Entertainment & Events

Street racing minus the street

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Photo from 'j.reed' via Flickr

Photo from 'j.reed' via Flickr

Ever since the release of movies such as the Fast and the Furious and Redline, almost every car lover with a GTO or suped up Honda wants to show they have balls.  However exciting or adrenaline inducing this kind of sport may be, it is also very dangerous. Fortunately for San Diego a LEGAL form of street racing is available.

RaceLegal.com has been offering an alternative to illegal street racing since 1998.  Dr. Stephen J. Bender, Professor at San Diego State University’s Graduate School of Public Health created the program in order to change the horrible statistics about street racing.

In 2002, the total deaths and injuries totaled 48 per year in San Diego alone.  From the success of the program, this number dramatically decreased by 68% in 2007 to 15 total per year.  The race legal program offers the same driving excitement of illegal street racing but in a safe controlled environment.

The set up is this: The track is 1/8 of a mile long located at Qualcomm Stadium and any make and model of car, including motorcycles, can race.  There are requirements of course.  Every vehicle is divided into six different categories and different speed limits are set for each, ranging from 6.0 to 10.0.

All drivers must have a valid driver’s license and current registration.  Even minors can particpate in the street races, with a signed parents consent form.  A vehicle check list and detailed technical requirements are listed on their website.

Even though there are regulations, RaceLegal keeps the fun open to anyone with special tricked out rides and different racing styles.  Drivers can race heads up or in shoot-out competition.  They allow open t-tops, cars uncorked (below 93 decibels), slicks, NOS (with some standard regulations), cars with trunk battery mounts, trailered-in vehicles, and car clubs or individual racers.

Read more about how to get in on the action.

Drivers can start their engines beginning at 6:30 p.m. up until 12:00 a.m. The fee is $30 per racer and $8 for spectators.  Trophies are awarded at 11:00 p.m. but drivers must be present to win.  Events are held once or twice a month with the next race day on September 25.  Since this an all night event, RaceLegal even allows spectators and participants to tailgate making the night even more enjoyable.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, illegal street racing causes over 1000 traffic accidents a year.  These accidents can not only involve death but can come with up to six months in jail or a $1000 fine. Worse, if illegal street racing kills someone, whether a rider in the car or a bystander, the driver can be convicted of manslaughter.

Step up, take responsibility, enjoy your ride, and show your skills September 25 at Qualcomm stadium located at 9449 Friars Rd in San Diego.

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