Super Series 2016 Championship Preview

With a new season comes new opportunities; a clean slate to carry on from triumphs past, or to bring redemption from a year that did not see goals achieved. Season Openers bring with them a heightened sense of anticipation, as the sometimes long off season brings back the itch for competition; that nagging need to get back behind the wheel.

For the 2016 Season, things have begun with a bit of a stutter step. Heading into the weekend it looked as if the off season would continue still, as mother nature threatened to keep this first race from happening. Officials kept an eye on the skies and the forecasts all week, and even though things looked grim almost all week, Friday morning would bring a more positive outlook: We will race!


2016: What’s New?

The CalSpeed Super Series enters its sixth season here in 2016, and much like last year, very little has changed in terms of the rules and regulations. There are still five sessions on the day; practice, qualifying, a pair of heat races and then the Main. We can again expect 25-30 drivers on track for each race, with the overall entry count still capped at 120 drivers. Even the schedule is nearly unchanged, with each track layout (save the classic versions) taking its place on the calendar twice, for a total of seven different layouts for drivers to master.

So what is different? To start, Sportivo has swapped spots with Tecnico at the beginning of the year, making it a pair of clockwise layouts before a pair of reverse direction tests come. This was more for logistics than anything else, making it easier on the track change and testing regiment for officials.

Next is how the groups are sorted for the second set of heat races; where you finish in the first heat race still is the primary decider, but now instead of using the fast lap from qualifying as the tie-breaker, a driver’s fastest lap from the first heat race will be used. This should hopefully attempt to sort the drivers in a way that sees more variety in the run groups, as one of the issues voiced in the drivers roundtable meeting was that the groups were too similar from one heat to the next.

For the A-Mains this season, gone are the always contact-ridden and controversial rolling starts; it will now be standing starts for all races in the Super Series. One of the biggest issues in 2015 was the need to clean up the starts for the final race of the day, and once again the roundtable agreed upon going to the standing starts.

Aside from these small changes, not much else will be different come race day, but there were also some small tweaks to the points, and the requirements for building a team. We may also see the Heavy Class discontinued, as the number of eligible drivers was at a minimum the past two seasons, and it looks as though most have moved on from the class.


Round #1: The “Super Speedway”, Nuovo

The Super Series has opened up its season on the Nuovo layout for the past two seasons, with three out of the now six openers taking to its draft-happy curves. Combined with the heavy amount of drafting is the pack mentality, the layout certainly sharing similarities to the plate racing tracks of NASCAR fame. Races typically end with a drag race to the finish line, with margins of victory being measured in the thousandths being a common occurrence. And while the mid-season race here sees warmer temps and on throttle time that can approach 93%+, the cooler weather of January sees less grip in the track, and a bit more power in the engines, meaning a lot more driver input is needed to be fast and consistent here.

But like Daytona and Talladega, these ‘Super Speedway’ races can sometimes be a crapshoot, with the tight packs and drafting help requirement meaning things can go from a possible win, to outside the top 15 in the blink of an eye. Only run two times a year anymore, this track has a love hate relationship amongst drivers, and it will be anyone’s guess who might come out on top when the final checkers fall…


Top 5 Returning Drivers on Nuovo:

Sergio Bravo- 3 wins, 8 podiums, 10 heat wins, 22 Heat T3’s, 1 pole, 7 Fast Laps

Patrick Britain- 3 wins, 4 podiums, 9 heat wins, 18 Heat T3’s, 3 poles, 5 Fast Laps

Logan Calvin- 2 wins, 5 podiums, 8 heat wins, 23 Heat T3’s, 5 Fast Laps

Darren Mercer- 2 wins, 3 podiums, 7 heat wins, 12 Heat T3’s, 6 Fast Laps

Jon Kimbrell- 1 win, 7 podiums, 11 heat wins, 26 Heat T3’s, 2 poles, 6 Fast Laps


Smitty’s Spotlight: And so it begins…

With a new season brings a lot of questions: Who will be the contenders? Who will step up and be the new challengers? Will any of the returning or new drivers have a part to play at the sharp end? How about the new talent to the series; who will; raise eyebrows? An then there are all the different championships up for grabs; who will be the ones to watch there?

Taking a look at the entry list, there are a few names that you would normally see that are yet to be found, but a lot of this could be down to the threat of weather we had; many may yet sign up today to on site tomorrow. There are also a few names on it that have said they don’t plan to run the whole season, and instead will be attacking other racing exploits. But that is what is nice about being the true start to the racing season every year: it is still the off season for everyone else, and we see some drivers come out for a little tune up before everything else gets started. This adds another question: how big of an impact will the potential spoilers be?

Looking at what is essentially the exact same foundation to build off of as last season, the familiarity of the Super Series should see people really start to get in a rhythm early, and we could see some big things from the increased experience. The different titles up for grabs will all certainly have their favorites, but if there was ever a chance for a new face to find their mark, it is 2016.

It is a new season, and with it a clean start. Everyone is tied for first, and there is everything to play for, so lets get this thing started!


2016 Super Series Season Opener Entry List

  1. Don Diego Veloria
  2. Mark Connell
  3. Frank Hsu
  4. Michael Chen
  5. Michael Floerchinger
  6. Sean Fite
  7. Joe Sabella
  8. Ben Blank
  9. Rene Hourian
  10. Jeff Latimer
  11. Vince Burke
  12. Aaron Scott
  13. Sergio Bravo
  14. Tom Kwasniak
  15. Jason Collins
  16. Steve Frame
  17. Dominic Guzman
  18. Michael Wojdat
  19. Daniel Ulmer
  20. Ariel Rubio
  21. Tom Zevin
  22. Matt Hart
  23. John Rice
  24. Paul Juarez
  25. Victor Juarez
  26. Roger Adams
  27. David Kelmenson
  28. David Butler
  29. Alyssa Yauney
  30. Sheng Wu
  31. Tyler Redman
  32. Yuki Tanaka
  33. Zach Zacharias
  34. Michael Collins
  35. Greg Reinhardt
  36. Mike Skinner
  37. Eric Oviatt
  38. Jeremy Aldridge
  39. Alexander Bermudez
  40. Doug Lewen
  41. John Cherniack
  42. Patrick Britain
  43. Nick Marascio
  44. Adam Nagao
  45. Henry Morse
  46. Benjamin Morse
  47. Robby Stanovich
  48. Steve Jasinski
  49. Steve Spring
  50. Chris Millar
  51. Jose Silva
  52. Rodney Bryant
  53. Mike Arnold
  54. Kevin Wilson
  55. Charles Eichlin
  56. Drew Zeller
  57. Robert Drew
  58. Brad Drew
  59. Kyle McGrath
  60. Josh Sarcet
  61. Aimee Lugibihi
  62. Logan Calvin
  63. Sergio Serrano
  64. Chris Lorentzen
  65. Ryan Curtin
  66. Ryan Piscotty
  67. Kevin Ferrara
  68. Eric Slivkoff
  69. Jesse Iwuji
  70. Bill Kreig
  71. Ian Enz
  72. Chris Carter
  73. Jon Kimbrell
  74. Aaron Downs
  75. Dennis Kimbrell
  76. Nathan Hood
  77. Jake Hood
  78. Miles Calvin
  79. Cody Calvin
  80. Andres Prieto
  81. Juan Dominguez
  82. Caylee Britain
  83. Edison Noboa
  84. Caden Thure
  85. Chris Huerta
  86. Darren Mercer
  87. Bruce Allen
  88. Luis Vega
  89. James Bratton
  90. Alex Gutierrez