|Country|| United States
The Optima Batteries ChumpCar World Series is a series of automotive endurance races held on paved road race courses across North America. The races range in length from 6 to 38 hours. The name is a parody of Champ Car, a defunct open wheel professional racing series. Races are sanctioned throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Teams are encouraged, but not required, to decorate their cars with themes.
The series is similar in some ways to the 24 Hours of LeMons, another low-cost endurance racing series. The series has a different overall philosophy, however, placing more emphasis on racing and less on decorations, costumes, and themes. ChumpCar's slogan is "Real Racing, Real Tracks, Real Cheap Cars", and its stated mission, as stated on its website, is to be "...a throw-back to the era when racing was fun and cheap... when Bondo beat carbon-fiber; when a crescent wrench was the most valuable tool in your box; when home-made engineering made everyone sit up and take notice; and when adding a little theme to your car didn't get you laughed off of pit lane. Those were good times... and they're back." Competitors generally refer to themselves as Chumps.
ChumpCar World Series founder John Condren was the owner of Altamont Raceway Park in California when the first 24 Hours of LeMons events were held at the track. Condren entered a team in the early LeMons races, but was dissatisfied with the party atmosphere and tongue-in-cheek mockery that continues to characterize the LeMons series. After finding that other racers were interested in cheap endurance racing and shared his dissatisfaction with LeMons, Condren formed the ChumpCar World Series and organized the first ChumpCar race in October 2009 at Portland International Raceway. In the first full year of the series, ChumpCar hosted 9 events across the United States at tracks that included Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Portland International Raceway, Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, and Putnam Park, among others.
ChumpCar races resembled LeMons races in the beginning, as many LeMons teams participated in lavishly decorated cars and costumes. Likewise, many of the rules in ChumpCar mirrored those in LeMons to allow teams to easily switch between the two race series. Over time, ChumpCar's rules evolved to form a more coherent, distinct series unlike any other in North America. ChumpCar's popularity grew, and as of 2013 the series schedules over 40 events across North America at some of the best-known road racing venues on the continent, including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sonoma Raceway (Sears Point), Road America, Virginia International Raceway, Watkins Glen, Road Atlanta and Daytona International Speedway.
Notable ChumpCar competitors include NASCAR Sprint Cup champion driver Tony Stewart, well known NASCAR teams Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing, and Ars Technica contributing writer Jonathan Gitlin.
Preparation and rules
To enter an event, competitors are required to select a vehicle from the list of cars at the end of the rule book. Vehicles are listed with arbitrary point calculations assigned to each model year. The table contains a large variety of makes and models to choose from. If the point calculation of the vehicle is less than 500, additional points may be spent on performance parts, as long as the total point calculation of vehicle plus performance parts does not exceed 500. This point calculation excludes required safety equipment, as well as maintenance and replacement of wear items with OEM or OEM-equivalent parts. No credit is given toward the point calculation of the vehicle for selling removed parts. Vehicles with a point calculation in excess of 500 are allowed to compete with penalty laps subtracted from their total. While the assessed vehicle point goal is 500, typical actual build costs can run anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 to prep a car. Most of this budget is safety related such as brakes, roll cage, tires, racing seat, fire suppression system, and fuel cell.
The races run for a fixed length of time. The team that completes the most laps net of penalty laps is the winner.
The event organizers impose a complete set of safety rules that typically are on par with other road racing sanctioning bodies, including the Sports Car Club of America and National Auto Sport Association.
Events are held at major road racing tracks across the US and Canada, along with a street race in Mexico. The most common event format is a two-race weekend, with one seven hour race each on Saturday and Sunday. However, a variety of other formats are used, with lengths ranging from six hours to 38 hours. Starts are most commonly a random start, without qualifying for position. Teams are scored and ranked by the number of laps completed during the time allotted for the race net of penalty laps.
Teams are required to include at least two drivers (more for longer events). Each driver is required to complete at least one hour in the car. No stint is allowed to exceed two hours, with a minimum one hour rest. Pit stops where fuel is added to the car are required to be at least five minutes in length to ensure safe refueling.
The top three finishers on laps in each race are recognized with a trophy and a credit toward future participation in the series. Additional awards may be given for notably good (or bad) driving, especially dedicated repair work, or good overall spirit. Overall spirit is specially recognized by the Spirit of ChumpCar award, given to the team in the race that the organizers feel best exemplifies the competitive spirit of the series.
There is no points title in each season of the series, but podium finishers and selected other teams in each race qualify for regional championships held near the end of the season. The regional championships (officially, Chumpionships) allow open entry, but only the qualified teams race for trophies in these races, with the winner claiming the title of Regional Chumpion.
