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Has COVID sent Historic racing towards "the right crowd and no crowding"?


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#1 mariner

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 16:15

I was recently given a magazine by an histoic racer I had never seen despite it having been published for 27 years "historic motor racing news" 

 

I found it really good as it covers lots of European historic  events, rally’s as well as races . it seems that the European scene is doing well in 2021 even with COVID and Brexit etc reducing the UK entries. Nice that so many historic events are taking place at so many  tracks across Europe.

 

What also stuck me reading it is how the historic scene is in so many  ways a private club where the cost of buying an F1 car can be discussed in a magazine. This is of course no reason why an owner of a classic racer should share it with the public. if you collect Picasso's you don't have to let the public see them and if racing old ocean  yacht’s is your thing it all happens  way out at sea.

 

However over the last  30 years historic events have welcomed, and I guess, relied on the revenue from , the ordinary enthusiast who will never own the cars.

 

But COVID led to closed events everywhere with just drivers, entrants and owners enjoying the cars behind closed doors. If the finances make sense will this become the norm.?

 

I kind of thought not until I saw the announcement by MSV that they have bought the Donnington Hall house to turn it into a luxury hotel, and two nearby modern units for car storage and preparation services. . The plan , as described by Jonathan Palmer, is so car owners can fly into East Midlands airport, view their cars within 10 minutes of landing ( private plane?) before settling into a suite at the hotel. Their car will be prepared and warmed up ,waiting outside the Hall after breakfast from where they can drive it straight to the circuit. After a day’s driving or racing  they will return the car to the workshops for check overs while they are on their way home"

 

Now Mr Palmer is very successful financially and so I don’t think he would be doing alt that unless he saw a purely private " right crowd only" historic racing programme as profitable.

 

Basically ,as I see it, the normal enthusiast gets no look in in this  MSV set up . I Appreciate we punters enjoy something largely funded by somebody else so we cant complain if Historic racing goes closed shop but  any comments?


Edited by mariner, 29 August 2021 - 17:34.


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#2 Bloggsworth

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 17:19

Oh. Do you expect the owners to lend the cars to the likes of you and I to enjoy? It employs people and pays them wages, nothing wrong with that.



#3 Gary C

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 17:24

Have you ever been to a normal, 'clubbie' historic meeting? (HSCC etc...), there's hardly ANY sort of crowd anyway!

#4 john aston

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 17:42

I get my historic kicks from HSCC , Silverstone Classic , CSCC and VSCC . None has as much hoopla as BTCC or other series with exaggerated ideas of its own self importance , and I can enjoy access all areas . I'd only attend some puffed up 'exclusive ' event at gunpoint ,in the unlikely event I was invited in the first place . You won't be seeing  me sporting cravat and Pringle sweater at the Royal Artillery Company salon prive any time soon  . 

 

Oulton Park Gold Cup tomorrow - proper stuff   . 



#5 mariner

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 17:45

I think there are many benefits to rich people liking to "play" with classic racecars. Lots of talented people get employed using skills at risk of disappearing and a lots of "admin/business " type people  like auctioneers make a living out of it BUT if the public can't see the cars race they will lose interest, or never get an interest in the first place. That means the sport we all love will wither away if the rich crowd turn their attention elsewhere 

 

 Put another way there are loads of articles etc about how the average age of a classic racer is 62 or whatever and how much of a crisis that is but if its all behind closed gates younger people wont learn about it and so never spend money on it when they in turn get rich by 62 . Then  l skilled jobs will literally die off.



#6 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 18:05

When I was a kid I would cycle to my local aerodrome and climb onto the fence and sit there watching in wonder (NB - not in envy, never in envy) the rich people larking about in their private aeroplanes.  

 

Later, I hitch-hiked to Brands Hatch and looked on wide-eyed at the rich people racing their clubby cars.  

 

Then I became a freeloading pressman with free-entry press passes, on the inside watching rich people racing good-quality cars against works team entries.  That was serious.  

 

For relaxation we'd go to watch VSCC meetings which were a throwback in more ways than one - in my case, partly, to watch rich people larking about in some wonderful cars, which they could afford and I couldn't.  

 

When I became involved in putting together the Goodwood meetings, we worked with rich people keen enough to share (to some extent) their wonderful cars with a wider public.  They could afford them, and we couldn't.

 

So - what's new?

