The $5,000 to win Bracket Grand Prix
is at Thompson Speedway June 26th, 2021!
 

      The third Bracket Grand Prix at Thompson Speedway is set for June 26th, 2021.  Last summer's race was a victim of COVID however the last Bracket GP in 2019 was another incredible battle that demonstrated how bracket rules make every car a threat to win. These races are fiercely contested events no matter what you bring to race.
   The key is letting the competitors choose their brackets after practice.  In our last event Daniel Cianci's Mustang was almost able to pull off the win after choosing the E bracket . His team grabbed 3rd place.  Glen Farney had his #510 S-10 bracketed in Group J.  He led most of the event.  On lap 291 he gave up the top spot. The team still was able to motor on to second.
 
     The winners piloted their #856 Ford Escort to the win after choosing bracket F. Again bracket selection is done directly after the morning practice session.  It is the most important step teams do all day. The team's fastest lap was within 3/4 of a second of breaking out which demonstrates how accurate they were.   By choosing right and winning they took home a portable car lift and some hardware.  Here are the official top 10 after our last event.  Click the images to the left or below for a full size photo.

2019 Bracket Grand Prix Top 10 Finishers

1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place 5th Place 6th Place 7th Place 8th Place 9th Place 10th Place
Ceci Prtnershp
Bracket F
Glen Farney
Bracket J
Daniel Cianci
Bracket E
Joel Portele
Bracket D
Tevor Lauc
Bracket F
D. Berman
Bracket C
Pat O'Rourke
Bracket F
Ray Davis
Bracket F
Al  Gallo
Bracket E
P.Fluckiger
Bracket F
    Click imgaes for full side    

       There is no doubt our bracket formula makes it possible for any car to win. We have the race format perfected. The 2021 Bracket Grand Prix will be the highest paying 8 hour Grassroots Racing road course event ever.  We have capped the field at 99 entries. The 2021 winner will bring home a cool $5,000.  Second place will pocket $2500.  Third place will leave with $1000.  Fourth place is worth $750 while fifth place will earn $500.  99 cars is a lot of cars but the 24 hours of Lemons routinely gathers over 100 entries. That series takes the track in August. Champcar will also be at Thompson after the Bracket Grand Prix.  Tune up for both by winning  June 26th at the 2021 Bracket Grand Prix. Posted below is the payout chart.

2021 Payout Chart

1      $5,000  + Trophy
2      $2,500   + Trophy
3      $1,000   + Trophy
4      $   750   + Trophy
5      $   500   + Trophy
6     Trophy
7     Trophy
8     Trophy
9     Trophy
10     Trophy

1

      Ah..... but how much to race?  The early entry fee for each car is $550.00. This does not include admission     Tickets for General Admission is $58.00.  Driver entry and admission is $75.00  Everyone must purchase a ticket to get in. 
Click the Fee's and Registration Link for Entry Details and Click the  Admission Link to purchase admission tickets.  All tickets must be purchased in advance so drivers, buy your tickets now.

  

  • Click "How the Brackets Work" to the left and scroll down to view this year's bracket.

  • Pit stalls will be awarded on a first come first serve basis.
    There are 20 pits. Teams will share after the first 20 are selected.  
      

  • The MAX number of entries for this event is 99. We reserve the right to refuse entry without reason.

 

______________________ ______________________
 

Straight Outta Suncook and into Victory Lane

The first ever Bracket Grand Prix was held Saturday June 29th, 2018 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.  The 6 hour endurance event creates a competitive atmosphere by allowing any production car with safety modifications to compete. The "Brackets" are simply performance predictions. The competitor informs officials how fast their entry is. Slower cars get credited laps as a handicap.  If the race vehicle goes to quick or "breaks out" of his bracket, some of that handicap will be taken away along with a penalty.  The goal  is to discourage expensive modifications, and have competitive low cost races. If Thompson's race proved anything, the brackets do just that.

         Teams are allowed a short practice to aid in selecting the proper bracket.  Pre race, the cars are lined up by bracket.  The green is thrown and the race is on.  On this day, teams would also have to beat the heat as on track temperatures rose well over 100 degrees. 

     Glen Farney's entry was the #510 Bright Ideas S-10 pick-up. The teamed declared in class X, and cruised with the early lead.   Class X entries are awarded a head start of 54 laps. In second was the #2 Subaru, a class H entry some 12 circuits behind.  The fastest car in the field, the #20 Mustang, was in class A. He started straight up with zero laps credited.

