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thanetspeedshop

Original Poster:

437 posts

77 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
World Endurance Championship calendar announced:

14 April - Round 1 - 6 Hours of Silverstone GBR
04 May - Round 2 - WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps BEL
22/23 June - Round 3 - 24 Heures du Mans FRA
24 August - Round 4 - 6 Hours of Sao Paulo BRA
22 September - Round 5 - 6 Hours of Austin * USA
20 October - Round 6 - 6 Hours of Fuji JPN
10 November - Round 7 - 6 Hours of Shanghai * CHN
30 November - Round 8 - 6 Hours of Bahrain BAH

So, no early sunshine break in Florida and Silverstone in April showers.

Apart from LM all 6 hour races.

The Silverstone round will share the weekend with a new improved ELMS (seperate races) and Austin will likewise share with whatever is left of ALMS.

playalistic

1,573 posts

51 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Silverstone in April... Weather could be hit-or-miss! Brrrrrrr... smile

gt6

729 posts

72 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
silverstone in april will not be good for camping

hyper jay

318 posts

42 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
thanks for the heads up .

dam i cant get to spa ...
but silverstone i can !!!

Great Dane

1,751 posts

53 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
gt6 said:
silverstone in april will not be good for camping
I can sleep in my own bed and be at the circuit in 25 mins...

and I can get to Spa... and sleep in a bed in a caravan...
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timbo48

647 posts

69 months

[news] 
Sunday 30th September 2012 quote quote all
Remember watching the GT1 round at Silverstone in April a couple of years ago, coldest I've ever been at a race circuit, and they were only hour long races! Need to buy some warmer clothes I think.

Matt Harper

3,680 posts

88 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
What a complete joke that schedule is. Anyone see the size of the 'audience' for the Bahrain race this past weekend? I bet there were less than 5000 spectators.
In contrast, Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta next month will see a crowd of 90-100k for an ALMS race.
Why the FIA insist on running endurance races in places that obviously don't give a sh!t about endurance racing is a bit beyond me.
The only venues on that calendar that will pull a decent crowd are Le Mans and Spa - the US race in Texas, being pretty much in the middle of nowhere, is going to struggle to draw a crowd - in a country that actually embraces and supports endurance racing.
I see no future for WEC, this kind of motorsport (like any other) cannot exist without a committed fanbase.

Red Firecracker

4,740 posts

114 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
For it to be classified as an FIA World Championship, they need the races in the other continents, it is in the FIA covenant. I agree though, spectator numbers did seem extremely light last weekend and again in Brazil, but RLM and DSC have said that the organisers and promoters are looking at it with a 'build it and they will come' mentality, which has to be supported, I think.

The ELMS and ALMS are turning into such a mess that the WEC may be seen as the de-facto series to enter anyway, especially when the Le Mans automatic invites are taken into account.

playalistic

1,573 posts

51 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Some of the F1 locations are no different in that respect. Pitiful turnouts at nations with little to no interest in the sport. Nature of the beast, and it will only get worse due to the oil-rich nations realising the marketing opportunities available through all forms of motorsport.

Great Dane

1,751 posts

53 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Interlagos moved to 31st

hyper jay

318 posts

42 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
perhaps its a bigger pr than bums on seats at the track .its world wide live streaming .

you can watch the super capacitor toyota challange and beat the audis from your home .

Red Firecracker

4,740 posts

114 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Surely not, I thought that petrol cars don't stand a chance any more wink

Really looking forward to next year (and 2014), should be epic.

Nick M

3,428 posts

110 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Matt Harper said:
Why the FIA insist on running endurance races in places that obviously don't give a sh!t about endurance racing is a bit beyond me.

I see no future for WEC, this kind of motorsport (like any other) cannot exist without a committed fanbase.
I tend to agree.

Le Mans has endured, through highs and lows (different regulations, economic problems, politics among the organisers / governing bodies) because it has a strong fan base and draws spectators. Few, if any, other 24 hour races have the same fundamental appeal.

Why is this important ? Because it provides a core customer base both at the circuit and on TV for those people who cannot make it to the actual race. People go out of their way to attend or watch it.

But a sportscar race in Bahrain ? I merely read the headlines on Autosport on the Monday afterwards. Hence, as a customer, I'm not sufficiently interested in the product to buy into it. And if I'm not watching it on TV, then the whole business model built around this series, and its overal relevance, starts to fall apart, IMO. It's creating cost, but miminal return, for the 'investors', i.e. the competing teams.

Seen it before with other global series which were based purely around global TV coverage but which didn't stand the time because the 'customers' didn't show up in person or watch the races on TV.


I think the FIA need to be somewhat more pragmatic about their 'rules' for determining what constitutes a World Championship. To me, a series which properly reflects the history and appeal of endurance racing would encompass, in no particular order:

- Sebring
- Silverstone (would like it to be Brands Hatch, but that's maybe questionable in terms of circuit safety for cars this quick)
- Monza
- Germany (in fairness to Audi)
- Spa
- Le Mans
- Fuji / Suzuka
- maybe Petit Le Mans
- Interlagos (though I'm not 100% sold on that)

Yes, it's probably rather predictable, and I'm sure others might have different opinions or favourite circuits, but I've tried to look at what would make the series more manageable in terms of cost and logistics, and what would appeal to spectators (live and on TV).

There is just no need to go to Bahrain, or China or any other location with no history or 'passion' for endurance racing.

