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Supercar Challenge On A Roll

Whilst several national and international Championships are struggling for entries at present there was one that looks set to top 80 entries at the NEC.

The Praga R1 that is now being marketed by Martin Short's Rollcentre Racing formed the centrepiece of the stand for the Supercar Challenge, but whilst the Praga might well feature in the 2013 Series, it's the overall health of the package that perhaps impresses even more.

Dick van Elk is the man behind its success and he was happy to confirm that the basic ingredients that have made the Series a success will continue this season:

"We have six divisions that accommodate everything from small touring cars like the Clio up to full house GTs, the grids are large enough, and with such a speed differential, that we have separate races for two different groups, apart that is from Spa where we can combine a c.75 car grid!

"Aside from there we have 2 races on the Saturday and 2 on the Sunday, with the series having 8 events.

"We have good national TV coverage in Holland, with a magazine programme as well as race coverage and there are highlights available across Europe too, we also now produce a Belgium specific TV programme with different interviews for that market and that seems to be proving popular too.

"At the tracks there is an increasing fan base, they like the variety, and the fact that there is a lot of track action.  For 2013 we are making it easier for them to follow the races with a new race position lighting system on the cars."

So how has this become, and stayed, so popular in such difficult financial conditions?

"The first thing is very simple.  We never forget who the customer is! We keep the package stable and everyone knows where they stand.  We have a formula and stick to it, not chopping and changing at every race. Our objective is that everyone enjoys the event and that they have a realistic expectation of their competitiveness at the start of an event.

“We balance performance through a simple power to weight banding and we prevent a single team or car from dominating through success time ‘penalties’ at a mandatiry pit stop.

"That stability has picked up some customers from other Championships, including the Belcar package which sadly has had it's problems in recent years.  They have a new team there now but I hope we can keep our Belgian customers, in fact I am expecting to have more than ever.

"In 2012 we had 75-80 cars compete with us and I believe we are on track to improve that total.

“In part the growth is likely to come with the addition of a new Super Lights Division, and that where the new Praga is due to be campaigned in the Supercar Challenge with the class bringing in Radicals and CN cars, the new class due to feature at 6 of the 8 2013 meetings.

"I am looking to help avoid mixing these relatively high downforce cars and more traditional GTs – That’s to help avoid on track conflicts where the GT cars can often easily pass on the straights but then find the CNs diving up the inside into the turns.  That isn’t good for safety, particularly when the field includes a lot of gentleman drivers.  I think we might well have at least 20 Superlight class cars to start the season on their own grid with 30 cars likely at some races."

Supercar Challenge powered by Dunlop in 2013

21 April: Zolder (With FIA GT Series)
19 May: Slovakia Ring *
9 June: Spa Francorchamps
23 June: Zolder (With Superstars Series) *
4 August: Assen *
8 September: Zandvoort *
29 September: Spa Francorchamps *
20 October: Assen *

(* Meeting includes Super Lights Race)