Sunday 16 January 2011

A1GP to Morph into A10 World Series

Well it seems I've finally gotten around to writing a new blog post after a (very) long hiatus due to work and family commitments....

I was spurred on by the news of a potential return of one of my favourite racing series, possibly as early as this Autumn.

It seems that after much financial turmoil and acrimony, the A1GP series may be making a welcome come back, of sorts at least, in the new guise of A10WS.

I attended all the A1GP meetings at Brands Hatch including the first ever race on 25th September 2005. Meetings were always well attended, the crowd atmosphere was good (see above!) and the racing entertaining.

Those behind A10WS are slowly (and painfully) drip feeding information about the new series on their web site in an effort to build up media interest.

All we know right now is that it will be a (one make ?) series with V10 600 BHP single seater cars. Twenty races in ten different countries around the world.

Apparently, more information is set to be released next Wednesday regarding the race format...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that after many false hopes that A1GP would be resurrected this series will get off the ground and be back at Brands Hatch soon.

Monday 26 July 2010

Ferrari are Back! (to their old tricks again)

My next blog post was to have been about my recent visit to the WTCC/F2 at Brands Hatch but having seen the debacle at the Hockenheimring on Sunday I felt compelled to write this rant instead!
For the first time in many a long year, I found myself actually agreeing with Eddie Jordan! (and that takes some doing).
We, the motor racing fans, who support and pay for the tickets, merchandise etc were robbed of a potentially classic race finish.
Ferrari's actions were totally indefensible and completely unnecessary.
Whether it had ended up a one two finish with Massa first and Alonso second or vice verse would have made absolutely no difference to the outcome of the constructors championship.
IF Alonso is to become World Champion once again does he really want to do it with race victories handed to him on a plate by a team mate?
IF he is the superior driver (he imagines himself to be), surely it would have been no problem for him to pass Massa with a LEGITIMATE move on the track?
It would seem that every time something does not go Alonso's way he throws a hissy fit like an adolescent schoolgirl.
Ferrari, like Renault beforehand, it would appear are prepared to pander to these outbursts.
If Massa really wants to become World Champion and is not just in Formula 1 to make money (like Eddie Irvine was in my opinion), he must now be regretting his recent decision to sign a new two year contract with Ferrari.
It is clear that all the time Alonso is in the same team, Massa will be expected to play second fiddle starting with the remainder of this season.
It was cringe worthy watching the pathetic farcical pantomime act put on my various Ferrari personnel post race to demonstrate that no team orders had been given. Even a casual observer of Formula 1 would have had no doubts as to what had just gone on.
Ferrari have been fined US $ 100 k and the matter has been referred to the FIA for further investigation.
Big deal.
The fine is a mere drop in the ocean for Ferrari with an annual budget which runs to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The FIA is now headed by ex Ferrari boss Jean Todt. Hmm, that'll be a very thorough and impartial investigation then I don't think.
The only sanction which would have any meaningful effect, to deter similar actions in the future and go some way to restore the sport's tarnished image would be a points deduction for both Ferraris.
Will it happen?
I think I have a greater chance of signing a Ferrari contract in 2013!

Saturday 5 June 2010

Return of the US Grand Prix - Doomed to Failure

In this life, one thing counts, in the bank large amounts......
Yes, I'm afraid he's at it again. It has been announced that the United States F1 Grand Prix is to be resurrected and held at that world renowned motor racing metropolis of err Austin, Texas from 2012 onwards.
Mr Eccclestone, apparently, has no doubt this will be the perfect venue for F1 in the United States. Do me a favour. The only reason I can see that the US Grand Prix would be held in a backwater like Austin, Texas is the fat cheque that he will receive from the event organisers.
Holding an event in Austin is doomed to failure. It has been reported that the State Government is backing the scheme. If I were a Texan taxpayer and they wanted to put my tax Dollars into Ecclestone's pocket, I'd have the State Governor tarred, feathered and run out of town!
Formula 1 has already had a torrid time in the United States and has never achieved the popularity that it has elsewhere around the globe. In 1991 only 18,000 or so bothered to attend the US GP at Phoenix, Arizona.
In my opinion, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) made a good fist of running the GP from 2000 to 2007 and is the only sensible place to hold an F1 race in the US. After all they know how to put on an event after running the Indy 500 for a century and safely accommodating crowds of up to 500,000.

In 2000, the US GP attracted an estimated crowd of 225,000 - levels of support which other F1 venues around the world can only dream of. The US GP at Indianapolis was fatally damaged, not through any fault of the IMS, but by the Michelin tyre fiasco in 2005 when only six cars competed in the race.
Ecclestone's negotiations with the IMS foundered when they, sensibly, refused to pay his asking price to hold the event. Whilst some GP's receive financial backing from their Governments, the IMS did not have this luxury.
In 2002 I was fortunate to attend the US GP in Indianapolis and ticket prices (from memory)were only around $ 60 or $ 70. Two years later I attended the Belgian GP at Spa. Ticket price (from memory) £ 200 plus....
You hear Ecclestone whinging about low crowd attendances in places like Turkey and China. He blames the organisers for poor promotion but in reality it is the price of tickets which are totally out of the reach of the ordinary "man in the street" race fans.
It's a long time between now and 2012 but if the US GP does take place in Austin, Texas and continues for the full contracted ten races, I'll eat my hat!
What do you think? Do you agree/disagree with me? Why not leave a comment? They are always welcome.