An industry effort to “Save Our Racecars” is again front and center as the 2017 legislative session kicks off in Washington D.C.
Chris Kersting, president and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association, praised U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and his colleagues for reintroducing H.R. 350, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017 (RPM Act).
The bipartisan bill, which was submitted for reintroduction on the first day of the new Congress, “protects Americans’ right to modify street vehicles into dedicated racecars and the industry’s right to sell the parts that enable racers to compete,” according to SEMA.
The RPM Act, co-sponsored by 44 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, was written to ensure that transforming motor vehicles into racecars used exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act.
The practice went unquestioned for nearly 50 years, until the EPA published proposed regulations in 2015 that deemed such conversions illegal and subject to severe penalties. While the EPA withdrew the language from the final rulemaking last year, the agency still maintains the practice is unlawful.
“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 Rep. McHenry and all the co-sponsors for reintroducing a bill that will protect businesses that produce, install and sell the parts that enable racers to compete.”
When the RPM Act was first introduced in 2016, racing enthusiasts and Americans working in the motorsports parts industry flooded Congress with nearly 200,000 letters in support of the bill. More than one-fourth of the U.S. House of Representatives joined as bill co-sponsors as a result.
However, the shortened election year schedule did not permit sufficient time for passage of the bill by the previous Congress.
“Last year I was proud to lead the fight against the misguided EPA regulation targeting racing, but our work is not done,” McHenry said. “In the coming months, I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the new administration to ensure the RPM Act becomes law.”