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The effects of world recession on motor sport


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#1 RTH

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 16:28

No one can now be in doubt that in the western hemisphere at least , we are soon officially to enter a recession. Asia and eastern Europe and other low wage economies it seems are still performing well.

We have been here in the past.
In the UK, in the late 20s through to WW2. Post war austerity from 1945 to the mid 50s. The early 70s with the 5 fold increase in the price of oil and the mega inflation of that decade. 1988 to 1995.

However potentially this looks to be deeper and likely to be longer than anything we have experienced in the last 50 years
Already asset values are on a downward spiral, houses, cars, stock markets. There will be large amounts of business failure, unemployment, banks are in deep trouble. Credit has all but ended unless backed with security and big deposits. Car sales are down 22 %.The big luxury car sales are down 60 % in August and September.September's sales were down year on year by 130,000 units in UK.
News today the Lucas' chain of motor factors LSUK has gone in to receivership.Renault are to make 5000 redundant Ford and GM have put UK van production on a 4 day week. Cars below 1.4 litres as well as bicycles, scooters and motorcycles are still selling well.

So I wonder what can we learn from the last 100 years.
What will happen to motor sport ? What action should the governing bodies take to maintain activity?

The City bonus brigade who have driven the impecunious motor racing enthusiast out of the sport with their limitless pots of gold now face the probability of packing their desks in to a cardboard box at 5 minutes notice.

The road car makers who these days prop up Formula 1 see their sales dropping off a cliff. anyone's guess what Renault, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, Ferrari, will do ? Can they, will they want to keep spending all this money? With top teams employing 1000 staff each and spending annually in excess of £300M. We know world makers such as Ford and GM have big debts already, if car makers face big plant closures will they continue to spend vast sums on motor racing ?
As if that is not bad enough most of the F1 teams replaced Tobacco money with sponsorship from Banks and other financial institutions, what are they going to do next year ?

In the lower formulae , the wealthy 'arrive & drive' people may well just evaporate next year.
Looks potentially serious to me. FIA and MSA in the UK need to respond with measures to to maintain competitors at race meetings, otherwise come next March , races and indeed whole meetings will be cancelled due to low entries. How should the motor sport community react ? What does history tell us ?

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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 16:46

As has happened before, The Real Racers will find some way to continue racing - the commission seekers and bullshit bandits will peel off to seek pastures new. Many jobs will go - and sadly many good people will surely bleed - but many more have become pretty well insulated against the cold, for a good few months at least. Take a grip and hold on - nobody, least of all our dear leaders - have any sure grasp of where this rollercoaster is taking us...

DCN

#3 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 18:50

Many sponsors, as maybe Deutch Bank X-market wih Martin Short,will delete their projects...
Embassy Racing seems to be one of the first victim...

#4 Paul Parker

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 19:02

I'm just glad that I've been alive to enjoy the best of the last 50 odd years, that at least cannot be taken away or denied.

#5 MCS

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 19:09

Originally posted by RTH
......MSA in the UK need to respond with measures to to maintain competitors at race meetings, otherwise come next March , races and indeed whole meetings will be cancelled due to low entries. How should the motor sport community react ? What does history tell us ?


Thinking back to the 70s Richard, we ended up with Snetterton decimated to the sad, terminal state it has remained in since and Oulton Park cannibalised - although you could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that Oulton has made a recovery of sorts if, somehow, you can get those awful chicanes out of your mind.

It would be nice to think that the MSA took the opportunity to overhaul so many things that are clearly wrong with motorsport today in the UK but, just like the government, there appears to be a total lack of forward thinking and planning - dare I say a distinct lack of intelligence, which is why the sport is already in such a parlous state.

The fear is that anything done will be reactionary, although it would be nice to think that they are sitting down to ratify what to do...

#6 Doug Nye

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 19:31

Originally posted by MCS
...which is why the sport is already in such a parlous state.


Is it? I'm probably far from up to date but up to say 18 months ago I thought club racing entries, the grass roots, were remarkably strong. Has there been a slump in entries and support - as I guess one might expect since the costs of entries and participation seem to have sky-rocketed and the competitor gets ever-less track time for his money?

DCN

#7 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 19:36

Some good will come out of this though. A forced cull of many club championships and series that we just do not need! It may at last force clubs to amalgamate some classes to provide interesting varied grids (there was nothing wrong with Formula Libre!). Far too many individual saloon, sportscar and single seater classes ( including historics).

