. Safety shut offs for the fuel system must also be used. Cars will use all stock components, however. Engines, transmissions, differentials, suspension, fuel system, ignition system, wheels and tires must all remain stock. Both automatic and manual transmissions are approved for racing.
“We want this division to be fun and affordable for all competitors” Alburn stated. “We understand there are not a lot of men and women that can afford 2-4 thousand dollars to get involved. This is a great way to get started in this.”
For more information on the Sport Fours, and the complete rules package, please check out the website at Seekonkspeedway.com. click on the Rules link and go into the Fast Friday group for the complete rules. Rules for all other Seekonk Speedway divisions can also be obtained through the website. You can also contact the track office at (508) 336-9959.
Registrations for the Sport Fours and all of the ARC classes will be accepted for the 2009 racing season starting February 1. Remember, all numbers not renewed by March 1 become open for anyone to obtain.
Sources: Kevin Boucher/Seekonk Speedway PR