 

DCN



#7 mariner

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 18:34

Doug, you are clearly WAY higher up the historic echelon than me but I guess my reply to your early entree into racing cars as you describe it above would be the obvious one in this context - what if all the racing and plane  flying you did see had been behind closed (and trespass proof) gates for  the last 60 years, would you still be where you  are today ?



#8 68targa

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 20:47

Oh well, a private track day race meeting for rich folk with no spectators and even richer folk with the latest technology in front of thousands of punters who don't actually race but still have a winner - it will  could never happen  :eek: 

 

(At least we still have the Earl of Richmond and Gordon to do things the right way)



#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 21:38

The Earl of Richmond and his friend Gordon?

 

And, 68 Targa, never doubt that much of the enjoyment that many owners of great cars derive from exercising them, is really to exercise them before a huge crowd of admiring (or envious) spectators.  Private test days and that 'right crowd' attitude would never fulfil that simple human need within the majority.

 

DCN



#10 opplock

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 21:50

MSV did admit spectators to their circuits as soon as Motorsports UK allowed. The HSCC Superprix was well attended. I did marshal 2 meetings during the ban on spectators. A bizarre experience and I can't imagine circuits, competitors or officials wanting to repeat it.   



#11 Stephen W

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 07:44

As usual Silverstone are far from helpful with pre-event information. 

 

Before I book my advance ticket I would like to know which GRANDSTANDS will be open but all it says is that you will be able to view proceedings from different stands.

 

No mention of access to the pits/paddock.

 

Also no mention of any on the day price for admission.



#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 08:14

As usual Silverstone are far from helpful with pre-event information. 

 

Before I book my advance ticket I would like to know which GRANDSTANDS will be open but all it says is that you will be able to view proceedings from different stands.

 

No mention of access to the pits/paddock.

 

Also no mention of any on the day price for admission.

Possibly due to uncertainty over any possible reintroduction of Covid restrictions? The Silverstone website says this on Covid:

 

The health and safety of fans, staff and teams visiting Silverstone remains our highest priority. We are working with the relevant authorities including Public Health England and the local agencies to ensure we put in place all the necessary policies and procedures to deliver COVID safe events.

 

Better to err on the side of caution, I'd have thought.



#13 Odseybod

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 08:50

A slight aside. Whilst I agree with DCN that fortunately, there are still plenty of well-off owners who enjoy exercising their 'nice' cars in front of an appreciative (or even envious) audience, I'm told an increasing number of Important Cars with a well-documented history are being dispatched out East where they disappear into private collections, just like any old Picasso daub. For their new owners, the crucial factor is actually owning the thing, rather than flaunting their ownership - in fact, it's rather better if very few people (including tax authorities) know that they've got it, with all the implications over security and nuisance visitors that can bring. And if - perish the thought - they should ever fall on hard times, they still have an asset that will probably have increased in value, not least because everyone will have assumed it was extinct, not having seen or heard of it for a decade or two.



#14 F1matt

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 09:14

How do private test days operate compared to sanctioned race events? Do they still have to have a set amount of marshals or can they run an event with less? I presume the marshals and other officials will have to be paid instead of volunteers? 



#15 68targa

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 09:55

The Earl of Richmond and his friend Gordon?

 

And, 68 Targa, never doubt that much of the enjoyment that many owners of great cars derive from exercising them, is really to exercise them before a huge crowd of admiring (or envious) spectators.  Private test days and that 'right crowd' attitude would never fulfil that simple human need within the majority.

 

DCN

Whoops - apologises to the Duke for my faux pas - hope he lets me in now.

 

My allusion was to the irony of a large paying crowd in Belgium over the weekend with a winner but no race to watch and the possibility that Donington will have private races with no spectators.  I quite agree that many people fortunate enough to own and race some historic cars take pride and enjoyment in letting others see them.



#16 BRG

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 11:20

Cars with a well-documented history are being dispatched out East where they disappear into private collections, just like any old Picasso daub. 

Out East being Bernie's Biggin Hill cache perhaps? 

 

Biggin Hill, East of Croydon



#17 Odseybod

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 11:41

A few thousand miles east of the Ecclestone hangar, I believe. 



#18 arttidesco

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 12:17

I suspect that if there is any money to be made from the under privileged enthusiasts, their needs will continue to be catered for. Even if there is a movement towards a behind closed doors events, they will no doubt be considerably more expensive than current arrangements, and when did one ever not here competitors bemoaning the price of entry fees ?