#8 COUGAR508

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 19:47

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
Some good will come out of this though. A forced cull of many club championships and series that we just do not need! It may at last force clubs to amalgamate some classes to provide interesting varied grids (there was nothing wrong with Formula Libre!). Far too many individual saloon, sportscar and single seater classes ( including historics).


The cull probably happens during every economic downturn. However, the problem is that as soon as things start to improve, new and pointless championships start to come out of the woodwork again!

#9 Gary C

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 19:49

talking of clubbies, we had a a FULL paddock at the HSCC at Donington park yesterday. Even I was surprised.

#10 MCS

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 20:02

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Is it? I'm probably far from up to date but up to say 18 months ago I thought club racing entries, the grass roots, were remarkably strong. Has there been a slump in entries and support - as I guess one might expect since the costs of entries and participation seem to have sky-rocketed and the competitor gets ever-less track time for his money?

DCN


This is just my opinion. I think Andrew Kitson's comment: "Far too many individual saloon, sportscar and single seater classes ( including historics)" is reasonable. We seem to have forgotten the days when there were two heats and a final for Formula Three, three heats and a final for Formula Ford, a huge variety of different chassis and racing right through the field. I do genuinely believe it was much better in the early seventies than it is now. It's simply got worse in so many ways down the years. Today's seemingly endless one-make series just leave me cold.

Conversely, as Gary C says, most Historic racing appears to be in rude health...

As I say, a matter of opinion.

#11 RTH

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 06:39

I think you are right Mark. In recent times it is not that there has been less racing, more that the quality of the spectacle has been poor, the lack of variety as well as below capacity grids.
I recently spent the day in the paddock grandstand at Brands for the DTM, even for me ( let alone my non-motor racing companions) from 10.00 - 5.30pm it was the most desperately dull, dismal and tedious events I have ever sat through, a total waste of the £60 each it cost, plus of course getting there in the first place.

A diet of exclusively one make support races even the DTM cars themselves are so are so reshaped by wind tunnel work even they are indistinguishable from each other from the sidelines .They all corner on rails with total lack of drama.

Also the meeting itself in my opinion was mis-managed to the extent that there was as much as a half an hour of dead track time between races. No respect for the paying public. This day was a really bad experience, much of the crowd were there on free passes from UK German car dealers.

Competitor entry fees even in the lowest form of club racing of £300 per race for perhaps an 8 or 10 lap race is a monstrous deterrent to taking part, a 6000 % increase on entry fees from the early 70s. Spectators are charged £15 -35 per person basic entry at any race at any circuit, often with extra fees for a seat or paddock entry then often there are no go areas as well. Big meetings are even more, a startline seat at Silverstone's GP can be £300 per person .
Historic racing is the only bright spot, but you only need to stand in the collecting area to see the average age of the cars owners who will not go on for ever and they are not immune from reducing income either.

I think there is so much that needs to be done , where to even start ? If as is very likely, both competitor and spectator support collapses in the new year the whole scene could very quickly fragment.
Somebody needs to wake up and act decisively...and now. It does not have to be like this.

Little did we realise at the time just how good a day at the races was in the 60s, 70s, and 80s!

#12 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 06:40

One make series are unfortunately inevitable...because of the costs involved. Take F3 which has become an unofficial one-make formula. It costs almost £500K to do a season of British F3. That's 22 races at 11 race meetings. Most drivers need 2 years in the Formula or a budget of almost £1 million. To progress, race wins are expected.

With those sort of budgets required by the teams, no driver, driver's father or sponsor will be willing to try out an unproven race winning chassis...hence everyone sticks with Dallara. Very occasionally, other marques such as Lola or Mygale pop up to score the odd race win, but even Ultimate Motorsport who won both Snetterton races this year with their Mygale chassis driven by Michael Devaney ( Bernard's son ), have said they are having Dallaras from now on as they want to win regularly. The costs involved to develop a chassis into a Dallara beater are too great. Because of the sums involved the career path has never been such a serious business and many decent drivers fail..due to lack of budget or picking the wrong team that has not developed the winning tweaks or simple bad luck.

