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Technical Inspection for Race Cars

VSCDA vintage racing involves historic and vintage competition vehicles from many different forms of road racing worldwide and almost an entire century of the sport. Since it is difficult to standardize all aspects of car preparation, the following guidelines have evolved to insure basic safety and vehicle integrity. Cars must be presented in a neat and finished condition.  Cars shall be prepared according to relevant SCCA or FIA General Competition Rules (GCRs) in effect up to 5 years after the date of the car's manufacture, but not later than December 31, 1972.    Cars should be prepared in a racing configuration appropriate to the era of their production. Modifications beyond the era of a car's production made for other than safety reasons, may result in reclassification of Group.

VSCDA offers, and encourages the use of an annual technical inspection, good for the calendar year from January to December providing the car is raced at least every 3 months. The annual technical inspection covers both the racecar and the driver's safety equipment. Once the technical inspection has been completed, the driver will be issued two annual stickers, one for his helmet and one for the racecar. The logbook will be stamped with the VSCDA Annual Tech Stamp. The car will go through an inspection as described below once during the year and then can be passed, upon presentation of the logbook together with the event's tech sheet, at our events for the rest of the calendar year. Cars with an annual inspection involved in an incident, must be re-teched before being allowed back on the track, and have the annual inspection revalidated before use at subsequent events. If the car does not have an annual tech inspection, it must be presented for tech at each VSCDA event it is entered in.

All vehicles must conform to the following:


1. On board fire extinguishers are mandatory and must be securely fastened inside the cockpit area. The extinguisher must be Halon 1301 or 1211, minimum 2 pound, with a charge indicator. A 2 or 3 point Halon or AFFF system is highly recommended. An "E" emergency label must be on the outside of the vehicle to indicate the location of the activation device.

2. A master electrical cutoff switch is mandatory and must be clearly marked by the "lightning" bolt and be accessible from outside the vehicle. When the switch is in the "off" position, the engine must not be able to continue to run. It is mandatory  that this switch shall interrupt power and /or ground to the ignition system and also interrupt power to the electric fuel pump, if so equipped.

3.  Fuel cells are mandatory in all race groups except pre-war. These must be of a type approved by FIA, SCCA, NASCAR, or IMSA. The cell must be fully enclosed in a metal container with a positive locking cap. The cell shall also incorporate foam inside a bladder. The cell shall be vented to the atmosphere, though a check valve, to provide leakage protection in the event of a rollover. The vent shall exit the vehicle outside the driver's compartment and outside the fuel compartment. Fuel cells installed in a factory original tank position must be verifiable upon inspection. The bottom of the cell shall have a minimum of 6" ground clearance and be above the bottom of both wheel rims nearest the cell so that it will be above ground in the event both of those tires should go flat, unless fully enclosed within the bodywork. In GT and Production type cars, the bladder shall be installed in a container of .036" steel, .059" aluminum or .125" Marlex which fully surrounds the bladder. In Sports Racer and Formula cars, the fuel bladder shall be completely surrounded by a container (which may also be part of the structure or bodywork of the car) to ensure rigid and secure mounting of the bladder and provide additional protection. A minimum of .036" steel or .059" aluminum is required for all vehicles. Fuels shall not contain nitro-methane. Nitrous oxide use is prohibited.

4.  Race vehicles, except pre-war, must be equipped with roll bars or roll cages sufficient in structure and height to protect the driver in the event of a rollover situation. This protection is preferably constructed according to the latest SCCA requirements for the car weight and style. The addition of safety equipment is encouraged or required as outlined above. However, such equipment should not substantially alter the original character, style or spirit of the car. In a closed car, a window net, preferably attached to the roll cage with positive locating metal fasteners, should be installed. If this is impractical, or in an open car, it is highly mandatory that the driver wear arm restraints.  Arm restraints are not mandatory, but are strongly recommended in Group 1, and open wheel single seat cars.

5.  Batteries must be securely fastened and the hot terminal must be covered to prevent accidental contact with the chassis in the event of rollover or crush damage. Batteries installed in other than original location should be contained in a marine type box to prevent acid splash in the event of a collision. All wiring shall be neatly run and secured to the structure of the vehicle using wire ties, clamps etc.

6.  All forms of fuel delivery systems must have at least 2 throttle return springs for the accelerator linkage.

7.. All cars must be equipped with an SCCA, IMSA, PSCR, USRRC, CART or NASCAR approved 5 point (minimum) driver restraint system composed of a 3" wide lap belt, anti submarine strap or straps, and 2 inch wide (3" wide strongly recommended) shoulder harness straps. Shoulder harness straps may not be attached to the same point in a "Y" configuration. All straps must be in excellent condition and securely attached to the frame, roll bar or cage, or reinforced portion of the vehicle structure.  It is strongly recommended that the belt system not be more than 5 years old; however, this is not mandatory since some of these cars only see one race a year and are kept in enclosed garages which do not expose the belts to ultraviolet rays. Belts shall be judged on condition.  The tech inspector's judgment is final.  They must be in good condition (not frayed, excessively worn or faded) and must be made of nylon or similar DOT approved material, preferably SFI 91 or newer. The minimum acceptable bolt used in the mounting of all belts and harnesses is SAE Grade 5.  (3" shoulder harnerss with maximum age of 5 years is mandatory for Monoposto Register cars.)

8.  A firewall composed of a nonflammable material must separate the driver's compartment from the engine compartment and another must separate the driver's compartment from the fuel tank. The preferably metal bulkhead must have no open holes and all breaches must be plugged. In Formula cars and Sports racers, the filler cap and neck are exempt from the bulkhead requirement.


1.  All cars must have mirrors that provide driver visibility to the rear and both sides of the car.

2.  All cars, except Formula Cars (open wheel), must have two working red brake lights.

3.  Formula cars must have a red running light (rain light) visible to following cars. Formula cars may also have one red brake light. (Formula cars must conform to Monoposto Register rules and regulations.)

4.  Catch tanks shall be installed to receive and contain any possible overflow from engine, radiator, transmission, differential, transaxle, or any engine oil supply breathers. Racecars may use only plain water, water wetter and water pump lube in any liquid engine cooling system. No antifreeze or any other cooling system additive is allowed. Oil and water catch tanks should be separate and a minimum of 1 quart each.

5.  On board camera mounts must be approved at technical inspection for security and integrity. Cameras must be encircled with web strap or tie wraps to provide additional restraint for the existing screw in camera mounting system. No bungee cords allowed. Camera mounting and security will be checked again on the grid before each session.

6.  Driver's helmets must have a 1990 SA or later Snell Foundation approval. No "M" helmets are allowed. There are no exceptions to this rule. Effective January 1, 2002, the driver's helmet must be a SA95 or later.  Drivers of open cars must wear goggles or full face shields. It is highly recommended that everyone wear a full-face shield. Drivers should have their name, blood type and any allergies or special conditions on the back of their helmets.

7.  All drivers must wear a properly fitted suit and underwear ensemble that consists of 2 or more layers of approved fire protection material. A balaclava is required for all drivers who have either facial hair or long hair. Modern, one piece, three layer suits are strongly recommended, and all suits must display the appropriate labels, which allow tech inspectors to verify the suit to be fire retardant. (Monoposto Register rules require 3 layers.)

8.  Nomex or equivalent socks are required. Driving shoes must have leather uppers, no rubber or nylon allowed.

9.  Single layer Nomex gloves are required. Leather palms are permitted, additional layers are strongly recommended.

10.  Collars, helmet restraining straps or other special equipment intended to increase driver protection, comfort, or convenience are optional, however such equipment must be presented at tech inspection if it is to be worn by the driver on the race course.

11.  Signs of damage, breaches, torn seams, tearing, or excessive wear evident on any or all of the above drivers equipment, to the point of rendering such equipment ineffective in driver protection, is sufficient grounds to fail technical inspection.


