Driver ColumnsSam Tickell (Editor)

The Editors Opinion – talking V8s, Williams and Lola

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Pastor Maldonado (Williams) during the qualify session at Sepang (Courtesy of Morio)
Pastor Maldonado (Williams) during the qualify session at Sepang (Courtesy of Morio)

Welcome to the Editors Note.  In this column, I will give you my views on the world of motorsport.  Each week (or at least that is the aim) I will write about what has been on my mind.  Feel free to agree or disagree and I would love to hear your feedback, or even columns of your own.  You can head over to the RacerViews Facebook page or comment below.

Point 1 – V8 Supercars and the Sydney 500

Recently the NSW government said that they would not renew their contract to the V8 race around the streets of Homebusch – the venue of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.  The street track, like others before it, had been touted as this world leading track, offering Sydney siders a chance to see V8 Supercars.  It had rock concerts and the like as well – as these things do these days.  It came at a heck of a cost to the State Government and, perhaps was meant to be some kind of major (international?) event for the Series.

Well it kind of…failed.  It drew three day crowds of 170 000 (how they are counted, I do not know) but really failed to gain the attention of people interstate or internationally.  So in effect, the NSW government poured a bunch of money into an event that really failed to attract outside money.  Sydney people spent their money in Sydney – something they were likely to do anyway.

At the same time, the Government also injected money into the Eastern Creek circuit.  A track that is used 360-odd days a year.  It went a little over budget but it will service the motorsport community and the Sydney community for many, many years to come.

The funny thing is about this is that V8 Supercars vowed never to go to Eastern Creek – as basically they couldn’t lord their power over the owners of the track, the ADRC.  Their hand has now been forced if the V8 Supercar Championship wish to remain in the biggest market in Australia – i.e. the Sydney market.  Admittedly, the Eastern Creek track needs a better public transport system to it but it is a great track.  To be honest too, if V8 Supercars or the respective governments put the money into permanent facilities that they do to temporary tracks, we would have many, many great tracks.  Imagine tracks like Winton or Morgan Park if they had 10million a year spent on them.

But I digress, V8 Supercars have had to swallow some humble pie on this one.  Something I am not overly sad about.  They have developed a holier-than-thou attitude and need to remember that the Australian motorsport scene allowed them to get to the position and the fans, media and the teams deserve facilities and respect into the future, not just for a weekend a year.

Lola financial troubles

You may have noticed on Autosport and other major websites that Lola Cars is set to go into financial administration as it tries to sure up its future.  This is not the first time this has happened and we must remember that this is not the same as bankruptcy.  In any case we’d hate to see this company go.  Think to their Champ Cars, their A1GP cars, their Le Mans cars – they create great cars.  I just have to wonder if Series’ like Indycar, GP2 etc deciding to give spec racing contracts to Dallara in very, errr…non-transparent manners leads to something like this.  Granted, the wider downturn and austerity measure probably have had more to do with their troubles than racing (given their defence contracts) but look at the Lolas of the past compared to the Dallaras, I know which I’d prefer to see racing.

Williams

Was I the only one who thought they would never win another race?  I was thrilled to see them take out the win at Barcelona.  If you remember back to Melbourne, Pastor Maldanardo was running in the points and binned it on the final lap.  This angered me – not for any real reason, but I love Williams and I wanted to see them get a good result.  So when they did win, I was thrilled.  It was a shame (shame is not the right word but you know…) to see their win tainted by the pit fire.  I sincerely hope that all involved make a full recovery.  In any case in six months time we will talk about the victory, not the fire.  I just hope their form can continue.

Finally for this issue…

This is a labour of love for everyone involved.  I do this on top of a full time job and study – and I know I am not alone in the world of websites and in the world of motorsport.  Sometimes, however real life has to take precedence and promises may not get fulfilled, or fulfilled slower than originally expected – so to that I apologise.  I do love this site and motorsport – so as I come up to 8 years in motorsport and as this site turns 1, I’d like to thank every reader and all the Racer Views contributors.  I love your efforts.  I really do.

(c) Sam Tickell, May 2012

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