If a driver does progress to F1 level, the only way these days is to ride the wave through the formulae, don't fall off as you'll never get back on and wasting time developing new cars will not get you noticed. Win those championships along the way and rise to the top very quickly..like Vettel, Kubica..

It was far more fun when it was not so serious financially!

#13 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 06:45

Actually Richard, entry to the clubbies at MSV circuits are £12 on the gate or £10 in advance booking on the net.
I'm sure they'd get far more in, sell more hamburgers and merchandise if they charged £10 per car. Lots of families would come for a day out for a tenner.

#14 simon drabble

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:02

Modern and historics shoudl not be cinfused as being in any way the same. Modern rely in sponsorship and will as such suffer dramatically as the direct return for the sponsor is hard to quantify. Historics are for the most part paid for p.a.
This year people are winding out previous commitments so you would expect the effect to be seen next year. The "lower" formulae (HSCC 70's Roadsports, CSCC etc..) I think could be in for a hard time as most participants race out of income. HFF will be fine as many see this as great bang for your buck, UK endurance races (Masters and HSCC) should do well for the same reason but I for what its worth I think that the number of UK clubbies doing overseas round will diminish next year. What I dont know is what impact this will have on series like Masters etc as I dont know how many are "clubbies" and how many are more well heeled racers.
So in short the cheaper series could suffer the more prestigeous ones should be ok albeit with smaller grids. Let us hope that meetings like Goodwood who are so reliant on sponsorship have good schmoozers working for them as I cannot help but feel that they must be vulnerable and to see them suffer would be a real shame as they have done so much to promote historics to a wider audience.

#15 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:18

Agree Simon, career path racing, the professional classes, will suffer. It is now that drivers and their entourage of managers will be looking for funding for next year and teams will be looking for drivers with those funds. What company is going to commit, in today's financial turmoil?

Love it or loathe it, I suspect Jonathan Palmer's Formula Palmer Audi series will prosper ( sorry I meant Formula 2 ).
At 'only' £195,000 per season 'arrive n drive', racing all over Europe supporting the WTCC and a fairly high profile on Max's FIA agenda. F3 at £500K and GP2 at £1mill per season will suffer. So will the teams...this new F2 is a complete package supplied by Palmer, all the mechanics, all the cars and equipment. No teams as such.

#16 RAP

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:24

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
Actually Richard, entry to the clubbies at MSV circuits are £12 on the gate or £10 in advance booking on the net.
I'm sure they'd get far more in, sell more hamburgers and merchandise if they charged £10 per car. Lots of families would come for a day out for a tenner.


Please No !! Not more unruly kids who have no interest and are bored after the first race and irritate everyone else !

#17 RTH

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:30

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
Actually Richard, entry to the clubbies at MSV circuits are £12 on the gate or £10 in advance booking on the net.
I'm sure they'd get far more in, sell more hamburgers and merchandise if they charged £10 per car. Lots of families would come for a day out for a tenner.



Well OK fair enough. But rather like advanced train fare charges, understandably many people ,wake up, look at the weather and decide whether to go racing or not on the spot. So advanced booking discounts are not so good. I think they need to know reliably what it will cost and that it is good value for money.And crucially to know they will be treated well and that the day is geared towards them , and not just for the benefit of the officials.

Very much agree with the £10 per car load that's a brilliant idea.

Others ,even older than, me will I hope be able to confirm, but I believe you could get a car load in to the Silverstone British GP in 1967 for just £1 ? that might cost £500 today , a lot more if you and your 4 passengers want to sit down.

Anyone remember the 'Sun' free entry days or the 'Ford' days where entry was completely free if you arrived at Brands in a Ford car ! The crowds on both occasions were just colossal, completely packed out as no one had ever seen before !

#18 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:36

Racing has long moved past the era of sponsorship based on 'chairman's syndrome' where someone says "Oooh lets sponsor ". You still see it in some football, but the sponsorship industry is too sophisticated and too demanding these days to put together programs on a whim that die at the first glimpse of a blip in the market.

Sure Daddy Megabucks LLC may go through a rough patch which means junior may have to take up less expensive hobbies like tennis or golf, but I think the racing industry overall will survive.

