May 17th, 2017 by Wayne Strout
The 60PLUS Racing Adventures Series is a sim racing series for “serious and seasoned” drivers, age 60 and older. The goal is first class competition with demonstration of car control mastery and mutual respect for others.
Series 3 in 2017 will be a 12 race, “spec” series running one car: the iRacing Pro Mazda–a purpose built, open wheel, winged formula car, capable of 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 3 seconds and a top speed of 150+ mph, as well as cornering forces in excess of 2G. In addition, all drivers are required to run the same custom engineered “balanced” setup provided by the Series engineer, optimized for each track.
The new format is based on two man teams racing separately, but combining their points for the championship. Team members are assigned by the Series administrator with the goal of pairing drivers that “together” are as equal in “potential” as possible. A very fast driver paired with a less advanced one for example. All drivers will attempt to qualify in the first session, but only the top 50% will grid for the Group 1 race. Those not qualifying for the Group 1 race will enter and race in the Group 2 race that starts immediately after the Group 1 finish. More than 10 teams have already committed, with more expected to be added before the season opener. (Driver backgrounds range from those with less than a year of racing experience to some who have competed years ago in NASCAR Winston Cup and SCCA- and IMSA-sanctioned pro racing. Several are also “alumni” of the Wyatt Gooden Coaching and/or Alex Simpson’s Apex Academy. Drivers are primarily from Europe and the Americas.)
The 12 race series will include 10 road courses and two oval events. The final event of the season will be a 2 hour endurance race at Sebring with the Team Members driving the same car for double points, with each sim racer driving half the event. The Season begins on June 14 at Watkins Glen.
All events are on Wednesdays and open for practice at 18:30 GMT, with Group 1 Racing beginning at 19:00 GMT, and Group 2 Racing at 19:30. (There is a 4 hour difference to EDT and 5 hours from EST to GMT.)
On the second Wednesday of each month, the sim racing will be broadcast live by RaceSpot TV:
June 14: Watkins Glen
July 12: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
August 9: Road America
The 60PLUS concept was originally conceived by the Series administrator, Donald Strout after completing research on the effects of aging on performance in real life and sim racing, as well as on-line gaming. Research indicates a significant change in reaction time and speed of cognition with age. These changes place the older driver at a significant disadvantage when racing against younger drivers, even though the older competitors may actually have a significantly higher level of car control mastery. In addition, Strout felt that there were a significant number of drivers who were frustrated by overly aggressive driving that resulted in excessive car contact, often ending a competitor’s race prematurely.
The 60PLUS concept, evolving over the first two seasons, is designed to address the issues of aging and contact avoidance—making racing competitive, fair, and fun for drivers from age 60 to 90. (a rapidly growing demographic in sim racing.) This includes drivers with a wide range of driving skills and experience above a certain level of competence necessary for the advanced and very fast Pro Mazda. The major league rules include a detailed description of the protocols of safe passing when racing “close” with a specific definition of “Corner Rights” and “Racing Room.” These protocols along with the “Golden Rule” of “treating others as you would expect them to treat you” are strictly enforced bv the Series stewards.
Those interested in joining the 60PLUS Racing Adventures Series should go to the League tab in iRacing and apply for membership.