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2023 Schedule Release


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I am assuming the schedule released on the podcast is a partial? 

My main question is, is there going to be two races at Road America?  If someone that officially knows could please answer.  We are just starting to build 2 cars to join the series and race, but if there is only 1 race at RA. We probably will race something else.

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I am away for the next few day taking a break from races shooting pictures at VIR. I was not able to make this slick and professional in the time I had before I recieved it. But it will be updated when I get home next week.

Here is an unslick version.

and yes. Only one Road America and Dana is working on getting a Brainard date too.

 

https://champcar.org/register/events.php

 

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If you are interested in understanding all of the details of how this schedule was created, listen to this broadcast.  It is VERY informative. They talk about additional dates that may be added. NOTE:  Although I probably didn’t listen to every second, I’m pretty sure Canadian races were not discussed (west coast USA were)

 

 

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1 hour ago, mgoblue06 said:

What happened to the past discussed Indy date?

On podcast Dana said there were no available dates at Indy. Trying to get one for 2024 was his answer. One Road America(fall only). Brainerd still in negotiations but likely just needs the specific date. Road Atlanta is National Championship. Podcast had a lot of good info. 

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1 hour ago, TimS said:

On podcast Dana said there were no available dates at Indy. Trying to get one for 2024 was his answer. One Road America(fall only). Brainerd still in negotiations but likely just needs the specific date. Road Atlanta is National Championship. Podcast had a lot of good info. 

To clarify this further, it was mention that Indy is in a group of tracks they're now looking to schedule every few years instead of annually as a way to keep interest high without stretching themselves thin. 

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1 hour ago, TimS said:

On podcast Dana said there were no available dates at Indy. Trying to get one for 2024 was his answer. One Road America(fall only). Brainerd still in negotiations but likely just needs the specific date. Road Atlanta is National Championship. Podcast had a lot of good info. 

We're definitely doing Brainerd as long as it doesn't conflict with something in the real world. Raced the track in 2018 and loved it. Great flow on the competition course, the track just feels fun to drive. And the Donnybrooke layout is something you just have to try, maybe I'll have the guts to take turn 1 flat out this time.

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13 hours ago, Sean D said:

I am assuming the schedule released on the podcast is a partial? 

My main question is, is there going to be two races at Road America?  If someone that officially knows could please answer.  We are just starting to build 2 cars to join the series and race, but if there is only 1 race at RA. We probably will race something else.

If you are close to Elkhart you can also do The Autobahn, Gingerman & Brainerd. No other series does Elkhart twice a year.

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Here are some facts on recent Road America spring races:

2018 - Cancelled (snow) 

2019 - Fri/Sat event on Easter weekend - 47 Entries

2020 - Cancelled (COVID)

2021 - National Championship - 56 Entries

2022 - Moved 2 weeks earlier than it's usual date and only 3 weeks before the national championship at Ozarks - 33 Entries

 

It seems like we have traded RA for Ozarks, but I'll be surprised if Ozarks can draw the same numbers next year as it did this year as the championship. Maye that's still a more profitable choice. Maybe I'm just bitter about losing another race close to me. 

 

With the ever increasing costs of getting a racecar ready to run for the year (membership fees, expired belts, expired nets, expired fire systems, expired Hans, etc.) it's hard to justify those expenses if you are only going to do one race, and there are quite a few teams local to RA that are used to having 2 events there a year. Maybe they will travel to BIR or Autobahn, maybe not. (Same issue with having only one race out West, is it worth it for a team to conform to all the CCES specifics for a single event?) These regional effects shouldn't be ignored. 

 

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Anyone remember the car count from LD at Brainerd? I think it was about 30 cars give or take and the last event Champcar ran was I think like high twenties.

If that is about the count you can get to travel north might be a hard sell to get a date locked for that. 

 

Our team really likes that track and have had many epic battles. Would enjoy more but numbers are hard to compete with if they don't make it break even

or a profit. 

 

As for the Ozarks our team is about 50/50 on going back and I'm sure the rain had part to do with it. Had a driver come over a rise with another completely

changing their line, one of those butt pucker moments. Could have been really bad.

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29 minutes ago, 55mini said:

Anyone remember the car count from LD at Brainerd? I think it was about 30 cars give or take and the last event Champcar ran was I think like high twenties.

If that is about the count you can get to travel north might be a hard sell to get a date locked for that. 

