Is SCCA still relevant in 2017 for those of us wanting to volunteer PRO events? Is it worth paying the membership fee to volunteer? Are there alternatives that don’t require this costly option?
Let’s find out…
For the past few years I’ve been seriously debating whether it’s worth it or not to renew my expensive SCCA membership. This year, as of March the price has gone up another $5 dollars. And this season SCCA PRO lost several series they used to sanction. Among the most notable are the Global MX-5 Cup which is now weirdly sanctioned by IndyCar and Pirelli World Challenge which is now sanctioned by USAC (among several other lesser “pro” series, including those on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder).
So why pay $70 bux a year to volunteer maybe one or two remaining SCCA PRO events that now only include Trans Am and Formula 4?
Doesn’t seem like it’s worth it.
In addition, a number of circuits now no longer require SCCA membership for volunteers to participate in their PRO events. Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has had this policy of welcoming non-SCCA members for several years now. Many of them flag for COTA as employees for track rentals and such. But many show up just for the big events and work directly with the more experienced SCCA members who complain how inexperienced those people are. Lime Rock Park is another example that recently changed it’s policy of requiring SCCA licensed marshals to work their events. Now only SCCA-equivalent training is required, but not necessarily a current license. In addition Lime Rock Park pays $50/day for participation. New Jersey Motorsports Park relies solely on employees to staff their events, however it is possible to “volunteer” some of the bigger races there. I’ve had experience where they let me volunteer and others where they actually paid me for my participation. The Moto America event at NJMP gets you a $300 check in the mail a few weeks later. I’ve already talked extensively about volunteering at Watkins Glen where SCCA membership isn’t required, but the local club that organizes marshals requires you to join them at $15/year fee, which I must add is very reasonable. USAC at Indianapolis Motor Speedway charges upwards of $30 per event to volunteer with them. A discount was offered for multiple events the last time I worked with them in 2013. Similarly ACIND in Montreal, Canada charges you $30 CDN to play with them for F1. Many Motorcycle events organized by Flagging by Faynisha pay you for participation, while the bike race at Laguna Seca requires you to pay to join the USARM club which only staffs bike events at Laguna Seca.
There are however events still, very old-school/old-fashioned, that will force you to join SCCA even if it’s the lesser $30/weekend license fee or whatever they call it. Central Florida Region is a stickler for those, ironically they have the most PRO events out there, especially early in the season when the big events don’t clash with any other.
I put together a list of 46 and 1 practice 2017 PRO Event on the Calendar, and my speculation on which of them require SCCA membership, as well as those that don’t…. I even listed those that by my experience either pay you for your participation or charge you a fee to play with them:
|Date||Event Name||Series||Location||SCCA required?||Marshal Organizer||Participation?|
|Jan 6-8||Roar before the 24||IMSA||Daytona||YES||CFR SCCA||volunteer|
|Jan 26-29||Rolex 24 Daytona||IMSA||Daytona||YES||CFR SCCA||volunteer|
|Mar 10-12||St. Pete GP||IRL/PWC||St. Pete||YES||CFR SCCA||volunteer|
|Mar 15-18||Sebring 12 hour||IMSA||Sebring||YES||CFR SCCA||volunteer|