      An pre race favorite in the competition was the #26 Alfa Romeo of Farrel Seferian. This car is famous in the North East running a multiple of endurance events for years. Mechanical gremlins set in. The 26 retired after 25 laps. They are expected entries when the 24 Hours of Lemons returns to Thompson in a few weeks.

     The guy that took the longest drive getting there unfortunately had a short time on track. The "Hard Luck" award had to go to the #82 Adams and Adams Ford Escort Wagon hauled from Ohio. Electrical issues kept the team on pit row. After 16 laps on-track, their day was done.

     On track two entries battled early.  The 426  and 444 BMW's put on a show swapping positions lap after lap.  As the pair motored down the front stretch, ahead in turn one, the 20 Mustang had come to a stop.  The yellow was flying at the flag stand.  The 444 slowed.  The driver of the 426 was unaware of the yellow.  He locked his wheels to avoid his competitor.  Despite the effort the two BMWs made contact.  The Boston Whiner's 444 had only damaged a rim and was able to continue on. The 426 was done for the day.

    Obviously being in the proper bracket is everything. The #60 Mello Yello Days of Thunder look alike entry is another pre-race favorite known to be a threat to win any endurance event they enter. As brackets were turned in, their representative was undecided between being in D or E.  D would leave some room for a fast lap.  E was cutting it very close to the capabilities of the car.  The decision was simple. Be conservative or go for it.   On paper the D was scratched off, and E was filled in.   On lap 44 their driver turned a lap of 1:27.831.  0.026 seconds faster and they would "break out".  In the tower officials reviewed. It was close but the 60 was still in E bracket. Certainly they would be a team to watch as the day went on.

    Most teams had completed one round of pit stops. Some had done multiple.  The race progressed just sort of half way to lap 140 laps for 510 S-10.   #2 Subaru closing down on the lead..  Pressure was building and there it was.  Farney's Bright Ideas Chevy had broken out and was black flagged. Officially the Bright Ideas Team will always be the first team ever penalized for being too fast for their bracker.   In the penalty are the team was all smiles.   Imagine, the S-10 being penalized for speeding.  What was Farney's next bright idea?   " Let's see if we can break out again!"

     There was a new leader pacing the field.  Neil Plats 256 Camaro had the point.  The #2 Subaru was in second.  The 86 2-broke 2 care BMW was in third.  The Camaro headed to pit row for fuel on lap 245 as did the 86 BMW.  The Subaru  had the lead, but in hot pursuit were three more teams capable of winning.  The Mello Yello 60 moved into the runner up position. Michael Coleman's Star engineering Number 59 rounded out the top 3.

   There was no doubt the 2-broke-2-care team is familiar with Thompson. They were pre-race favorites, and had quietly moved toward the front of the field.  Then , on lap 173 the 86 turned a lap of 1:32.214, too fast for their bracket.  They had to sit in the penalty area for the time difference in brackets, plus 1 lap. The penalty was too much to overcome and took the local favorites out of contention for the win.

   There was still plenty of drama playing out up font.  The 60 team had to stretch out their next to last leg to make their fuel window. The Baller Racing Honda was turning up the heat hoping to push the leader hard enough to run out.  Drivers cannot extend their shifts more then 2 hours.  Samantha  Nicholson had an eye on the time. With under 2 minutes left, on lap 177, the driver change was made. Every drop of fuel was stuffed in. They would have to make it from here.  With pressure from behind it would be tough. First the 256 Camaro headed to pit row for fuel. Then , 21 laps later there was a huge sigh of relief.  The 204 was summons to pit row for breaking out of his bracket.  It was a devastating blow to the  Baller Racing Team.   They truly had a shot of winning. It was much needed relief  for the 60 team. They could back the pace down and finish the race with ease.

    Fred Heinly's 218 was still in the hunt cruising in second, but he too had fuel mileage issues. A five minute fuel stop would drop him drastically in the standings. He backed his pace down, letting the 59 motor on by and coasted to a podium finish. He would comment post race, " The car ran out of gas when we got into the trailer."   Bracket selection was the fly in the ointment this time. Had Fred selected the next slower bracket, his team would haave won. Of course picking the bracket is everything at the Bracket Grand Prix.

