Ariel, the makers of the Atom, along with Virginia International Raceway announced the creation of the Spec Racer Atom series on Tuesday. The new series will debut in 2011 and will include 10 races held over five weekends.
But here's the catch: Each race will be held at Virginia International Speedway and each will cost $210, plus the $32,000 for the Spec Racer Atom car. However, racers do receive free storage of their car at VIR for six months.
Each race weekend will consist of two 25-minute sprint races and four 25-minute practice sessions. Points will be awarded after each race and the driver with the most points will win the Atom Cup. The series will race four different track configurations at VIR to add variation to the series.
The Spec Racer Atom series will follow the 13/13 rule designed to control cost and limit damage to cars. The rule states that a driver will be put on probation for 13 months if he or she causes damage to their car or to another racer's car, and a 13-month suspension follows if it happens again while under probation.
All drivers must be 18 or older, must be approved by VIR stewards and TMI series officials on driving experience and ability, and they must have the necessary safety equipment.