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LeeM

Australian motorsport future

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 Instead of annoying @Raven (and rightly so) I thought I'd start a thread about the future of Aussie motorsport, and what peoples perceptions are of where you think its heading.

 As I mentioned elsewhere, the GT class HAS TO be a consideration as the premier class of motorsport in Australia, as it is recognised globally by manufacturers and seems to put bums on seats in Europe.

 To me, Supercars here are dying a slow death. It has been on a steady decline since Ford and Holden manufacturing have pulled stumps in Oz, and the fans are gradually walking away from the sport. Shame, as without the passionate fans supporting the teams, they lose revenue from merchandise sales. That, and the switch to Foxtel has alienated MANY fans to the point where they just don't bother with it anymore.

 GT's however seem to be gathering a lot more momentum with those same motorsport fans who are disgruntled with Supercars, and the 12 hour yesterday has people singing its praises on the Supercar Facebook page for providing great racing that isnt as, let's face it, a mundane 2 or 3 team annual endurance race for V8 powered cars that are supposed to resemble the vehicles that you can buy in a showroom. We all know that can't happen. I actually think it's quite boring now, and only watch the start, a few laps in the middle and the last few. 

 I haven't sat through any GT endurance race like I did yesterday, even with many Aussie drivers competing, so that wasnt the reason I did watch most of it (I have been a big fan of Matt Campbell for a few years since he started in the GT3 Cup here), yet the main reason for me was to watch different marques, drivers, teams etc etc. It was just bloody good to see some world class drivers driving hard at what is arguably the best track in the world. 

 GT racing has global recognition which has to be a lot more attractive to the Supercar boffins who insist on making it a very profitable business, and as I see a lot of it on Foxtel from Europe, it must be on their radar to head that way with Australian motorsport. Since a few Supercar drivers have gotten the boot or retired, they're already chasing or have drives overseas in the GT class, as they have the runs on the board with being household names here with the V8's and can pedal a car pretty well. Having Matt Campbell doing what he did with that epic drive didn't hurt having the motorsport world look at this country, and there is also the fact that The Bend Motorsport park have secured a round of the Asia Le mans series in 2020, so I hope it gains momentum to see more world class GT racing here

 What are your thoughts? 

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Agree @LeeM so over the type of Motorsport that the v8 series tries to be. It's a far cry from the win on Sunday sell on Monday that was its roots.

bathurst is an internationally renowned track for both drivers and spectators. It's a track that anyone I speak to overseas that follows Motorsport talks about. 'This year will go a long way to securing additional international teams and sponsor for 2020.

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V8 Supercars was the answer to the question of ‘how do we avoid being an international racing series?’ Aka the skylines keep winning and you can’t buy a Sierra, and the commodore is getting pasted.

The formulation ended up being very nascar, which I’m sure was no coincidence as nascar was arguably at its peak around the early 90s. 

The formula is dead now as you can’t buy any of the cars and fans in Oz don’t appear to want to swallow the ‘silhouette and stickers’  full-nascar route.   But then Australians watching exotic car racing in big numbers has never been a huge win either.

I honestly don’t know the answer - a gt3 class sounds ok, but I don’t know how that would go with the average fan.

The days of dick Johnson mortgaging his house to build a Bathurst winner are gone and the human connections that go with those stories are gone as well.  

The big elephant in the room is that ‘ordinary’ car brands don’t want anything to do with Motorsport, sports cars or performance.  They are too scared of the green mob and nanny state to use those tactics to sell cars.  Even Porsche wants to show you the mission E instead of the gt2rs to get you in the showroom, going by what little advertising they do.

That means participation by ford, Holden, Toyota, Nissan and others is unlikely.  Where does that leave the ‘average’ fan who used to follow  V8 Supercars?  They don’t want a supertourers like series, and they don’t watch gt3 exotics much.

Still, the burnout pad at Summernats is still popular.  So there’s that.

