Dear US based friends and colleagues, I need your help.
I am once again facing a decision to make whether or not to renew my SCCA membership which effectively licenses me to be a marshal both here in the US but also Internationally. I am still unhappy about a number of grievances that were not resolved and in fact seem to compound into larger and more demoralizing problems, and I refuse to pay $85 membership fee only to be disappointed.
So what are my options?
I have studied the diagram of the FIA relationship with the American Motorsport sanctioning bodies. And through a process of elimination I know that I have no business asking the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) or World Karting Association (WKA) for a marshal license because let’s face it: 1). the World in WKA doesn’t really refer to the World as a whole and is an American creation like the baseball World Series, or the Pirelli World Challenge for that matter; and 2). they have little to do with my hobby of circuit racing and Motorsport volunteering.
So the natural alternative to the SCCA is it’s archrival USAC, IMSA, NASCAR or IndyCar. And though I have worked a number of IndyCar and NASCAR events they explicitly rely on other clubs to staff the volunteers, including SCCA. Unless of course you work directly for either of the organizations IndyCar in Indianapolis or NASCAR in Daytona Beach, which I don’t. In similar manner, since NASCAR has “merged” with IMSA, it’s safe to say getting accreditation from them would require getting on their payroll and it’s not something I see happening any time soon. IF ONLY I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY!
So I’m left with either USAC or direct (somehow) with ACCUS as an alternative body to issue me a marshal license that I could use to volunteer domestically and overseas for PRO-level events. While USAC does issue membership hard cards for volunteering two or three of their events at a much smaller membership cost (relative to how many events you decide to participate in $25 or $30) I believe their membership is very event specific and I doubt they would issue a letter of recommendation for me to marshal with the ACO for the 24 hours of Le Mans in France.
What about ACCUS?
According to their web site, which like the organization seems to have been founded in 1959, it clearly states the following:
The Automobile Competition Committee of the United States (ACCUS) is the National Sporting Authority (ASN) of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) for the United States.
ACCUS is comprised of the six major motorsports sanctioning organizations (known at the FIA as “member clubs”): IMSA, IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, SCCA and USAC, each nominating two directors to its Board. Additionally, a number of independent directors are elected annually. The World Karting Association (WKA) is an associate member.
Founded in 1959, ACCUS headquarters and staff are located in Denver, Colorado. Its principal activities include:
- Liaison between the ACCUS member clubs, other National Sporting Authorities and with the FIA
- Preparation of listings on the international calendar
- Issuance of international motor sport licenses to U.S. and foreign citizens living in the U.S.
- Issuance of authorizations for foreign participation
- Issuance of historic technical passport papers
- New vehicle and equipment homologation papers
- Certification and record keeping for U.S. and international records
The National Motorsports Council (NMC) is a function of ACCUS funded by its member clubs and their sanctioned tracks and dedicated to advocating the industry’s interests at local, state and federal levels so that motorsports, its supporters and fans receive fair and favorable treatment.
So as an unhappy member of the SCCA that wants to “receive fair and favorable treatment,” I think changing licenses is the best course of action for me.
Furthermore, volunteering at my home tracks of Lime Rock Park in Connecticut or the Circuit of the Americas in Texas does not actually require SCCA membership, so any license would do really. So long as it is recognized internationally.
I don’t even think it must fit the FIA criteria as there are a number of SRO events I’d love to do in Europe that have nothing to do with the FIA as they are a direct competitor. I have confused Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO) as a racing organizer for Blancpain Sprint and Endurance Championships (BSS and BEC) with FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) organizers, both are backed by the FIA, the difference being FIA WEC is directly tied into the FIA through a significant involvement of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) because of the Le Mans 24h event, while SRO is a standalone organization sanctioned by the FIA. My bad!
What should I do? Why? and Why Not? I could really use some helpful advice. Paying for constant unnecessary stress and frustration is not an option going forward.
Read more about ACCUS and it’s member clubs here: accusfia.us it is extremely light reading, with very limited information posted.