#19 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:45

Yes Richard, I remember those 'Sun' Free days. I think the Sun hired the circuit, the BRSCC put the races on and entry was free for everyone if you brought along a coupon from the paper. 30,000 at the 1983 version with Sports 2000 & FF1600 as the highest profile classes racing on the day! The racing school benefitted, lots of people signed up on the day and the Kentagon bar and food outlets had big queues...and thousands were introduced to the sport that would not normally attend. A winner all round, Brands made money, the BRSCC members raced before their biggest crowd all season and the Sun sold lots of papers.

More spectators could be enticed today I'm sure. The clubs hire the track from competitor entry fees, any spectators that come through the gate is a bonus, therefore why not risk charging entry at £10 per car? The circuit gets the gate money, not the club. I've been to Snett clubbies with less than 100 paying punters through the gate. Most of those you see watching are friends and family of racers or local residents that receive free season passes to 'help' the noise debate.

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#20 zakeriath

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:47

World Series Renault has free entry to both the track and grandstands, (this year Silverstone, Donny before that) these meetings attract large crowds. The "racing fan" moan and groan about the great unwashed being there, not understanding the fine art of overtaking or lack there of, slip streaming, over and under steer, etc, etc and especially how the racing was better in his day and the cars dont sound or look the same.

But this is what racing needs, to get 60 - 70, 000 per day through the gate, in the hope that a 1000 or so might enjoy it and end up on a small clubbie meet on a cold damp day in July.

What used to take 3 hours in the past to leave a track, sadly often takes no longer than half an hour, that to me is one of the biggest indicator that the paying public isnt coming.

#21 simon drabble

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:49

of course it will survive but it will suffer. At the end of last season a friend's son moved upto Int F3, raising sponsorship was an uphill battle as you are asking people to sponsor a series that will get little exposure. His son is articulate and able to work a room but they struggled and eventually had to rely on friends and contacts. I am not sure how many will roll to next season. Even Russians are being hit by this downwave with Russia's wealthiest Oligarch a forced seller of a corporate holding last week to meet a margin call.

Be under no illusions - I have been in investment banking since 1981 and never seen conditions like this....

#22 fines

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:07

Originally posted by zakeriath
What used to take 3 hours in the past to leave a track, sadly often takes no longer than half an hour

Now THAT'S a way of seeing things! :drunk: :D

#23 RTH

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:09

Originally posted by RAP


Please No !! Not more unruly kids who have no interest and are bored after the first race and irritate everyone else !


Well yes there is always a bit of that. But a few of those children going to their first ever race meeting will really become grabbed by it and become the life long spectators and competitors of the future.

One or two might even go on to be a Chapman, Cooper or Broadley, and you would not want your own children or nieces or nephews turned away. It is more a question of parents teaching them good behavior.

#24 RTH

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:15

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson


Love it or loathe it, I suspect Jonathan Palmer's Formula Palmer Audi series will prosper ( sorry I meant Formula 2 ).
At 'only' £195,000 per season 'arrive n drive', racing all over Europe supporting the WTCC and a fairly high profile on Max's FIA agenda. F3 at £500K and GP2 at £1mill per season will suffer. So will the teams...this new F2 is a complete package supplied by Palmer, all the mechanics, all the cars and equipment. No teams as such.


This is the worst possible outcome.

How much interest would there be in F1 , Le Mans, and World Rallying if everyone was in identical car ?
It would be behind closed doors just for the amusement of those taking part.

If we had had 100 years of exclusively one-make racing would there be a TNF at all?

#25 simon drabble

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:20

Originally posted by RTH


Well yes there is always a bit of that. But a few of those children going to their first ever race meeting will really become grabbed by it and become the life long spectators and competitors of the future.

One or two might even go on to be a Chapman, Cooper or Broadley, and you would not want your own children or nieces or nephews turned away. It is more a question of parents teaching them good behavior.

I was one of those children and now race historics. I think families should most definately be welcomed with open arms - its all about safeguarding the future

#26 RTH

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:21

Originally posted by simon drabble


Be under no illusions - I have been in investment banking since 1981 and never seen conditions like this....


....and that would include 1987 and 1992 all the more worrying because the nadir of this economic crisis may still be another year away yet .

#27 simon drabble

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:54

Russia has effectively just bought Iceland - the country not the store! - for EUR 4 billion.

