CONCORD, NC - As the winds of change have arrived on the scene for the RLV Tuned Exhaust Products Gold Cup Series for the new year, it’s a wind that has blown through the pits in recent years with amazing results to show for it, on another series, that being the Bridgestone Manufacturers Cup Series. In recent years, tiered fee systems have been set in place, giving drivers opportunities to take advantage of the best available entry price, well in advance of the event. Even more recently, the pricing structure changed for the Manufacturers Cup Series, which included the cost of their practice fee built in to the overall charge. The creation of certain Pro Classes afforded many to run for a set purse, helping them to recoup some of the money they placed into the event, or at least have a chance to get a set of Bridgestone Tires, thus saving a little going to the next venue. While the initial reaction may have been met with a certain amount of apprehension by some, the end result has yet to totally be seen. However, pre entry numbers for the April 1-3 Praga North America Nationals at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, North Carolina have already well exceeded those of last year’s event, run in the precise same race rotation as that of last year, indicating the program is heading in the right direction, with still some tweaks to be made to help enhance the experience for the customer even better.
While that same apprehension may be prevalent on the Gold Cup Series to a degree, entry numbers are picking up, as drivers begin to embrace a change in their own series, one that will provide twice the amount of classes that will run for purses for 2016, giving many drivers a chance to recoup some of their entry money, with $500 going to the weekends overall top finisher in the Sportsman Pro Gas Animal Heavy class, the Junior Pro Gas Animal Lite and Heavy Classes, the Senior Pro Gas Medium and Heavy classes, as well as the Senior LO206 class. Second will $250 with the third place finisher overall per class receiving $150. For the Sportsman and Junior Pro Gas Drivers, their opportunity to get money back begins Friday afternoon with their respective shootout races paying $200 to win in 10 laps, with $100 going to 2nd and $50 for third.
Sponsorships have picked up immensely as new and existing faces in the sport buy into the concept, those being Jims Marine, Coyote Motorsports, MattMillerRacing.com, Briggs and Stratton, Boon and Sons, Water Medic, Bordeaux Dyno Cams, Brads Heating and Cooling, Spooner General Contractor, Inferno Racing Clutches, Trackside Kart Supply, Mikim Motorsports, Noram Clutches, Kart City Performance, and GT Machine, not to mention the title sponsor RLV.
While the number looks intimidating, it really isn’t once the math is one. With a host of competitors agreeing to an increase in fees late last year, to help advance the program, the program has responded, providing an opportunity for those who bought in, a chance to get back.
Trophy Class competitors are paying $15 more per class entered, practice included, racing at some of the best karting facilities in the country against the best competition. Pro Classes are paying $65 more per class entered, but with the opportunity to get anywhere from $150 to $500 if they are in the top 3 overall for the weekend, easily making up for the difference in the increase they paid, and then some, lighting up the eyes of many competitors looking for the top prize at the end of the weekend.
Whether it be running for a Trophy or Money, the prestige has not changed at all. The desire to be on the top shelf of the podium excites each driver just as much today as ever, whether it be hoisting a trophy or a check. And for many in the top 4 cycle series in the country, the opportunity to take it to the next level has arrived, as the April 15-17 Spring Nationals at 103rd Street Sports Complex will attest to.
To view the Weekend schedule and entry information for the Spring Nationals in Jacksonville, click here.