Now that the Super Series Qualifiers are complete, we just wanted to take a few moments to share some additional information to be completely transparent with all of you regarding the series.
League Refresh Recap
As most of you should know, during the offseason we did something we called a “league refresh.” We weren’t completely happy with the quality of racing we had during some of the 2020 seasons, and in general there just seemed to be a lack of respect across the board.
So we kicked everyone out of the league pages, and made all of you re-register for SARA so we could take some time to review all of our drivers as a part of this refresh. During the review process we looked at everyone’s prior SARA penalties, as well as some other factors from outside of the league (such as some etiquette we might have seen in other league/hosted/official events).
During this review process we had 150+ driver register for the league.
There were 12 drivers that were in the league last year that we did not accept back, and there were another 10+ new registrations that we also declined due to some other issues we were aware of.
There were 20+ drivers that were accepted back into the league, but we sent them an email explaining their previous SARA penalty history and we made them respond back to the email to acknowledge those issues in hopes to avoid them going forward.
Our goal with all of this was to clean up some issues we had last year, and to hopefully improve the racing as much as we can. We also hope that as a SARA member that our drivers will positively represent us when you’re in other races outside of our league.
Super Series Qualifiers Recap
The Qualifier series was also a part of our league refresh process.
There were two things we were trying to accomplish with the Qualifiers.
One was to allow drivers to have the chance to see where they stack up against some of the drivers that were previously in the Super Series. And two, (this is one of the things we wanted to be transparent about) we were further reviewing everyone and giving everyone the chance to prove yourselves.
For being one of the most competitive and toughest open setup short track series on iRacing, we just want to make sure our races can be just as good as we all know they can be.
We didn’t want to tell everyone that the Qualifiers was an opportunity for each of you to prove yourselves, because if we did that then everyone would have just “played nice” which would have been pointless.
Also if you didn’t figure it out during the Qualifiers, some of the tracks we chose were specifically because they can be hard to pass on (at least we didn’t put Thompson in there…). We also used some different qualifying formats that put you in positions where you would have to pass and race people more often, rather than the fast guys starting up front and staying there each race.
We didn’t announce these formats ahead of time so some of you wouldn’t try to sandbag or game the system at all. We wanted to put you guys in different spots where you would have to race and prove you could race without causing issues.
Regarding implementing a required number of starts in the Qualifiers, there were also two reasons for this. One of those was to make sure each of you participated in at least a couple races so that we could see how each of you raced when put into some tougher situations. The other was to make sure whoever we end up inviting into the Super Series was actually going to show up and race most of the time. Last season we had 60+ drivers that were in the Super Series, but only 25 drivers ran more than half of the season, and car counts were usually in the low 20’s.
So what’s next?
The Super Series will continue to be our premier division and will continue to be an invite-only series.
Now that the Qualifiers are done, we need to finish up reviewing the final race, and then we will take a couple days to review each driver as a whole.
We don’t necessarily care how fast you were, where you finished, or how you did in the points for the Qualifiers. Speed is one of the factors we will be looking at, but that was not the main points of the series.
Also just because you were in the Super Series last year, or just because you competed in the Qualifiers, doesn’t guarantee you a spot for the upcoming season.
As mentioned above we will review everyone that competed, and we hope to finalize a roster and send out Super Series invites by the middle of next week. Even if you don’t get an invite to start the season, you can still compete in our Contender Series on Wednesday nights and can still move up by running well in that series.
I’m expecting there to be a couple situations where drivers who were previously in the Super Series, but didn’t compete in the Qualifiers, will request to get back into the series. Also I know some of you might not have made the number of required Qualifier starts due to some other scheduling conflicts. So we will have to be a little lenient on that, and each of these will be handled case-by-case basis and will be given a full review.
2021 Spring Season
The upcoming Spring Season is planned to start the week of March 22-25.
We will have a new Super Series sponsor that we’re excited to announce sometime next week.
The new Super Late Model should be released next Tuesday which we’re also very excited about. We have something planned to release for that next week, so stay tuned.
Once we get back into the 2021 Spring Season, everything will go back to normal as far as it being a regular points season, with consistent formats, full championships, and we won’t be “testing” drivers each week.
We also plan on putting together a short survey that we hope to send you guys this weekend, just to get your feedback on a couple things for next season, so keep an eye out for that to be sent out as a league PM.
We hope that some of these steps we have taken during the offseason will help clean some things up and hopefully we can have some great racing in the upcoming season.
Thank you for everyone who competed in the Qualifiers, and for being a part of SARA.