I'm new to the FETC so have no "feel" for it and can't say much. But I do have one comment:
We still have to drive in the Winter, right? So why shouldn't there be a Winter phase to the challenge? Yeah, I know it gets super-variable thanks to weather, and the folks way up North can get hit really hard with ice and snow issues. But isn't it also variable with high temperatures in the Summer in the South/Southwest? Besides, this is just a friendly competition and the bottom line is that no matter who wins, everyone wins. So it's not like a massive snowstorm unfairly killing one team's numbers really matters in the grand scheme.
I'm good with whatever everyone wants to do, though.