Novice Q&A


Well-known member
Us Pro3 guys have a mailing list that's pretty active with (sometimes) useful chatter. One of the guys who is just about done building a Pro3 car and will be a Novice this year asked some questions this morning that got detailed answers that might be useful to other Novices. The questions:


As I get to the long list of little things left on the build I've got a few questions I need answered/clarification on...

Cage Padding - Is this required? I don't see it in the rulebook. If it is where is it required (I assume driver's side doorbars..forward laterals)? Recommendations?

Cage Inspection Hole - 3/16" diameter it says in the rules. Best place passenger side, lower section of main hoop?

Tow Eye/Loop - I have a factor toe eye/loop under the rear bumper. Is this legal to use? Just need an aftermarket eye/loop for the front then?

Tech Inspection - When I'm ready where can I get a Conference Tech Inspection prior to the first race? I don't want to just show up to my first race for Tech and find I missed some things.

Decals - Besides the standard decal kit we get from WX Signs, it sounds like I also need the following decals: Tow (2), Kill Switch (1), Transponder (1). Any others? Sources for these?

Geez..can't believe Race #1 is coming up soon. It's a bit overwhelming with everything to keep in mind and to remember for that first day. If anyone has a great checklist or source of information for a Novice first race (what to bring at a minimum, procedures, etc.) it would be helpful.I'm pretty organized and have a nice little binder with info and lists and rules, etc but would be nice to have some insight from some of you who have done this dozens of times already.


Answers in following posts...
From Steward Tom:


Here's the answer to a few of your questions:

Cage padding is not specifically mentioned in the Conference rulebook (as far as I know), but it's a very good idea, and you will get grief from the inspectors if you don't have it. Mine's padded everywhere I'm likely to hit it in a whack. Ironically, cage padding is mentioned on the annual tech inspection form. Hmm, maybe I need to fix that...

Inspection hole - yup, that sounds like the spot most people have theirs. Conference requires one 3/16 hole only - in the main hoop. Please put it in a location that we can get a swing on a big hammer for the stamp.

Tow eye - The factory rear hoop is sufficient. Yes, one on the front is required as well. If you have a later model car with the screw in tow-eye, please don't screw that in and call yourself done. We don't like things sticking out that could hook you up with another car. TC Moto makes a really nice one that bolts right up.

Tech inspection - plan on getting the initial inspection, cage stamp, and tech for your first weekend done the Friday evening of your first race weekend. You will need to find a Steward for your first inspection, as we are the only people who can stamp a cage. You will be really busy on Saturday, so get all of this out of the way on Friday.

Stickers - Yes, please label all of the things you mention (plus the fire system). If Robert can't supply you with those, Andy Collins will have those for you at the track.

Good luck!
ICSCC Reg. E 1113. Recovery Equipment – Towing Eyes. All cars without an exposed roll bar
shall have a towing eye or strap, front and rear, to be used for flat-towing or
hauling the vehicle. The towing eyes or straps shall be of sufficient size and
design to withstand the stress exerted during towing or recovery without
deformation and shall have a two (2) inch inside diameter. The towing eyes
or straps shall not dangerously protrude from the bodywork while the car is
racing. These towing eyes or straps shall be securely bolted in place and
easily accessible without removal or manipulation of bodywork or other
A. Cars requiring specialty towing equipment (eg, a “claw” for Legends
racers) shall present that equipment to the Race Chairman before the
first on-track event of the day, and the equipment shall remain with the
emergency crew throughout the duration of the event. (Fall 2009)
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From me:


As far as planning for your first race weekend goes, here are some things to consider:

Get a canopy or two, to keep the rain/sun off your car in the paddock. Some guys use 10x20s, others use a pair of 10x10s. They're not cheap, but good quality ones will last you years, as long as they don't blow away in the mini-tornadoes that sometimes rip through the paddock in Spokane or the steady Force 9s at ORP. Get some ratchet straps or similar to anchor them to heavy things on the ground. Tires are usually heavy enough west of the Cascades. I personally use a pair of 10x10 Caravan pop-up canopies from Costco.

Your Novice handbook, which you'll receive with your license, has a lot of information about the specifics of a race weekend - registration, tech, meetings, on-track sessions, etc.

I have always found it helpful to know approximately how much time is left in session. A cost-effective solution is an oven timer velcro'ed to the dash. Just remember to start it! Set it to 33 minutes for a race, and start it just before rolling off pregrid.

Other drivers are a great logistical resource on your first race weekend, or first visit to a particular track. Where's registration? Tech? Pregrid? Have somebody go with you to registration - they need to go too. Have somebody with you in pregrid the first day. You'll have a million questions and small panics (my belts are all done up, the 5-minute warning was 3 minutes ago and all I can see in my right side mirror is sky!). An experienced hand is always nearby and ready to help.

Bring a bike if you have room - you'll always be needing to get around the paddock - to drivers meetings, to the head, to wherever Armadillo Andy is set up, etc.

You'll typically have 60-70 minutes of track time on a Novice Saturday - bring enough gas. Don't count on all of a stock E30 tankful to be usable in racing conditions. I've heard a range of 8 to 11 gallons usable IIRC.

To echo what Tom said, get to the track Friday if possible, and get registration, paddock setup, and tech out of the way. Your Saturday morning will start with a track tour at 8, followed by a Novice drivers meeting that will last at least a half hour. The track tour usually runs long and the License Director can be long-winded (!), so you won't be done with that until 9:30 or so. Your practice session is last thing in the morning before lunch, so you'll have a couple of hours before you have to think about suiting up. That can be a relaxed time or a hectic one depending on how much you got done Friday night. You can't get in to PIR to set up until 5pm, by the way, so don't make the mistake I made my first race there and leave the Seattle area at 10:30 on Friday morning. By the way, if you haven't already seen it, the schedule for the first race weekend is here. It's typical for a normal (1 race over 2 days) weekend - usually all that changes is the order in which the groups run.

Read the supps. Scratch your head over #24. :) Supps differ track to track.

Plan to stay around for the BBQ Saturday evening. It's a great time to bench race and to meet and thank your new best friends, the people in white.
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