2015 season schedule
|February 9||"Frozen Peaches & Ice Cream"||Road Atlanta||14 Hour|
|February 21-22||"When Hill Freezes Over"||Harris Hill Raceway||Double 6|
|February 28-Mar 1||"Gone to Hill 'n Back"||Thunderhill Raceway Park||Double-7|
|March 27-28||"Cowtown Double 6"||Texas Motor Speedway||Double 6|
|March 28||"VIRal VIRosis = VIRemic Condition"||Virginia International Raceway||12 Hour|
|April 4||"The Interstate 5 Middle-of-Nowhere Grand Prix"||Buttonwillow Raceway||12-Hour|
|April 18-19||"The Inaugural ChumpCar Canada Event"||Canadian Tire Motorsports Park||Double 7|
|April 18-19||"ChumpCar / Roll-X Grudge Match Challenge"||Pacific Raceways||Double-7|
|April 18-19||"The Landjeager Cup"||Road America||Double-7|
|April 24-26||"ChampTruck World Series New Jersey Grand Prix - Sprint & Enduro COMBO"||New Jersey Motorsports Park||12 Hour & Sprint Combo|
|May 16-17||"Kool-Aid & Kool-Kars"||Motorsports Park Hastings||12+6 Hours|
|May 22-24||"ChampTruck World Series NorCal Grand Prix ENDURO"||Thunderhill Raceway Park||Double-7|
|May 22-24||"ChampTruck World Series NorCal Grand Prix SPRINTS"||Thunderhill Raceway Park||Sprint Race|
|May 22-24||"The U.S. Grand ChumPrix"||Watkins Glen||4+8+8|
|May 24||"The ChumpCar 14-Hours of Daytona"||Daytona International Speedway||14-Hour|
|May 29-31||"ChampTruck World Series Rocky Mountain Grand Prix Sprint & Enduro COMBO"||Pikes Peak International Raceway||Double 4 &|
|June 5-6||"NCM & The Sink Holes"||National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park||Double-7|
|June 6-7||"The L.A. Dash-for-the-Cash Grand Prix"||Auto Club Speedway||Double-7|
|June 13-14||"Mountain State Madness"||Summit Point Motorsports Park||10+6 Hour|
|June 13-14||"24 Hour Rye Grass Rally"||Oregon Raceway Park||24 Hours|
|June 20-21||"Calabogie-boogie-bash"||Calabogie Motorsports Park||Double 7|
|June 20||"Motor City Madness"||Michigan International Speedway||14 Hours|
|July 3-4||"ChampTruck World Series Charlotte Grand Prix"||Charlotte Motor Speedway||Sprint Race|
|July 3-5||"Laguna Chumpa Grand Prix"||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||6+7+7|
|July 17-19||"ChampTruck World Series Gateway Grand Prix Sprint & Enduro COMBO"||Gateway Motorsports Park||2 Hour Enduro / Sprint Combo|
|August 1-2||"The Stars Fell On The Alabama Grand Prix"||Barber Motorsports Park||Double-7|
|August 7-9||"ChampTruck World Series Bluegrass Grand Prix"||Virginia International Raceway||24-Hour|
|August 7-8||"Long Mountain Fourteener"||Pikes Peak International Raceway||14 Hour / Sprint Race Combination|
|August 8-9||"'Thank You, Mark' Grand Prix"||Portland International Raceway||12+6 Hour|
|August 15||"Donnybrooke 12 Hour Classic"||Brainerd International Raceway||12 Hours|
|August 21-22||"The 14 Hours of LiMes"||Lime Rock Park||Double 7|
|August 22-23||"St. Chumptache"||Autodrome Saint-Eustache||8+6|
|August 22-23||"The Cookie Cutter Classic"||Gingerman Raceway||Double-8|
|August 28-29||"ChampTruck World Series GATS Grand Prix Sprint & Enduro COMBO"||Texas Motor Speedway||Double 4 & Sprint Combo|
|August 29-30||"The Unlucky 13 - A Roll of the Dice"||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||13-Hour|
|September 11-13||"ChampTruck World Series MIS Grand Prix Sprint & Enduro COMBO"||Michigan International Speedway||Double 4 & Sprint Combo|
|September 12-13||"Loonie Laps at the Lake"||Calabogie Motorsports Park||Double-7|
|September 26||"The Slightly More Than 12-hours of Sebring"||Sebring International Raceway||14 Hour|
|October 2-4||"ChampTruck World Series PacNor Grand Prix Sprint & Enduro COMBO"||Portland International Raceway||Double 4 & Sprint Combo|
|October 3-4||"East Region Chumpionship"||Pittsburg International Race Complex||Format TBD|
|October 10-11||"ChumpCar Canada Chumpionship"||Canadian Tire Motorsports Park||Format TBD|
|October 10-11||"esruoC esreveR lliH sirraH"||Harris Hill Raceway||Double 8|
|October 17-18||"Central Region Chumpionship"||Road America||Format TBD|
|October 30-Nov 1||"ChumpCar Las Vegas Sprint & Enduro COMBO"||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||2 Hour Enduro / Sprint Combo|
|October 30-Nov 1||"Hotlaps in Hotlanta"||Atlanta Motorsports Park||Double-7|
|December 4-6||"The 38"||Virginia International Raceway||38 Hour|
|December 5-6||"West Region Chumpionship"||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||Format TBD|
|December 29–31||"The Optima Batteries New Year's Eve Celebration"||Homestead-Miami Speedway||24 with a Twist (4+8+12)|
- Gitlin, Jonathan. "Hit the track for the ChumpCar World Series". Autoweek. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- "What We're About". Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Krider, Rob. "Racer Boy: ChumpCar Claimer Road Racing". Speed:Sport:Life. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Swann, Tony. "The Junkyard Doge: How the 24 Hours of LeMons Became a Sensation". Car and Driver. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "ChumpCar Event Results". Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Farah, Matt. "So, You Want to Race Cheap Cars. Which Series Do You Choose?". The Smoking Tire. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Krider, Rob. "Tony Stewart races ChumpCar, no really he did!". Jalopnik. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Gitlin, Jonathan. "Can you really learn to race by playing racing games? Ars takes to the track". Ars Technica. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "Bylaws" (PDF). Retrieved 20 Nov 2014.
- "Board of Directors". Retrieved 20 Nov 2014.
- "ChumpCar 2014-2016 Basic Competition Rules" (PDF). Retrieved 10 Nov 2014.
- Vendler, Alex. "Low Budget Race Report International Edition: Ensenada Grand Prix". MotoIQ. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "2015 Optima Batteries ChumpCar World Series Event Schedule" (PDF). Retrieved 10 Nov 2014.