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Racing in South Africa and Argentinia


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#1 HistoryFan

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 16:30

In the 60s/70s we had F1 series in Argentinia and South Africa. With Ecclestone it is not possible to have other F1 championships than the FIA F1 World Championship. But in both countries, Argentinia and South Africa, the racing scene is not that great as it was some years ago: Not big Formula Racing Series and so on. Why? Is it just because of the money? But Formula Racing was expensive in the golden era, too? So why isn't formula Racing not that popular in both countries as it was?

 

 



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#2 HaydenFan

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 17:06

Back then, Formula One cars were pretty abundant. You could buy a year or two old chassis that is floating around the world for fairly cheap, get the Cosworth motor and boom! A race car. Get a few together and boom! A racing series. Essentially historic series. No big names have come out of them (including the Auroa F1 series in the UK). 

 

Plus even only 20-30 years ago television wasn't broadcasting the Formula One around the world like now. You start these series and help promote the sport so when the Grand Prix comes to your country (which strangely coincidental Argentina and South Africa no longer have a GP), people have a good idea of what they will be seeing. With the advent of world broadcasting feeds and the internet, sports in general are world wide. You don't have to wait until your countries Grand Prix to see F1. You tune in 20 weekends a year and you have F1. 

 

There was the push in the 70's and 80's for having American football leagues around the world. And while early appeal, fans only wanted to see the NFL. So broadcasters and companies switched from promoting a separate league to developing a system to broadcast the NFL world-wide. 

 

America is an oddity. They developed their own series aside from F1, so when the Grand Prix came to town, people where just not as interested. They had USAC, NASCAR. F1 to Americans even in the early years was just nothing different. 

 

I think the racing scene is South Africa died when the colony roots started to disappear. Which for the country was a good thing, best thing to happen to them, but it also changed priorities. It was a push in sports to what appealed to the masses. And the white's of colonist background no longer had nearly absolute power. They no longer had all the money. It was a culture change. 

 

As for Argentina, I couldn't tell you. The nations motorsports scene is pretty strong, but abroad the country just isn't. Some of it goes down to money. There have been some good drivers in the last couple of decades, but due to financial reasons they haven't succeeded. 

 

But the same can be said about Brazil. Columbia and Venezuela have become the go-to countries when looking for rising talent in South America. Brazil used to have upwards of 10-15 kids running the European ladder series'. When they struggled, they came to the U.S. and soon where winning races and championships in the U.S. 

 

Motosport goes through cycles. Sometimes racing is strong in some nations, and weak in others. In the 80's and 90's Canada was pumping out drivers like crazy. Great drivers. Paul Tracy, Greg Moore, Stephan Proulx, John Jones, Jacques Villeneuve. America in the late 50's, early 60's competed with Britain in producing the world's best drivers. 

 

But I went off topic a bit, I think. But yeah, cultural changes occurred (maybe due to changing financial states), and the people of the nation moved there money and support elsewhere. 



#3 HistoryFan

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 17:20

That are some good points. But, yes it was easier to buy F1 chassis and engines in centuries ago. But it should be possible today, too, to build some own Formula racing cars for competing on a cheap but serious way. Especially the Argentinia F1 series build their own F1 cars and engines! So why is something not possible today again? Why has that ended?

 

Somewhere I read some reasons why drivers from Chile, Columbia and Venezuela entered F1 in the 80s. I think it was because of the oil (there was a boom in South American states after the oil crises in Arabic countries).



#4 HaydenFan

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 20:29

That are some good points. But, yes it was easier to buy F1 chassis and engines in centuries ago. But it should be possible today, too, to build some own Formula racing cars for competing on a cheap but serious way. Especially the Argentinia F1 series build their own F1 cars and engines! So why is something not possible today again? Why has that ended?

 

Somewhere I read some reasons why drivers from Chile, Columbia and Venezuela entered F1 in the 80s. I think it was because of the oil (there was a boom in South American states after the oil crises in Arabic countries).

 

How many does an F1 team build today? And if run like the former series, how many competitors would participate? Even if a team was able to buy a F1 chassis, unlike in the past when F1 and F2 cars were close on some venues, who could build a car with F1 speeds on the cheap? And outside that, wouldn't it just be created a new IndyCar or Super Formula (Formula Nippon)? Maybe at a national level it wouldn't work like IndyCar, but more regionally based, it could work, especially in South America. 

 

In South Africa the F1 series dropped and Formula Atlantic came over. I think a car like a Formula Atlantic or Indy Lights (which is bigger than F3, but smaller than GP2) would work. In North America, Formula Atlantic was the single seater road racing championship to be in before CART was formed. Didn't see much success abroad, but like Gilles Villeneuve proved, it was also a good place for up and coming young drivers.

 

But single seater racing hasn't been that big in some places. Australia/New Zealand has had plenty of single seat racers do well in F1 and Formula One, but even during the age of the Tasman Series and Formula Holden, touring car racing was still the big draw. And is still the place where many countrymen go when they strike out abroad. That has been the case for South America. I think it mostly has been due to the manufacturer support in those series. 



#5 HistoryFan

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 21:56

yes, but there isn't a series like Indy Lights in South Africa, either.

 

so it's a) the cost, b) the culture, c) other sports are more popular



#6 scheivlak

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 23:13

Don't forget touring car racing is really big in Argentina, see this thread http://forums.autosp...-tc-2000/page-6  and by the looks of it, there's quite some money going into it. So, like in Australia and the USA, touring car racing has taken that place on the basis of an attractive and strong business model.


Edited by scheivlak, 01 January 2014 - 23:15.


#7 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:20

In Oz too we used to have the latest and best here in our summer. By the late 60s it was all gone. The FIA and later Bernie does not want their cars racing anywhere else.
And then ofcourse we have 20 different stockcar series, most irrelevant to any road car!

#8 Pablo Vignone

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 18:38

Well, Mecánica Argentina Fórmula 1 died in 1979 with poor grids and nearly no tears. By that time, MAF2 was growing up and metamorphosed in Formula 2 Codasur in 1983 before being Formula 3 Sudamericana in 1987. 

 

All others series trying to be the big formula racing ended more or less in the same way. Last one was Formula Super Renault in the mid '00.

 

Touring car expanded its base since the '90s, and filled the scene.

 

But there is still a Mecánica Argentina Formula 1, although a very little one, with so few cars, and very old ones: Orlando Sotro was still racing his Sotro chasis builded in the late '60s... He retired last year, at 82.

 

http://www.retrovisi...e-las-carreras/