The fifth annual
Bracket Grand Prix will takes place Friday September 22nd, 2023 at
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. We had an unbelievable race last
season. 19 competitors took the green flag. The 52 Corvette of
James McGuire was the fastest car in practice. McGuire
drives his car to the track towing a trailer with anything he may
need. Pail Llanos's Porsche was second fastest.
The Llanos team are the hometown favorites.. The Boston Whiners had
their BMW flying.
Handicapping makes any team capable of winning. Pick your
bracket correctly, and avoid mishaps, mechanical problems and stay
in the bracket, and you have a great shot of winning.
corvette was super fast but the lack of co drivers and crew, and a
few mechanical mishaps took the fastest car out of contention.
The most successful team in Bracket history is the Ceci Partnership
#85 Escort. Many had this team as the favorite again.
They were in contention throughout the event. This year they ahd to
settle for a fifth place finish.
The Boston Whiner's #6 BMW was another entry solidly in the
hunt. The team lacked a bit of consistency in their times. They
would have to settle for forth.
Pre-race, the 40 Baller Race Team had the paddock buzzing. The
team had a strong driver line-up and a beautifully prepared Porsche
944. They were a bit too conservative in bracket selection.
The team placed themselves in Bracket E. The fastest lap turned all
day was a 1:30:01. In hindsight placing the car in Group F.
The Ballers finished 4 laps behind the eventual winner. Had they
opted for Group F, they would have won by 2 laps. Bracket
selection after the morning practice is critical in these events.
The sentimental favorite was the Bright Ideas S-10 of Glen
Farney. Glen Farney has been competitive in every one of these
events. His S-10 was the slowest car in the field. If you read the
dash on his S-10 it says, "Race the Track, Not the Opel!" He
may change that for the effort landed his team in second, just 1 lap
behind the Opel.
The winner was classic. Most young people will not know what
an Opel is but in our Victory Lane it was Yuri Shnirman in the
Yellow Great Globs of Oil Opel Cadet. The team pocketed $1000
for the effort. Shnirman's Opel was second slowest of those that
raced. The Bracket's work. Expensive cars and racing
modifications are not what win's here. Certainly you can take
the victory in a BMW or Corvette. For this racing it is all
about execution. Great pit stops, no failures, and bracket selection
are what you need to get to Victory lane.
What is new for this year? Nothing. The formula works.
The racing is awesome. The competitors are fun and the staff
that organizes the show has this event as their favorite every year.
The payout of $1000 to win is participation based.
If 1-39 cars enter, the winner will leave with $1000.00. At 40
cars we double it. 60 cars we triple it. Get 80 on the track
and will quadruple it. Hit 100 and the winner will leave with
a cool $5000.00.
Any safely caged car is eligible to enter as long as it is based on
an OEM chassis. Picking a bracket is simple. There is an hour
practice on the morning of the event. This is when competitors
figure out how fast their car is. Once they know, simply pick
a bracket that your team thinks is best, and that you won't go
faster than or break out. The key is to cut it close.
Slower brackets have more laps credited at the start. If a
breaks out, we do pull that car in and move it up to the next bracket.
The extra laps the team might have been credited for will be
removed. We also apply a lap penalty. Still teams that break out
have opportunity to win.
If you own a car that is
eligible for Lemons, Champ car, AER, or any local track where they
race stock chassis, then this is a race that you should enjoy
running. The expected field is between 20-30 race cars. It is a
great race to prepare for running other series that may have 100
cars on the same track. New team? This is a great place
to debut. Use it as a track day. Whatever your reasoning may
be, we want you to know your team will be welcome to compete at the
Bracket Grand Prix.
Ah..... but how much to race?
The early entry fee for each car is $499.00. This
does not include admission
Tickets for General Admission is $55.00.
Driver entry and admission is $100.00 Everyone
must purchase a ticket to get in.
Click 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
Pit stalls will be awarded on a
first come first serve basis in the order you
paid for your registration.
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.
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. The
Bracket GP has been offered since June 30 2018 at the Thompson Speedway
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 11 speed brackets. The brackets are track specific.
From race day 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 fastest bracket allowed to compete is bracket Z. From there each bracket
increases the handicap by 1 lap per hour. Cars in bracket X will get
1 lap per hour head start. In a 7 hour race, that would be+7 laps.
Theoretically, a team from Z and a team from X ran perfect laps,
with the handicap applied after 7
hours, they would cross the line side by side. Guess what? That is
just how it works.
The chess game is picking the bracket.
Teams that often are mere participants in other series, 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 with this method in road racing however we know from the
last 4 events, that it works far superior
to any method major series are using now. Hope you join us at the
Bracket Grand Prix, Thompson Motorsports Park, Thompson Ct.
September 22nd 2023.
Thompson Speedway Brackets
Lap Credit / Hr
Lap Credit applied at Start
||1:37.298 or more
||1:37.297 - 1:34.736
||1:34.735 - 1:32.307
||1:32.306 - 1:30.000
||1:29.999 - 1:27.805
||1:27.804 - 1:25.714
||1:25.713 - 1:23.720
||1:23.719 - 1:21.818
||1:21.817 - 1:20.000
||1:19.999 - 1:18.260
||1:18.259 - 1:16.595
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
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
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
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.