WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The International Hot Rod Ass’n has announced a new Junior ELITE license for the upcoming season.
The ELITE license will be exclusive to drivers ages 16-17 with elapsed time restrictions between 7.50 and 7.90 seconds and speeds up to 90 mph. ELITE license holders that dial between 7.50 and 7.89 must have vehicles meeting all the requirements for Master’s level licensing in addition to the following safety measure:
- The chassis must be constructed of chromoly tubing and incorporate helmet bars with SFI 45.1 or 45.2 padding on the roll cage.
- All competitors must utilize an SFI 38.1 head and neck restraint system
- All ELITE license holders dialing quicker than 7.90 must have a rear wing.
- A driver MUST HAVE a valid state driver’s license in addition to making the required passes prior to being issued an ELITE license.
An official with the IHRA or an IHRA member-track will issue the ELITE license after three approved runs between 7.50 and 7.89 seconds. One warning will be issued if a competitor runs an elapsed time of 7.40 seconds or quicker or 90 mph or faster. If a competitor does this a second time at the same event, they will be disqualified from the event.
If a competitor runs 7.30 or quicker or 95 mph or faster, they will be disqualified for the remainder of the event and their license will be suspended for six months from the date of the infraction.
“Our goal in creating this new license is to safely advance the junior program for the older kids in an effort to keep them interested in the program a little longer. We know that not every 16-year-old junior racer has a big car ride waiting for them, so we wanted to give the older kids an avenue to advance while giving the IHRA sanctioned tracks something unique to offer their customers,” IHRA Vice President Skooter Peaco said. “While this is not a new “class” but a new license level, we hope that ultimately the junior competitors will work towards this new license and the tracks will have enough of these license holders to separate the 16-and-up drivers into their own group.
“Any 16- or 17-year-old driver who does not meet the new vehicle safety requirements can continue to run with and dial within the Advanced or Master’s license levels as they are currently allowed to do. The new ELITE license is simply a new option for competitors and our member tracks.”
The Junior ELITE membership/license is $100. A two-year membership is available for $180.