How Brackets Work
 

      Bracket road racing is a form of road racing that allows for a handicap to equalize competition.  For our target racers, guys that run Lemon's, AER, Chump, X cars or something similar, the bracket handicap has been proven to allow all entries to compete for the win .  It simply does not matter what a team spends on their car.

     At Thompson Speedway the fastest bracket is 1:16.595 flat. That is the top end of the fastest bracket.  Go faster and you will be parked. Cars that can go that fast, in the fastest bracket, if they ran perfect laps, would turn 47 laps per hour. We have labeled the fastest bracket as "Z".   Bracket Z  is not a class.

    Bracket B is the range of times that equate to 44 laps per hour.  Bracket C is 43, and each bracket increases to a range that includes laps per hour. The "laps per hour "is your handicap.
 
    If the race was 1 hour, bracket Z cars would have no handicap.  A bracket X car, would start the race with 1 lap credit.  Assuming both competitors ran perfect laps for exactly 1 hour, and picked their bracket accurately, in a hypothetical 1 hour event, the two cars should cross the finish line side by side after one hour.

       What happens if we add a car from the slowest bracket, "J" to the same race.  A "J" bracket car would start 10 full laps ahead.  If included in the hour with the Z and X entries, the J entry should also be side by side with the Z and X bracket cars after 1 hour coming to the line.  For each event, just multiply the laps per hour by the time of the event and we have the handicap for entry for the race.

      The teams have a challenge here. From the team's own practice times or past performances they must pick their bracket. At Thompson, there will be a practice the morning of the event. 

     The key to winning is to be accurate picking a bracket. If a team driver turns a lap faster than their chosen bracket they will be black flagged and held on pit row for the difference in the handicaps plus 1 lap. They will not stay in that bracket. They will be moved to the next faster one.

       Results of the very first Bracket Grand Prix at Thompson Speedway are available below. Noted from those results are the following highlights:

  • The winner was within 0.026 seconds of breaking out of his bracket and moving up to the next
  • The #204 that ultimately finished 5th, was challenging for the lead,  and broke out of his bracket by 0.012 seconds. 
  • The team that led the most laps was the slowest in the field. He lost the lead when he broke out of his bracket. The fact is any vehicle can win here so Lemon's guys, feel free to bring those creations.
  • Only 1 of the fastest 5 cars finished in the top 5.

Click here to view the complete handicapped results from the 2018 race at Thompson .
 

2019-2020  Thompson Speedway Brackets
Class Time Laps/hr

Lap Credit  /  Hr

Lap Credit applied at Start
 -Race (8hr)-

           
J 1:37.298 or more 37        + 10           +80      
H 1:37.297 - 1:34.736 38        + 9           +72     
G 1:34.735 - 1:32.307 39        + 8           +64
F 1:32.306 - 1:30.000 40        + 7           +56
E 1:29.999 - 1:27.805 41        + 6           +48
D 1:27.804 - 1:25.714 42        + 5           +40
C 1:25.713 - 1:23.720 43        + 4           +32
B 1:23.719 - 1:21.818 44        + 3           +24
A 1:21.817 - 1:20.000 45        + 2           +16
X 1:19.999 - 1:18.260 46        +  1             +8
Z 1:18.259 - 1:16.595 47       -             -