The National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park is trying to be a good neighbor to the residents around the facility.
In the latest of NCM’s Track Tuesday video series, operations manager Matt Busby takes a look at how you can be better prepared noise-wise if you want to use the facility.
Of course, after opening in 2013, the motorsports park was quickly hit with complaints from nearby residents about what they felt was excessive noise levels interfering with their daily lives. That eventually led to lawsuits and litigation, but eventually the two sides reached an agreement on acceptable noise levels.
Based on national standards used at other facilities around the U.S., the limit at NCM is 103.0 db at 50 feet.
Busby points out that all tracks have sound limits “because we want to integrate into our communities as well as possible.”
So what does that mean for you?
“You’re somebody who’s looking to pull a trailer from 8 to 10 hours away and you don’t want to waste all your time making that kind of journey to come out and do an event at NCM if you’re gonna get thrown out for sound,” Busby said.
“We understand that, and we’re not in the business of throwing people out. We’re not in the business of telling people they can’t go onto the race track. We want as many people here as possible, so we’re gonna talk a little bit about how you can be prepared.”
Busby explains that noise meters have been installed in nearby neighborhoods, with the penetration levels there required not to exceed an average of 55 db over an hour. That figure rises to 59.9 db on what are known as “exception days.”
“Unfortunately, we don’t have any open days where anybody can show up with anything,” Busby says. “But what can you do? How can you be best prepared? We recommend that everybody that shows up has a plan. It’s also in our facility rules that every vehicle that goes out onto the race track has to have some form of muffler,” whether it be a chambered, flow-through muffle or a big resonator.
Mufflers will bring the decibel level down 5 to 8 db in most cases, he says.
“But just like anything else on a car, especially a race car, it’s a wear item just like brake pads, tires, stuff like that,” he says. “Now a packed fiberglass muffler or resonator, the longer time it stands under wide-open throttle, the less effective that it’s gonna become. So it’s not something – hey, I put mufflers on in 1998 – what do you mean I have to do it again? Well, years and years later, they may not be as effective, so it’s something we constantly try to hit people on is being prepared.”
However, if you do show up at the track and are blackflagged for excessive noise, be aware that you still have options. For example, the park itself sells baffles for about $50 that can be inserted into the tailpipe or at an exhaust joint and will bring down the decibel level by about 3 db.
Busby concludes by saying that over the years the staff at the motorsports park has gotten pretty good at helping racers get under the sound level.
“There’s not this expectation of, hey, you’re loud, leave kind of situation,” he explains. “We want to have you out there. We want to help you get back out there. We just need – it’s a two-way street. We need you to show up with mufflers, we need you to show up with resonators, we need you to show up with a plan.”
NCM Motorsport Park / YouTube
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