As we head into the final season of 2016, we already have some big ideas for 2017. But before we get there, we’re about to open up a new season as the 2016 Fall Season gets underway tonight. While we’ll have some other announcements #soon, for now here’s what is new for this season:
Super Late Model Broadcasts
As we announced during the offseason, we’ve partnered with the Digital Forge Broadcasting Network to broadcast the entire 2016 Fall Season of the GM Parts XPerts Super Late Model Series. All 10 weeks of the schedule will be broadcasted live, with a full replay available after the race. We’ve broadcasted special events in the past, but for the first time we’ll be able to showcase the best Super Late Model drivers on iRacing on a weekly basis.
And with the broadcasts, we have new sponsorship opportunities. We’re happy to have H&H Sign Supply, Hides Pride, Toxic Media Solutions, and Area 52 Designs as new partners as they have come on board to sponsor some of the broadcasted races. There are still more races available to sponsor at just $15 per race, and plenty of other sponsorship opportunities available. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
While we’ve had success in the past with our Qualifying Dash format, placing the top ten cars against each other for extra bonus points. But we’ve decided to make the change to eliminate the Dash for the new season. There are two reasons for this. One being that with the Super Late Model division moving to broadcasts, we couldn’t find a good place, or a good way to fit in the Dash into the night’s schedule without making the night longer. And the second reason being that the extra bonus points often just ended up helping out the guys that were already at the top of the standings, giving them even more of an advantage they don’t necessarily need help with.
So with the new season, we’ll be taking away the Qualifying Dash in all divisions. The qualifying format for the night will remain the same however. Directly after opening practice, we’ll run Time Trials as normal. Then we’ll continue to have a 6-10 invert, and then will advance into the second session for some additional practice and the race.
With the elimination of the Dash, this also brings a change to qualifying bonus points. Due to an invert of at least six cars, the top three cars in qualifying will always be guaranteed to start further back than where they qualified. So we’ll be giving out qualifying bonus points for the top three cars in each race, including 3 points to the pole winner (instead of 5 points), 2 points to 2nd, and 1 point to 3rd.
In previous seasons, we’ve had a rule where if a driver wins two races in a row, they have to start at the very end of the field with an EOL for the following race. While this only happened from time to time, it certainly put those drivers in a bad spot at the back of the field, perhaps penalizing those drivers more than we should. But we also figured that if a driver was good enough to win multiple races in a row in a league like this, that they could still do it from the back of the pack.
New this season, we’ll introduce a tweak to that rule. Starting in Week 2, the driver that won the previous week’s race, will start the next race from the 10th spot, unless they qualify further back than that. This tweak doesn’t require for a driver to win multiple races in a row, but instead will happen every week. A driver can still pick up qualifying bonus points, but once the invert happens, the previous week’s winner will be dropped back to the 10th spot as a handicap.
New Penalty System
Towards the end of last season, we ended up giving out a few penalties and suspensions due to some aggressive driving and other intentional actions. We’ve tried hard to crack down on these types of things in previous seasons and feel like we’ve done a good job, but with more issues popping up, we’ve decided to take another step and have implemented a new Penalty System.
This new system will break down penalties into four categories, outlining the types of penalties and the extend of penalties in each section. This system will also help crack down more on repeat offenders, who can expect their penalties to advance to a higher level if the actions that caused the penalties do not change.
Click HERE to get a full look at the new Penalty System.
Season Prize Money
Last season, one of our long time drivers offered up some cash as prizes for doing well in the points for our top three divisions. Once again he will be doing the same thing, offering some iRacing credits as prizes for the top three drivers in the SLM, PLM, and SK points. $10 will go to each champion, with $6 going to 2nd in points, and $4 going to 3rd in points. In addition to awarding the top three in points, the same prizes will also be going to the top three drivers in each division that scores the most points overall (not including drop races, so a full 11/11 races).
NSM Rubber Percentage Changes
With iRacing’s new updates to the New Surface Model and rubber build up on the track over the course of a race, we’ve decided to start our rubber percentage this season, lower than before. Practice sessions will open with 16% track rubber, while race sessions will now start with 30% rubber.
Street Stock Changes
In the past we’ve restricted the Street Stock division to some drivers, and also allowed one fast reset per race in the division. We used to do it because we wanted the Street Stock division to be a little less intimidating for new/inexperienced drivers who were joining the league, and we wanted for the top drivers to stop dominating the division like they used to.
This season we’ll be removing both of those rules. The division will be open to all drivers, and there will be no more fast resets. This will open up the division to be just as competitive as the rest of our divisions as we continue to run the premier short track league on iRacing.