The SEMA Action Network (SAN) has joined COMP Performance Group on the road for the 22nd Annual Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour, a seven-day, seven-city tour that runs through June 17 and attracts more than 4,500 collector cars and 75,000 spectators.
The organization is working on the tour to promote support for the “Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act” — the Congressional bill that clarifies street vehicles may continue to be converted into race cars used solely on the track.
SAN representatives will be stationed by the flamed Hot Rod bus, where they will explain why the motorsports industry is at risk, update visitors on the current status of the bill and let the community know how they can help protect the racing industry.
“There is a lot of information about the RPM Act circulating and we’re looking forward to connecting with the industry to explain what the RPM is and why it is important,” said Steve McDonald, SEMA vice president of government affairs. “The bill is critical to guaranteeing that the future of the racing industry is protected.”
Remaining dates and stops of the Power Tour are as follows:
June 15 – Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
June 16 – Kansas Pavilion in Wichita, Kansas
June 17 – Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas
The Power Tour effort comes on the heels of a SEMA’s recent bi-annual Washington Rally, in which COMP Performance Group Vice President of Marketing Chris Douglas participated. While there, Douglas met with Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. Steve Cohen, as well as aides to Sen. Lamar Alexander, to discuss the RPM Act’s importance.
The legislation was introduced on Capitol Hill in March amid concerns about the EPA’s Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles. Scheduled to be finalized this summer, the proposed regulations would have made converting a street vehicle into a race car illegal if doing so involved the emission system being changed from its stock configuration. Even race cars used solely on the track and not on public roads were included in that proposed ban.
In April, the EPA responded to push-back from racers, manufacturers of performance aftermarket products and Congress by clarifying language in the proposal and saying it never intended to represent any change in the Clean Air Act or it’s policy regarding competition-only vehicles. However, the agency maintains it has the authority to regulate street vehicles modified exclusively for the track, as well as the businesses that make those products — despite Congressional intent.
SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting said the clarification was welcome but not a concrete assurance the racing community would be protected for future generations. He said the RPM Act is needed to addresses any doubts regarding regulation of racecars and gives the public and racing industry much-needed certainty regarding how the Clean Air Act is applied.
Without congressional intervention, it remains unclear if the racing community and racing parts manufacturers are at risk of enforcement. Left unresolved, the economic impact could be severe. Current retail sales of racing products make up a $1.4 billion annual market. The specialty equipment automotive aftermarket employs about one million Americans across all 50 states.
Everyone is encouraged to make their voice is heard regarding the RPM Act, and the SEMA Action Network continues to make that easy. It has kept active an online form allowing users to input their information and quickly generate a letter to their U.S. Senator and Representatives in support of the RPM Act. Fill it out here: http://www.semasan.com/page.asp?content=aa2016FED2&g=SEMAGA