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Grey Friar
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668 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With Formula 1 discussing more major changes to their sport, I got curious about how people think of auto racing in general these days. My feelings about different forms of racing have changed a lot over the years. When I first started paying attention to any kind of racing it was all about running, or watching other people or horses run.

My motorized list started when I got a bit older (~5th grade) and there were so many forms of gas-powered racing to sink your teeth into. I built models of my favorite cars, and many were chopped rods or early rail dragsters. I also started go-carting, sharing time on my cousin's go cart.

For a few years growing up pre-teen into early teens, my watching interest was:
1-drags
2-stock cars (NASCAR)
3-Indy cars
3-hydroplane boats
4-Grand Prix
5-airplanes
down the list-horses/people

But it's mostly auto racing I'm curious about, because water and air races have faded a lot from popular culture, and there are more forms and classes of sanctioned auto racing these days than ever before. These days I wonder how many people think of auto racing as a useful endeavor and how many think of racing as a waste of petroleum.

When I was old enough (and skilled enough) to have fun challenging other cars from stop lights to clear-winner or first-sign-of-danger, I had already lost some interest in watching drag racing, probably because of saturation (drag tracks everywhere, radio commercials constantly, and TV broadcasts), and stock car races were longer, and had more dramatic lead-changes, exciting chases, and horrific crashes (except for when a fueler's engine blew up or a shute failed to open). Not fun to watch someone get hurt, just astounding to see what can happen to a car at high speeds.

A little later on, when I was actually good at driving, and had some interesting cars of my own and others to drive, I had slightly different priorities for what to watch. I watched everything from in-person, to televised, to recorded. In some cases it was due to idol-worship, some cases pure excitement, and some cases to slow down boredom. Road courses and ovals were higher on my list than drags by then, but all were still interesting to me.

By the mid-eighties and though the 90s my life's priorities had changed (business, wife, a kid), everything had flipped a bit.
1-F1 (almost any Formula i.e. 2, 3000, Ford, Vee)
2-WRC
3-various sports car road course classes
4-Indy cars
5-enduro races
6-NASCAR (narrowed to Daytona, Darlington, and the random road course)
7-county ovals

Now and for many years my overall interest in racing has flagged quite a bit. NASCAR is not even on my list of things to watch (for many reasons), and I only make it to county ovals for the local fairs. Also, Indy cars lack diversity of engine/body design, so I only watch the 500 now (even though they're interesting running on alcohol). Only F1 (and it's "minor leagues") and WRC are truly innovative, and most other forms seem more like wasting oil products than having any value to anybody but brand advertisers. Even so, I'd still watch enduors, if they were televised throughout.

Now the list is short:
1-F1
2-WRC
3-ovals/road courses, on site (few)

I'm wondering how many people still see racing these days like they did in past decades.
What kind of racing do you like?
Worth paying to see?
If so, do you go for the party or the race?
Do you think racing is a waste of resources?
Innovative?
Do you draw a line?
If so, where do you draw the line?
 

w/ my magic bag
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Nascar....Have a look at this yrs package, 8'' rear spoilers so a few can't run away as the cars behind are able to suck up to the leader & the runs they get. The 2 stages as it gives the teams different strategies. It'd be great if they put back the driver adjustable track bar thou....Don't forget about the pit crew guys doing their ballet dance, also the different call that the crew chief makes......Kinda cruddy that they didn't big a track up here in the PNW.....1.5 would have been great, btw. Great that 3 JGR guys are battling it out at Miami/Homestead next week.....Looking for Kyle to take it, but you also have Truex & Hamlin could win his 1st championship. Harvick w/ a low drag setup is going to be fast as well....+ can't count out someone to the win....A must watch action.....
 

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Technically not racing but I enjoy the drift car specials by Ken block. I like monster trucks, demolition derby basically I enjoy destruction and lots of tire smoke.
I've been to several NASCAR races I don't enjoy it anymore.

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on thin air
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I鈥檝e attended a number of Rally America events (including the winter rally in the 100 acre woods) and every July you will find me around 11k feet, watching the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.




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Since I used to live in Daytona Beach, it was a short list to choose - between IMSA and NASCAR. Surprisingly I found IMSA to be much more to my liking - but then again I do like seeing the DPIs and GT3 cars on track. I enjoy the variety between the DPIs, LMP2s, GTLMs and GTDs a lot more then just stock car racing for NASCAR. Then again I have never watched NASCAR in it's glory days.

Formula One - my neighbouring town hosts a Formula One street circuit racing which I would love to watch - but it's difficult to root for anyone besides Lewis Hamilton these days.

