Bracing myself against the passenger door the driver yelled back to me to hang on tight as we dipped into a sharp right hand turn. Feeling the G’s pushing me back against the frame was nothing short of an adrenaline rush. Oh yea baby…I’m hooked! Hanging out the side window of a pace car is super fun!
On Sunday May 22 I drove to The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, WA to take photos of a Chump Cars World Series race. Having spent the last few years directly involved with off-road motorcycles it was fascinating to see the resemblances between the two sports. Whether you have two wheels or four we are the same…with a few exceptions.
I determined that the number one difference was the sheer level of organization simply needed to attend an event just to race. The amount of gear, pit crew and team members needed for a weekend race is mind-blowing. Bike riders bring BBQ’s, tents, motorhomes, tool boxes as well but with cars everything seemed bigger, larger and more plentiful. Think about it…everything needs to be doubled. Double the tires, the rims, the stands, the gas, the jacks, the oils and so on. Bigger trailers and towing vehicles too.
What I liked about Chump Car Racing, a parody of Champ Car Racing, is the accessibility of racing to the average person. Using cheap cars, insurance claims, or beaters a limit of $500 is placed on the car in order to keep a level playing field. Teams will be penalized for any performance mods made to the car that drive that amount up, safety features excluded.
‘If you cheat or screw-up or both… you’ll be docked laps. If you come to Tech Inspection with a car that’s worth $1,500… plan on starting the race about 100 laps down from everyone else. You can still run in the race and you’ll have a great time… but you’ll never win. If that doesn’t bother you, you’re our kind of Chump!
Seems fair to me.
While car racing is decidedly more expensive than off-road racing the camaderie and sense of belonging is equally as strong. Just because a vehicle has two extra wheels doesn’t mean that they aren’t sewn from the same cloth. Respect, competitiveness, rivalry, family and friendliness – this is racing at it’s finest.
For event photos please click HERE. My photos are for sale (digital format or prints). I thank you in advance for your support – it’s greatly appreciated.