This story over on the front page got me thinking... what would it take to return to racing that the average, or maybe slightly above average, Joe with a garage and some tools could compete in and have a shot at success?
There are obviously some series out there like LeMons and Chump Car, but that’s not quite what I’m looking for. There’s also B-spec and various Rally series, but I’m looking beyond production based. I suppose there’s the LMP Challenge, but it’s too spec. I want to see a resurgence of the rock ‘n roll days of F1, where you race hard and party hard in sexy, powerful, open wheel cars.
I guess the first question is, would people watch it? The draw to F1 these days seems to be the money. Teams spend millions upon millions to compete, and money follows money, so while many people of all socio-economic classes follow F1, I think part of the draw, especially at places like Monaco, is the grandiose spectacle of a Grand Prix weekend itself, not just the on-track action.
The other issue is money. How do you control spending so that everyone has a shot? And I’m not opposed to factory backing - the root of most all racing is works cars that allow companies to show off their capabilities on track. I don’t think that should disappear, I just want to see a level playing field. Basically it shouldn’t be a series where a constructor can just swoop in and “buy” a trophy.
Safety. Going back to the first question, I think part of the appeal of “old F1” and to an extent all racing is the danger aspect. It was just man and machine, and the machine was basically the most powerful engine you could devise and 4 tires. So how does one capture the thrill while minimizing risk?
Progress is another question that has to be carefully considered. How do you encourage different solutions to the problem of racing while keeping the field balanced. Another huge appeal of vintage F1 was the cars themselves, each a different solution to a common problem of winning races. How do you capture that spirit while keeping the playing field level and preventing it from devolving into what amounts to a spec series?