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If Supercars as a formulation is dying, and I think it is, there will need to be something to fill the gap.  Agreed, the "average" fan has not historically gravitated towards GT racing, but I don't think you need a lot of races like Sunday's for that model to become attractive.  I'm sure there are many cleverer people than me who are already working out ways of turnning Matt Campbell doing that inside pass, and jumping up and down on the roof of his car in celebration (or SVG on fresh tyres not able to pass Marciello 😏), into an entrée for GT racing for the masses.  It won't be about brand loyalty so much because is never can be, but about the racing and the excitement.

I was there on Sunday, and there was genuine excitement in a good-sized crowd, many of them in 888 and DJR shirts, about how the race was panning out.

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In my opinion Foxtel will be the death of motorsport (and possibly most mainstream sports) in Australia.

Supercars was just the beginning and it is going to get much worse.

Look at test cricket this summer. You would hardly know there is cricket on if it wasn't for the BBL (which I can't stand).

I used to watch every F1 race for years. I think I watched 1 race in 2018.

It's not that I can't afford Foxtel, it's the principle.

Again that is just my opinion based on my own experience.

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I was at the track so didn't need to check, but wasn't B12HR on free-to-air?  And live-streamed on several platforms?  My kids can find almost anything you might want to watch: they're the ones who'll dictate the power-to-ruin of Foxtel and its ilk, not old(er) farts like me.  That's especially the case for the less mainstream sports.

I do agree about the cricket though – talk about an annus horribilis

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The UK British Touring Car Championship (BTTC) is a model worth looking at. Essentially this is what we had here in Australia & then it morphed into & became V8 Supercars.

The BTTC has cars from lots of manufacturers, Toyota, Subaru, VW, Honda, Alfa & so on. Teams range from father & son private entries to fully blown professional outfits with or without factory support. I'm not sure, but I think the cars are highly race prepared production cars. The racing is always entertaining & hard fought & not always won by one of 3 teams/drivers, 2018 had something like 17 different winners.

I'm sure we already have an Australian GT Championship, Ferrari's, Lambo's, Merc's, Audi etc and have watched this on Speedweek along with other formula and am constantly amazed at the lack of spectators at these events. Seems to me that if its not V8 SC's very few are interested. 

I don't know what the ultimate answer is, but it does require some thought & fresh idea's. Possibly create a new series that supports the V8s (drop those stupid Utes for a start) such as a Touring Car Championship that will in time take over from the V8s. This would help get the "Buy in" of you V8 fans so when it transitions you still have a fan base. 

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I too am a 12 hour regular - much better crowd than the 1000 in November IMHO. However I also enjoy the V8's and regularly attend their races. I don't think Supercars know what to back either but they're having an eachway bet since they purchased the 12 race.

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Bring back the old days. Touring cars (that you can buy), sports cars , F5000 and other F2/F3 open wheelers, and thundering Sports Sedans. Want to see real excitement , go to an Historic meeting where you can feel the cars, talk to the drivers and crews and get back to grass roots fun!!

Paul M

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Good point about Foxtel.  That model is doomed, as doomed as the newspaper business.  I doubt either will last with any influence past 2030.

i would never pay for cable / satellite tv.  Apart from being overpriced it is full of ads.  Imagine paying for a product and still having to watch ads.   I’ve spent enough time in hotel rooms to know there’s nothing to watch anyway. 

Streamed Motorsport with interactive features is the future.  A lot of sunken cost in the current broadcast model though, so it will take a while to filter out. 

I still think modified production is the way to go. Bring back group a And group B I say.   Some type of formula with ordinary cars, 400hp or so and skinny tyres.

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3 hours ago, Coastr said:

I’ve spent enough time in hotel rooms to know there’s nothing to watch anyway. 

Apart from pron ;<)

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1 hour ago, Bleak said:

Pron? On Foxtel? Who knew?

