Miscellaneous Monday motorsports mumblings, vol. 1

(A new sorta-weekly series…?)

Here, have some stuff that isn’t libertarian.


I’m not one for aristocracy*, but Sir Jackie Stewart is kicking some ass lately:

Stewart acknowledged the role [F1 boss Bernie] Ecclestone played in building the sport, “but having done it, he now rules and nobody is up for taking on a battle with him,” the 69-year-old told The Times.

“Bernie has such power and influence that he could suffocate almost any performer who would dare to suggest that there must be change.

“I don’t think Bernie can bring people in to help him in a transition phase,” Stewart added. “He has been so used to total control that if you look at his structure you have to ask yourself ‘is there a successor?’ and you would say ‘no’. That is wrong.”

You know, Sir Stewart might be just the guy to take on Ecclestone.  With a knighthood and three World Championships to his name, he has plenty of clout — both in general and in the Formula One community.  If he could, say, get Michael Schumacher away from Ferrari and into a more political role in the sport, I imagine the two of them could give the Max and Bernie Show a run for their money.  (Maybe bring in Stéphane Ratel from FIA GT for some extra colour… he does have some experience rebuilding a dismal class of racing.)

As you may have guessed, this is largely about money.  Honda withdrew from Formula One due largely to lack of funds (exacerbated by the Carpocalypse), and Formula One and the FIA have been wailing on cost-cutting measures (even suggesting and sorta-implementing standardized engines!) for some time now in order to make it easier for teams to compete on limited budgets.  Sir Stewart points out that the Bernie and Max Show isn’t exactly doing all it can on the budget issue:

Stewart insisted that the two supremos were largely responsible for the poor financial situation the sport finds itself in.

“Nothing is coming back into the sport,” said Stewart.

“The financial distribution of Formula One appears to have been sorted out by two people who have directed it in whichever way they have seen fit. Although this has been a significant benefit in some ways, it has also hurt the sport because the balance of contribution within Formula One is absolutely untenable.

“The teams have got all the capital investment, yet they get no more than 50 per cent of the revenues. The next largest capital investment is by the racetracks who currently receive little or nothing from the revenues apart from what they get for bums on seats. Hardly any of them receive anything from TV revenues or the circuit advertising or the title sponsorship or the commercial hospitality. How can they reinvest when they have little or no income outside of spectator attendance fees?” he added.

From the comments:

if you believe what wikipedia says, the teams get 47% of the F1 revenue, the FIA get 30% and the troll gets 23%

(Good luck finding where Wikipedia says that; I couldn’t, but then again I half-assed it.)


Speaking of fast cars and slim budgets, this is full of do want:

(Hat tip: Jalopnik)

It’s a kit car for under $50k plus whatever you spend on the drive train.  Kinda looks like a cross between a Nissan R390 and a Jaguar XJR-9, to my mind.  Pretty much a track-day car from hell, and the fact that it’s a kit car just adds to the geek appeal.


Finally: what the hell is wrong with Speed Channel these days?  A few years ago, I had a decent chance of flipping to SpeedTV and finding some actual motorsports on — you know, people piloting internal-combustion vehicles around a track, trying to do it faster than the other guy.  These days, it’s dominated by reality TV and game shows.  If I want to watch road racing — I realize that on this continent the idea that fast cars can turn right is somewhat obscure, but bear with me — I’m only permitted to do it in the wee hours of the morning or late at night.  Sure, winter is a slow time for road racing, but it’s not as though there’s nothing going on: the 24 Hours of Dubai is set for this Friday/Saturday, and there’s no mention of it on the SpeedTV schedule.

That’s what the internet’s for, I guess.  Bah.

Update: Last night (midnight to 0200h PST), Speed showed reruns of the 2008 Speed World Challenge touring car and GT openers.  (They have more on tonight, and I’ll probably watch because I’m a nerd about this sort of thing.)  Since these are reruns, they had the option of showing pretty much any race they pleased — and ran with the opener at Sebring for both classes.

Now, I like Sebring.  I like the history, I like the track… all things being equal, I have no complaints.  But the GT race they rebroadcast ran in heavy rain and spent about 75% of its time under full-course caution with the GT cars struggling to keep up with the (AWD and street tire-shod) pace car.  Why show that race? Why not show something more interesting?



* So much for “not libertarian” content… couldn’t help it

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anarchocapitalist agitprop

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