With our existing MkI Roadster tube steel frame and chassis we envisioned
a car that could provide that perfect combination of performance, safety,
affordability and good looks. It looked straightforward enough and we
embarked on the journey that has lasted now more than seven years. The
result is the FFR Challenge Series and Challenge Series Racer. This car
is an “every mans” race car, perfect as a week-end “open track” weapon
while at the same time configured for wheel-to-wheel, one-design spec
racing in the FFR-NASA Series.
Let’s go back though to the design and development stage where the early
goals and thinking laid the groundwork for the current success. We took
the time to study every racing series out there and understand why so many
have failed. Our team understood that many racing series begin with clear
goals of providing grassroots level racing in an affordable and yet
challenging and exciting format. Unfortunately, as has so often happened
in the past, many of these programs grow to become tangled in rules,
burdened with high costs and stifled by limited competitive driving
The success of the Challenge Series car is attributed almost completely to
the strict adherence we have made to the founding goals that drive the
series and car design. Another reason for the Challenge Series success
has been the fact that the challenge car is more than a dedicated race
car, it is capable of street use (according to individual state
laws), putting it in a multi-use category few race cars share.
In the fall of 1999 we made the decision to give the FFR Challenge Series
a go. We wrote out our goals
for the car design and the series (these goals have remained unchanged to
this day). In April of 2000 the first of 10 cars were shipping to the
Mid-Atlantic region! By mid-summer, news of the program began to leak
out. Car and Driver Magazine tested one of the early cars and published
their results in the
November 2000 issue. The first season on the East coast
went well. The first race at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) saw a
field of about eight cars going wheel-to-wheel. In less than two years
the series had grown to add the West coast region.
2002 saw the first National Championship race. The 02 Nationals was the
first time series racers from all over the country gathered to find out
who’s fastest. It was held at Infineon Raceway and you can read about it
on this link or
check out our free DVD
which features an awesome 30 minute section on the event and race.
In 2003 we introduced three more Challenge Series regions (Texas, Ohio-Indiana,
and North East). The North east region is still a test region since NASA
lacks sufficient events in the region. NE Region racers compete in the
east coast series until this region is expanded.
By 2004 we have built and shipped more than 200 Challenge Series cars and
hosted three Nationals Championship Races. The
2005 Nationals were held Labor Day weekend at VIR.
The company is supporting the series and plans
to continue its support indefinitely.
Steve Sparklin leads Seabor & Elam thru the esses @ Infineon.2002.
Middle: John Insinger wins “Best of Show” Right: Perrenial racers
Bobbie & Dan Elam at FFROG-Fest West 2003.