The Midwest Division (MiDiv) is one of nine geographic divisions within the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), covering an area from the Mississippi River to the High Plains, from the Black Hills to the Red River. SCCA is divided into Divisions for competition purposes, and further into Regions which are the local clubs within SCCA. There are 14 Regions within the Midwest Division. The Midwest Division Operations Manual can be found here. To learn more about the Regions in your locale, or to find local contacts, go to the Links page and click on the Region names. To learn more about SCCA, or if you are from another part of the country, please visit the SCCA home page.
|The SCCA is one of the largest participant motorsport organizations in the country, with more than 63,000 members nationwide. Local Regions within the Midwest Division range from as few as 50 members to around 700. Competition on the Regional level includes Solo (autocross), RallyCross and RoadRally. These are competitions open to just about anyone in virtually any car, including cars which are completely unmodified. Regions also conduct Road Races and Time Trials at seven MiDiv tracks, and some also conduct Track Events (formerly called Performance Driving Experience events) on the race tracks, including Track Night in America, open to almost anyone. To participate in a Regional Solo, RallyCross or RoadRally event, or Track Events, SCCA membership is not required, but you will get a Weekend Membership which kicks in SCCA's insurance coverage for you. Drivers must be licensed in their home state, except for those in the Junior Kart program. Rally navigators also do not have to be licensed. To go road racing, a current full membership and competition license must be in force. Many SCCA members also participate in road racing as race workers, the officials who man the corner stations, patrol the pits, work in timing & scoring, or serve as race stewards. Novice workers are eagerly welcomed in all specialties and do not need full membership but can enjoy the experience with a Weekend Membership.
In a solo competition, drivers compete over a relatively low-speed course marked by pylons (traffic cones), but you are still trying to go as fast as you can, and hitting a pylon adds 2 seconds to your time. In an average Solo competition, a driver gets 3-5 runs, but usually no practice. A walk through the course (or several) is the only look a driver gets. No special safety gear is required beyond a helmet, and loaner helmets are usually available. Solo has numerous classes for cars in Stock, Street Touring, Street Prepared, Street Modified, Prepared or Modified trim (including 125cc shifter karts), plus a parallel set of Ladies classes. Many Regions also have added classes for novice drivers or cars running on street tires. Often two or more drivers share a single car. Beyond the Regional level, MiDiv conducts the Solo Performance Specialties/R&S Racing Midwest Division Solo Championship series, a competition across 4-5 weekends which brings drivers together from throughout the division. Drivers must be members to compete for points in the SPS/R&S series. The ultimate goal for autocrossers is the SCCA Solo National Championship, conducted every September in Lincoln, Neb.
Rallycross simulates the type of driving done in performance rallies but is essentially autocross on dirt or grass with autocross-style safety parameters. It is done in cars usually classed as FWD, RWD or AWD and whether prepared or not. Usually a driver may do several consecutive laps, each separately timed, and hitting a pylon adds time penalties. Sometimes a worst lap may be thrown out. Some events may offer a driver two sequences of laps. Helmets are required, and generally only closed (hardtop) cars are permitted. Two or more drivers may share a car. There is a national championship, which has been held in locales including Tulsa OK, Topeka KS, Greenwood NE and Indianola IA.
A road rally is a course-finding contest. A driver-navigator team attempts to cover a predetermined but unknown course laid out over public roads. Classes are based on equipment, which can range from computer-equipped rally cars to those with no special gear at all beyond a stopwatch. Many regions also add a novice class for rallies. Speeds are always legal highway speeds. Most common is the TSD rally - time, speed, distance - where the rallymaster establishes precise average speeds that must be driven during the course of the rally. The object is to arrive at checkpoints exactly on time, neither early nor late. A local TSD may last an hour or two, while higher-level competitions may go for several hours. "Gimmick" rallies may use other means to take the rallyists through the course, including puzzle solving, hare-and-hounds, poker runs, map following, or whatever a rallymaster might imagine. Often designed to lead the rallyists off course, such contests are to determine the exact mileage of the true course. In some years there also has been a Divisional-level Midwest Division Road Rally Championship, a series of TSD rallies leading to driver and navigator championships in the Equipped, Limited and Stock classes. If not a member, Weekend Membership is required to participate in the events, but full membership is required to score points in the championship. Rally teams also may aspire to the U.S. Road Rally Championship, a year-end series of three events in as many days which has been held in locales from Washington, DC, to Alaska.
