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Thread: Is Motorsport going the wrong way?

  1. #1

    Is Motorsport going the wrong way?

    Just a thought to start a discussion based on recent questions about classic racing.
    So you want to go racing in one of the controlled formulas. TCR or TA2 spring to mind. But here lies the problem (as I see it), you can't build your own car out of what you have lying around from previous projects. In NZ we have many people who are more than capable of building one of these cars to specification without going overboard (or cheating) but it appears to me that one must buy the package from a recognised supplier.
    My question is, is this detrimental to our sport. Whilst I am not totally against the idea, does the cost preclude some potential competitors who would like to try and compete on a shoestring budget?

  2. #2
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    For what it is worth, the idea of a lot of the modern race series, from F1 down, have three primary objectives:

    1) Cost caps

    2) Theoretically closer racing

    3) Rules so tight or one make series that innovation is discouraged.

    Because of that, I find little to interest me, hence my love of historic's and classic's.

    The Goodwood Revival, for pre 1966 cars, despite some well-deserved criticisms (I have a list...), at least manages to show cars both on and off track that show variety, making them more interesting and for me, photogenic.

    So basically, the answer is yes, I believe it is detrimental to the sport.

  3. #3
    Thanks for that Ray. I think the word that best describes New Zealand's history in motorsport is innovation, in other words making do with what was available at the time, or having to adapt or manufacture what was not readily available. One only has to look at the great variety of "specials" built over the years and the early saloon cars that raced in the 50s and 60s.

  4. #4
    the dreaded word "parity" is the downturn of free thinking racers everywhere. this is closely followed by classes pricing themself out of reach.
    in the early 70's i know of an F1 car being built less engine for 10k pounds. now i think one has to put up $50 million just to enter the circus and it would appear that it is 1job per team member on the car which leans to huge expence getting the team from home to race and back just rediculess waste of money for show not go.

  5. #5
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan View Post
    Thanks for that Ray. I think the word that best describes New Zealand's history in motorsport is innovation, in other words making do with what was available at the time, or having to adapt or manufacture what was not readily available. One only has to look at the great variety of "specials" built over the years and the early saloon cars that raced in the 50s and 60s.
    Without dredging up old issues, even in NZ you can build a single seater out of a pile of period bits and be welcomed with open arms.

    Try the same thing with a saloon and no chance.

    Yet it is OK running a 2.4 litre Escort, a V8 Escort, Zephyr, Alfetta, Capri, MGB or Triumph TR7, only because 'it was done in period'. personally, I don't see the difference.

    Much as I support the ethos of Historic Saloons, just one non-Ford at the Icebreaker suggests that it is easier to run with a Ford than any other make on the grounds of availability of parts, spares and performance equipment and even knowledge. I take my hat off to all competitors running something a little bit different. They don't have to be winners and classic racing is supposed to be about participation.

    For me it is also about variety.
    Last edited by ERC; 01-27-2024 at 01:34 AM.

  6. #6
    My other pet hate with modern racing is racing rule books. By that I mean silly regs that can beused to gain advantage,or exceeding track limits so beloved of racing taxis. if you want to keep people on the track put concrete blocks where you do not want cars.
    noise regulations really get up my nose as well. motor racing is noisy if you do not like it do not go.Ie pukekohe use to measure noise of race cares at the track side. in reality the should only be measured at the boundary of the property holding the races. If you go in and pay to enter you accept the noises and smells and all the other things that go with it.
    Last edited by 928; 01-27-2024 at 06:58 AM.

  7. #7
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 928 View Post
    in reality the should only be measured at the boundary of the property holding the races. If you go in and pay to enter you accept the noises and smells and all the other things that go with it.
    Totally agree - which is why E racing holds zero appeal. Noise and smell. Tyre squeal is not that attractive.

    I think Western Springs Speedway have a noise limit of 85db, yet we are on the North Shore and can hear the rumble/resonance!

    I have a decibel meter app on my phone. Out of interest, I tried it at a dance competition in Melbourne - 87db. The band on a cruise ship, in the atrium, also 87db.

    Donington last time I went, decibel limit 105db. I think Pukekohe was 95db.

