The East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) is holding a half-mile meet this weekend where street car owners can run their daily driver down the track under land speed record rules and sanction. The ECTA is recognized as the principle sanctioning organization for Land Speed Racing in the eastern United States. Holding events four times a year at the Airborne Airpark in Wilmington, Ohio, the ETCA times everything from production cars straight off the showroom floor to the highly custom, very exotic, purpose built land speed race cars.
The event scheduled for July 11th and 12th is unique for the association as it marks the first half-mile meet ever conducted by the ETCA. Seeking to get more enthusiasts involved in land speed racing, the association has shortened the distance and opened their doors to anyone that wants to join the group – which costs $25 for the membership – and pay the $225 car entry fee.
The basic rules break down as follows: A 2008 or newer car and a current helmet and factory seat belt will allow you to run up to 150 miles per hour. In a car older than 2008 with a current helmet and factory belt, the driver can go 140 MPH before needing a roll bar and a five point harness. “Most mild street cars that do not have bars will not get to 140 in the half,” said event spokesman Brian Lohnes. “The speeds will be thrilling and fun but not big enough to cause a competitor to have to add a cage or other significant safety gear for their first time out, in most cases.”
The event is limited to 150 entry spots, which means when those are sold out, the event entry is closed. While participants can sign up and race the day of the event, it is recommended that drivers reserve a spot by registering online at axwaresystems.com. Once at the site simply click “create an account” and then plug in the pertinent information. Competitors can pay online or at the meet itself.
The minimum tire requirements will be governed by ECTA inspection officials as follows:
Up to 135 MPH: Original equipment tire QR & RR rated tires
Up to 150 MPH: SR, TR or UR rated tires
Up to 175 MPH: HR rated tires
Up to 225 MPH: VR, WR, YR or ZR rated tires or steel-belted drag radials
Shocks: A functional shock absorber is required for each sprung (moveable, non-fixed/rigid) wheel.
Drive Hubs: Any car equipped with a non-retained axle bearing (non-Hotchkiss type rear axle, front wheel drive hubs and four wheel drive hubs) assembly shall incorporate an approved hub to prevent loss of a wheel in the event of rear axle failure. Semi or full floating rear axle assemblies, as used in most late model production cars, are sufficient. Late model GM type rear ends using stock ʻCʼ clip axle retainers are NOT acceptable.
Tires: Due to the extended duration of this type event, Drag slicks are NOT ALLOWED. No recaps allowed. Adequate tire clearance between the tire and body or chassis is required. Tubeless tires must use metal valve stems, unless in Production or Street Car categories below 150 MPH. Metal valve stem caps must be fitted to all valve stems. 150 and above, metal valve stem. Adequate tire clearance between the tire and body or chassis is required. Over 135 MPH, all hubcaps shall be removed.
Fire Suits: For cars running 150 MPH or less, a minimum of a long-sleeved shirt and long pants is required.
This is only a partial list to help you understand the typical safety requirements needed to race with the East Coast Timing Association. For full rules, see the current rule book.