PW

2,261 posts

126 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Nick M said:
Le Mans has endured, through highs and lows ... because it has a strong fan base and draws spectators.
How big was the crowd the first year it was held?

If you say you can only have races at established events that can draw huge crowds, then how do you ever introduce new ones?

Petit Le Mans is considered a classic now, after 15 years - should they never have started it on the basis that they wouldn't have sold out the grandstands in the first year?

Nick M said:
There is just no need to go to Bahrain, or China or any other location with no history or 'passion' for endurance racing.
How will those places ever have a "history" of endurance racing if you don't let them have any endurance races?

robmlufc

4,063 posts

73 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Red Firecracker said:
Surely not, I thought that petrol cars don't stand a chance any more wink

Really looking forward to next year (and 2014), should be epic.
hehe

Nick M

3,428 posts

110 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
PW said:
Nick M said:
Le Mans has endured, through highs and lows ... because it has a strong fan base and draws spectators.
How big was the crowd the first year it was held?

If you say you can only have races at established events that can draw huge crowds, then how do you ever introduce new ones?

Petit Le Mans is considered a classic now, after 15 years - should they never have started it on the basis that they wouldn't have sold out the grandstands in the first year?
Well I sometimes wonder what drives this 'need' for new venues ? What is wrong with sticking with locations that work in terms of providing decent racing and which are in places where fans might be able to attend ? I prefer to watch motor racing live, but it's tricky if more races end up in obscure locations I cannot get to easily.

And Petit Le Mans has been a success because it was established on the back of a successful 'brand', i.e. Le Mans. It also came about at a time when manufacturer support was healthy and hence it got a lot of really good PR in its early stages. And in terms of location, it's easily accessible to large crowds. Unlike Austin which is in the arse end of nowhere...


PW said:
Nick M said:
There is just no need to go to Bahrain, or China or any other location with no history or 'passion' for endurance racing.
How will those places ever have a "history" of endurance racing if you don't let them have any endurance races?
Why should they ? Really, what's so important about building up a history of motor racing in locations with little actual local interest ?

It's just doing it for the sake of doing it, rather than because there is a demand. If there were passionate motor sport fans crying out for a race then sure, go and hold a race in those locations, but going to countries in order to meet some arbitrary criteria to make something a 'world' championship just seems utterly pointless. It racks up more cost without any obvious return.

Edited by Nick M on Wednesday 3rd October 12:31

PW

2,261 posts

126 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
That strikes me as being extremely negative.

I've always liked sportscar/endurance racing, so I like the WEC and the fact that there are more races on the calandar, and that they are at least attempting to grow its global appeal by going overseas.

I can't say that there being 5,000 rather than 50,000 or even 500,000 spectators at the track in Bahrain really affected the race for me.

America and Europe are already very well catered for this sort of racing - WEC, FIA GT1/GT3 (yeah, I know :rolleyes), VLN, Blancpain, ALMS, ELMS, Grand Am... would binning the "new" WEC events in favour of adding even more "old world" ones really work?

And as I said before - I don't think any country had a pre-existing enthusiasm for motorsport before motorsport took hold - so how can you expect to ever grow a "history" and culture of motorsport in these countries if you never allow them to have any motorsports? You've got to start somewhere.

Nick M

3,428 posts

110 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all

Not negative, just pragmatic - something along the lines of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it...'. I know that doesn't appeal to everyone, but the reality is that the series has to work for all involved if it's going to be successful - and that includes the circuit, spectators, teams, sponsors, etc., etc. Ultimately motorsport has to be watched by *someone* if the sums are going to add up, but if people like myself (who enjoy endurance racing) can't be bothered to watch a race (either live or on TV) because it's at a location I consider to be dull, then something isn't right in the overall mix...

And I too consider myself a sportscar / endurance fan, so I'd rather watch a series which raced at circuits with some sportscar racing history, and the hell with locations which are only there to tick a box as part of the FIA criteria for a world championship.

Matt Harper

3,680 posts

88 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Autoweek reporting today that Audi want to race at Sebring next year, despite the race not being in the WEC calendar in 2013. That tells us something, maybe.
As already stated, sportscar racing needs events like this - Bahrain, Shanghai etc., less so.

Nick M

3,428 posts

110 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Matt Harper said:
Autoweek reporting today that Audi want to race at Sebring next year, despite the race not being in the WEC calendar in 2013. That tells us something, maybe.
As already stated, sportscar racing needs events like this - Bahrain, Shanghai etc., less so.
Interesting - I've been podering my earlier comments and I think the conclusion I've reached is that F1, and only F1, can afford to go to these obscure places (which buy their place on the F1 calendar) because they have a massive global TV audience. F1 is a massive global brand in its own right, and people want to be associated with that. Currently sportscar racing isn't in that same league.

So less well known series, such as the WEC, need to pander to their competitors and much smaller audience or fear losing them.

And circuits such as Bahrain and Shanghai only have the WEC races a) because the FIA needs them to, and b) to maybe put something else on the calendar apart from the annual F1 race. If either of those countries had a large and passionate fan base then the circuits would be used for a lot more domestic or international race series. Fact is, they're not, because the local interest isn't strong enough to support anything more than a few races a year. Malaysia is the same - the two big events on the calendar are the F1 and Moto GP races, and most people who know about those events don't really know about many (if any) of the other racing which happens at Sepang (about one event a month on average).
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