#28 ian senior

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:01

£12 on the gate is fantastic - and for that you get a full day of entertainment. Compare this with football, even at lower tier level. This season it would cost me £20 if I wanted to go see Luton Town Play - for that I would get 90 minutes of 4th grade football played in a stadium that makes a certain grandstand at Oulton Park look like Herman Tilke's latest. Not surprisingly, I haven't been to see Luton for a while now....

So actually spectators are not getting TOO bad a deal in motor racing, despite the plethora of one-make tedium. What worries me more is how much it's costing competitors - I was astounded to see the figures. Back in the 70s, almost anyone who had a decent (and I don't mean banker-style decent) level of income could compete at the lowest level and still afford to eat and buy clothes. At present day levels of entry fees, and with a looming recession, how much longer can this go on?

#29 alansart

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:23

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
[B]Yes Richard, I remember those 'Sun' Free days. I think the Sun hired the circuit, the BRSCC put the races on and entry was free for everyone if you brought along a coupon from the paper. 30,000 at the 1983 version with Sports 2000 & FF1600 as the highest profile classes racing on the day! The racing school benefitted, lots of people signed up on the day and the Kentagon bar and food outlets had big queues...and thousands were introduced to the sport that would not normally attend. A winner all round, Brands made money, the BRSCC members raced before their biggest crowd all season and the Sun sold lots of papers./B]

I did the Brands Sun Day and it was packed! It was also designed to be as accessable as possible for the punters to get close to the cars, including all of us lining up on the grid during the lunch break and being part of a big public walkabout.

For many it was the first time they'd ever been near a race track and the fact they were able to chat to the drivers about their cars and racing seemed to go down really well. Great atmosphere as well :)

#30 RTH

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:25

You cannot help thinking that subscriptions to Sky Sports and the exclusive football coverage are likely to go down steeply as disposable income recedes in the foreseeable future.

Anyone know just how much it currently costs to have access to all the football coverage available on television? I should imagine it is a big sum per year.How anyone can justify the cost of attending a top London Club match is a mystery to me.

This manager chappie in Newcastle who it seems evidently has a somewhat limited conversational vocabulary style is apparently being paid £50,000 per 90 min game it was reported this week on BBC radio ..... and some of them get double that and some players get treble that.

Maybe football will get a financial shake up too ?

#31 alansart

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:39

There's a new sport that competes against racing every weekend, that didn't happen before the 90's - it's called shopping! Last sunday we were dragged around Leeds City Centre by my daughter picking up yet more stuff to keep her in the style she would like to become accustomed at University!

My wife said, what would we have been doing on a sunday 20 years ago. Racing I replied, if not competing, spectating.

The national pastime at the weekends seems to revolve around packing shopping centres and outlet malls buying as much cheap dross as possible. Perhaps if the recession bites the shopping centres will become quieter and people will find other things to do. Whether thats going to race circuits is another matter.

#32 llmaurice

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:40

From "the other side of the fence" ,,the downturn hasn't stopped Mr. Palmer from still upping the cost of circuit hire . It would certainly be great if he reduced spectating costs and maybe allowed slightly older children in for free as well but he knows that as long as we can scrape together entry fees of nearly £400 for a two day club meeting with 2 * 15 minute races and in some cases having to perk on the grass with slickshod single seater cars ,he won't be unduly bothered I'm sure . Lets see if Jolyon reduces his activities next year - or maybe his entry fees aren't quite the same as ours !.

#33 hipperson

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:17

A recession only affects 35% of the population apparently.....so there is 65% out there with plenty of pop.

On The Way Things Were....when my Dad started taking us to watch top racing at Snetterton in the early 60s we would start to queue from Thetford. We were proud in our new autumn gold Sunbeam Rapier with a Brabham conversion....(this work was personally overseen by Black Jack at his Rootes dealership in Surrey somewhere.)

Anyway...at a European Touring car meet, in I think 1965, we were queueing as usual on that long straight out of Thetford. Suddenly a cacophany of sound as police outriders on their Triumphs shouted instructions for us all to pull into the kerbside.
Then all hell let loose as two works Alfa GTAs came by us flat out led by the Bizzies. Must have been knocking 100mph.
Chatting in the paddock later I asked the Alfa mechanics what was up. I was told the brakes need bedding in and a run to Thetford was what the doctor ordered !
I believe Rindt and Businello were the drivers that day but I can't be sure.

So two race prepped cars all numbered up,decibels off the clock led by police flat out on public roads

What my children have missed !

