New rules and formats for 2023 Gridlife Touring Cup and TrackBattle Time Attack series

Colin
By Colin Wood
Nov 29, 2022 | Sponsored Content, gridlife, time attack, GLTC, Gridlife Touring Cup, TrackBattle

Photograph Courtesy Gridlife

Gridlife today announced rules changes and new formats for the 2023 Gridlife Touring Cup (GLTC) and TrackBattle Time Attack series.

We’ll include the full text below, but the most significant changes include the following:

  • GLTC weight modifier tables for engine size and tune will be adjusted to better eliminate a “potentially subjective area of scrutineering.”
  • TrackBattle Time Attack gets a new championship format called “Podium Sprint.”
  • Qualifying lap time For GLTC won’t be made available until the end of the session, though first-, second-, third- and fifth place finishers will get percentage weight points for the extent of the weekend.
  • Sundae Cup will officially become a power-to-weight class and new rules will help facilitate a better crossover with B-Spec.

Find more information about Gridlife by visiting grid.life.

GRIDLIFE, a fast-growing national motorsports sanctioning body, released provisional rules for the upcoming 2023 season this morning. The popular GRIDLIFE Touring Cup series (GLTC) has a variety of changes, with adjustments to ensure fair competition across the range of chassis found in the single-class sprint racing series. TrackBatte Time Attack, GRIDLIFE’s competition against the clock, sees some smaller tweaks to each of its eight car classes, as well as a new competition format for championship events.

GRIDLIFE Touring Cup Rules Adjusted for Parity in 2023

GRIDLIFE Touring Cup launched in 2019 as a single class, sprint racing series that uses power, weight, and tire width to balance lightweight and low-powered cars to heavier, higher-powered vehicles. Since its inception, changes to the rules have been relatively minor. In 2021, adjustments were made to allow heavier cars to better compete against the light weight cars that dominated the series in 2019 and 2020. GLTC’s rules table uses percentage weight modifiers to adjust specific aspects of the rules. In 2022, the series made the change to drop slick racing tires as an option in its allowed tire table, instead opting for a variety of 200-treadwear tires to level the playing field and decrease cost.

The table dictating weight modifiers for engine size and tune has been revised for next season; instead of adding a variable weight penalty for detuned engines based on its power curve, the adjustments are now based on displacement, eliminating a potentially subjective area of scrutineering. Some engines, in particular, the popular K20 and K24 engines from Acura and Honda, receive specific weight penalties now, regardless of engine tuning. BMW’s S54, and Porsche’s H6 engines also have specific adjustments when used in a GLTC build. The penalty for turbocharged vehicles has been slightly reduced, from a 2% weight penalty to 1.5%.

In the aerodynamics section, drivers may select to run a front splitter and a rear wing for a total of 4% extra weight, instead of the previous 6 percent. Each of those choices, used alone, is still 3%, so drivers will likely choose to run without aero at all, or commit to both a splitter and a wing. Another change in the aero department: OEM front bumpers with built in aerodynamic components may receive a 1% penalty. The most popular of these choices was the Honda S2000 CR front lip, which has canard-like extensions on the nose.

Other modifier additions and changes include a 2% break for cars without ABS - meaning a driver that does not install an aftermarket ABS system to help compete at the front will not be at as big of a disadvantage, at least in dry conditions. Cars with wheels with 16-inch diameter wheels and smaller can also drop a percent. 

In addition to the “small wheel” modifier to help lighter-weight cars, the tire table has been adjusted by eliminating the two smallest tire brackets. Previously, tire widths could range from 205 width all the way to 305 width depending on the weight of a competitor’s car - but for 2023, the 205 and 225 widths have been eliminated, boosting the allowed width for any car under 2,725 pounds.

GLTC Qualifying, Points Format Revised for 2023

The qualifying format for GRIDLIFE Touring Cup has been restructured, too - lap times will not be made public on timing and scoring, or on any GRIDLIFE broadcast, until the end of the session. Drivers and teams will not know their standing in qualifying - but 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th place will get percentage weight points to carry through the weekend. Notably, 4th place qualifiers will not receive a weight penalty, to avoid incentivizing an optimal lane at the start. This change was made to prevent drivers from dominating the first two races based off of one session, and forcing them to think strategically about racing instead of landing on pole and driving away. 

The season championship for GRIDLIFE Touring Cup featured drop rounds and cumulative points in previous seasons. Three different champions have been crowned in as many years with this format, but for 2023, the typical 25-point structure will only be used for single events. The champion will be decided by the best overall average finish in five or more rounds. There will be no drop rounds next season to incentivize clean, fair, and safe racing. Every race a driver enters will count towards their championship effort, which means a competitor can choose to run more than five events in an effort to improve their average finish.