#19 Garsted

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 13:00

A slight aside. Whilst I agree with DCN that fortunately, there are still plenty of well-off owners who enjoy exercising their 'nice' cars in front of an appreciative (or even envious) audience, I'm told an increasing number of Important Cars with a well-documented history are being dispatched out East where they disappear into private collections, just like any old Picasso daub. For their new owners, the crucial factor is actually owning the thing, rather than flaunting their ownership - in fact, it's rather better if very few people (including tax authorities) know that they've got it, with all the implications over security and nuisance visitors that can bring. And if - perish the thought - they should ever fall on hard times, they still have an asset that will probably have increased in value, not least because everyone will have assumed it was extinct, not having seen or heard of it for a decade or two.


Like the stolen James Bond DB5 for instance

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#20 mariner

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 13:06

Just for info - and partially why I posed my question - here are existing examples of private US racetracks 

 

https://robbreport.c...n-eg18-2824163/

 

And to let you see what real estate delights you,  and your 13 year old track driving daughter ( see the main link),  are missing I've kindly  linked a brochure! 

 

http://www.motorclub...ure2019-web.pdf


Edited by mariner, 30 August 2021 - 13:11.


#21 Nick Savage

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 14:04

Oh ! Mariner, this is such a complex topic. After 20 years devotedly reading 'Motor Sport', I did nearly 30 years of club historic because at age 40+ I reckoned I earned enough spare ackers to try it out. That is how I went into the cheap seats in historic racing. But the 'why' is altogether a different and complicated story....  partly to see whether I could and if I enjoyed it;partly because it was a competitive endeavour I could do sitting down (the 100 yards athletics at school never appealed); and as time went on, partly to see whether it was possible to make a racer out of something that was aesthetically pleasing and mechanically challenging. All entirely self-centred, a personal trait I cannot say I am entirely proud of.

 

After decades of the middle to bottom end of the grid, I was also intrigued by the multiplicity of reasons why my fellow-participants raced, hardly any of them the same. I raced, despite the setbacks, the disappointments, the frustration & because of the elation, the companionship, the anecdotes, the competition and the achievement  ... because it was fun. It made me smile and if it brought a smile to someone else's face then so much the better.

 

And that's only one percent of my story. Sure, even the cheap seats are costly in historics, relatively more so today than 30 years ago. I could not now afford to buy any of the cars I raced in over three decades. But the memories and experiences  ....  getting the Karussell right, Eau Rouge at night, Parabolica in the Alfa GTA.... though I never got Quarry right.

 

Nick



#22 bsc

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 15:30

How do private test days operate compared to sanctioned race events? Do they still have to have a set amount of marshals or can they run an event with less? I presume the marshals and other officials will have to be paid instead of volunteers?

Test and track days have marshals albeit far, far less than a race day. Typically most circuits would have a handful for the entire circuit. Also, for test and track days, one needs a lot less scrutineers and medical cover. People working them are paid.

Edited by bsc, 30 August 2021 - 15:30.


#23 Perruqueporte

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 17:04

Just for info - and partially why I posed my question - here are existing examples of private US racetracks

https://robbreport.c...n-eg18-2824163/

And to let you see what real estate delights you, and your 13 year old track driving daughter ( see the main link), are missing I've kindly linked a brochure!

http://www.motorclub...ure2019-web.pdf


If one was sufficiently well-heeled in the USA and within reach, what a wonderful way to while away your time in your toys. Extraordinary.

Christopher W.

Edited by Perruqueporte, 30 August 2021 - 17:06.


#24 arttidesco

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 20:20

Just for info - and partially why I posed my question - here are existing examples of private US racetracks 

 

https://robbreport.c...n-eg18-2824163/

 

And to let you see what real estate delights you,  and your 13 year old track driving daughter ( see the main link),  are missing I've kindly  linked a brochure! 

 

http://www.motorclub...ure2019-web.pdf

 

I wonder are these really the kind of environs that will appeal to racers of cars with a history, given that these environs have no history themselves, seems more squarely aimed at owners of modern track day cars than the owners of cars with a history going back 30 plus years.



#25 Thundersports

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 22:10

 I try and attend as many Historic race meetings here and abroad as I can mainly Masters and HSCC and have generally found drivers and teams to be very friendly. One of the Historic F1 competitors has always been very kind and I now regard him as a friend.


Edited by Thundersports, 30 August 2021 - 22:13.