#34 simon drabble

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:32

wouldn't happen now - Health and safety....
what a great sight. Nearest to that I have experienced was racing at Charade a few years ago when we were allowed to continual learning the circuit after the roads had reopened. The police waved all of us through!

#35 wolf sun

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:56

Originally posted by simon drabble
wouldn't happen now - Health and safety....
what a great sight. Nearest to that I have experienced was racing at Charade a few years ago when we were allowed to continual learning the circuit after the roads had reopened. The police waved all of us through!



Was that before it became a permanent circuit? :eek:

#36 petestenning

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 11:01

Personally it would be better to run clubman type of events as this would bring in the casual spectator and give the variety needed much like the HSCC do .

But two points come into play 1) most who attend the HSCC events are the older generatoin who are fullfilling the day when they were at thier prime and racing had a huge variety of competing cars, where overtaking actually happened .

2) and more importantly are the costs to the club of circuit hire which are now at a crazy level thus producing high entry fees which in turn will decrease the grids. This in turn increase the fee again as less people = less coverage of the costs involved .

If the curcuit owners were to set aside 2 or 3 days for Club activities then a healthy range of races could produce the required entries , Giving the help of a lesser circuit fee to help with grass roots level which will feed the upper levels at a later date . The entrants could be given 2 chances to race with a single seater Libre and a GT libre event at the end of the day .

Ok now i have stopped dreaming back to reality.

Pete

#37 simon drabble

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 11:01

sorry Chimay... sadly I have only raced at Charade once

#38 f1steveuk

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 13:40

I'm sure the purse strings will be tightened in F1, Bernie is down to his last £9billion, so things must bad!!!

I find it all a bit gauling. I sat in on several meetings where BCE and Mr Mosely were present, and suggested what I thought were sensible ways of improving racing, and lowering costs. These included 1] That a Formula One car could not exist as a complete entity away from a Grand Prix circuit. That would mean, no testing, and that Friday free practise would see cars on track in order to get data.

2] Designers would have an imaginary box that outside, all the reg's applied, inside, free hand, allowing innovation, and possibly cars that looked different!

3] The entire weekends fuel would be issued on Saturday morning (thus not affecting Friday testing), and the team given points towards the constructors championship for fuel left over. No restriction on speed, but it should have given the engine designers the chance to produce powerful, yet eeficent engines.

There was of course more, and they were remarks offered as a springboard for discussion. BCE and MM rejected it out of hand, Max commenting that "spectators aren't as bothered about racing as you think, it's all the personalities".................................................

#39 RTH

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 14:00

I think you make some good points there Pete.

Cost all round will HAVE to be cut deeply, that means the circuit owners, the clubs and the governing bodies.
This would mean unpaid volunteers instead of paid employees and a reduced service all round, another way of looking at that is less interference with competitors and spectators.

I never understand why it is necessary to employ 20 or more people ( probably on £100 ea a day ) in yellow jackets to just point drivers to the car park when paper arrows on a stick perform the same function.

Stock market falls continue today with major bank stocks sharply down.
RBS at one point today was at a 13 year low 40 % down on the day ( currently still down 20 % down on the day)

An icelandic internet bank has we hear stopped its depositors withdrawing any money at all.

RBS is as we all know the headline sponsor of Williams GPE and their representative on earth is Sir Jackie Stewart They have 170,000 employees and own several other banks including NatWest and ABN Amro. They are said to be structually sound by BBC commentators. Many bank stocks are down by 80 % from their highs.
UK Banks are reported as pleading for government to announce total guarantees and back up cash for daily operation.

Every day now this gets worse, the long term consequences may be unpredictable, but certainly not good.

Just heard that next years Canadian GP has been cancelled , so no GPs in North America any more.

Another loosly related news item I have just picked up on that MV Augusta which includes Cagiva has been rescued from extinction by Harley Davidson's purchase from the Castigloni Brothers. Proton sold the company in 2004 for just 1 Euro after losing 70M Euros on their tenure of the company.

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#40 RTH

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 14:05

Originally posted by f1steveuk
......... Max commenting that "spectators aren't as bothered about racing as you think, it's all the personalities".................................................


That comment alone pretty much explains why and how its all been allowed to arrive at the present position.

#41 fines

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 15:30

Well, he has a point, hasn't he? His sex scandal is sure to have generated interest in F1.

