Grassroots Motorsports $2017 Challenge Plans On Track Despite Hurricane Irma

After a wild ride during hurricane Irma, we have things mostly cleaned up and are back to business as usual. However, we're 100 miles east of the Challenge's $2017 Gainesville home, meaning that the event's host facility and hotel both took major hits from the storm. 

Though we haven't heard from Gainesville Raceway yet (they are likely still without power), race tracks are hard to blow away, and the host hotel has confirmed that it made it through the storm undamaged. The $2017 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge's event schedule will therefore be unaffected, and we'll see everybody at the event in a few weeks.

New Awesome Format for Concours Judging

Yes, we said it. The Challenge concours is going to be awesome. Yes, spectating is still free, and I can't wait to see everybody there.

What's making it so awesome this year? Three things:

1. No more staff judges. 
Say it ain't so, but we've listened to your feedback and we're changing things up this year. Instead, our own David Wallens will be head judge, an honorary position where he won't be judging cars, but he will be guiding our guest judges through the process and showing them how everything works.

2. Awesome guest judges. 
Seriously. We're bringing in experts from as far away as California! Here's our current judging roster. Note that this is subject to change, and not everybody has finalized travel plans yet, but I think this is who you'll see at the event judging your cars:

Paul Fenner, past Challenge competitor and near-winner. 
Jason Cammisa, formerly of MotorTrend on Demand.
Steven Cole Smith, producer of some of the finest automotive journalism in the world. 
Chris Brewer of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.
Keith Tanner of Flyin' Miata.

3. A rule change. 
We think this one speaks for itself. For those that are there for the party, now you'll have more time to kick back and enjoy the show.

Any entrant that does not want to go through the concours judging process may decline to be judged by writing "Don't Judge Me" on a piece of tape placed on the upper driver-side corner of the windshield of their car. Cars properly displaying this message that are parked in the centralized concours judging location for the duration of judging will be awarded 12 concours points. 

Just 6 Spots Remaining for the General Tire Challenge

General Tire holds a bonus autocross event for the first 20 teams that register for the $2017 Challenge. We have 14 teams now. That means there are just 6 seats left in the General Tire Challenge.

What is it? It's an autocross competition where everyone uses the same cars wearing General Tire rubber. The winner gets a free set of tires. Claim your spot in the event and register your team today for the $2017 Challenge.

Smith College Gearing Up for the Grassroots Motorsports $2017 Challenge

The Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge has hosted college-supported teams many times in the past, with the likes of Georgia Tech and Texas A&M being major players. In fact, we give out a trophy every year to the top-finishing college.

Now an all-female team from Smith College is joining in the fray. Their plans center around a Mazda Miata, a popular, proven platform. They also set up a GoFundMe page to help get them there.