 

Our team really likes that track and have had many epic battles. Would enjoy more but numbers are hard to compete with if they don't make it break even

or a profit. 

 

As for the Ozarks our team is about 50/50 on going back and I'm sure the rain had part to do with it. Had a driver come over a rise with another completely

changing their line, one of those butt pucker moments. Could have been really bad.



I look forward to making a return to BIR. It's been too long. 

I want to go back to Ozark again, and kinda hope it rains all weekend. That track is WILD! 

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The Ozarks track is pretty extreme.   The consequences for a misstep can easily be high.   The closing speeds in the series nowadays makes this even worse.   But hey for those of you with an abundance of I’ll show it testosterone it’s probably really fun.  
 

Brainerd would be a good add,  both days on the Comp course would be best. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yeah the timing of the racing at Road America has a lot to do with the car count. Really people don't want to race in the cold and risk traveling to an event with potential weather issues. Warmer weather and rain is workable. 

So here we sit having a discussion. With one car started. Switch the Build to another series? Finish it and sell. Or Finish it and track day it a few times and run the one race? The other car we just bought and haven't started yet and could resell to get the money back.  Its hard to justify $15,000 - $20,000 per car to run once a year.  Believe me I understand the travel to other tracks part, we used to race 40 weekends a year from Canada to Florida to New York.

With the economy going to  crap the racing and cost of living is going crazy, we might hold off until after the elections to make our final decisions.

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5 hours ago, Petrolholic racing said:

So frustrated.  No west coast races????? Or even one in the pacific north west? What happened????? This series started from these parts.  Looks like Harris hill Texas is my closest race to California.   

 

I hear you! And every race I hear around the paddock people say the series should abandon the west coast and also express some amazement that I drove how far I drove to go race. I don't have any solutions to the car count/participation issue out west. Maybe it is desert races scheduled in summer or maybe crossing over between two series means too much compromise, no idea. I just want to race and would like races under 1000 miles away to go to. Tough situation, can't plan events if no one shows, but at the same time, no one will show if no events are planned. 

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5 hours ago, Petrolholic racing said:

So frustrated.  No west coast races????? Or even one in the pacific north west? What happened????? This series started from these parts.  Looks like Harris hill Texas is my closest race to California.   

Listen to the podcast. Dana addresses this. They have a Willow Springs date, but aren't committed to it yet because, unfortunately, interest in CCES on the west coast is tenuous at best. They did mention they're looking at tracks in Utah and AZ, but I imagine it'll take some time to re-establish themselves on the west coast given how hard the last 2-3 years have been to put those events on. Members vote with their wallets and they simply didn't - can't fault him for deciding to not stretch the series thin to be somewhere there's no interest. 

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Podcast had lots of info for all areas the schedule covers. Mistakes made and realities of building a schedule. I felt Dana was very open and honest about the issues with previous schedules as well as next year’s. A real desire to add races in Utah, Arizona, and SoCal. The reality for any organization is if no one wants to participate they won’t continue. 
I look forward to the new season and hope gas prices drop and the economy improves for everyone. 

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17 hours ago, TimS said:

Podcast had lots of info for all areas the schedule covers. Mistakes made and realities of building a schedule. I felt Dana was very open and honest about the issues with previous schedules as well as next year’s. A real desire to add races in Utah, Arizona, and SoCal. The reality for any organization is if no one wants to participate they won’t continue. 
I look forward to the new season and hope gas prices drop and the economy improves for everyone. 

 

I would LOVE for an Arizona race.

 

For everyone's reference: the track Dana was referring to, Arizona Motorsports Park, is a nice track, right next to Luke AFB. Not super technical, but has some fun sections and is over 2 miles long and can be ran either direction. Good passing zones with some decent straights, but has a few slower turns too. Large paddock, supports regular hot/cold pits, some shade in paddock. Sound can be strict but less than Laguna Seca. Great cell signal for live streaming, pretty much everything you could think of needing is close by, including some great junk yards if needed. Biggest drawback is that it is a very flat track and lacks the character of tracks like Willow Springs or Harris Hill. 

 

If they can pull off getting it on the schedule, I would be a pretty much guarantee to sign up and there are at least 3-4 other local teams that run elsewhere that could very well be encouraged, and I bet some local non-endurance series teams would come run. Just don't schedule it in late-May thru end of September. There are a few other decent tracks close to Phoenix that aren't too far from decent amenities. 