#42 sterling49

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 18:31

Originally posted by RAP


Please No !! Not more unruly kids who have no interest and are bored after the first race and irritate everyone else !


That is so unfair, I understand your point, but I beg to differ. I attended my 1st motor race at Brands in 1961, at the age of 8, and although it never "clicked" initially, the old five star still runs through these veins and I became a lifelong car, and motorsport enthusiast. Not an "armchair" type, more like in Radnor Forest in the rain on a cold R.A.C. or Welsh Rally, walking round the long circuit at Brands in the mud. Marshalling, in the dead of a frosty March night out on the Fens. Grass roots sport cannot take place at all without enthusiasts, so everybody should be encouraged.

Hipperson made some good points, the traffic jams both in and out of Brands were always epic, in our local villages nowadays, we are never disturbed by race traffic, that is NEVER !

#43 HistoricMustang

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 21:56

Hey, the good ole US of A is ahead of the curve again:

A tax break for NASCAR racetracks and other motor-sports facilities is among the "sweeteners" tucked inside a 450-page financial-services bailout bill to make the package more palatable to lawmakers. The Senate-passed bill includes an array of so-called "tax extenders." One extends for two years a tax policy that had been allowed to expire in December that lets motor-sports facilities be treated the same as amusement parks and other entertainment complexes for tax purposes. That allowed them to write off their capital investments over a seven-year period. The motor sports industry feared that without a specific legal clarification, motor sports facilities would be required to depreciate their capital over 15 years or longer because of a recent Internal Revenue Service inquiry into the matter. That would make repaved tracks and new concession stands more expensive in the short term. It isn't a new tax break, rather the way tax law historically has been interpreted, said Lauri Wilks, the vice president of communications for Speedway Motorsports, which owns the NASCAR tracks in Fort Worth, Texas; Sonoma, Calif.; Concord, N.C.; and elsewhere. "It gives us incentive to go ahead and invest in our facilities," she said.(see full story at McClatchy Newspapers)(10-3-2008)

:rotfl:

Henry

#44 RTH

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 10:18

You may have seen Mr Mosley's TV interview yesterday on BBC.

He said that they are already two teams short of a full grid this year. That several smaller F1 teams are currently spending 3 times as much as they collect in commercial sponsorship, that this situation will not continue beyond the 09 season.
He said that unless very big changes are accepted in order to make major cuts in teams annual expenditure then the existence of the F1 championship as we know it is in jeopardy and that the situation is now serious.


Other news this morning that Volvo has just announced a further loss of 3000 production workers jobs on top of the 3000 announced earlier in the year. Parent Ford Motor Co. said this was due to falling demand for Volvo products.

#45 roger ellis

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 11:34

If, as a result of the "Credit Crunch", Eff one has to pull in the purse strings it may not be all bad news...

we may see the last of the Paddock Club tossers.

#46 Peter Morley

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 11:53

Originally posted by RTH
You may have seen Mr Mosley's TV interview yesterday on BBC.

He said that unless very big changes are accepted in order to make major cuts in teams annual expenditure then the existence of the F1 championship as we know it is in jeopardy and that the situation is now serious.


At last there is some hope for the future of F1 then!

It has been said by a lot of people that the involvement of road car manufacturers was always bad for the future of F1 - they would inevitably pull out when they start to see less return on their investment.

The teams that only exist to race will still want to be there whatever happens and that might lead to F1 becoming a race series again rather than mobile advertising.

As for novelties like night races - hopefully the Singapore government will realise that Singapore by night looks the same as Milton Keynes by night and isn't any kind of advert for their country.

And as for power boost buttons (KERS in FIA speak) they are pathetic enough in video games, there is no place for them in real racing cars.

Whatever anyone says it was better in the past, and hopefully anyone reading a Nostalgia Forum will agree.

Meanwhile does anyone want to distribute my new range of FIA approved bondage gear and accessories....

#47 RTH

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 14:10

I , too was totally unimpressed by the Singapore thing. If it is such a beautiful city .. pity we could not have seen it !
From this side of the television screen it reminded me more of indoor karting under strip lighting around steel pillars in a big disused banana factory in the east end of London.