Finally, changes have been made to increase the expectations around drivers and decisions made on track. While GLTC has historically had an incredibly low incident rate compared to field size and level of competition, there is an ongoing effort to clean up and prevent the incidents that do happen, the chain of events that lead to it, and the analysis and response to an incident. All drivers are now required to have in-car cameras that show a driver’s inputs, helping the race director and staff to better analyze how incidents occur. New drivers will now also be coached, and placed on probation for one season, or four events, whichever comes first, before they are considered fully licensed.

Sundae Cup, Track Mod Rules Changes Highlight TrackBattle Adjustments

GRIDLIFE TrackBattle Time Attack features eight competition classes that vary from cars like the venerable Honda Fit with suspension and brakes, all the way to unlimited classes whose rules primarily consist of safety requirements and limitations on what chassis a team or builder may start with. For 2023, minor changes have been made to enhance competition and safety to many of the classes.

The popular Sundae Cup class, focused on front-wheel drive economy cars with a spec Falken RT660 tire, features some changes focused around parity. The class officially becomes a power-to-weight class (25 pounds per horsepower) with percentage modifiers for weight like the Touring Cup series. Percentage modifiers range from 1% to 3% extra weight for engine displacements beyond 1.5 liters. To facilitate crossover with B-Spec rules and the new Sundae Club GRIDLIFE endurance class, interior components (except for the dashboard) can be removed in the vicinity of safety or roll cage equipment. 

All classes up to Street Modified now require engine exhausts to route under and behind the driver. For both Street Modified and Track Modern (renamed from Track Modified), head and neck restraint (HANS) devices are now a requirement for cars within 115% of the fastest car in the class, joining the Unlimited category with this piece of required safety equipment. The Track Mod class is the only class with a major rewrite for 2023, carrying over aerodynamics rules from Street Modified while simultaneously allowing drivetrain swaps and unlimited-width tires.

Street GT and Street classes now have a rule disallowing standalone engine control units (ECUs); Street GT also now requires catalytic converters to maintain the expectation of street legality. The Falken Club TR class has some clarifications around interior component removal and bumper modification, but remains largely unchanged for 2023 to continue the success this class has seen in competition.

New TrackBattle Format Debuts Next Season

Perhaps the most significant change for TrackBattle competitors is an all-new format for competition at championship events for 2023. The new format features a set weekend progression, with two practice sessions, and two qualifying sessions, where the top 5 from each class are selected. The top 5 from each class then compete in a shootout-style competition, called the Podium Sprint, where each driver gets two flying laps to set the fastest time possible. The Sundae Cup category has its own format; the five qualifiers will run nose-to-tail, with the slowest car eliminated each lap, in a knockout style competition. Qualifiers sixth on back in all classes run in another group session to set their weekend result.

The points structure will also change to accommodate this format, awarding 25 points to the fastest driver in the Podium Sprint, 21 to 2nd, 18 to 3rd, and so on. Any driver that breaks a track record that stands for the weekend, in any session (including practice) will earn an additional point. These changes will enhance the experience for fans, broadcast viewers, and drivers at championship rounds, while the series retains the classic TrackBattle experience at other GRIDLIFE events.

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bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/28/22 3:06 p.m.

Just so people don't freak out.... this part:

The popular Sundae Cup class, focused on front-wheel drive economy cars with a spec Falken RT660 tire, features some changes focused around parity. The class officially becomes a power-to-weight class (25 pounds per horsepower) with percentage modifiers for weight like the Touring Cup series. Percentage modifiers range from 1% to 3% extra weight for engine displacements beyond 1.5 liters. 

is incorrect. There is a new height limit and modifier going in there:

VEHICLE OVERALL HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT Due to disparity in vehicle design and frontal area/drag, the following measures are enacted in 2023 for SC

● Vehicles 57.5” tall off the ground, with driver, and higher can run at their minimum weight for 25:1 ratio.

● Vehicles between 57.5” and 56.01” tall off the ground, with driver, must run 1% weight above their minimum for 25:1 ratio

● Vehicles between 56” and 54.51” tall off the ground, with driver, must run 2% weight above their minimum for 25:1 ratio

● Vehicles between 54.5” and 53” tall off the ground, with driver, must run 2% weight above their minimum for 25:1 ratio

● Vehicles below 53” tall off the ground, with driver, must run 4% weight above their minimum weight for 25:1 ratio.

● Vehicle height used for the above assessment is measured at maximum height of vehicle roof, ignoring antennas, but including spoilers and / or factory aero (if applicable)

● - Height shall be measured with driver and full fuel, by placing a level long enough to reach to at least the midpoint of the vehicle roof at its highest point above the ground, held level to the ground (using level indicators). A straight edge or rigid measuring tape held vertically immediately adjacent to the side of the vehicle, measuring from the ground to the bottom of the level.

 

Just FYI.

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