#26 Stephen W

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 07:29

How do private test days operate compared to sanctioned race events? Do they still have to have a set amount of marshals or can they run an event with less? I presume the marshals and other officials will have to be paid instead of volunteers? 

 

 

Test and track days have marshals albeit far, far less than a race day. Typically most circuits would have a handful for the entire circuit. Also, for test and track days, one needs a lot less scrutineers and medical cover. People working them are paid.

 

Liverpool Motor Club run two trackdays at Aintree each year and both are run with all Marshal Posts fully manned (minimum two per post). We also have a Rescue unit and two ambulances on site as well as a recovery unit and at least one "snatch recovery" - the latter used to tow broken down vehicles back to the paddock.

 

To all intents and purposes it is run like a sprint meeting but it uses the full Club Circuit.

 

All the marshals are paid the usual fee for expenses at ALL the events the club runs. The club pays the Rescue Unit, the two Ambulances and Recovery Unit the usual fees.

 

The club also has a Motorsport UK Noise Check set up to ensure we don't annoy the neighbours unduly - again this is paid for just like at a sprint. 

 

The club of course insures the event but we don't have the excessive fees to pay to Motorsport UK as they do not sanction trackdays. 



#27 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 11:16

It is not just race meetings that have had no spectators. it is happening in rallies as well. While there may be genuine reasons for security on MoD land, the Forestry have not sanctioned spectators on the vert few rallies they have allowed to run. Organisers don't really mind as they don't get any income and with MSUK rules about spectator "pens" it's just more work for for no gain.

 

There is no doubt that historic racing is becoming more costly and is open to a different type of enthusiast.  I've competed in various forms of motorsport all my life and twenty years ago I was able to built a race car, a FIA spec MG B and take part in MGCC and Equipe GTS races. The GTS series was run by a couple of guys (Jim and Christophe) on a non profit basis by buying grids and usually filling it. Everyone was a genuine club enthusiast. We all towed our cars behind our road car. No transporters or marquees.  When the organisers retired the series was taken over by an new team who run it on a commercial basis with lots of bells and whistles, paid employees, hospitality, expensive awards nights etc. It's been hugely successful with three grids and next year they will be running their own meetings. However the type of people taking part have changed as well. Lots of arrive and drive folk, many cars run by top teams.  The folk I raced against have largely gone.  Oselli will supply you with a ready built new MG B FIA spec for £45k. My car did not cost a fraction of that.  The people who race now are not interested in clubs, just want to turn up and race and them go home.  Much the same happens in rallying these days. Come, play, go home. 

 

JP's commercial mind is very likely right.  A friend who is a race instructor reckons the summer high end track days aimed at our friends from the Gulf who come for the summer are far more profitable than many race meetings. 

 

Circuits now make the bulk of their income for non competition activities; track days, testing, private hire, filming etc.  my nearest circuit is Croft and they have decided not to have rallies or rallycross there and have put up the track hire fees so that sprints are not viable.  At the same time track days are full. 


Edited by Derwent Motorsport, 31 August 2021 - 11:18.


#28 Stephen W

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 08:29

It is not just race meetings that have had no spectators. it is happening in rallies as well. While there may be genuine reasons for security on MoD land, the Forestry have not sanctioned spectators on the vert few rallies they have allowed to run. Organisers don't really mind as they don't get any income and with MSUK rules about spectator "pens" it's just more work for for no gain.

 

 

Liverpool MC are in a rather odd situation at the moment as they have been given the all-clear to admit spectators by Motorsport UK but cannot allow spectators into Aintree for their sprints and trackdays due to "safety issues". I suspect it will be 2022 before it can be resolved.



#29 mariner

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 14:02

Having read al the interesting comments, I would like to add my three!

 

First question I think is do people still want to go to live events after the huge growth of virtual race watching in last 2 -3 years?

 

- For F1 maybe less as the live feed has so much on-board and data it may beat watching live on one corner, and no chance of a live visit to paddock

 

- Historic is different though , the paddock experience is a much bigger part of It I think and, covid aside, paddock entry is usually in the ticket.

 

So lets say the public demand for historic spectating is there.

 

Second point - without rich people indulging their love of historic racing there would not be any large scale and consistent historic racing at all I think.

 

- impecunious enthusiasts have run important historic cars, even a Lotus 72, but to run such cars regularly , reliably and safely over several seasons requires full time professional preparation which only the rich can afford. So without the rich and "lucky " ones no regular and widespread historic racing  for the average fan.

