If you’ve been paying attention then you may have noticed that big things are afoot here at GTA in advance of our 2012 season. If you haven’t been paying attention then we won’t keep you after class, since technically, we have no class. But we can get you up to speed in this grammatically challenged post. First and foremost we are pleased to announce the 2012 Championship Chase. Our Chase is a hybrid of both a driver’s and manufacturer’s championship with points awarded for record times, results and overall consistency. As the illustrious Mike Warfield opined, “Another team can take away a record but they can never take away a championship.” You can read all about the 2012 GTA Championship Chase here.

Another kick ass addition to the 2012 GTA season is the introduction of the GR8 VIII Shootout (That’s Great Eight. Get it?). The GR8 VIII will pit eight of the fastest time attack cars against each other in single-elimination, wheel-to-wheel races at each of the six Global Time Attacks. This new format is not a replacement or substitute for our traditional time attacks but an enhancement to our existing events. Like a bit of boost or a shot of nitrous the GR8 VIII will make the GTA even greater. Get more GR8 goodness here.

Vince Shlomi may be able to offer both a Graty cheese grater and a second Slap Chop with the purchase of a Slap Chop but even he isn’t crazy enough to match our GTA prize payouts. For 2012 we will continue to offer $10,000 in prize money at each of the six GTA rounds. If we’re doing the math correctly – a rare skill for us – that’s $60,000 in total cash payouts. Somehow we’ve even managed to include $3,000 for the winner of each GR8 VIII Shootout while increasing the First Place payout in each of our nine classes to $600. Don’t ask how we pulled it off, let’s just say we learned it by watching the federal government. You can see the complete 2012 GTA Prize Payout breakdown here. In the meantime we’re going to pile all this cash on the floor, strip down and roll around in it. Don’t tell us you wouldn’t do the same!

Nads gave a sneak preview to the Championship Chase and GR8 VIII Shootout on our latest Clockwork GTA live web broadcast last Thursday. And when he wasn’t taking all the credit for Jason Dienhart’s hard work he interviewed Jeff Westphal, driver of the GST Motorsports Unlimited AWD Subaru Impreza. The GST team has already confirmed their campaign for both the Unlimited and GR8 VIII Shootout championships this season. However a certain King of the WORLD and Captain of Chaos might have something to say about that.

Both the 2012 GTA Championship Chase and GR8 VIII Shootout will launch on April 21-22 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. You can register here and if you sign up before March 21 make sure to enter coupon code “BIRD” to receive a $50 early bird discount. Just in case you forget the coupon code, here’s a reminder. Just over two months to Round 1!