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Gov. Jerry Brown changes law to help car racers compete in California

September 12, 2012 |  8:30 am

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The governor has given a green light to professional racing teams including those of the National Hot Rod Assn. (NHRA) and other racing leagues to drive oversized transport trailers on select California roads.

The state currently limits some kinds of trailer rigs to 53 feet long, while some racing teams transport their race cars in trailer rigs that are longer. SB 1174, introduced by Sen. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel) and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this week, allows the longer trailer rigs.

"This ensures that 56-foot motorsports semitrailers will be legal in California, as they are in all 49 other states, while vitalizing the state’s economy and maintaining our reputation as a premier racing destination,'' Walters said. "Now teams from across the country will continue to participate in high profile racing events held in California.”

An estimated 120 professional motorsports trailers across the three main drag racing leagues will be affected by the change in the law, according to Garth Eisenbeis, the senator’s chief of staff. He said that in theory it applies to any “motor sport” as defined in the code, but has mainly been an issue for professional drag racing.

Currently, some racing teams use smaller than standard trailers for California competitions, while others have been allowed recently to get a temporary permit from Caltrans, which required them to be followed by a pilot car as a precaution.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento 

Photo: Drivers compete in a 2009 NHRA Las Vegas Nationals Funny Car auto race at the Strip. A new state law would make it easier to transport their cars to California racetracks. Credit: Isaac Brekken / For The Times.

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