 

 

arizona_motorsports_600.jpg

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It seemed bill and Dana couldn’t agree if AzMP was the track. Dana said the one he was working on didn’t have any noise restrictions but AzMP sure does. I ran that track back when it first opened with NASA in a stock car, no mufflers on that baby. Could it be the Apex Country Club track?  Do the run races out there or just HPDE?

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2 hours ago, TimS said:

It seemed bill and Dana couldn’t agree if AzMP was the track. Dana said the one he was working on didn’t have any noise restrictions but AzMP sure does. I ran that track back when it first opened with NASA in a stock car, no mufflers on that baby. Could it be the Apex Country Club track?  Do the run races out there or just HPDE?

 

In the initial conversation it seemed that Dana was describing AMP (AMP is what it locally is called, but AzMP for clarity works here), but the other track discussed Podium Club is pretty new and has hosted a local series race. Apex has done one as well, but they seem leery of stepping beyond the high-end HPDE crowd. bracket racing has run at Inde in Wilcox, but I suspect ChampCar isn't keen on it as there isn't much nearby. Same with Chuckwalla in CA. Halfway between Phoenix and Los Angeles, but very limited (basically none) services nearby. The other Phoenix track, Wild Horse Pass (where Bondurant-now-Radford racing school is at) suffers from a lack of investment and planned demise in the next 5 years as it is in the cards of being turned into an outlet mall. No sound issues there, but still basically right in town. 

 

Within a 4 hour drive of Phoenix we have 7 tracks (2 in Phoenix [AMP and WHP], 2 within 45 minutes [Apex and Podium], 2 within 3 hours [Inde and Chuckwalla], 1 within 4 hours [Thermal near Palm Springs BMW Driving school is there, fun track, I don't think the track has ever hosted a race though?] So, there are certainly some options. But it all falls to scheduling and IF west coast guys will commit to showing up. So far my shortest tow with ChampCar was 6 1/2 hours to Willow Springs. Our tracks out here would be great fall/winter/spring tracks to run. And perhaps that is a factor? Southwest desert tracks getting scheduled in summer can be brutal, but maybe that is all that is free, not sure what other series scheduling looks like. 

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2023 is shaping up to have the best Midwest options in years. Perhaps ever. Thank you. 

 

Autobahn (June), Denver (July), Road America (Oct), and hopefully Brainerd. 

 

My only comment on Brainerd is preferably not in June, July, or August.  Put a few weeks between it and the other midwest races. May or September would be excellent weather and schedule wise.  

 

I will do my best to round up some cars including my own. 

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Fetterhund lots of new tracks have come online in Arizona and low desert of California since I moved east. I grew up 5 minutes from the new Thermal track and rode/raced motorcycles for years in and around Chuckwalla(Desert Center). The last “new” track was AMP and they immediately had sound complaints and neighbor issues. We raced basically at two tracks for a decade. Willow Springs and Buttonwillow. Laguna Seca and Sears Point usually only had a couple club events a year and Thunderhill was a long tow from Los Angeles for 2-3 hours of track time. I love the Champcar format and wish I had found it sooner. Good luck on a few more “local” races. 

Edited by TimS
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On 10/8/2022 at 5:04 AM, TimS said:

Podcast had lots of info for all areas the schedule covers. Mistakes made and realities of building a schedule. I felt Dana was very open and honest about the issues with previous schedules as well as next year’s. A real desire to add races in Utah, Arizona, and SoCal. The reality for any organization is if no one wants to participate they won’t continue. 
I look forward to the new season and hope gas prices drop and the economy improves for everyone. 

 

It's good to hear that CC is still open to running races in the west, despite the disappointment of none on the schedule for 23. For some reason it doesn't seem like AZ and Utah are a very big market, which I don't understand. It maybe because teams want to race more than 0 or 1 time a year, and don't want to tow as far as Fetterhund does? The low car counts in those states were not unique to champcar. Although LD racing brings more cars, it still isn't enough for them to come back. IIRC they ran Inde and brought 30 cars, and didn't go back in 22. Utah they had 30 car in '19 and didn't return. 

 

The Pacific NW still exists. 4 great tracks up in the Portland/Seattle area, and there's a large budget enduro community up here. CC hasn't been here in 6 years. Hoping they'll take another look in this part of the country. The "West" is big, and running one race at Willow Springs may not be tapping in to the whole market. 

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