I haven't watched WRC, but I did watch a few Pikes Peak Hill Climb. In fact, that inspired me to do a road trip to the mountain and up to the summit itself!
 

on thin air
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I haven't watched WRC, but I did watch a few Pikes Peak Hill Climb. In fact, that inspired me to do a road trip to the mountain and up to the summit itself!

If you ever do, it鈥檚 worth camping out in your car at the gate the night before. They open the road at 3am and close it at 7a. Once you are there, you鈥檙e stuck till the race is over and usually there is a hail or snow storm at one point. You pack like your camping. Cooler of food, camp chairs and layers for all seasons.

When we get up on devils playground area, it鈥檚 20-30*f and it can warm up into the 60/70s. It鈥檚 quite the event to attend and there are a lot of die hard fans.



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Grey Friar
Joined
668 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Pikes Peak is an awesomely scary looking challenge. I'd like to attend an event, but it sounds like watching it is another kind of challenge, best suited to those who are both fit and ready. So far I've only been able to watch parts of the races, due to partial coverage on TV, usually snippets focused only on the leaders and/or disappointing attempts.

As far as WRC goes... Pikes Peak is very similar to a single stage of a whole WRC race. If the hill climb were set up as two-way (up, turn around, and back down), that road could be used as a stage. Mountainous WRC stages are frequently edge-of-cliff, do-or-die type runs. Both are the stuff of big-balls/big-skills.

They are also both examples of types of racing that provide an arena for bragging-rights for innovations by certain manufacturers (even though some of the race cars are fully tricked-out, there are configurations that are "real world"). They may provide gains in prestige for selling power-efficiency and safety to world consumers. Not all forms of racing provide information applicable to street consumers. Some only provide ad-dollars for sponsors and TV/gate-dollars for teams... the innovations used in the races of those types are not obtainable by street car consumers. I've lost most of my interest in the latter forms. These days I mostly like the forms that help manufacturers develop improvements in safety, power-efficiency, and ergonomics that transfer directly to cars anyone can buy.

Gotta say though, if I lived anywhere near a NASCAR track, I'd go for the party... same with Indy... catching the race would be the icing on that cake.
 

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Drag racing. I hang with Nostalgia Super Stock, although I don't own one. I pit crew for some of them. www.nostalgiasuperstock.com

I have run my car at the drag strip, but it doesn't fit with the club.

I have no real interest in NHRA racing on TV though. Top Fuel and Funny Car are not things I can identify with.
 

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If you ever do, it鈥檚 worth camping out in your car at the gate the night before. They open the road at 3am and close it at 7a. Once you are there, you鈥檙e stuck till the race is over and usually there is a hail or snow storm at one point. You pack like your camping. Cooler of food, camp chairs and layers for all seasons.

When we get up on devils playground area, it鈥檚 20-30*f and it can warm up into the 60/70s. It鈥檚 quite the event to attend and there are a lot of die hard fans.

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I would love to, but I question whether I could stay for 2 days up that mountain! I took Diamox the night before and the morning when I drove up Pikes Peak and still I had paraesthesia to my hands and face by the time I reached the summit! Weather wise it won't be an issue - I've been to places colder then 20*F for sure
 

on thin air
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I would love to, but I question whether I could stay for 2 days up that mountain! I took Diamox the night before and the morning when I drove up Pikes Peak and still I had paraesthesia to my hands and face by the time I reached the summit! Weather wise it won't be an issue - I've been to places colder then 20*F for sure


Altitude related?


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Altitude related?
Yeah. Granted, I drove non-stop from the toll booth to the summit of Pikes Peak just to see what time I'd do as a normal driver. I had felt worse when I carried a sandboard up the Great Sand Dunes.
 

Grey Friar
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Discussion Starter #12
Makes me wonder if Pike's Peak drivers are tested for blood-doping the way bike racers are... if not, that would level the playing field for flatlanders competing against mile-highers.
 

on thin air
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Makes me wonder if Pike's Peak drivers are tested for blood-doping the way bike racers are... if not, that would level the playing field for flatlanders competing against mile-highers.


The racers are in town for a number of days and they drive the road a bunch. Gives them time to get a little acclimated. However I will say that even for those who live here, you鈥檒l feel it hanging out at the top.


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Autocross first.
Rallycross second.

Find one going on locally, go for a ride. They try it yourself.

The best place to watch a race is from behind the wheel.
 

w/ my magic bag
Joined
29,375 Posts
Nascar....Have a look at this yrs package, 8'' rear spoilers so a few can't run away as the cars behind are able to suck up to the leader & the runs they get. The 2 stages as it gives the teams different strategies. It'd be great if they put back the driver adjustable track bar thou....Don't forget about the pit crew guys doing their ballet dance, also the different call that the crew chief makes......Kinda cruddy that they didn't big a track up here in the PNW.....1.5 would have been great, btw. Great that 3 JGR guys are battling it out at Miami/Homestead next week.....Looking for Kyle to take it, but you also have Truex & Hamlin could win his 1st championship. Harvick w/ a low drag setup is going to be fast as well....+ can't count out someone to the win....A must watch action.....
Kyle Busch takes the Championship for the 2nd time.....[thumb]
 

on thin air
Joined
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Autocross first.
Rallycross second.

Find one going on locally, go for a ride. They try it yourself.

The best place to watch a race is from behind the wheel.


I autoX鈥檇 back in the day, with my SVT. Now I鈥檓 more a fan of open lap days. We have a a great course out here called High Plains Raceway.

https://www.highplainsraceway.com/track-info/




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Grey Friar
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668 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
That's what I've always thought, doing is more fun than watching (true of most things). Watching can be fun if you like the form/class of racing, but any form is great fun if you are in it. The physical/mental/emotional challenge, tuning/setting-up the car, passing strategies, adrenaline buzz, "relaxation" or celebration afterwards, friends... win or not, doing it is a gas.

That High Plains Raceway looks great, nice choices, small to fairly big, with lots of options for sanctioning entities... looks highly technical. Road America in Elkhart Lake is the closest big track to that we have around here. The track I cut my teeth on is a smaller, technical track. In class, no one can rely on simply having one kind of advantage or another on that track, set-up and strategy are very important... makes it fun from week to week, experimenting with new things... really good give-n-take track. https://www.blackhawkfarms.com/about/track-map/

Power/acceleration is King on half the track, but handling, balls, patience and brains rule the other half. A faster car may pull away on the fast part, but there is more than enough opportunity for a better handling car to reel him in through the rest of the tight course (or pull away and gain a slight cushion), at least since 3A was installed. [Side note: before the chicane (3A) was built, many drivers would over-cook the entrance to 4, and some damaged buildings and/or died. There are elevation changes from mid-3A to 6... 4-5 is lowest point of track... the exit of 3 is off-camber (lots of gentle run offs and spinouts by overanxious drivers there, not many bad wrecks though), almost every other corner is flat.]
 

Grey Friar
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Discussion Starter #18

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That's what I've always thought, doing is more fun than watching (true of most things). Watching can be fun if you like the form/class of racing, but any form is great fun if you are in it. The physical/mental/emotional challenge, tuning/setting-up the car, passing strategies, adrenaline buzz, "relaxation" or celebration afterwards, friends... win or not, doing it is a gas.

That High Plains Raceway looks great, nice choices, small to fairly big, with lots of options for sanctioning entities... looks highly technical. Road America in Elkhart Lake is the closest big track to that we have around here. The track I cut my teeth on is a smaller, technical track. In class, no one can rely on simply having one kind of advantage or another on that track, set-up and strategy are very important... makes it fun from week to week, experimenting with new things... really good give-n-take track. https://www.blackhawkfarms.com/about/track-map/

Power/acceleration is King on half the track, but handling, balls, patience and brains rule the other half. A faster car may pull away on the fast part, but there is more than enough opportunity for a better handling car to reel him in through the rest of the tight course (or pull away and gain a slight cushion), at least since 3A was installed. [Side note: before the chicane (3A) was built, many drivers would over-cook the entrance to 4, and some damaged buildings and/or died. There are elevation changes from mid-3A to 6... 4-5 is lowest point of track... the exit of 3 is off-camber (lots of gentle run offs and spinouts by overanxious drivers there, not many bad wrecks though), almost every other corner is flat.]
I have Hallet Speedway near me. But my Focus S brakes overheated badly. I previously took out a Mazda 2 (near stock) that I ran many laps without issues. Next I plan to take my NC after I swap the sway bar.
 

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That's what I've always thought, doing is more fun than watching (true of most things). Watching can be fun if you like the form/class of racing, but any form is great fun if you are in it. The physical/mental/emotional challenge, tuning/setting-up the car, passing strategies, adrenaline buzz, "relaxation" or celebration afterwards, friends... win or not, doing it is a gas.
Definitely. Loved watching races, but nothing compared to the time being on the local racetrack near Palm Beach. Autocross was fun too though I've never done it in my Focus.

Autocross first.
Rallycross second.

Find one going on locally, go for a ride. They try it yourself.

The best place to watch a race is from behind the wheel.
Never had a venue for rallycross. Loved watching it though.
 
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