MotoIQ: Larger Solo events, like Tours and Pros in certain geographical areas are selling out in minutes. Is this good? Are there plans for adding additional events–or better yet—new sites?
Heyward: It's a Catch 22, no doubt about it. Demand is always good, but not being able to fill it is certainly a short coming. I think Howard Duncan (SCCA's VP of Rally/Solo and Special Programs) has done a really good job of addressing what we can with additional events in the area and the season pass approach to ProSolo seems to be well received as a way to take care of those trying to win a championship. Sites are always a challenge for autocross, I am encouraged that so many tracks seem to be getting that there is a demand for autocross pads, the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park is a particularly good example. We will be hosting a Match Tour there in May. If we can get more tracks to see this potential, I think we will have the means to better meet the demand.
MotoIQ: The SCCA is no longer known as the Secret Car Club of America—thankfully, those days are over—but there does still seem to be a lot of growth potential for the club. It's too cool not to be more well known. What are some are some new programs that you're working on to help the club expand into new territory?
Heyward: SCCA Track Night in America driven by Tire Rack. 20 tracks across the country, 4-5 events each from 4-8pm on weeknights. Think of this as league bowling or twilight golf for car folks. This is a brand new SCCA product with support from the FIA Sport Grant Programme and Grassroots Motorsports. At the core, these events are Lapping half days, the price point is $150 for 3 20 minute sessions. However, to be successful in expanding our territory, the events need to be much more than that. These events are designed to become cultural with enhancements from the local region like on site autocross or rallycross, car corrals, and and open door to the public. We want this to be a place where scouting groups can meet and kids can learn about cars and experience a track. No charge to get in, invite your friends. We even have a scheduled pace lap session at 6:30 so that everyone can get a chance to get on track. We firmly believe the best way to get people excited about driving on track is to actually have them drive on the track.
MotoIQ: What else do you want to talk about?
College football, craft brews, Americana, road trips, great music and the never ending quest to find perfect Barbeque. You?
MotoIQ: We could talk about beer and roadtrips forever, but this more about you. What about Starting Line—How is that working?
Heyward: For SCCA, Experiential Programs really started with Starting Line, even before there was a department in place. The concept was an intro to autocross school, originally executed as in partnership with Evolution Performance Driving Schools and Tire Rack. In 2013 it was offered as a component of Evo Phase 1 schools, and then in 2014 it became a free standing SCCA product. We have now executed 30 schools, creating over 500 new SCCA members along the way.
Another initiative that we are pushing in the office is the concept of a kids club. Eric Prill and I both grew up as track kids, and while we look back on our upbringing as feel that SCCA is a kid friendly place and I think we both want that very much for our own children. However,the reality is the “kid friendliness” of SCCA has historically been dependent upon what the parents were willing to do. We can change that. One of my areas of professional experience is summer camp, and I believe with the facilities we rent for race and solo weekends, there is an excellent opportunity to bring a camp product to SCCA weekends that engages kids and gives them an experience only SCCA can.