As part of some road racing weekends a Region may offer a non-competitive Track Event (formerly called a Performance Driving Experience), in which just about any legal adult with a driver's license can lap the race track at speed (almost) in their street cars. Membership or Weekend Membership is required. The only required safety equipment, beyond stock seatbelts, is a Solo-legal helmet. Operated as a driving school, the purpose of the clinic is to teach car control in a high-performance environment ("high performance" has more to do with the level of driving skill than with the cars). Participants may get two hours or more of track time during one Track Event. Rigid safety rules are imposed including strictly enforced passing zones only on straightaways, and passing protocols (the leading driver must wave you by). The longest straights may have chicanes added to hold down top speed, but corners are the same for the Track Event participant as for race drivers. An Track Event is a way anyone can get a taste of performance driving without actually laying out the budget to go racing. The new Track Night in America program offers midweek opportunities to get some laps in.
Beyond the Track Event, members can step up to the similar but competitive Time Trials events, (and in other parts of the country, Hillclimbs). Rules are somewhat more liberal than in Track Events, such as passing in corners is allowed but still with a wave-by. Midwest Division’s Time Trials Championship involves events usually run in conjunction with Road Races, or can be stand-alone events. Drivers get a practice session and a series of timed competitive sessions to set their fastest lap. Each competitive session is a separate event in the championship. Time Trials drivers can aspire to the Time Trials National Championship in late September in Bowling Green, KY.
Regions also put on road races at the eight tracks within MiDiv - Worldwide Technology Raceway, (St. Louis), Hallett Motor Racing Circuit (Tulsa), Heartland Motorsports Park (Topeka), Memphis International Raceway (Millington, TN), Raceway Park of the Midlands (Pacific Junction, IA - south of Omaha), Motorsports Park Hastings (Mid-Nebraska), Iowa Speedway (Newton), and Ozarks International Raceway (north of Springfield, MO). Races are conducted either by individual Regions or jointly with neighboring Regions, but championship competition is done on a Divisional level. Current point standings for the MidAm Championship, MiDiv’s road racing series, can be found elsewhere on this website. Drivers start out with a Novice Permit and soon progress to a Full Competition License. Drivers compete for the MidAm Championships in more than three dozen classes ranging from Spec Miata to Formula Atlantic, including the classes eligible to qualify for The Runoffs, the SCCA National Championships, held each year at tracks such as Road America, Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, Virginia International Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Any SCCA competition license, including a Novice Permit, qualifies a driver to compete for the Mid-Am Championship. The Midwest Division schedule includes Super Tour, Majors and Regional Races, all of which score in the MidAm Championship. The Majors and Super Tour also score in the Mid-States Conference, comprising the Midwest and Rocky Mountain Divisions. Paths to qualify for the Runoffs can include Super Tour or Majors points standings, or a combination of events within the MidAm Championship.
Getting started in SCCA does not require any special car preparation or, in many cases, even membership. Just find your local region, check its schedule of Solo, RallyCross, or RoadRally events, and show up driving whatever is in your driveway. "Every car is a sports car . sometime," says one of our MiDiv Regions. If you're not a member, they'll sell you a Weekend Membership on the spot. Full Membership, of course, has its benefits. A most obvious one is SportsCar Magazine, sent to every member. Some benefits are less obvious but more valuable such as the qualification to compete for Divisional and National championships and the SCCA insurance program, which provides an increased level of participant accident coverage as much as $5 million. But mostly, in SCCA you will forge friendships and discover a camaraderie that for most of us is the No. 1 reason for being a member. It has become an SCCA maxim that "You come for the cars, you stay for the people."