There is a proposed regulation put forth by the EPA that would prohibit the conversion of production cars into race cars as well as the sales of equipment to do so. This regulation is conveniently tucked into the seemingly unrelated "Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2" regulation.
This means that converting sports cars, sedans, hatches, and pretty much every vehicle that have commonly been used for track-day-only duties would be illegal. Yes, you read that right, it would be illegal. This takes the Clean Air Act to a completely different level. The Clean Air Act puts the kibosh on certain modifications if the driver wants to continue to drive them on the streets, but does not extend to those track day only vehicles.
It is not clear what vehicles would be allowed to be converted to track cars. Perhaps they mean that only special construction cars would be allowed to be used on tracks around the nation. Is the EPA looking to put an end to the race car and track day culture?
How much damage to the environment is a handful of drivers doing on the weekends compared to those that drive 80+ miles during their daily commute?
Check out the stand that SEMA is making in their press release below:
"This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles," said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. "Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion."
SEMA submitted comments in opposition to the regulation and met with the EPA to confirm the agency’s intentions. The EPA indicated that the regulation would prohibit conversion of vehicles into racecars and make the sale of certain emissions-related parts for use on converted vehicles illegal. Working with other affected organizations, including those representing legions of professional and hobbyist racers and fans, SEMA will continue to oppose the regulation through the administrative process and will seek congressional support and judicial intervention as necessary.
The EPA has indicated it expects to publish final regulations by July 2016.