The auto racing industry may be in for a blow as the new EPA emissions rule could end car conversions in the near future.
The new rule was highlighted when the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) came across a paragraph in a proposal made by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the proposal, every car and truck that is sold for general use will have to abide by emission rules even if they are reconfigured for competition purposes.
As the federal agency’s proposal entitled Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2 states:
“Certified motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines and their emission control devices must remain in their certified configuration even if they are used solely for competition or if they become non-road vehicles or engines.”
This has already been confirmed by an EPA representative, who issued a statement for Fox News, saying that in order to protect the environment from air pollution, there is already a Clear Air Act in place which puts a strict ban on tampering with the emission control system of sold vehicles.
According to the spokesperson, the updated rule only distinguishes between motor vehicles and off-road vehicles, like dirt bikes or snowmobiles. Off-road vehicles represent an exception to the Clear Air Act, because under certain circumstances they can be altered so they can be used for competition purposes.
Chris Kersting, the CEO of SEMA, believes that this law is in dissonance with the previous attitude of EPA, having allowed racing activities to carry on for decades, without any thought towards the consequences of car conversions.
SEMA officials are also complaining about the fact that their association was not properly informed about this regulation, nor was it included in a directly correlated rules package, which made it difficult for the people in the auto racing industry to become aware of it.
Mr. Steve McDonald, Vicepresident of Governmental Affairs for SEMA, has recently issued a statement on this topic and he revealed the fact that his organization plans to oppose these changes through the appropriate channels.
It is a common practice among race car engineers to tamper with the emissions control system of a vehicle that is about to compete, in order to top their performance.
Nevertheless, there are still a number of race cars such as the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet or the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars, which do not require any sort of emissions control and which can compete freely, without being bothered by any EPA regulation.
Image Source: Roadandtrack.com