Question Of The Day: Who's Making The Worst Motorsport Decision?
Or the best, if you’re into the whole “half full” thing. And there’s no shortages of possible answers. Honda has dumped F1, but Toyota hasn’t. Subaru and Suzuki are dumping the WRC, but Chrysler‘s just “throttling back” (the technical term) its NASCAR involvement. Incidentally, NASCAR just settled a lawsuit for $225m involving “23 specific incidents of sexual harassment and 34 specific incidents of racial and gender discrimination.” And then there’s Ferrari, who is staying in F1 but at the staggering price of a Tata Motors sponsorship. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for Tata to field the first-ever factory LeMons team. There may well be more storylines that I’m missing, but the trend is clear. Thanks to the economic downturn, motorsports aren’t the priority they used to be in terms of brand building. Or are they? Or did they even matter much in the first place?
Subaru WRC rally cars have been million dollar Prodrive specials for a decade. Any resemblance to a street Impreza is entirely on purpose. Hell, Subaru even makes the upshift/downshift on the manumatics backwards compared to the real rally car. Only Mazda and BMW get this right on road cars. Should be pull back for upshifts, forward for downshifts, in harmony with body movements under acceleration and braking. Duhh. And of course I have this tranny and still get it wrong after a year. Tain't natural. Sponsorship and participation in racing by anyone in this recession appears to be nuts, when money is so tight. If Formula One went TU, then we could rid of Bernie the Gigantic Ego, gold chains and bad hair Ecclestone, and Sieg Heil Mosley while they flail around promoting some slack assed series or another to nobody's amusement. NASCAR in its present form has had it. I agree with Delorenzo on that front -- he's dead right. NASCAR is wandering in a perfumed orchard where cherubs murmur sweet nothings in their ear. They're daydreaming. And deaf. Finally, if Tata is able to sponsor Ferrari, they can bail out Jag/LR first. Or are they like Cerberus, and unable to transfer funds between divisions of their company? Via ATM or by cheque, or by executive fiat, I'm sure it's possible before the UK government coughs up billions to bail Tata out. Cerberus and Tata seem to share a similar outlook on this issue. Tata in F1 and your bailout bucks funding NASCAR via Cerberus, who no doubt charge a management fee to transfer the funds from Chrysler's bank account to NASCAR. It's all pretty sick.
The Detroit 2.x and Toyota for sticking with NASCAR. It's strictly a marketing exercise (and even that's now a weak defense with the advent of the CoT), and the France family and their minions wouldn't lose a second of sleep if they left.