Sunday, August 21, 2011

Racing On Saturday? WHY NOT!

First some reaction to this past weekend's racing.

The 4-hour Road Racing Showcase held at the famous Road America circuit just outside of Madison, Wis was excellent and even better for me personally that Risi finally broke through and took their first victory for the F458 with the CEO of Ferrari SpA on site.

That's the good news, the bad news is that DNF@Mid Ohio just two weeks ago really hurts their chances at a Driver's (3rd), Team's (3rd) and all important Manufacturer's Title (4th).

But wait, as they say its not over until the fat lady sings and basically Risi has to win out to have any chance at the title. In their favor as many as 5 Ferrari's will be entered at Petit. Its possible for more Ferrari's to show up at Laguna Seca since its after Silverstone as a buffer between the #62, the BMW's and Corvette's.

I really hope Ferrari pulls out all the stops and puts in the best drivers they can find, share information, setups, whatever going into the last two endurance events.

Also racing this weekend was NASCAR at Montreal and I have to say that I'm glad Ambrose has finally got the monkey off his back. His win at Watkins Glen on Monday and this weekend's victory at Montreal despite being spun by Jacque Villeneuve of all people in what can be described as the "Bone Headed" move of the year, ruining his chances for victory (he lead the most laps) but almost killing Ambrose's chances. But lucky for Ambrose his car wasn't damaged too much. Maybe that's what it takes to win at Montreal, it continues the stat that the leader with less than 7 to go wasn't the winner...

There's talk that the funding for this race was lost, but with the general fan turnout being excellent, I think they'll find some funding and continue to race there.

Finally this weekend was the first International meet at the newly opened Slovakiaring and it featured SRO's FIA GT3 Championship as its headlining event. Turn out was very good and even the Slovakian President showed up on Sunday to watch some racing.
I would embed the races here but until people start commenting on what I am saying on his blog I will suspend embedding videos for at least a month.

I also won't tell you who won, you'll have to find that yourself, there's an RSS feed on the broader to the left of your screen.

Now about racing on Saturday....

This topic came up during Mid-Week Motorsports I believe this week and last week. I think its an excellent idea and the ALMS should look at having its events on Saturday. There isn't much going on TV wise during the summer months and many channels are looking for "filler". Usually showing local programming or old movies as that's cheap. This is where the ALMS can spread its wings. By putting more races on ABC instead of ESPN2, you expand the reach of the series and also move it away from larger series like Indy Car and NASCAR Sprint Cup on Sunday's. I watched a bit fo the truncated race on ABC this afternoon and while I haven't watched it this season because I know (a) the outcome and (b) I know its shorten (90 mins vs 4 hour stream for example) but for those that are unwilling or can't access the races online, that's perfectly okay.

The landscape of TV is changing and some fans have to accept that expensive to broadcast events like a typical ALMS race are not affordable to put on National TV. At least not without some structural changes to the ALMS. The ALMS has lost from Acura and Audi. They haven't replaced it. Nobody's sure of what roll Patron plays in funding as well. But this is easily solved by making the GT class the top class, full stop.

Some people are resistant to make this change and poo-poo the recent LMS announcement of no LMP1's next year in Philip Peter's series. These people assume that with so many low funded LMP efforts not looking to run the WEC next season would automatically run the LMS series with little to no TV coverage... People want to complain about the ALMS coverage, at least its available to most people around the world as long as they have an decent internet connection, you can't say that about the LMS or even the ILMC...

The ALMS belongs on Saturday whenever possible. Petit Le Mans is on Saturday, what difference does it make if the rest of the races are on Saturday????

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