Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Wrong Road

By Simon

I’ve been disappointed by grid sizes over the last couple of seasons, especially in the smaller championships, such as Indy Lights, touring cars, Formula Ford and Formula Three. Some of these championships are barely scraping together 20 car grinds, while others are struggling to get into double figures. All very worrying.

Yes, the economy is bad and motorsport is one of those sports that thrive when sponsors are doing well, however, I see a problem within the sport that is doing more harm than good in the guise foreign races within national championships. IndyCar and German Touring Cars started incorporating races abroad around 20 years ago. It made sense. IndyCar wanted to lose its provincial status in comparison to F1 and German Touring Cars was a big draw and helped fill a hole left by the demise of the Euro touring championship. But this concept has swelled to various national F3 championships and the alike. Even a breeder championship as the British Formula Ford championship has a bunch of its races in Europe. While this is cool, it’s financially crazy. Not only will the cost force drivers out of the competition, it’s makes for embarrassing racing. It looked just sad just to see a dozen cars banging around the Nurburgring.

I hate to sound mean but these championships are being over ambitious. Not only does small grides make for dull viewing, the lack of driver competition doesn’t hone great drivers. They need to stick to their roots and do what they’ve always done, which is to provide great proving grounds for up and coming drivers. If the bad economy continues and these over-expanded series persist, I can see a lot of worthwhile championships folding. And that would be a real shame.

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