  8. #8
    western springs. funny how people can buy a house overlooking WS then complain about noise, they do not complain about the pop concerts either. the animals in the zoo do not bitch about the cars or concerts either.
    had a lot to with noise complaints at clay shooting grounds in the uk. one persom moved from london to east sussex and took the gun club to court. i went to the next meeting there and mett with the council noise control people. both of us measured the noise at different locations side by side. the shooting stoped at 11:00 for the church bells to be rung and that was louder than the gunfire.
    case went to court and the judge having heard the evidence suggested the the londoner move back to london as the clay shooting ground had been opened during WW2 to train pilots in deflection shooting and he had not bitched about the bells that were louder and also used for air raid warning in the same conflict

  9. #9
    I ALSO READ THAT THE BRIGHTON SPEED TRIALS HAVE BEEN CLOSED. DUE TO A GREEN COUNCIL MAKING DEMANDS ABOUT NOISE FOLLOWED BY COVID AND NOW COSTS HAVE GONE UP AS THE COUNCIL HAVE MADE REPAIRS TO THE BUILDINGS AND THE ROAD IS DEEMED UNSAFE.

  10. #10
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Sad isn't it? Brighton Speed Trials went back to 1905, but 'rising costs' as well as the council closing the viewing area.

    Rising costs. That is gradually killing the sport and why are they rising? According to Mr. Quinn's CEO, and I believe one of the hierarchy at MSNZ, 'the sport is too cheap in NZ'.

    Probably why when I went to HD yesterday, despite the loss of Pukekohe, no race meeting, on a date that used to be one of the busiest of the year. Why no meeting? It used to cost about $12,000 to run a 1 day meeting not so long back. I gather the cost is more than double that, not to mention an additional $25 'safety levy' per driver.

    When Tony Roberts and Chris Watson had HD, the track was booked out for about 340 days a year - and that was before the extended or additional 'Club' track was built.

    We thought that with two tracks on site, clubs would be flocking to the venue to run events.

    This isn't Brooklands, nor the time when most households didn't even have access to a family car. So cars are now the relatively cheap part of the sport.

    If HD doesn't even have an income generating meeting (for the track) on a summer holiday weekend, what does the future hold?
    Last edited by ERC; 01-29-2024 at 01:46 AM.

  11. #11
    It's me again sorry Alan, I hijacked your thread to vent one of my pet hates.
    currently motersport is over regulated, with to many people making decisions about things they do not understand. socalled stewards being a case in point. untill the regulations are simplfyed it will continue. safety regs when i was involved in F1 a driver had to be able to get out of his car unassisted in 15 seconds. this was checked in the pits by stewards walking up toone of the cars and tapping the driver on the shoulder showing him the stop watch and pushing start.now i doubt a driver could get out in 1 minute this is progress for saftey i do not see how. the cars must comply with hybrid regs, frontal and rear crash regs which as far as I can see increase the wheelbase fo give more floor area for Aero dynamics. the average paying spectator does not know all this he just sees an F1 car that is the length of a van from behind a fence 200 yards away from the track. he cannot take his kids to look at the "cars" as they are kept behind closed doors
    might as well stay home and watch tv.

  12. #12
    Part of the problem as I see it, is that the cars aren't "real" anymore. In the "good old days" we started with a real car and built it into a race (or rally) car according to the rules for the class and the finances that were available for the job, as well as our experiences with previous projects. The big thing here is we used our ingenuity and skill to knock out something that did the job and in many cases reflected our personality. And we learned how to stuff big components into small spaces so that the sport ended up with entries like the Morrari, the Custaxie, Jag engined Humber 80s and V8 powered Zephyrs. The most important fact is we did it ourselves. Compare this to TA2 where all the cars regardless of make run the same supplied motor. V8 Supercars are not a lot different either, in that in reality they are only silhouettes of the cars they pretend to be.
    Last edited by Allan; 01-29-2024 at 06:36 AM. Reason: spelling