1.  Engine must be of manufacturer, type and displacement as close as possible to the original engine type and specifications. Modifications affecting power output are limited to those available before 1964, in the case of Vintage Cars, and before 1973 in the case of Historic Cars. Modifications beyond these limits may result in reclassification.

2.  All steering and suspension components shall be properly fitted with no excessive play or wear, and should be of the correct original configuration, with no dragging or loose components. Wood rim Steering wheels are not permitted. Pre-War cars for which no suitable alternative steering wheel is available should be brought to the attention of the Chief of Tech prior to being presented for technical inspection.

3.  All folding tops, folding windshields, sunroofs, removable tops, T-tops and tonneau covers must be securely mounted or removed. All hoods, deck lids, and doors must be securely fastened. Modifications from original competition configurations are not permitted. Racecars retaining original glass or plastic headlamps and turn signals must have these covered or neatly taped over. Clear tape over brake lights is highly recommended. Original equipment windscreens or windshields must be of laminated safety glass construction. Strapping of windshield and rear windows is strongly recommended on fixed roof vehicles.

4.  Metal, fiberglass, carbon fiber or any other "hard" tonneau cover is expressly forbidden due to potential intrusion into the driver's inboard side.  The only exceptions to this rule are covers that incorporate the windshield and came as part of an original racecar such as in "D" type Jaguars, Lotus XI Le Mans.

5.  Wheels should meet original specifications for diameter, width, and offset. Where original sizes are no longer available, wheels of the same diameter, within 1/2" of the original width may be substituted. The maximum wheel size allowed in Group 6, is 15" x 9". Any change in construction material must be toward added strength, rather than lighter weight. For safety reasons, modern replica wheels are recommended. Wheel balance weights should be taped over for additional security to retain them. It is preferable to have open type lug nuts so that thread engagement may be seen. The threaded portion of the mounting stud should project through the lug nut for verification at a glance. If covered or "acorn" style lug nuts are used, you may be asked to remove a lug nut so that the thread engagement can be verified during tech inspection.

6.  Tires should be as close as possible in size, including tread width, section and diameter, to the original equipment. Original racing type tires are preferred. The aspect ratio- height divided by width- must be at least 60 percent for all Vintage cars and at least 50 percent for all Historic Production based sports cars. All of the vintage and historic production based racing cars must use tires with a full width molded tread pattern. All group 6 cars must run on DOT approved, full width molded treaded racing tires. Fully treaded original racing tires such as Goodyear Bluestreaks, and Dunlop or Avon racing tires, tht predate DOT, are approved.  Group 6 cars will run on tires of one of the following listed sizes or less. P225/60/15, 245/60/15, 26.5x9.5/15, 27.5x9.0/15, L60x15, 8.00x15.  Group 6 cars not conforming to these specifications will be moved to the exhibition group, if available, or otherwise may not be allowed to run.  Racing slicks will be allowed only on cars in groups 5, 7, and 9, when used as a special group. Drivers wishing to change from one type of tire to another, which results in possible change of racing group, must consult with the Chief of Tech. This, of course, does not involve the use of treaded rain tires on cars in groups 5, 7, and 9 in the event of inclement weather.

7.  Competition numbers must be displayed neatly and so as to be legible by timing and scoring on both sides and the front of the vehicle in a color that contrasts with the background. The assigned numbers must be displayed on the car at the time it is presented for technical inspection. If you don't have the assigned numbers on the car you will fail tech inspection and will not be issued a tech sticker. Numbers must be a minimum of 8" high with a 1 1/2" minimum stroke. Rear end or rear deck numbers are highly recommended, though not mandatory.

8.  Exterior of the car shall be kept as original and have a neat and finished appearance. Fender flares shall be as original, if they were allowed in the era.  Commercial advertising is not allowed except for race series sponsorship specifically approved by the VSCDA Board of Directors.


Sample Technical
Inspection Form

Please click here to download a Microsoft Word Document Version of the Technical Inspection Form.

tform.doc (24k)

Business Office - Judy Cull
3160 Thornapple River Dr., Grand Rapids, MI 49546
tel: 616-949-8281
fax: 616-949-0191
email: vscda@iserv.net