Story By: KYLE SOUZA / SOUZA MEDIA – VIRTUAL THOMPSON, CT – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will come to virtual life three times during the winter months, as a new iRacing series will give drivers and fans a chance to prepare for the 2021 season.
In a series promoted by Souza Media, full-time Modified, Late Model & Super Late Model drivers from across New England will compete in three different races — including the virtual historic Thompson 300 — with one-race in January, another in February and a final in March.
The series will help preview the real-life season at Thompson for 2021 — which is slated to begin with the annual Icebreaker weekend from April 9-11, and hold six oval events, promoted by the American-Canadian Tour and Pro All Stars Series. All three iRacing events will take place on Saturday’s — January 23, February 20 and March 20 — and will all begin with the drop of the green flag at 2PM. The feature races will air live, in full, on Extreme Sim TV, via Facebook and YouTube.
Qualifying heat races, consolation races and a B-Main will be conducted prior to the broadcast start.
The three iRacing events will include an opener with iRacing’s SK Modified, previewing the Sunoco Modified season at Thompson, on January 23, for a 100-lap event. The second will put some of New England’s best Late Model stars together in ACT-style Late Models for their own 100-lapper on February 20. The final will help promote and preview the return of the historic Thompson 300, as Tour-Type Modifieds are used for a virtual 300-lapper on March 20. In real-life, officials are bringing back the Thompson 300 as part of the Sunoco World Series of Racing at Thompson in October of 2021.
“This iRacing series will give drivers and fans of Thompson Speedway a chance to come together during the cold winter months for some virtual racing,” Kyle Souza, owner of Souza Media, said. “We’re looking forward to watching the Thompson 300 in real-life, but we think this virtual experience will showcase some of what it will take to win the real-life event and get fans energized for the October 2021 race.”
A maximum of 29 drivers will start each race, in order to keep the car count reasonable on a tight, banked track, and produce green flag racing. Out of the 29 competitors, 28 drivers will qualify through the heats, consi’s and B-Main sessions, while one provisional is available for a most recent Thompson track champion or Modified, Late Model or Super Late Model champion, if needed. If no champions fail to qualify, the provisional may be used for a promoters option. Qualifying will begin at 10AM on each of the race days, while there will also be multiple practice sessions prior to race day.
In order to be eligible for the events, drivers must fit one of the requirements put in place by officials. Race officials have the final determination on eligibility and may elect to refund participants who register but don’t fit qualifications. For all three events, drivers must be:
- A current or past full-time weekly competitor in Late Models, Super Late Models or Modifieds
- A current or past full-time Modified, Late Model or Super Late Model touring series competitor
- Immediate crew member of one of the above drivers — defined as either a car owner, crew chief or spotter.
- *If all spots are not filled for the event five days prior to event start, fans of Thompson Speedway, Modifieds, Super Late Models or Late Models will be able to register to fill the spots*
The first 60 entered drivers will be registered for the event. Anyone who registers past that 60 number will be placed on a waitlist. Registration fees are $15 per event, or $45 for the entire series. Registration can be completed at www.kylesouza.com/thompson-iracing-series. In order for a registration to be counted as one of 60, payment must be received. Drivers who complete registration will be invited to the league on iRacing directly to confirm their registration has been received.
A payout is guaranteed for the top-five at the end of each race, with a minimum of $50 to win the feature. The virtual Thompson 300 will pay at least $125 to win. Sponsorship opportunities for the series are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsorships will include full race deals and contingency awards.
VIRTUAL THOMPSON iRACING SERIES SCHEDULE:
January 23 — SK Modified — 100 laps
February 20 — Late Models — 100 laps
March 20 — Tour-Type Modified — 300 laps