Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Will the Tudor United Sports Car Championship be better than the WEC? YES and here's why...

 Come 2014, the WEC will be in its 3rd season. Like the majority of the other FIA World Championships (beyond F1) however they are poorly attended affairs.

 I've made this statement a few times already that the Tudor series will be much better than the FIA World Endurance Championship and my comments have come under fire not surprisingly from Europeans.

 I am not one to wave Old Glory like my sometimes fellow Conservatives and even some Progressives/Liberals like to do but the facts are the facts.

 WEC is poorly attended, no where near capacity and mighty expensive for the limited TV coverage. I also think the standard and inflexible 6 hours or 1Km format is a bit ridiculous and not TV friendly, which explains why Eurosport only shows you the first hour and last hour of the six hour races. 

 If ESPN did that with NFL or NBA games there would be calling for scalps. You can't even do that with Indycar races and why since the races run about two hours anyway.

 My point is that WEC appeals to the hardcore endurance racing fan only. But until now, the only alternative was Pan European championships like European Le Mans Series which is also poorly attended I might add.

 So its not shocking to me at all when its rumored several teams in both the ELMS and WEC are considering full season if not partial seasons in the new series.

 The WEC paddock got the message when the ALMS race out attended the WEC race by good margin, some estimate 20-25% It impacted the WEC paddock so much that drivers like Bruno Senna announced he would like to drive more in America next season. Endurance Info is reporting that several P2 teams, Krohn Racing, Aston Martin and AF Corse are all interested in running here next year.

 Why? Because they'll be racing in front of somebody! 

 Series in Europe have the unfortunate habit of racing at circuits design to house 50-100K of rabid F1 fans. This is especially glaring at places like Silverstone and Monza. It was repeated at COTA, a place that housed 165K F1 fans last season for the first race ever there.

 Most of the tracks the ALMS goes too and that Tudor will have on its schedule next season have much smaller grandstands because the majority of fans use the surrounding topography (IE grassy areas and hills) to watch the cars as they go around.

 The only major test in terms of attendance next season will be the Six Hours of The Glen, which in the Grand Am era was not as well attended as the NASCAR race there (much worse). Even Indycar has done poorly and they dropped it from the schedule. That is an exchange of venues for the Tri-State area as the series will not be returning to Lime Rock, which is very well attended and even that's an understatement its PACKED.

 The Long Beach race is at least 40K and might increase this season, if the races before it (Daytona and Sebring) prove to be exciting as I think they will be.

 The way I see it, you can race in a new series with some momentum behind it, with familiar teams, schedule and tracks or you can do another series in a respected but poorly attended championship with contrived GT-Pro Am class and teams losing interest.

 This is especially the case when budgets are considered. Rumor has it the Tudor series with four very long races and a slew of 2:45 sprint races cost about the same as FIA WEC. According to John Hindbaugh it will cost $1.5M British Pounds more to run Tudor over WEC. I am going to assume that includes shipping the car back to Europe for Le Mans. That doesn't sound unreasonable.

 But it seems some teams don't have a problem with that. Greaves Motorsports has already announced they will enter the new series for the entire season. Others rumored to be coming are Murphy Prototypes (who raced in at Petit Le Mans last season and loved it), TDS Racing and Pecom which is run by AF Corse and I already said they are interested in running at least the long distance races next season.

 When all it said and done as the teams must commit to the Tudor series starting Nov 1st, I think the grid will be at or very close to the 60 entry threshold.

 All the races will be well attended and nothing improves a team's moral than to run in front of supportive and enthusiastic fans.

 Those are the reasons why the Tudor series in ONE season will prove to be superior to the WEC despite its world championship status, which seemingly is only important to Europeans...



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