While the sport compact performance market has sparked a resurgence in the popularity of automotive performance, the street racing images popularized in “The Fast and the Furious” have not been greeted with universal glee.
Michael Meyers, chairman of the Sport Compact Council of the Specialty Equipment Market Association says that a number of business and industry groups are working to get the performance enthusiast off the street, and advises other businesses to join in. “Run racing events so that you can attract the enthusiasts. Do a series of events,” he says.
Meyers says that the sport compact market has been more of an underground movement to this point, but that this year is its breakout year. He says that it’s important that it gains a positive image. Retailers and warehouses can work with local tracks and even local law enforcement to build a positive image for the pastime. In Toronto, for example, the Dodge Neon is used for traffic enforcement. Imagine what you could do with one of those as a draw at a drag strip.
The purpose is to help educate the enthusiasts about the right place for performance. “You’re never going to stop street racing completely, but we want to do what we can to get these kids off the street. Our main focus is to give them a safe environment.”
And compared to clandestine competition, the real enthusiasts are thrilled to put their cars and skills on the line in organized competition. “The guys love it,” says Meyers.