Post by a425couple Post by ~misfit~ Post by a425couple Post by bra Post by M2T
Motorsport will "cease" at Rockingham circuit
New owners, etc.
Who ever thought ovals could pay?
Well, "once upon a time" in the UK, pre-television etc, they did.
In the early 1950's at Wembley Stadium in London, a speedway "test
match" would draw a crowd of 80,000 with another 10,000 shut
outside the gates. The "Wembley Lions" speedway team's fan club
[speedway racing is a professional team sport] had a paid-up
membership of over 50,000 fans. Oval cars have drawn crowds of
25,000 to smaller stadiums. Because
they commonly shared a track or stadium with m'cycles and stock
cars, greyhounds too had a big audience, up to 30,000 a night. But
thanks to real estate investment and property flipping, towns
and cities are losing recreation facilities. A city of 9 million
with no such stadiums has lost its heart, in my opinion.
IIRC, in the 1990s both NASCAR and CART / Indycar did some test
marketing races in Japan, Europe, and Mexico. It appeared that
they were popularly received.
Tracks got built (Rockingham, EuroSpeedway Lausitz, Fuji)
These track facilities are expensive, and no investor dumps that
much money in on a silly whim. However, trends DO CHANGE.
Indycar has greatly lost popularity in the US.
Even NASCAR is dropping.
But, drifting, and dirt racing are gaining. Go figure!
The fans follow motorsports that they can relate to as weekend
drivers - not a lot to figure out really. Indycars and NASCAR have
lost touch with their roots and are so far up their own arses that
the average Joe doesn't relate very well to being involved
themselves. When you're selling a dream it pays to make it seem reachable
schmucks who're paying the bills (even if it's not).
Consistent with your above thoughts,
what is your prediction as to the future of F1?
Not good [*]. A large part of the traditional F1 fanbase are fans because
they cane relate in some way, no matter how small) to the idea of driving
the car themselves. Society is about to undergo a paradigm shift in personal
transport that will result in there being very little in common between the
way we get around and F1 cars (as they stand). This will reduce the
'relatability' between fans and drivers to almost zero.
[*] Liberty knows this and are trying to morph F1 into something else,
something that doesn't require that feeling of being able to relate to the
cars and the act of driving them for people to engage with the 'sport'. Like
trying to leverage things like social media votes for fanboost, rule changes
et al as a way for fans to feel engaged. I personally don't like the trend
and wonder where it's going to end but then again I still drive a manual
ICE-powered car (for now) and get a thrill from picking the perfect line
through corners and up/down shifting at just the right time...
As our mode of transport changes and the previous generation dies off I
think interest in motorsport (for its own sake) will drop away. Unless it
can be turned into even more of a circus than it currently is I seriously
doubt there will be much motorsport in 30 years. I also doubt very much if
any will use ICEs. As ICEs have traditionally required a certain skill to
get the most out of them (compared with electric motors which 'just work'
and provide full torque across most of their range) I think the thrills of
future 'motorsports' will be completely different to current iterations.
I look at how the top horsemen (and women) of today are riding in eventing
rather than racing - though there is a time element involved the emphasis is
on accuracy, skill and placement. (I know that F1 requires these things too
but they're very hard for a non-driver to discern when they last mere
milliseconds at 300km/h - the punters need to see it in real-time to
relate.) In eventing it's no good being the quickest if you've faulted at
every jump. I think that it's easier for punters who've never riden a horse
to marvel at accuracy and precision than speed alone and think that the
future of motorsport may perhaps head in that direction.
As much as I dislike it (and the world won't live with masses of tyre smoke
for much longer) drifting has some things in common with equestrian eventing
and drifting is undergoing a surge in popularity. I don't have all of the
answers but I do see the problems looming.
"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
little classification in the DSM*."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
(*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)