As we enter the second year of the Global Time Attack we are experiencing a steady growth in every facet of the series. For 2012 the series will have six rounds (up from four), with more exposure (15,000 spectators at Road Atlanta alone) and greater interest from teams and sponsors. We’ll even be adding a new wheel-to-wheel element to the mix at our events while still preserving and promoting the traditional time attack format that we all know and love. But one thing is missing and that is a points chase, a run for the cup, you know, a season championship.
In terms of a motorsport format traditional time attack is unique in that it originated as tuner/car/driver against a specific circuit such as Tsukuba and Buttonwillow. However as the popularity grew various sanctioning bodies began to take the show on the road so to speak. From the inception of our Global Time Attack we’ve never focused on season championships instead setting a stage to showcase the fastest vehicles on a given day at a given track. In short we put our pants on just like the rest of you – one leg at a time. Except, once our pants are on, we break track records! While we may have a fever, we’ve always felt the prescription was more cowbell and not championships. Allow us to explain.
Some two years ago another sanctioning body presented a time attack season championship. At one particular event as the points race heated up toward the end of the season one team ran the fastest lap of the weekend coming within a tenth of a second from the overall record but received no points because they used a substitute driver (it being a driver’s championship) while another driver drove a stock car (at dozens of ticks off the pace) in order to earn points because an injury prevented him from driving his 650hp Unlimited class time attack beast. This is by no means to disparage that particular sanctioning body or any of the teams involved but the potential for this sort of scenario is exactly what makes a points chase unappealing for our Global Time Attack series. This is not to say that we, of the GTA do not find season championships appealing – only these particular instances that do not reward blistering time attack times in favor of a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach. That’s just not our style.
A well-executed championship is appealing for the teams, sponsors and fans. It encourages our competitors to travel, gives credibility to the teams who finish atop the standings and entices sponsors to support a potentially championship-winning effort. And many of our drivers – such as JC Meynet, Chris Rado and Doug Wind just to name a few – echo these sentiments. This has us tossing around the idea of a season championship with certain safeguards in place to prevent the pitfalls described earlier. Hmm, we just might be onto something here. BRB!