Will Modern Road-Going Cars be Banned from Track Days?
It’s already starting to happen....by Robert Moore, on
Modern day vehicle safety systems have proven themselves to be a huge benefit since we humans are too dumb to put down the phone and pay attention to the road. We’re so out of touch with paying attention to what we’re doing that manufacturers have had to develop automatic emergency braking and even lane keep assist systems to help prevent accidents. Our lack of attention isn’t limited to just cars either – remember the people who were walking into traffic during the Pokemon Go phase? Anyway, back to the topic, these automatic safety systems are great for road use, but what about the track? Well, truth is, these safety systems pose a serious hazard and can lead to mishaps on the track. That’s why the Genesee Valley Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America has taken a huge step and banned any vehicle with automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist systems from some of their track day events.
In the official announcement, it is claimed that these systems may behave in “unpredictable and undesirable ways on the racetrack.” And, it makes sense, considering these systems are designed to prevent most of the maneuvers that happen during a competitive day at the track. GVC has gone so far as to say it will ban all vehicles equipped with these systems from its HPDE events, even if they can be disabled, and that anyone showing up with a vehicle equipped with such features will be denied participation and will forfeit their entry fees.
Sounds pretty intense, and is a low-blow to those who happen to own a vehicle with said systems. But, it gets worse. This is just one chapter of one club, and chances are this will catch on, and quick, as these systems can cause accidents on the track. A lot of BMW vehicles come standard with these systems and all will by 2022, so chances of taking a new BMW to any of these events in the future is slim and none.
Keep reading for the rest of the story
Is This the Beginning of the End?
Could this be the beginning of the end for modern road-going cars on the track? I hate to say it, but it’s a good possibility. These semi-autonomous safety systems are quite literally being forced on us to the point that within 10 years, we won’t be able to buy a car that doesn’t have them. Hell, we barely can now. That means that, in the future, it might not be quite as easy to track your daily driver. It could even boil down to track operators banning these systems in the future as well. It could throw the performance car market into chaos as well. See, some of us purchase performance vehicles like the BMW M2 or the Jaguar F-type, for instance, because we like to have fun on the track as well. But, if those vehicles are banned on the track because of these collision avoidance systems, it could put a damper on the segment.
But, it’s deeper than that. Federal regulations will eventually dictate that these safety systems be mandatory – just like they have with airbags and emissions equipment. That means that should this ban extend to a lot of events and/or tracks; manufacturers will be forced to adapt. This could mean offering their typical performance models with an option for deleting these systems. But, that would eventually make them illegal to drive on the road. Then again, this whole story could go nowhere, and things will continue on as they have for years. We’ll just have to wait and see. But, it’s advisable that you pay attention – you wouldn’t want to buy a new car with intentions of tracking it on occasion just to find out that you can’t.
Source: Bimmer FIle