3, 2, 1, Rock - ATCC Pre-season Action

Rhys Gardiner

Jul 8, 2008
T-minus 3... - Detroit Street Circuit

2... - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

1... - Birmingham GP

ROCK - ATCC Round 1 @ Mosport


Yes friends, the countdown has almost finished for the American Touring Car Championship - the new and improved league, which is a culmination of the successful S2000 Friday races in the GTR Evolution racing club.
These races have evolved since Warren Dawes and William Yunck hosted the first event of this type in September last year. Did they have any idea what a monster they had created?
The morning after the last pre-season round, as I am typing this up, I can reflect on what an amazing success story these events have been. What started out as a bunch of eight or so guys having a small race on a friday night has, thanks to the efforts of Keith Barrick, Eric Kaczmarek and Jarrod Keen, become quite possibly the most popular event in the GTR Evolution club. We are now regularly getting full grids of more than 20 cars, and there's a regular TeamSpeak party every event. Signup lists fill within 24 hours. And the racing is so close and tight, we have had cars separated by mere thousandths of a second in Qualifying, and the top 10 all within a second of each other.

Number 3 in the countdown was a hectic scramble around the streets of Detroit, Michigan. This particular circuit was the host of the F1 United States Grand Prix throughout the 1980s, and this revered classic street track was brought back to life on Friday night. S2000 Touring cars - though strangely, without the STCC-specification racers - took to the road in two ten-lap long races of attrition and action.

Number 2 was held at the legendary Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Times were more spread-out than usual, as at Detroit, but the racing didn't suffer. This undulating, twisty course seemed perfect for the S2000 cars, though turn 5 proved very difficult to master without ending up on your roof. Overtaking and battles aplenty were to be seen throughout the two ten-lap-long races, with some battles being decided - or lost - at the final turn on the last lap in each race.

Number 1 in the countdown came to be at the excellent Birmingham Motorplex in Alabama. It is a relatively new track, having only been built in 2003, but whoever designed it deserves a pat on the back for his efforts. The GP layout of the track, bucking and diving, twisting and turning even more than Mid-Ohio, played host to two exciting races. Tenths, hundredths, even thousandths of a second separated cars, and epic battles ensued throughout the races.

And finally, liftoff, we have liftoff... Round 1 of the ATCC at Mosport is to be held this coming weekend. A super-fast, flowing circuit, this track played host to the F1 Canadian Grand Prix in the early and mid-1970s. Testament to the anticipation for this league, the signup list is full already. We are likely to see high-speed, door-to-door racing at this amazing track. As writer for the ATCC, I will be keeping you posted on these races, with an in-depth report to follow after each round. Watch out Mosport, 'cause the Friday Night Racers are coming...

Of course, an article of this type would be incomplete without some hard evidence of the phenomenal racing these events provide. So, I leave you with a montage of videos made by the very people that drive in these incredible races.







Special credit goes to Willie Watt, Ryan Callan, Robert Isles, Keith Barrick, Peter Bartfai and Michael Carver for these amazing vids!

Rhys Gardiner signing off...


Bram Hengeveld

RaceDepartment Founder
Dec 26, 2006
I am glad you've posted these videos too as i had never seen them before!! Awesome fields :thumb:

Eric Nelson

Jan 14, 2009
Good on ya Rhys!

Looking forward to the Motorsports section in my saturday newspaper now!:star: