Motorsports Allies in Congress Lead Campaign to Save Our Racecars
By SEMA – Photographs by Jim McIlvaine
SEMA President & CEO Chris Kersting commended U.S. Representatives Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Raul Ruiz (D-CA) for introducing H.R. 3281, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021 (RPM Act). The bipartisan bill includes 48 original sponsors. The RPM Act protects Americans’ right to convert street vehicles into dedicated racecars and the motorsports-parts industry’s ability to sell products that enable racers to compete.
The RPM Act reverses the EPA’s interpretation that the Clean Air Act prohibits a motor vehicle designed for street use—including a car, truck, or motorcycle—to be converted into a dedicated racecar. This American tradition was unquestioned from 1970 until 2015 when the EPA took the position that converted vehicles must remain emissions-compliant, even though they are no longer driven on public streets or highways.
“SEMA looks forward to working with Congress to enact the RPM Act and make permanent the Clean Air Act’s original intention that race vehicle conversions are legal,” Kersting said. “We thank Representatives McHenry and Ruiz for standing up for racing and the motorsports parts industry by introducing a bipartisan bill to protect racing and the businesses that produce, install, and sell the parts that enable racers to compete.”
There has already been an unprecedented outpouring of support for the RPM Act this year, with Americans sending over 1.1 million letters asking Congress to pass the legislation. It is imperative that enthusiasts and motorsports businesses keep up this momentum by reminding their lawmakers in Washington, D.C., that they must act now to protect the right to convert a motor vehicle into a racecar.
“I am proud to support automobile racing and will work to ensure motorsports enthusiasts here in North Carolina and across the country can continue the time-honored tradition of modifying stock vehicles for competitive racing,” Rep. Patrick McHenry said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to help ensure the RPM Act becomes law.”
“Growing up, I spent countless hours at the racetrack with my father,” Rep. Raul Ruiz said. “Racing has always been close to my heart. I am delighted to introduce the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act, which will keep our American tradition of vehicle racing alive and give enthusiasts and their children the same opportunity that I had to create memories at the racetrack.”
Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional. Retail sales of racing products make up a nearly $2 billion market annually. Most of the vehicles raced on the estimated 1,300 racetracks operating across the U.S. are converted vehicles that the EPA considers to be illegal.
It is important that members of Congress hear from the racing and automotive enthusiast communities about the importance of passing the RPM Act into law in 2021. To write a letter to your members of Congress, visit www.sema.org/rpm.