Answers to All Your Questions
SO, JUST WHAT IS TRACK CROSS?
Trackcross and Circuitcross – these are different names for the same type of event held since the mid-2000s at VIRginia Int’l Raceway, Summit Point Motorsports Park, and Dominion Raceway.
You should think of trackcross as a fast autocross for streetcars. For our 2023 Top Dog Championship, you’ll be driving the twisty section of Summit Point’s Shenandoah Circuit. The trackcross format puts cars on the track at 30 - 60 second intervals so you’ll have the entire track to yourself to turn that fast time. Pretty sweet. Right? And, you won’t have any work assignments. How cool is that!
An important note: You don’t need a race car – although you can bring one. This is event is designed for street-legal cars. We’ll be using Jon Felton’s TrackCross car classing, so you will be competing only against drivers in similar performance cars.
CAN A FIRST-TIMER PARTICIPATE?
Absolutely! We have separate categories for experienced and novice drivers and we have multiple car classes where you can earn points.
If you’ve read this far, be sure to join our email information list to be at the top of the list when we open registration. Note: we have room for just 80 drivers!
The plan for the day: 1) Lots of runs (8 to 10) and fast fun, 2) medals three deep in each car class for novice drivers and experienced drivers. For scoring to determine the overall Top Dog Team, we combine points earned by each driver across all classes for each Service. The Service with the most points becomes the annual Top Dog and has its Service name inscribed on the trophy.
You’ll love this event If you’re an experienced autocross or time trial driver. If you’ve always wanted to get on the track and this is your first experience, you likely will love it even more.
DO I NEED A RACE CAR TO PARTICIPATE?
Definitely not! In fact, most participants will be stock(ish) street-legal cars or track-prepared cars that are still street legal. Any kind of car, from Kia to Koenigsegg, is usually fine as long as it passes tech inspection.
We group drivers by car class so you will only be competing against drivers with similar performance cars. Novice and experienced drivers will be scored separately.
This is a team competition, so your team score will be the sum of points scored by team drivers (Army, Navy, Air Force, etc.) across all four classes.
Sounds like super fun. Right?!
WILL I HAVE AN INSTRUCTOR?
Yes, but! We will have SCCA instructors on-site to provide ride-along free coaching but you will need to request an instructor ride when you register.
You also will have a detailed driver briefing and make several low-speed "parade" laps around the course before you drive it for time.
BTW: You can practice the course virtually before you ever drive it live using the iRacing platform.
WHAT ARE THE HELMET REQUIREMENTS?
We always recommend full-face helmets but open-face helmets are acceptable. All helmets must have a current Snell SA rating sticker – 2010 or 2015 – and be in good condition.
Please verify that your helmet has the brown or orange Snell sticker inside under the liner because that’s what we look for. It must say 2010, 2015, or 2020.
We will have loaner helmets in S, M, L, and XL available but the safest course of action, if you don't have your own helmet, is to contact our friends at OG Racing near Dulles, who usually have them available.
ARE CHILDREN ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE?
Children are welcome at the event. However, all passengers must be aged 18+. All drivers must have a current US-state-issued driver's license to participate as drivers, for safety and liability reasons.
We plan to live stream the event so family and friends should be able to see you on the track.
You can overnight in the paddock beginning no earlier than 6:15 pm on Friday, October 21, 2022. You must request this when you register.
WHAT ARE THE PASSENGER RULES?
Persons 18 years of age and older can ride along on the follow-the-leader parade laps without helmets so long as they are wearing standard seat belts.
As we noted above, passengers can ride along on the afternoon competition runs so long as they are at least 18 years of age, wear a legal helmet, and have the same level of safety protection as the driver. For example, if the driver has a six-point harness, the passenger also must have a six-point harness.
WHAT IS IF I ARRIVE LATE?
One of our “sorry, no exceptions” rules is that everyone must be through registration and technical inspection no later than the driver meeting start time (usually 8:00 am.)
This is because all staff and officials scatter to restricted areas around the circuit to put on the event by a fixed schedule. So after ~8:00 am there is nobody around to help you register/tech your car and no time to give another driver’s meeting because all the people who perform those activities are now a mile from the paddock doing some other mission-critical task to make the event run smoothly.
We are also not able to offer entry fee refunds or credits for those who arrive late, so you forfeit your entry if you can’t get there on time. But hey, we're military and we know what it means to be in formation on time!
The best way to not have this problem is to stay nearby the night before. There are over 20 lodging options within 18 miles of Summit Point: Summit Point Raceway lodging options.