|Apr 7-8||Long Beach GP||IRL/IMSA/PWC||Long Beach||YES||CalClub SCCA||volunteer|
|Apr 23||GP of Alabama||IRL||Barber Mtsp||NO||Flagging by Faynisha||get paid|
|Apr 21-23||MotoGP/Moto America||MotoGP||COTA||NO||COTA||volunteer|
|Apr 27-30||PWC VIR||PWC||VIR||NO||VIR||get paid|
|Apr 28-30||MotoAmerica Road Atlanta||MotoAmerica||Road Atlanta||NO||Flagging by Faynisha||get paid|
|May 4-6||Sportscar Showdown||IMSA||COTA||NO||COTA/Lone Star SCCA||volunteer|
|May 12-13||MotoAmerica VIR||MotoAmerica||VIR||NO||VIR||get paid|
|May 13||Indycar GP||IRL||Indianapolis||NO||USAC||pay to join|
|May 19-21||PWC CTMP||PWC||CTMP||NO||MMS Mosport||volunteer|
|May 26-27||PWC Lime Rock||PWC||Lime Rock||NO||Lime Rock Park||get paid|
|Jun 2-3||Detroit Belle Isle GP||IMSA||Detroit||YES||Detroit SCCA||volunteer|
|Jun 2-4||MotoAmerica Road America||MotoAmerica||Road America||MAYBE||Road America||volunteer|
|Jun 9-11||GP Canada F1||F1||Montreal||NO||ACIND||pay to participate|
|Jun 10-11||Pocono 400||NASCAR||Pocono||NO||Team Pocono||volunteer|
|Jul 15-16||ePrix New York||Formula E||Brooklyn||MAYBE||NY SCCA/NJ SCCA||volunteer|
|Jun 23-25||Kohler GP||IRL/PWC||Road America||YES||SCCA Road America||volunteer|
|Jun 29-Jul 2||Sahlen’s 6 hour||IMSA||Watkins Glen||NO||RSI Watkins Glen||pay to join|
|Jul 7-9||Sportscar GP||IMSA||CTMP||NO||MMS Mosport||volunteer|
|Jul 7-9||MotoAmerica Laguna Seca||MotoAmerica||Laguna Seca||NO||USARM||pay to join|
|Jul 16||Indy Toronto||IRL||Toronto||NO||MMS||volunteer|
|Jul 21-22||Northeast GP||IMSA||Lime Rock||NO||Lime Rock Park||get paid|
|Jul 28-30||Indy 200 Mid O||IRL/PWC||Mid Ohio||YES||Lake Erie Communicators||volunteer|
|Jul 29-30||ePrix Montreal||Formula E||Montreal||NO||ACIND||pay to participate|
|Jul 30||Pennsylvania 400||NASCAR||Pocono||NO||Team Pocono||volunteer|
|Aug 3-6||Road Race Showcase||IMSA||Road America||YES||SCCA Road America||volunteer|
|Aug 5-6||Watkins Glen 355||NASCAR||Watkins Glen||NO||RSI Watkins Glen||pay to join|
|Aug 11-13||Utah PWC||PWC||Utah Mtsp||NO||Utah Mtsp||employment|
|Aug 11-13||MotoAmerica Sonoma||MotoAmerica||Sonoma||MAYBE||Sonoma||employment|
|Aug 12||Mid Ohio 200||NASCAR||Mid Ohio||YES||Lake Erie Communicators||volunteer|
|Aug 20||ABC Supply 500||IRL||Pocono||NO||Team Pocono||volunteer|
|Aug 25-27||GT Challenge||IMSA||VIR||NO||VIR||get paid|
|Aug 25-27||MotoAmerica Pittsburg||MotoAmerica||Pittsburg||MAYBE||Pittsburg||volunteer|
|Aug 27||Road America 180||NASCAR||Road America||YES||SCCA Road America||volunteer|
|Sep 1-3||PWC COTA||PWC||COTA||NO||COTA/Lone Star SCCA||volunteer|
|Sep 3||IndyCar WGI||IRL||Watkins Glen||NO||RSI Watkins Glen||pay to join|
|Sep 3||Chevy Silverado 250||NASCAR||CTMP||NO||MMS Mosport||volunteer|
|Sep 8-10||MotoAmerica NJMP||MotoAmerica||NJMP||NO||NJMP||get paid|
|Sep 15-17||Sonoma GP||IRL/PWC||Sonoma||NO||Sonoma/SFR||employment|
|Sep 15-17||MotoAmerica Barber||MotoAmerica||Barber Mtsp||NO||Flagging by Faynisha||get paid|
|Sep 22-24||Monterey GP||IMSA||Laguna Seca||YES||SFR SCCA||volunteer|
|Oct 4-7||Petit Le Mans||IMSA||Road Atlanta||YES||Atlanta SCCA||volunteer|
|Oct 13-15||PWC Laguna Seca||PWC||Laguna Seca||YES||SFR SCCA||volunteer|
|Oct 20-22||US GP F1||F1||COTA||NO||COTA/Lone Star SCCA||volunteer|
So this year, I went ahead and renewed my membership. I had $45 in worker credit that I didn’t want to go to waste. However, next year I’ll have to think long and hard to decide whether it’s worth it or not. There are plenty of events out there that I could put that money towards to still have fun volunteering.
I don’t plan on doing any CLUB events this year… though as always that may change.