 

So I THINK that means Historics are in the same place as club racing, i.e. . track owners have to  see that the gate money is there IF they promote the races properly. If not why shouldn't they give up on open spectators and just reduce costs and risk by going private?

 

I have been to Historic races at Donnington, Brands and Silverstone. My impression is that only the Silverstone Classic generates enough crowds to cover the event’s costs- i.e spectators are a big part of the income versus entry fees’, Brands is next and Donington maybe not profitable at all. I have no idea on European or US historic paying crowds but would love to know


Edited by mariner, 01 September 2021 - 14:32.


#30 BRG

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 14:30

Virtual race watching?  No hanging around, no mud, no cold, no rain, no smell of fried onions, no over-priced lager served in a flimsy plastic 'glass' ,no queue for the loo, no traffic jam at the exit, no noise, no atmosphere.



#31 F1matt

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 15:34

Virtual race watching?  No hanging around, no mud, no cold, no rain, no smell of fried onions, no over-priced lager served in a flimsy plastic 'glass' ,no queue for the loo, no traffic jam at the exit, no noise, no atmosphere.

 

Once you have got into the loo Covid is the least of your worries....



#32 bsc

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 15:59

track owners have to  see that the gate money is there IF they promote the races properly. If not why shouldn't they give up on open spectators and just reduce costs and risk by going private?

 

I have been to Historic races at Donnington, Brands and Silverstone. My impression is that only the Silverstone Classic generates enough crowds to cover the event’s costs- i.e spectators are a big part of the income versus entry fees’, Brands is next and Donington maybe not profitable at all. I have no idea on European or US historic paying crowds but would love to know

As far as Britain goes (leaving aside stuff such as F1 and BTCC), the general arrangement is that the circuit owner rents the circuit to either an organising club or separate promoter (who'll appoint their own organising club to run things on the day in terms of scrutineer/judicials, etc.) The club/promoters recoup their costs by charging entry fees for racers. Any ticket revenue goes directly to the circuit on top of their rental fee. As such for the majority of club/historic racers, the presence of spectators or not will have no bearing on their costs of being there - collectively they will remain liable for the full circuit rental fee. This explains why, generally, clubs do not promote their meetings as their is no incentive to do so. This is because it would incur a cost, but any ticket revenue would go directly to the circuit and stay there.

 

I am aware that for some events, organisers have been able to negotiate 'better' terms and therefore pay less in circuit rental or they receive some of the gate money - but these are few and far between. 



#33 AJCee

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 16:13

Virtual race watching? No hanging around, no mud, no cold, no rain, no smell of fried onions, no over-priced lager served in a flimsy plastic 'glass' ,no queue for the loo, no traffic jam at the exit, no noise, no atmosphere.


Perverse as it is, I’m clearly not alone in that some of my most memorable/treasured spectating memories involve quite a few of those elements. The sheer bliss of changing into dry socks for the walk back to the station from the first Cellnet Superprix… I wouldn’t have swapped that for just sitting on the sofa.

#34 mariner

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 16:34

bsc, you of course right in that  track owners typically " sell" the circuit to a club who therefore carry all the financial risk. There is a  practical limit to how many races can be run in one day, hence races now being for a fixed time not to a length to ensure all races get run.

 

The key metric for the club's is " grid packing density" or average grid per race. 

 

So race classes ( historic or otherwise) have  to be a survival of the fittest competition. .Consistently low entries will get the class dropped so the club can remain solvent..

 

Being an organising club in modern UK racing is a very hard  business.

 

However as  you say the track owner gets the gate money so the opportunity to make extra profit by spectators turning up doesn't go away.


Edited by mariner, 01 September 2021 - 16:35.


#35 john aston

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 17:41

Watching motorsport on TV is just that - watching telly-  and conveys next to nothing of the sport's appeal. No noise, a 2D view someone else picks for you (as often as not the 'battle ' for the top few places at the expense of more interesting stuff )  , no smell , no atmosphere  and nothing worth staying in for .

 

Let's not be too doomy about not being able to see stuff - I am at events most weekends between April and October , taking in racing and ancient  and modern, speed hillclimbs, HSCC/ CSCC/ Goodwood , drag racing and maybe the odd rally and autograss. I can afford it and I love doing it - and I am amazed at how few people get out there  and enjoy it., or prefer watching TV. It is utterly beyond me why you'd opt to do so if  you can afford the real thing and your health and location permit it.     



