By on July 16, 2018

There was no shortage of motorsport action this past weekend, from Indy cars in Toronto to machines of all sort being flung (and flinging themselves) up Lord March’s driveway at Goodwood.

With NASCAR currently suffering through a valley of attention, the thought popped to mind: what’s your preferred type of motorsport?

Paeans are being sung about the decline of NASCAR and your author, who started watching races when Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki were still at the wheel, counts himself among the departees.

Yet, there was hardly a shortage of motorsport noise in our house over the last two days. British commentary wafted from the television during this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, while an eye was kept on Toronto’s Indycar race which saw Scott Dixon take the win and a brace of Canadians finish in the top five.

For background ambience (or noise, depending on your point of view), it’s not uncommon for our house to simply fire up the YouTube app on Xbox and throw on an IMSA broadcast; whether it is a reply of Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup or an entire Mobil 1 SportCar Grand Prix, images of brightly colored machines and soundwaves being generated by excited announcers are frequently found in the Guy household.

Anyone else as steeped in motorsport as we are? Or does your gearhead attention span ignore all but road-going cars?

[image: Goodwood FoS]

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24 Comments on “QOTD: Mad for Motorsport?...”

  • avatar

    I live my life 402.336 metres at a time.

    J/K. I’d love to take my car to the drags to see what it could do (I’m guessing low 11s) but I’m too scared I’d crash it or blow it up. I need it to get to work.

  • avatar

    “With NASCAR currently suffering through a valley of attention, the thought popped to mind: what’s your preferred type of motorsport?”

    “…valley of attention…”? Lol. NASCAR is slowly dying, and it’s Brian France that killed it. Restrictor plate races that are basically crashfests, a schedule with waaaaaay too races, “The Chase”, etc.

  • avatar

    I will watch any type of racing, F1, NASCAR, NHRA, boat races, airplane races, if it has a motor, makes noise and goes fast I will watch it.

  • avatar

    I tried watching that Travis Pastrana “Evel Knievel” show on History. The production value was so bad that I switched it off after ten minutes. I caught the final jump on a rebroadcast while I was flipping channels. That could have been a 30 minute show, I can’t imagine anyone sitting through two hours of it. Travis should have used the same bike Evel did, that would have helped too.

  • avatar

    Indycar and Weathertech Sports Car (IMSA) here. If I had more time I’d start watching F1 again.

    The highlight of my year is going to the Petit Le Mans.

  • avatar

    Actual racing event I attend – Just this weekend we had the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, which is my favorite local car event. Vintage racing on a street course is just wicked. Besides that, local drag racing is always a good way to kill a Friday or Saturday evening. Fun to participate as well.

    Racing events I watch? – I really only tune into Rallycross events. Think they’re the most fun you can watch while not being there. Will occasionally tune into 24hrs or indy races, but not frequently.

  • avatar

    Vintage racing. Couldn’t care less about NASCAR or F1.

    Instead of Toronto Indy, I was up at Mosport last month for the VARAC festival. Twenty bucks admission, kids are free and we could walk anywhere around the track or pits. Brought a friend and his two boys, a 1993 Ferrari racer let them sit in the car. That isn’t going to happen at Indy.

  • avatar

    I watch F1 with my 9-year-old son (who pays enough attention to notice if one of the Saubers is running a few spots up on their normal positions) and participate in the ChampCar Endurance Series, which is probably the best bang-for-buck racing out there. If you’re looking to trade spectating for participating, I highly recommend ChampCar!

  • avatar

    None, I just do not get it, guess being raised in metro NY did not help. I have a friend who goes to indy ever year, always tells me he got a ticket for me, maybe I will go one year. He dragged to to a race in the Penn, it snowed, I was not impressed.

  • avatar

    Watch all Continental and IMSA series plus LeMans. Watch a few random WEC, PWC, rallycross, stadium trucks, etc events each year.

    Typically attend a IMSA or Vintage racing event yearly.

    Participate in autocross and time trials.

  • avatar

    We usually attend a vintage race at Road America. Have been to a few WoO races as well and local dirt track stuff.

    I enjoy watching rally and road course racing on TV but haven’t watched F1 since Nigel Mansell was running at the top.

    I used to watch NASCAR and have been to the races live, but it has been on a downhill slide since the early 2000s.

    At Road America we have had several of the teams have our kids sit in the cars for pictures. Last year one of the mechanics had out 8 year old sit right next to him as he rebuilt an older Indycar transmission right in the car. When he was done he asked our son if he was ready to do the next one to which our son replied, “Maybe”.

