With the success and extremely high level of competition in our Super Series over the past few seasons, and often sending home a number of cars every week, we expanded our Super Late Model competition with the Contender Series. This series will be a secondary Super Late Model division for drivers to gain experience, and race competitively, all while developing their skills and setups before taking on some of the league’s best in the Super Series.
Super Series – Invite Only Series
The Super Series will continue to serve as SARA’s premier division with some of the best drivers on iRacing competing weekly. This highly competitive series has drawn a lot of interest over the past few season with a large number of new drivers attempting to qualify each race.
SARA regulars such as Joe Schaffer Jr., David Krikorian, Ty Spearman and many more have taken on new competitors such as NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series drivers like Christian Challiner and Jimmy Mullis over the past few seasons, making the series truly one of the toughest on iRacing.
To ensure a high level of competition continues in this series, while maintaining clean and respectful racing, the Super Series has become an invite-only series. Some of the top drivers in the series, plus many more who have shown they can race competitively, and more importantly cleanly, have been extended invites to compete in SARA’s top division.
While some of the top drivers will be restricted to running in just the Super Series, a number of drivers will be eligible to also compete in the Contender Series, which is explained below:
Contender Series Added As Second SLM Division
As stated above, the all-new Contender Series will serve as a secondary Super Late Model division, providing drivers a chance to gain experience, and race competitively, all while developing their skills and setups before taking on some of the league’s best in the Super Series.
So what does this mean? With the high level of competition in the Super Series, there are a number of drivers that have expressed that they either don’t want to be “in the way” so they don’t show up, or when they make the races they don’t feel competitive so they get discouraged. There’s also a decent amount of drivers that might show up for only a couple of races but fail to qualify, and then the stop showing up completely. Having drivers struggle at the back of a stacked field, or miss races completely, isn’t helping any of those drivers improve their skills or gain any experience to help make them better drivers. This is where the Contender Series becomes a great place for drivers to run to help develop their skills to compete in the Super Series.
Drivers that don’t get an invite to the Super Series will be allowed to run in the Contender Series, with plenty of opportunities to work their way up. Most new drivers (unless they have known prior experience) will likely also be placed into the Contender Series to prove themselves before jumping up.
Also, a number of drivers will likely be allowed to run in both series. These drivers will have the ability to use the Contender Series as a way to work on their setups, and test them in actual race conditions, to better prepare themselves for the Super Series. The Contender Series is also a place for drivers to gain momentum and confidence by running well, which could eventually translate to better finishes in the Super Series.
So how will both series work?
Super Series – Thursday Nights – Broadcasted most weeks on SARATV
Contender Series – Wednesday Nights – No broadcasts at this time
Each week we will host 1-hour test sessions prior to the Contender Series races, and will be open to Super Series drivers as well. This will give drivers a better idea of where they stand with their setups in actual conditions, and Contender Series drivers are encouraged to ask questions to the Super Series drivers for setup help and tips.
BOTH Series will:
• run the same exact schedule (with the exception of Race 7 in the 2018 Fall Season)
• have the same weather forecast
• have the same Time of Day settings
• use the same set of rules and procedures
By running the same schedule and same conditions, it will further provide a chance for the guys in the Contender Series to develop their skills and work on their setups which will translate up into the Super Series better. It will also allow teams that have drivers in both series, to test setups in the Contender Series the night before trying them in the Super Series as a better way to test.
Restricted Drivers – A number of drivers that get invited into the Super Series, will NOT be able to run in the Contender Series. These will be drivers who have won, or are capable of winning a Super Series race on any given week. By restricting these drivers from running in the Contender Series, it will give the other drivers in that series a chance to compete up front more often, gaining the experience they need.
Additional Invites – Every four weeks, we will review the drivers in the Contender Series and may hand out additional invites to the Super Series for the guys that are performing well or are showing they can race cleanly. By periodically giving out invites to drivers, it gives an extra reason for drivers in the Contender Series to race cleanly and respectfully.
Provisionals – Each week, the top finishers from the Contender Series will earn provisional starting spots in the Super Series the following night. If there is one single Contender race, the top two finishers will earn provisionals, if there are 2-3 splits the winner of each split will earn provisionals.