Hardcore is the new softcore

 

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Not sure why you have posted this. I watched half & turned off, boring.

doubting this is the future for Ausralian Motorsport:)

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46 minutes ago, Arnage said:

Not sure why you have posted this. I watched half & turned off, boring.

doubting this is the future for Ausralian Motorsport:)

  Coz I'm a shit stirrer 😁

I didnt watch ALL of it either, yet I just personally find it more interesting to see different cars, drivers etc in Australia. I watched a repeat of some GT racing from China or some Asian country this afternoon, and I was bored after a few minutes and ended up watching women's softball (why I have NO idea!) 

 I usually only watch the V8's when Carrera Cup or the GT's are supporting it. Unlike those 'Super utes' which has to be an April fools gag that's been dragged out for far too long! They're taking the piss with those things. F4 had the right idea for the young drivers, but that was just the big money kids who got a ride in that so it was pointless, as at the most they had 9 or 10 cars on the grid. Touring Car Masters is great, but that's also a 2 or 3 horse race now. Little Aussie cars are entertaining, yet don't really like seeing established professional drivers in there. Spose I'm being a little too critical, but the Supercar series bores me

 I much prefer watching Group S, historics and the the GT3 Cup Challenge, as it's usually great racing and not tyre and fuel strategies (which I'm sure GT's have too) 

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Does anyone know the status of the touted new F5000 series?

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I can't see the V8 supercars lasting too long in it's current form. I've found it very boring and predictable in the last few years and also a procession due to lack of passing opportunities on most of our tracks and my home track of Newcastle would have to be the worst at the moment.

I know lots of people who stopped watching most of it when they caved in to Foxtel and took most of the races off free to air.

I think it needs a massive shakeup, give them traction control and ABS like the GT cars and change the whole system a bit more, let's face it, it ain't Aussie made cars anymore.

That 12hr race last weekend was one of THE best finishes to a motor race i have seen for a long time. And who thought the 911 was going to win, be honest, not many.

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4 hours ago, JV911 said:

Does anyone know the status of the touted new F5000 series?

 I don't think anyone knows mate. Was supposed to be this year they started as a support category as far as I'm aware.

  Saw it run at the Adelaide motorsport festival, and immediately thought it looks and sounds good, though I personally don't think they'll get many on the grid 

4 hours ago, JV911 said:

Does anyone know the status of the touted new F5000 series?

 I don't think anyone knows mate. Was supposed to be this year they started as a support category as far as I'm aware.

  Saw it run at the Adelaide motorsport festival, and immediately thought it looks and sounds good, though I personally don't think they'll get many on the grid 

@JV911 

https://www.speedcafe.com/2018/06/01/super5000-revises-targets-2019-introduction/

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Got to say I have no interest at all in V8 Supercars, never have and never will.  Haven't watched F1 for years either I must admit.  The motorsport that I did watch and enjoy was Bathurst "back in the day" with the Doly Sprints, Corolla Levins etc all battling it out on the same track as the big boys, but in different classes.  Indeed the most exciting racing I have ever seen was the BTCC rounds in the 90's when they started being broadcast in Aust (well at least in Tassie, as we never had the number of channels as the mainland).  Even the BTCC races I have occasionally seen more recently have all been far more exciting that the Super cars...

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  @TwoHeadsTas

 I agree with the BTCC from years ago, yet even though it does provide good racing now, it's the buzz boxes they drive is what annoys me.

 I think all racing has become a little too clinical, and as my missus said the other day (shocked the hell out of me) that most races are won in the pits by the ones with the laptops telling the drivers their tyre pressures are down, and they have to come into the pits. She's pretty well on the money there 

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2 hours ago, Airhead said:

She want a job managing my team?

 

  I'll get her people to talk to your people

She's a sly bugger, as when I think she has no interest in anything I do or watch on tv (car related) she blurts something out that makes more sense than I or many others can say. Helps that she's an ex apprentice mechanic, so she gets the car thing

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