When it comes to getting out on a road course, SCCA offers three ways car enthusiasts can experience the fun of driving on a dedicated race track. From the entry level Track Night in America series of events, to Time Trials competitions, and the most recent Club Racing Experience that prepares drivers for full wheel-to-wheel racing action, there are plenty of opportunities and ways to get out and have #funwithcars.

However, for those new to SCCA and motorsports, understanding the differences between each of these events may be difficult. So we’re here to break it down and make it simple. Two easy to understand charts that quickly answer the questions about what’s similar and what’s different.

Breakdown the Similarities and Differences

The one thing all three events have in common is that they are held on dedicated road racing courses. Unlike Rally events that are on rally tracks (dirt and gravel courses) or Autocross events that are typically held on parking lots or airport tarmacs; CRE, Time Trials, and TNiA are all scheduled at tracks like Thompson Speedway, Lime Rock Park, or Palmer Motorsports Park.

Beyond that, some aspects of each event may crossover across multiple formats, and others might be completely unique to that one specific event. In this chart, we look at:

  • Type of Car: Race car – a prepared, purpose-built racecar with a full cage, safety gear, and performance racing parts; or Street car – a licensed and registered vehicle for daily driving on local roads.
  • Passing: Can drivers overtake and pass cars while driving around the course?
  • Instruction: Are there experienced instructors guiding and advising participants?
  • Risk: Are cars kept separated with enough distance between them that contact between each other is minimal and easily avoided?
  • Competition: Do we collect times and list winners at the end?

The last comparison touches on costs, time, and equipment needs to participate.

  • Cost: Typical entry fee. This does not include costs for fuel, food, or other sundry items used during the event.
  • License: In order to participate, what licensing requirements must a driver obtain in advance?
  • Car Options: Race vehicles, street vehicles or both.
  • Time: Do you need to set aside an entire weekend, or just a couple hours?
  • Safety Gear: What’s required to participate safely during the event?

Get Started

NER is excited to offer multiple opportunities throughout the 2021 season to participate in each of these three events. Whether this is your first time driving on a track, or are considering the transition to full, competition road racing, the NER schedule includes all three options, with various dates throughout the year and at tracks throughout the region. Find the one that works for you – and GET STARTED!

About CRE

If you want to experience wheel-to-wheel racing in a lower-pressure environment than the Runoffs or even Regional racing – the Club Racing Experience is for you.

Also known as “CRE,”  at a Club Racing Experience event you can enjoy all of the excitement of wheel-to-wheel racing without all of the pressure – and there will be an instructor coach there to help you through the process.

CRE is open to SCCA members with or without previous racing experience/race license who self-certify that they have no disqualifying medical issues. If you’re not a member yet (which we hope you will choose to be), you can still try out CRE on a weekend membership.

2021 NER CRE Events

About Time Trials

Time Trials—first and foremost—is about the quest for speed. This is a place for mechanical creativity, driver development and envelope pushing. There is no room here for balance of performance, spec classes or slowing down the fast to make a better show.

The quest is first personal. This is much more about your experience and personal challenge than it is about winning and losing. The sport is based on creating a space where participants can push their own development and have a consistent way to measure their progress. Yes, there are classes, and yes, we will give trophies for people who do well in their class, but at the end of the day the more important questions are: did you go faster than you have before, did you learn more about driving than you knew before, did your car perform better than it did before?

This quest is also collective. It is about a community that has accepted the challenge of the track. One that believes that the battle is best fought on the same team, and that the next best thing to achieving greatness is witnessing it.

2021 NER Time Trials Events

May 22: Thompson Speedway

September 5: Pocono Raceway

September 18: Thompson Speedway

National Tour

July 3-4: Palmer Motorsports Park

About TNiA

Since its inception in 2015, Track Night in America has hosted nearly 45,000 entries. No previous on-track experience or SCCA membership is required to join in the fun. However, participants who are SCCA members receive a $10 discount on entry fees. Drivers participate in the Advanced, Intermediate, or KONI Novice Experience group, so on-track activities remain fun for all, and everyone gets three 20-minute sessions on course — as well as support feedback from SCCA driver coaches on site. If you just want to stop by and see what it’s like, you can always sign up for our free Touring Laps session for a relaxed, lead-follow trip around the racetrack.

2021 NER TNiA Events

Lime Rock Park; Lakeville, CT
May 26, June 9, September 20, September 21

New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Loudon, NH
May 13, August 5

Palmer Motorsports Park; Palmer, MA
June 30, July 21, September 9

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; Thompson, CT
April 22, May 6, June 1, June 24, July 13, July 29, August 16, August 31, September 16, October 5