#36 Odseybod

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 20:38

Don't really want to muddy the waters with Eff Wun when we're mainly talking club racing but just to set my muddled mind straight, my understanding is that Silverstone (for example) pays Liberty (?) a steadily increasing hefty sum for the privilege of hosting the GP package for the weekend of the British GP. Liberty plus the FIA  share the money from the sale of TV rights, on-site marketing (mainly trackside advertising) and maybe programme sales, while picking up the bill for its own personnel on duty (e.g. stewards) and public liability insurance (i.e. a car going into the crowd, perish the thought). The circuit owners (Silverstone/BRDC) only receive the income from ticket sales and on-site hospitality/catering packages, while supplying the necessary equipment and personnel to run the event at their expense. Hence the nervousness at Spa last Sunday when the talk turned to ticket refunds. 

 

Quite prepared to believe I have some or all of this a about face, assuming the details are actually known by mere mortals.

. .



#37 Stephen W

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 07:07

 

 

Second point - without rich people indulging their love of historic racing there would not be any large scale and consistent historic racing at all I think.

 

- impecunious enthusiasts have run important historic cars, even a Lotus 72, but to run such cars regularly , reliably and safely over several seasons requires full time professional preparation which only the rich can afford. So without the rich and "lucky " ones no regular and widespread historic racing  for the average fan.

 

 

Maybe without the "rich people indulging" themselves the "impecunious enthusiasts" could afford to buy and run "important historic cars". 

 

Personally I would love to be able to own a couple of old racing cars running them regularly in HSCC race meetings and hillclimbs however, my budget would be stretched to beyond breaking point in the current climate where even pretend F2 cars fetch ridiculous amounts.



#38 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 07:41

Ultimately it's all about money and spectators and the lower levels of club racing are deemed not to be important.  There are now so many series being run "commercially" rather than by clubs and this can be damaging and profit is the only motive.  I have seen ,as mentioned above, how the GTS series has become more and more commercial but at the same time they are planning to leave the MGCC meetings and run their own which further dilutes the entries while increasing the number of meetings. What we want is fewer meetings with full grids. It's in everyone's interest. 

Modern club racing is boring because most series are one make, earlier this year there was a meeting at Croft which had good entries and several grids of MX5s and Focus. The racing was close but boring due to the lack of variety. Virtually no spectators.



#39 john aston

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 08:37

I was one of them - and bored silly. Only two one make series ever worked - TVR Tuscans and BMW M1 Pro Cars .The rest are pants , and I am disappointed that Silverstone Classic and Goodwood, inter alia , promote one make races . Cooper S and E Types are fine on track - but not if every other car is the same ...



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#40 Allan Lupton

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 09:49

When I discovered Club level motor racing I spent a lot of time watching people like me racing cars that I could have owned. There was no "historic racing" as such but the VSCC put on race meetings for its members to race their pre-war cars with everything from a Light Car Handicap to a race for racing cars over 15 years old (which let some post-war cars in).

The competiors paid a modest entry fee and the spectators' ticket prices were affordable but the meetings broke even.

One organisation which deserves mention was the Eight Clubs where the Clubs concerned joined forces to offer their members an annual race meeting which none of the individual clubs could have run. We ran handicap and scratch races for people in cars, with the handicappers grouping them according to estimated performance so all races were of mixed car types. When the 750MC's 750 and 1172 Formulae became viable we did include races for them, but such was the way of the time that those Formula cars were also raced in the other races.

In its day we could have a full programme of nine races watched by a good number of spectators to help fund it!

Proper Club racing seems to have been a phenomenon of the late twentieth century.



#41 F1matt

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 10:48

Watching motorsport on TV is just that - watching telly-  and conveys next to nothing of the sport's appeal. No noise, a 2D view someone else picks for you (as often as not the 'battle ' for the top few places at the expense of more interesting stuff )  , no smell , no atmosphere  and nothing worth staying in for .

 

Let's not be too doomy about not being able to see stuff - I am at events most weekends between April and October , taking in racing and ancient  and modern, speed hillclimbs, HSCC/ CSCC/ Goodwood , drag racing and maybe the odd rally and autograss. I can afford it and I love doing it - and I am amazed at how few people get out there  and enjoy it., or prefer watching TV. It is utterly beyond me why you'd opt to do so if  you can afford the real thing and your health and location permit it.     

