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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

EPA Trying to Prohibit Converting Road Cars into Race Cars


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goodguys autocross

Grassroots racing is one of the most amazing parts of motorsport. Sure, there is a spectacle in going to a NASCAR or Formula 1 race, but go to any local dirt track, autocross, or drag strip on a weekend and you’ll find folks with limited budgets going fast. And the EPA wants to put an end to it (allegedly).
SEMA, the trade association representing aftermarket manufacturers, just put out a press release stating that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to prohibit the conversion of vehicles designed for on-road use into race cars. We’re barely into 2016 and we already have the dumbest bit of proposed automotive regulation.

Mazda MX-5 Racer

Apparently, the EPA wants the Clean Air Act to apply to cars being used for racing, and all the types of products that are sold that get an engine up to that race-spec. Apparently, SEMA actually met with the EPA, and submitted comments in opposition to this regulation. According to the release, “The EPA indicated that the regulation would prohibit conversion of vehicles into racecars and make the sale of certain emissions-related parts for use on converted vehicles illegal.”


Let us count the ways that this is stupid. For one MANY of the race teams and companies that build components for them are small American businesses. This regulation would have the potential to shut down plenty of those small companies.

Compared to the total number of older cars on the road and the number of semi trucks criss-crossing our country every day, the carbon emissions put out by grassroots motorsports is minimal. One area where I have no problem with the EPA cracking down is on trucks that are chipped to “roll coal.” But to come down on some guy autocrossing his Miata on Saturdays seems a little nuts.