After the British Boring Car Championship got a warm reception for two seasons, I felt it was time to do something a little bit different, and after playing around with a car that I used to race exclusively on iRacing, I had an idea hit me in the face faster than a 1x at Spa Francorchamps.
The Kia Optima GTS is an absolutely barmy machine. It was built by Kia to race in America in the Continental Tire Series and Pirelli World Challenge, against the likes of GT machinery from Porsche, Ford, Aston Martin and Chevrolet, and stood out like a sore thumb - albeit a loveable one - as seen in the picture below from motorsport.com.
If there's one thing it does really well other than go in a straight line, it's provide great racing. You can run these things door-to-door lap after lap with very little consequence, so long as both drivers aren't trying to kill one another with the legendary "quarter panel" or "pit maneuver". While designed to be a GT car and run against them, it found a lot of success on iRacing, being the closest thing we had to a touring car other than the VW Jetta TDI Cup.
Then iRacing scanned and released the Audi RS3 LMS TCR and the Kia was kind of forgotten. Until now!
The CDM European Touring Car Championship brings this wonderful beast back to life in a tour around Europe's finest motor racing venues, with fun at heart. Travelling from the UK, through mainland Europe across the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, before heading down to Italy then across to Spain, the 10-meeting, 20-race series should get drivers straight into a state of nostalgia as they ease their way out of corners and slide into braking zones.
The series will race on Tuesday nights, with Practice starting at 7pm BST and Qualifying an hour later at 8pm BST. There will be two races - one 15-minute Sprint, followed by a half-hour Feature Race that includes a mandatory pit stop to keep things interesting. The entry fee is £20 and covers all of the admin work that goes into the liveries, overall presentation and broadcasts, which is all managed single-handedly.
Fantasy team names and liveries have been devised to keep things open and level, with a slight hint at a "bigger picture" scenario that I'm working towards. A random draw to determine the teams will promote socialisation between drivers and iRacers alike. Furthermore this makes drivers lives easier as all they need to do is sign up, pay, and drive.
If you're interested in taking part, please read the rulebook below;
...and use this sign up form to get yourself involved.
Feel free to join the Chaz Draycott Media Discord using this link (https://discord.gg/wQnAaf6) and point any questions my way!