    In  the mix all day was the 59 Sentra. When all the scenarios played out,  The Star Engineering entry finished as the runner up. Michael Coleman, Andrew Anastasio, Adentungi Kusimo, and Jay Sofainek came within fractions of the win. The anchor of the team, Michael actually started racing at 67 when his wife convinced him to take a Skip Barber course. "Anytime an old guy with a middle of the field car can come up with a second place is thrilling."

    In victory lane it was the 60 Mello Yello BMW standing with the trophy. The hood of the BMW said it all.  Straight Outta Suncook.  Suncook was their home  and also described the day. They had pushed every limit, and pulled it off. They were the winners of the first of what we hope will be many Bracket Grand Prixs. The team of Ryan Arsenault, Dave Weatherbee, Samantha Nicholson and Darrel Zehcly had done the job today. 

 


Final Standings:
  1. #60 BMW
  2. #59 Sentra
  3. #218 BMW
  4. #256 Camaro
  5. #204 Honda
  6. #461 Mustang
  7. #510 S-10
  8. #30 BMW
  9. #3 BMW
  10. #444 BMW
  11. #14 Mustang
  12. #2 Subaru
  13. #420 Miata
  14. #86 BMW
  15. #206 Triumph
  16. #20 Mustang
  17. #344 Porsche
  18. #235VW Gulf
  19. #82 Focus
  20. #426 BMW
  21. #26 Alfa Romeo
Leaders:  Lap 1-142   #510,   Lap 142  -145   #256,     Lap 146-164   #2,    Lap 165-176   #60,   Lap177-191 #256,   Lap 192-246    #60
Photo credits to our Staff and  James Ray , Flickr user 54.
Check out tons of pics from this event- click>  The Bracket Grand Prix at Thompson
Click here for the Bracket Grand Prix Lap Chart
 
 
 
    WTC specializes in conducting oval and road course events for race vehicles based on production chassis. Rules are formulated in such a way that the least expensive option has a slight advantage. Our latest project to announce is the Bracket GT offered on June 30 2018 at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

    For amateur competition handicapping is not new.  It starts in neighborhoods at a young age.  The top players picked sides. At other times, someone got a head start.  The idea is always to use the competitors available, and make it a game.

     The Bracket GP does just that.  We utilize a simple tool, transponder scoring. Results are instant on Race Monitor. By using this tool we have constructed racing event that allows racers to "Run what you brung".  There are no classes.  Brackets simply determine a cars head start per hour or the "handicap"

     All race vehicles must be production based. There is a tire rule. You must have an acceptable cage, and safety equipment. If your car is legal for Chump Car or Lemons, it is legal here. There are 10 speed brackets.  The brackets are track specific. From testing, practice, or a teams racing history at Thompson, most teams are able to find out how fast their race vehicle is expected to be.  The Teams simply pick (dial in)  their bracket.  That choice determines their head start.  

    The base time is bracket A.  Bracket A is also the fastest bracket allowed to compete. From there each bracket increases by 1 lap per hour. Cars in bracket B will get 1 lap per hour head start. In a six hour race, that would be 6 laps.  Theoretically, if two teams ran perfect laps from each bracket, at 6 hours, they would cross the line side by side.

    The chess game is picking the bracket.  Teams that often are mere participants with no shot of winning now can have an equal chance.

   


    Bracket racing is not new. Drag racing has utilized the practice or years.  We are not sure of anyone ever using brackets in road racing however we think it will work far superior to any method major series are using now. Hope you join us at the Bracket Grand Prix, Thompson Motorsports Park, Thompson Ct. June 30th 2018 for what we think will be the way of the future.

2018 Brackets   (Click "How the brackets work" to go to the 2019-2020 backets.  They have been changed slightly)
Class Time Laps/hr

Lap Credit  /  Hr

Lap Credit applied at Start
 -Race (6hr)

X 1:40.00 or more      36 or less        + 9           +54
I 1:39.999 - 1:37.298 37        + 8           +48      
H 1:37.297 - 1:34.736 38        + 7           +42     
G 1:34.735 - 1:32.307 39        + 6           +36
F 1:32.306 - 1:30.000 40        + 5           +30
E 1:29.999 - 1:27.805 41        + 4           +24
D 1:27.804 - 1:25.714 42        + 3           +18
C 1:25.713 - 1:23.720 43        + 2           +12
B 1:23.719 - 1:21.818 44        + 1           +6
A 1:21.817 - 1:20.00 45        -             -