 

 

You should write a book about it.  :cool:



#42 AJCee

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 11:51

One make series….. if any one development on track over the last 30 years made the spectacle less appealing (dishonourable mention for BTCC passing techniques).

I like seeing the blend and balance of driving skill, car design and preparation know how.

#43 BRG

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 15:55

I think there is a lot of snobbery about one make series.  The fact is that they attract good entries because people know (or think they know!) that there will be a level playing field where the better-off won't be able to buy an advantage the way they can in more open series.  This is reflected in close racing - and regrettably, sometimes too close racing!  This is great for the competitors and let's face it, club racing takes place for the competitors, not for the spectators.



#44 john aston

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 17:53

If only all single make series DID get support - but so many don't. Proton Coupes , Chevron GR8 (get it ? ) , many Radical races ,the less well supported MX5 series , Marcos Mantis , Vauxhall Vectras , Porsche GT3 series feature in a litany of overhyped,  under- supported dross which have been boring the motor racing public for generations . Of course racing is for drivers , but there's other  stakeholders too - such as people  who fork out for season tickets every year and who also have a voice. 

 

But as often as not the views and preferences of drivers and public coincide - who gets the biggest grids of all ? CSCC for running non championship , multi class , 40 minute pit stop races for everything from TR3s to Skylines and 935s . Donington this year had , from memory , nearly 500 entries and every race was open to an abundance of different cars . Which is a lot better than watching 8 identical cars drone round at three seconds intervals for 20 minutes - usually feels far longer though ...   



#45 Allan Lupton

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 18:17

I think there is a lot of snobbery about one make series.  The fact is that they attract good entries because people know (or think they know!) that there will be a level playing field where the better-off won't be able to buy an advantage the way they can in more open series. 

As was the case with the Group I regulations, I would say that to gain an unfair advantage in a race for closely-defined cars can cost much more than it does in more open formulae.
 



#46 Stephen W

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 07:41

If only all single make series DID get support - but so many don't. Proton Coupes , Chevron GR8 (get it ? ) , many Radical races ,the less well supported MX5 series , Marcos Mantis , Vauxhall Vectras , Porsche GT3 series feature in a litany of overhyped,  under- supported dross which have been boring the motor racing public for generations . Of course racing is for drivers , but there's other  stakeholders too - such as people  who fork out for season tickets every year and who also have a voice. 

 

But as often as not the views and preferences of drivers and public coincide - who gets the biggest grids of all ? CSCC for running non championship , multi class , 40 minute pit stop races for everything from TR3s to Skylines and 935s . Donington this year had , from memory , nearly 500 entries and every race was open to an abundance of different cars . Which is a lot better than watching 8 identical cars drone round at three seconds intervals for 20 minutes - usually feels far longer though ...   

 

I would often take the opportunity to move from one corner to another when there was a boring one make/model race on track.



#47 opplock

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 08:33

"Proton Coupes"

 

That was almost as bad as it got. 10 of them turned up for a race at Brands. After watching them drone around for 10 minutes I found myself thinking "I could be at home mowing the lawn rather than watching this rubbish". I did get to wave a green flag on the warmup lap. The rest of the meeting wasn't much better. 



#48 dwh43scale

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 10:16

Which all shows why it is worth checking what is racing - and how many of them. Whilst it does only take two cars to make a race, the racing tends to be much better with a larger field. Entry lists are by and large available online these days (although sometimes, you need to search them out) to assist the decision making process.

 

I do acknowledge this may mean travelling and being located in the centre of the country my options are more varied which may not apply to some.



#49 BRG

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 10:20

I have seen some pretty dire 'open' race series over the years, where there was a big variety of differing cars, and no racing worth mentioning.  Rich &/or talented pole sitter cruises to easy win, followed at respectful intervals by the rest.   Give me a frantic Clio or Mini (modern or classic) race anytime.



#50 Stephen W

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 06:55

Which all shows why it is worth checking what is racing - and how many of them. Whilst it does only take two cars to make a race, the racing tends to be much better with a larger field. Entry lists are by and large available online these days (although sometimes, you need to search them out) to assist the decision making process.

 

I do acknowledge this may mean travelling and being located in the centre of the country my options are more varied which may not apply to some.

 

I often pencil in an HSCC meeting (usually the October Silverstone) however, closer to the date I check out the HSCC site to see what's entered. Since it went to a two-day format I tend to travel to fewer of the meetings as the quality on each day is somewhat diluted and I only do a day trip.