American-Canadian Tour officials confirmed Wednesday that the Gen 6 Late Model body will be approved for competition during the 2020 season. As part of the 2020 rule book released Wednesday, both the Gen 6 Late Model body from Five Star Race Car Bodies and the re-skin kit being offered by ARbodies will be approved for ACT competition.
Though not a member of the ABC Committee, ACT was one of many sanctioning bodies that chose not to approve the Gen 6 body released by Five Star Race Car Bodies this past winter. But with the recent re-skin kit offering an alternative, while allowing race teams to adopt a fresh new look, ACT Managing Partner Cris Michaud was open to allowing the change for 2020.
ACT is the third major Late Model touring series in the Northeast to approve the body. The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) approved the body at the beginning of the 2019 season, while the Granite State Pro Stock Series approved the body as part of their 2020 rule book.
“Our opinion is totally off of what I stated last year, in that I didn’t want anyone to have to go out and buy a whole new body unless they wanted to,” said ACT Managing Partner Cris Michaud. “I didn’t want to force their hand. With AR, who’s one of our contingency sponsors, coming out with their re-skin kit, which is available in January, that’s why we made it legal. Now you have the option to go with a Five Star or the AR. It had nothing to do with Granite State, PASS, or NASCAR; it had to do with having another option out there.”
Being a championship racer himself in the 1990’s and 2000’s, Michaud knows the costs of what it takes to put a race car on the track. He explained that his initial decision to wait on Gen 6 approval was all about keeping costs in check in on the ACT Late Model Tour and all ACT Late Model tracks in the region.
“We know we aren’t going to save some racers from themselves. I was a racer, so I get it. This way, I feel that if somebody wanted to keep up with the Jones’, there’s an affordable way to do it now.”
Michaud was also pleased by what he saw from a number of PASS races in 2019, feeling confident that both the new and old bodies would not have an advantage over the other.
“I did watch a couple races. At Richmond, Mike Hopkins he had a new body on, and then at New Hampshire he finished second to Eddie MacDonald who had an old body. It doesn’t make a difference, plus you look at the tracks we race on: Thunder Road, White Mountain, Star, Oxford; I guess aerodynamics comes in everywhere, but where it is it going to be a big advantage?”
Ultimately, it is a thumbs up that Michaud has been waiting to give; it was simply waiting for the correct opportunity.
“I think the look that Five Star put out was awesome and that we did need a change. We just needed to do it differently, there needed to be another option, and now there is.”
The full 2020 American-Canadian Tour rule book can be found by clicking here.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT