In an effort to boost waning attendance at motorsport events, German promoters have been pushing for a so-called “Master Race.” The series would feature the best German drivers from DTM, Le Mans, World Endurance (WEC), Formula 3, and other popular series in a single-model racing series. With every driver in an identically modified VW Golf R hatchback, racing events would focus more heavily on driver skill over team politics or the large budget differences that have plagued Formula 1 and many other worldwide racing series.
“Germany has tried vaguely similar concepts before, but without much long-term success,” laments Juergen Mengele, director of promotions for Germany’s famous Hockenheimring race track. “We are very wary of undertaking such projects, but for too long racing has allowed outside influences to affect the purity of the racing spirit.”
Mr. Mengele continued by specifically citing Australia’s use of V8 engines being unfit for road racing; World Rally Championship’s DIY ethic resulting in excessive unemployment for pit crews; and NASCAR’s insistence on using restrictor plates to hinder its cars’ true potential.
NASCAR leadership immediately conceded this point to Germany, as the controlling France family felt it was necessary to maintaining peace. NASCAR’s lower viewership in recent years allegedly has the series searching for a final solution to attracting a new audience.
Charismatic event promoter and entrepreneur Karl Koenig of Aktion fur Deutschland (Action for Germany, or AfD) is often compared to popular CEOs like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Larry Ellison. Koenig has stepped up to fill a visionary leadership role in German racing. “For too long we have tolerated Formula 1, with their growing budgets and international appeal. It is time to purge our people of this boredom, malaise, and complacency. It is time to purify our motoring heritage and bring it back to the people!”
Koenig has suggested an initial season of just seven races, beginning with an energetic Berlin road race and culminating with “Judgment at Nürburgring” [a famous German test track] to finish the series. Koenig’s promotional motto of “Ein Volkswagen, Eine Reise, Ein Fuhrer!” (One Volkswagen, One Tour, One Leader) is intended to build excitement in advance of the season’s planned kickoff in Spring 2018.
Disgraced former head of the FIA governing body, England’s Max Mosley, says that F1 should not threatened by the groundswell of support for a Master Race. However, he acknowledges it could siphon fans away from Formula 1's perennial cash cow. “If Mr. Koenig wants to try, he has my blessing. Will he have women with uniforms and accents? That would be a very nice touch.” F1 supporters accuse Mr. Mosley of appeasement, while current British F1 Managing Director Ross Brawn states he would consider large-scale F1 expansions into Italy, France, and possibly even North Africa in order to contain Koenig’s expansion.
“We are also working with Russian teams on several options in the East,” Brawn continued. “We’re not sure we trust them from a long-term partnership standpoint, but we definitely welcome their efforts to contain Koenig’s planned expansion.”
Tuesday afternoon, several “viral” promotional racing posters had already been spotted around Prague, Warsaw, and the surrounding areas, and posted to social media sites. Koenig has admitted that he does not want to attract too much attention from the US and its highly-competitive Indy Racing League (IRL), since intervention from IRL drivers could upset the delicate balance the Master Race is attempting to create.
“We don’t think the Americans will be interested in this project — and we are urging our Japanese partners to keep their racing confined to East Asia for the time being. What they’re doing over there is just adorable.”