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by 928 View Post
    western springs. funny how people can buy a house overlooking WS then complain about noise, they do not complain about the pop concerts either. the animals in the zoo do not bitch about the cars or concerts either.
    had a lot to with noise complaints at clay shooting grounds in the uk. one persom moved from london to east sussex and took the gun club to court. i went to the next meeting there and mett with the council noise control people. both of us measured the noise at different locations side by side. the shooting stoped at 11:00 for the church bells to be rung and that was louder than the gunfire.
    case went to court and the judge having heard the evidence suggested the the londoner move back to london as the clay shooting ground had been opened during WW2 to train pilots in deflection shooting and he had not bitched about the bells that were louder and also used for air raid warning in the same conflict
    they cannot overlook it, it is on the lim reports

  14. #14
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    Much as I support the ethos of Historic Saloons, just one non-Ford at the Icebreaker suggests that it is easier to run with a Ford than any other make on the grounds of availability of parts, spares and performance equipment and even knowledge. I take my hat off to all competitors running something a little bit different. They don't have to be winners and classic racing is supposed to be about participation.

    Ray is correct and while Ice Breaker was our first hit out for the season wet weather was threatening and we had two non Fords withdraw which was a shame as the wet weather truly did not eventuate to much and our races were dry.

    We are working hard on Viva’s, Minis, Imps, Sports and GT’s etc but these days costs are increasing and the aftermath of Covid and increasing interest rates along with the cost of living is certainly having an impact on grids and those wanting to race older cars.

    We also have an aging population that race old cars and they are retiring….
    Last edited by Spgeti; 02-25-2024 at 05:06 AM.

  15. #15
    I saw an interview with one of the supercar controllers yesterday and he was propudl;y saying the 2 slightly different taxis they had found the aero differences and had modi fied them to achieve aero parity. next was eng[I]ne parity over the power curve. I thought to mtself that will becone a hispeed procession then. how can you pass? you have no power diff. no aero diff diff driver controlled by the car. and this will provide better racing? really
    Last edited by 928; 02-25-2024 at 09:48 PM.

  16. #16
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    To follow on from that, as a long-time paying spectator, attending my first race meeting in 1951 and attending regularly from the mid 1950's, I'm just watching the top ten shoot out (I presume) at Bathhurst on TV.

    If I was a paying spectator at that event I'd be highly miffed at seeing just one car go past the corner I could see, every 2 minutes. The longer the track, the more stupid these top ten shootouts are. Then there are gaps between the races.

    At some tracks, stuck behind a cage and/or tall concrete with no decent photo opportunities. No thanks?

    Paying spectators at the event do not pay to watch the action on a TV screen and nothing on the tar seal.

    I alluded earlier to a criticism of Goodwood. As anyone who has attended will know, there is NOTHING on the track for half of Saturday and Sunday. If you are on the far side of the track, out of sight even of a TV screen, what a waste of time having a load of junior hooray Henry's in pedal cars from the chicane exit to the finish line.

    Some of the parades are often as bad and very slow, then much as we admire Lord March, a 10 minute speech lauding Sir Stirling Moss for example, whilst the parade cars are stationary on the grid? It happens every year I've been. Sorry Jelly Wrestler, although some enjoy the bikes, they don't appeal to me.

    Monaco Historics, you are penned into just one grandstand, even though the others are less than a quarter full. I don't want to be trapped in one section of any track. On that score alone, Goodwood does hit the spot as when there is action on the track, you can wander at will and there are no wire fences and on the far side of the track, you can usually get a position right at the fence.

    I have also noticed that at our so-called premier race series in NZ, crowd numbers were abysmal.

    So to summarise my rant, paying spectators are not being considered at any level. Harking back to Mallory Park in the 1960's, huge bank holiday crowds at a 1.35 mile track, drivers often got starting money or their entry fees returned and the organising clubs made money.
    Last edited by ERC; 02-25-2024 at 03:29 AM.

  17. #17
    Thanks for the comments.
    Just to add to the above is the question "Has Supercars gone completely overboard with the search for PARITY"?

  18. #18
    yes. to me parity is just a parade of fast cars that can only pass by pushing or other dubious passing manuvers. that commentator on tv in nz a while back who said "rubbing is racing" summed up parity racing. i have for a long time been an open wheel racing fan for that reason.

  19. #19
    Parity taken too far, removes innovation and invention from the sport.

  20. #20
    parity is another name for 1 make racing. just pointless to me. as the super taxis prove. 2 body styles. 2 engines both regulated to produce simaller results.
    Last edited by 928; 03-02-2024 at 12:04 AM.

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