  • avatar

    They style of racing is not nearly as important as the underlying formula or sanctioning model.

    Modern motorsports generally suck because every series is a different shade of NASCAR. The performance of the machines is tightly regulated, the participants are tightly regulated, and none of the equipment seen on track is available to customers. Furthermore, motorsport has adopted a toxic aerodynamic performance model, which means many racing cars are less powerful than their production counterparts. Sure, the race car has superior engine performance despite lower peak power, but the casual fan has no idea, and it’s terrible marketing.

    The problems with the motorsport business are so vast its difficult to discuss. It’s everything from the lack of road-relevance to the sheer stupidity of aero-dependent prototypes.

    The only series worth watching is MotoGP, and even that has taken a serious nosedive over the last decade. We are in the motorsports Dark Ages.

    • 0 avatar

      TW5, in the past I would have argued that the Continental series is running consumer relevant cars, but they recently switched to GT4 and TCA specs that are pretty much what you describe.

      So my only answer is SCCA or NASA, which is not televised but is streamed.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks for reminding me about the Continental Series. I watched casually when it was still based closely on road-going vehicles, but the constant bickering between the teams and regulators about the seemingly arbitrary performance balancing changes became tiring. This is probably part of what motivated the series to adopt GT4.

        I think you’re right about SCCA/NASA. They are the only professional/semi-professional production car racing in the United States.

  • avatar

    MotoGP for me, with a sprinkling of WSBK and Moto America when I get the chance. Sim racing feeds my 4 wheeled motorsport needs.

  • avatar

    None for me, as everything seems to be focused on the drivers and not the engineering of the cars themselves. I don’t like the identical cars and spec series.

    I don’t know how the logistics of this would work, but I’d prefer something like the LeMons series scaled up to cutting edge technology, where each team is given a budget not to be exceeded, and basically turned loose to design whatever they think can get around the courses fastest. Give the engineers a chance to shine instead of just the drivers. Besides that, I think this type of racing development would stand a better chance of influencing production technologies for road cars.

    • 0 avatar

      If LeMons as it is was broadcast on T.V., I’d watch it. The rest? Phhhtt. Waste of time, for me anyway. Like you said, its no longer about the cars, its about drivers, and if you’re not super popular, you don’t win. Funny, that. Its more about entertainment than about engineering (of the machines) and skill (of the drivers). I find its like watching a glorified popularity contest.

      My dad still enjoys watching motorsports, I believe, but I could care less about most series such as NASCAR. Another thing, I can’t sit there that long. Blame it on my A.D.D. (baby!), but I can barely make it through an hour long show without feeling the need to get up and go do something.

    • 0 avatar

      Well said.

  • avatar

    Indy is my main draw. I’ve been to several events: Atlanta (IRL days), Homestead, St Pete. Very affordable and fan friendly, a pit pass gets up close and personal with the men and machines. The support series is World Challenge which is great since you can actually recognize the cars. I watch F1 but more from a technically standpoint since the “racing” is kind of lame. Back in the day I was big into watching the Unlimted Hydroplane racing, those things were nuts. My father is a NASCAR fan, I just don’t get it, every 10 laps there is a wreck or a yellow to bunch the field back up just to generate another wreck. I swear its a jobs program for car builders because every week they need a new car.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Whatever I can afford to field a car in so I’m limited to that parking lot stuff now. But still, I’d rather drive than watch.

  • avatar

    I follow F1, Indycars, and sports cars (endurance) and have attended many races in each series. I’ve autocrossed a little, which was fun as hell.

  • avatar

    I will watch anything that is a race. Mostly F1, Nascar, and IMSA. As far as participating, World Racing League WRL is the best around. Great cars, great drivers, great group of people that run it. Endurance series really allow you to go race with your friends without spending crazy money. I wish that I had discovered that many years ago. After one race, track days will just seem boring. If you like racing, find a few friends and go do it.

  • avatar

    I race time trials with NASA, it is a lot of fun at a very reasonable price. I don’t follow any racing at all, for the reasons listed above, mainly too much drama, not enough car talk and engineering discussion. If you haven’t checked it out, the coverage of Goodwood Festival of Speed was great. Here:
    No classes, no rules, just who goes fastest up the hill! A rolling car show, good times. Also, you have to watch to see what the fastest ICE vehicle is up the hill, two electrics were first and second, but third place, ahead of a formula 5000 car and a couple NASCARs will be very surprising!

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