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NCCC bans hybrid Corvettes from sanctioned events, then unbans them

NCCC bans hybrid Corvettes from sanctioned events, then unbans them


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The new Chevy Corvette is the best yet at taking curves, right? The National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC) put the Kentucky Kid to the test again, but with a curve in the rule book instead of on the track. On November 22 of last year, the council amended section 1.8.14 of its NCCC Competition Program Rulebook on November 22 with the line, "Electric Vehicles/Hybrids using lithium type battery packs are prohibited in Competitive events. If driven to NCCC events, they should be parked 30 feet minimum from structures or other vehicles." The NCCC didn't explain at the time, not publicly, at least, why it made the change. All anyone outside the club who read the rule book knew was that if they drove a hybrid, it needed to be treated like it might explode at any time. Note, this was months before the online debut of the Corvette E-Ray, and the rule book didn't limit the restriction to Corvettes.

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Seems no one picked up on the change until Corvette Forum did in early April. That happened the same week Grassroots Motorsports noted that Summit Motorsports Park in West Virginia amended its competition rules to say, "We have halted the use of Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles in all motorsports disciplines." Summit wanted to welcome all powertrains, but explained its "tactical pause" as "purely based on ensuring we establish an EMS response policy and procedure based on technical knowledge provided by the electric and hybrid electric vehicle industry community to better support the motorsports community." The track wanted to learn how best to deal with and equip itself for incidents involving vehicles using high-voltage batteries. That's a great reason, because high-voltage battery fires require different tactics, and often a whole lot more water, to extinguish.

It's possible the NCCC was working off a similar premise. Motor Trend said an NCCC member told the outlet last week that late last year, "members were informed about an incident where a local fire department responded to a battery fire at an event but refused to put it out and let it burn, causing the event to be canceled."