What November 18th Means for Sports Car Racing

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance

As racers and motorsports enthusiasts, most of us like to keep our ear to the ground about what’s happening in our sport. Who could have predicted the explosion of $500 “crapcan” endurance racing, the declining attendance in NASCAR or the amazing rise of Formula E? What’s next in our sport, and why?

I must admit that the success of Formula E took me by surprise, especially considering the intense controversy surrounding electric vehicle racing.


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Personally, I don’t take a side in the debate. I drive stock cars, sports cars and anything else that has four wheels and brakes. Yes, I watch Formula E and enjoy it. I also watch Indycar and sprint cars and local hobby stock divisions. If they raced tricycles, I’d watch that, too. I don’t discriminate. I just love racing.

Once Formula E became established and financially viable, it was only a matter of time before an all-electric sports car series was introduced as well. That series is now here.

The Electric GT Championship (EGT) will hold its inaugural “Day of Light” on November 18th at Circuit Pau-Arnos in southwestern France. What is a “Day of Light?” Think of it as an American-style “open house” without the potluck dinner. The idea is to introduce the public to the series, which is scheduled to race in eight European nations in 2018 along with possible stops in the Americas.

Full disclosure – yes, I’m one of two American drivers slated to compete in the Electric GT Championship. But believe me, I’m as curious about this whole concept as you are. The tracks and cars are all new to me. I anxiously await press releases and new information just like everyone else. Although I’ve spent some time with the series principals (they’re great people and sharp businessmen), I don’t know most of my fellow competitors and all twenty international drivers come from wildly different backgrounds.

If nothing else, it will be pretty incredible to watch F1 test drivers, international road racers, Indy 500 pilots, 24 Hours of Le Mans drivers and Dakar Rally veterans mix it up in cars that none of us have ever driven before. That alone should be worth the price of admission.

On November 18th I’ll be glued to my computer, checking out the EGT Facebook page. That seems to be where new information on the series is first released. They’ll likely post new photos of their cars, and probably some news and interviews with a few EGT drivers (I won’t be there – I’ll be in the US preparing for Mecum Kansas City on NBCSN).

If you want to know the inside scoop on the future tides of the world racing scene, I recommend following this event. EGT’s “Day of Light’ begins at 10 a.m. local time in France, which is 5-8 hours ahead of most American time zones. Some news may already be posted by the time American readers get up that morning.

Remember, 10 years ago no one thought they’d be tearing down grandstands at Daytona. Thirty years ago it was unthinkable that one day Indianapolis would have no bumping but the World Racing League would draw nearly 100 amateur endurance teams to Texas Motor Speedway.

Forget personal allegiances. It makes no difference if you’re a hardcore dirt track guy, an endurance racer or a nerdy computer whiz who wants to see electric racing take over the world. If we want to know what’s coming next in our sport, we have to stretch ourselves and look in unlikely places for under-reported trends. This is one of them, and it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Stephen Cox

Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions

Driver, Super Cup Stock Car Series & EGT Championship

Co-host, Mecum Auctions on NBCSN

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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Stephen Cox is a racing driver in the Electric GT Championship, the Super Cup Stock Car Series and the World Racing League endurance sports car series. He is also a television host and CEO of Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions. He is currently in his 10th season as a co-host on NBCSN’s Mecum Auto Auction. Stephen also serves as producer for the Super Cup Stock Car Series telecasts on MavTV and other programming on Fox, Outdoor Channel, Velocity and more. His past television work includes hosting: Champ Car World Series Indianapolis 500 NASCAR Winston West Barber Dodge Pro Series Paris-Dakar Rally USAR Hooters ProCup Stock Car Series Mid-American Stock Car Series ARCA Truck Series Stephen Cox is among America’s most versatile professional racing drivers. Few drivers have competed on both asphalt and dirt. Fewer still on both road courses and ovals. Fewer still in both open wheel and stock cars. And virtually none can add the elite division of off road desert racing to their resume. Stephen has not simply raced in each of these divisions – he has scored championships, wins, poles or top ten finishes in every single category, and in 2017 he adds the international Electric GT Championship sports car series to the list. From ARCA ovals to SCCA road courses, endurance racing to Rolex GT sports cars, from Tecate SCORE Baja Trophy Trucks in desert sands to the Hooters Pro Cup Series and Super Cup Stock Car Series on America’s famous southern ovals… Cox has driven them all, and won. Track record holder at Midvale Speedway (OH USA) Track record holder at Gingerman Raceway (MI USA) 18 career wins 17 career poles Mitsubishi factory test driver 2004 GT Challenge Series champion 2004 Championship Motorsports Association Rookie of the Year As a writer, Cox has authored: L&M PORSCHE; the story Penske’s 1972 Can-Am championship SHELBY LEGEND, TRANS-AM WINNER; the 1966 Ford Mustang Group 2 SCCA Racer AGAINST ALL ODDS; the 1970 24 Hours of Daytona Cox also authored the Small Team Sponsorship Guide for beginning sponsor-hunters, the classic book and seminar that redefined the way entry level teams attack corporate sponsorship.

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