Change the vehicle regulations to strip the cars of all the expensive electronic equipment, remove all the power assistance to the controls, all the pits to car telemetry and communications, remove all the wings and downforce devices,and raise the ride height to 4" to slash the benefits of round the clock wind tunnel research.
This would dramatically double braking distances, remove the weight in the steering and bring back slipstreaming down long straights and provide conditions for exciting overtaking going in to corners.

End the fuel and tyre stops. Rev limit engines to 12,000 will cut the power by 250 BHP make them vastly cheaper to build and last twice as long, along with a simple manual H pattern gearbox with mechanical diff so that drivers have to take a hand off the wheel, can miss a gear and display some skill.

Lower the all up minimum weight limit by 100kgs to take account of the removed equipment and the ballast they currently carry in the floor, it would also heighten the penalty of carrying excess fuel and encourage greater thermal efficiency.

Lets not forget a Lotus 49 DFV in 1967 had just over 400 BHP yet still had 200MPH capability on a long straight and with no wings at all was vastly more exciting and spectacular to watch. Couple that with modern safety construction methods, materials and regulations along with circuits now that have vast tarmac run off areas, we might again just have something good to watch as well as maintaining new levels of safety.

Many new teams could afford to join in , when building a competitive car might cost a tenth of what the present top teams spend currently annually. 1000 staff to put 2 cars on a grid now - that is more than the whole workforce at the Lotus Car Company and they make 2000 cars a year and have an engineering sub-contract arm for the majors.
F1 has been allowed to become as illogical and wasteful as the world banking system.

I suppose we can hope for change, more likely they will 'Lemming- like ' take themselves over the cliff first.



A film clip from "Nine Days in Summer " the launch of the Lotus 49 with its all new DFV engine in 1967

http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=ClAqhNmglnM


Notice how the cars then do not corner as if on rails.

#48 Peter Morley

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 15:55

Exactly.

Most people agree the only remotely interesting F1 races recently have been in the wet, so the answer is to reduce downforce/traction considerably - standardised single element wings would do the job, and eliminating pit-stops means they would have to overtake on track.

Of course we already have a race series with limited downforce, rev-limited engines, no electronics/telemetry, etc.
I think they even run a 4" ride height.
And the cars are real F1 cars.

That is why TGP (or whatever it is called now - Historic F1?) is such a popular series now, and F1 attracted such large entries at the time...

#49 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 16:09

Originally posted by Peter Morley

Most people agree the only remotely interesting F1 races recently have been in the wet, so the answer is to reduce downforce/traction considerably - standardised single element wings would do the job, and eliminating pit-stops means they would have to overtake on track.


Moves are being made to reduce downforce & aero grip, slicks are back next year and the extra winglets, chimneys, barge boards etc etc are all going. The cars will look considerably cleaner.

Mosley met Di Montezemelo today in Nice for urgent talks about costs and all teams will meet with him after the Chinese GP to discuss the crisis and the way forward. Standardised front and rear wings would save money straight away.
The new rear wing at the smaller dimensions that all cars must have next year, does look strange though:
http://www.motorspor...tes-xp-5409.jpg

#50 RAP

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 16:12

Originally posted by sterling49


That is so unfair, I understand your point, but I beg to differ. I attended my 1st motor race at Brands in 1961, at the age of 8, and although it never "clicked" initially, the old five star still runs through these veins and I became a lifelong car, and motorsport enthusiast. Not an "armchair" type, more like in Radnor Forest in the rain on a cold R.A.C. or Welsh Rally, walking round the long circuit at Brands in the mud. Marshalling, in the dead of a frosty March night out on the Fens. Grass roots sport cannot take place at all without enthusiasts, so everybody should be encouraged.

Hipperson made some good points, the traffic jams both in and out of Brands were always epic, in our local villages nowadays, we are never disturbed by race traffic, that is NEVER !


Sterling49
There were two very important words in my post - "unruly" and "bored". I've no problem at all with youngsters as such who are interested ( I was 11 when I first went and was hooked for life) but the original post that I responded to was encouraging families by making it cheap "by the car load", although of course children usually get free admission at least at lesser meetings anyway so if they are interested I would have thought Dad would take them anyway as mine did. I dont see why my afternoon should be marred by unruly & bored children runing up and down the spectator banks screaming, rolling over, fighting etc which seems to be all too common behaviour these days. I'll now retire to my "grumpy old man" box !!
RAP