The Gearup Challenge is the competitive travel version. The State championship is meant to be more in line with club-level racing. I’ve never raced in the state championship, but I’d imagine it’d be OK for a beginner. I don’t know if there are clubs beyond the state championship at E-Town. OVRP does have club racing, but a quick look at their site does seem to show “TaG or bust” as your senior options.
I think that’s really unfortunate personally.
There was a lot I had to learn when I moved up from WF to TaG – chassis tuning is more important, learning to dial in a carb, more wrenching. I think if I had to learn all that AND learn to drive AND do it with 50% more power than I had before, that would be a lot to handle.