Throughout 2013, with the guidance and organizational skills of Elton Lo of Raceline USA fame, the HT Cup Challenge went off without a hitch. The event completely did away with handpicked participants, hired drivers, and full race builds masquerading as "street cars," and instead, opened the event to any and everyone interested in competing in a points race spread across multiple events. The finale pitted the top eight finalists-separated by no more than a few points, against one another in an epic five-lap battle at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.
In terms of the rules and guidelines, this year is no different. Minimum weight, tire sizing, and engine displacement requirements are in place to keep everyone on a level playing field. Violation of any of the rules will result in a point penalty and the competitor will start the race from the hot pit, which means they'll have ground to make up as the other competitors are granted a slight advantage from the starting grid in order to balance things out.
January's event at Willow Springs served as a qualifier for participants both new and old, to jump back into the driver seat and size up the competition. With multiple events to compete in throughout 2014, including a NorCal stop along the way, someone could potentially miss an event and still gain enough points to make it to the finals. With that being said, don't think that you're not able to jump into the mix and take part after reading this. If your car meets the minimum requirements, or at least close to them, and you can pilot your own vehicle on track, you too can join in on the competition.
And if the heated battle that took place at the qualifier is any indication of the action-packed track days we're in store for throughout 2014, you're not going to want to miss it!