Want to race door to door down the corkscrew at the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca? Don’t have a racing license to pilot around your BMW E30 that you put the roll-cage in? Don’t worry baby, the Dawn 2 Dusk 500 Challenge is just the race for you. There are a ton of folks out there who love doing HPDE events and have really fine tuned their driving, but they haven’t had the opportunity to run in a real race event. Now there is a place for them to try it along with a few friends during two 3.5 hour enduros at Laguna Seca.
The folks who put on the Your Private Track Day events are the brain trust of the Dawn 2 Dusk 500 and they are holding their first racing event October 10, 2010 (that’s right 10-10-10) for seven different classes. The class line up is interesting because it gives the opportunity for a multitude of teams and cars to compete.
The C-1 class is for cars prepped under $5,000 total investment. This opens the door for most ChumpCar, Leadfoot Rally and 24 Hours of LeMons teams to bring their cars to Laguna Seca -however the promoter would like to see a photo of the proposed cars, they can’t have any extreme damage, sharp sheet metal, or any non-race paraphernalia bolted to the cars (i.e. lighted pizza delivery signs mounted on roofs). Your super cool big ass Pep Boys rear wing is okay though.
The C-2 class is for cars prepped between $5,000 and $10,000 total investment which makes a lot of NASA Performance Touring cars eligible.
The C-4 class is for $20,000 and up so Flying Lizard Motorsports can come out to their home track and show everyone how it’s done in their ALMS Porsche. I’m not saying they will, but you never know (it is an off weekend for them).
The C-5 class is for Spec Miata which is awesome because that means the rest of the classes don’t have to compete with the formidable little Mazda. Just stay out of their way, they carry the nickname “Smash Pinata” for a reason.
The C-6 class is for alternative fuel and diesel vehicles with unlimited budgets which would work for the SCCA VW Jetta TDI Cup cars or a racecar that runs on McDonald’s fry grease.
The C-7 class is for hybrid and electric vehicles which means you need to start welding that cage in your mom’s Prius now. Don’t bother with the Tesla, the race is 7 hours long (two 3.5 hour enduros with a break in the middle) you would run out of juice.
The event is open to drivers who have at least two HPDE events under their belt or have been in a novice race of at least two hours in length. There is a Your Private Track Day event open for testing Friday before the Dawn 2 Dusk 500 Challenge which will give drivers the opportunity to learn Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. On Saturday Track Masters Racing has a.m. and p.m. test slots open for teams wanting to practice. Cost to enter the Dawn 2 Dusk 500 Challenge two 3.5 hour enduros (for 7 hours total race time) is $1,200.
Even though a racing license isn’t required, a prepped racecar still is. You will need a roll-cage, battery cut-off, 5-point harnesses, nomex, SA rated helmet, neck restraint, the works to run in the Dawn 2 Dusk 500 Challenge. This is a good thing because safety and fun is the name of the game for this event. You can check out all of the rules and regs here.
Proceeds from this event will benefit some local charities (which means you can write your racing off on your taxes!). The Monterey County SPCA-Humane Society and the YMCA Kids to Camp Campaign will both be better off after the event thanks to racers. And if you’re the type who likes sponsoring an event and getting exposure to the automotive market you can check out the series sponsor opportunities here.
So kick the tires on your hooptie, check your schedule, call your buddies and search for change under the couch to make sure your team makes it to the challenge.