Give yourself a good time buffer if you plan to drive in that morning.
Cars with T-tops or Targa tops that are removable from an otherwise fixed/structural roof are NOT considered convertibles.
Convertibles with hardtops are still convertibles and the rollbar rules still apply because hardtops typically are not structural.
Please inquire before registering if you have any questions about the legality of your convertible. Sorry, but there are no refunds or credits if you register and/or show up with a convertible that doesn’t pass tech inspection. [If that happens, see if you can co-drive a car in the other heat].
Have a Question? Email us at TopDog @ Rally4Vets.com
Can I drive my convertible?
The answer is maybe. TrackCross is a timed speed event and safety is the first consideration.
Convertible rules for Summit Point are strict and cannot be waived!
So, here we go . . .
Factory functional and “pop-up” roll bars are acceptable, such as Porsche Boxster or BMW Z3, with Owner’s Manual [you must present the owner’s manual when you go through technical inspection] that confirms that they are “Rollover Protection” not “Style” Bars.
Factory function “pop-up” rollbars must still pass the “broomstick” test. [All convertibles are required to have either OEM/Factory Rollover Protection or approved aftermarket rollover protection that is 1” higher than the driver’s helmet while seated in a normal seating position.]
Mazda MX5/Miata, Honda S2000, and Dodge Viper convertibles all require an aftermarket roll bar.
Roll bars should be padded and provide identical protection for the driver and the instructor/passenger.
REGISTRATION AND TEAM FORMATION
WHICH SERVICE TEAM DO I DRIVE FOR?
You are asked to select your Service when you register. That can be the Service you served with or, if you aren't a veteran yourself, the Service you would like to support.
Drivers who register "Army" form the Army team. And the same for Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, etc.
If you have a group that wishes to form a team or a portion of a team, be sure and register together before the team slots are filled.
Service teams fill on a first-come, first-served basis after early registration.
HOW ARE TEAM SLOTS ALLOCATED?
We have just 80 driver slots to divide among the 8 uniformed Service teams.
We have established the following teams:
Army [Hooah!] [Yes. Founder Robert Hess is an Army vet].
And the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Officer Corps.
Beginning 30 days prior to the event, slots will be available to drivers regardless of Service.
HOW IS THE WINNING TEAM SELECTED?
Points are awarded for 1st through 10th places in each class in which there is at least one (1) car.
Class Top Dog Champion
Medals are awarded three places deep in each car category for both the Novice and Experienced drivers. Medals are awarded based solely on driving times. The driver in each class and category is the Top Dog Champion.
Overall Top Dog Champion
The driver with the lowest combined time across all car classes and categories (it is possible this could be a Novice driver) is the event's Top Dog.
Service Team Top Dog Champion
The overall event Top Dog Champion team is the service team with the highest combined point score across all car classes and driver categories.
Winning is always good, but remember our mission: 1) have fun and 2) raise funds to help our fellow veterans struggling with depression and PTSD.
We divide all entries into two heats of 35-40 cars each based on class and driver experience. Each heat will run once in the morning and once in the afternoon with a lunch break in between.
Each heat averages about 90-120 minutes long. Depending on the number of entries, weather, and track conditions, you can expect a total of 8 – 10 runs during the day.
For 2023, we're using the twisty half of the Shenandoah Circuit for both the morning and afternoon sessions. The afternoon session will be run in the reverse direction.
WHAT IS THE EVENT FORMAT?
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN DRIVE?
We limited the grid to 65 drivers to make sure everyone gets plenty of runs on the course.
We expect each driver will run each direction 5-6 times with parade laps prior to competition start and over the entire course during lunch.
Please note that this is a trackcross format. While there will be 40 cars in each heat, cars will run at 30- to 60-second intervals.
Step 1: Click the following link and register - register me for the 2023 DVEN/Rally4Vets Top Dog Championships.
Step 2: Visit the Rally4Vets private Facebook page and introduce yourself.
Step 3: Contact your fellow service vets and have them join you. Remember: this is for fun, to help disabled veterans, no race car or previous experience needed.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
ARE SPECTATORS ALLOWED?
Yes. Entrance to the Shenandoah Circuit is free and spectators are allowed in the paddock area. There are viewing areas along sections of the track and in the upstairs lounge area.
We will be livestreaming the event to our YouTube channel (Rally4Vets) and to our Facebook page beginning at 08:00 on 10/1.
We hope family and friends will attend and be part of the fun and awards ceremony.
Join our email information list by sending an email to TopDog @ rally4vets.com.