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mtpanorama

Bye Bye Holden

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Next nail in the Holden coffin, the Lang Lang Proving Ground is up for sale.  While it will probably be sold to developers and sub-divided someone should turn the high speed circular track into a super speedway and use the handling roads in the middle to make a road circuit and we could have our own 2 in 1 Daytona like track.  Then Supercars can use the Nascar Mustangs and Camaros, problem solved?

  


"I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life, it's just too intelligent to come here."  Arthur C. Clarke

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5 hours ago, mtpanorama said:

 

Next nail in the Holden coffin, the Lang Lang Proving Ground is up for sale.  While it will probably be sold to developers and sub-divided someone should turn the high speed circular track into a super speedway and use the handling roads in the middle to make a road circuit and we could have our own 2 in 1 Daytona like track.  Then Supercars can use the Nascar Mustangs and Camaros, problem solved?

  

It will probably end up like Oran Park and Amaroo Park in Sydney. Houses, houses and more houses. 

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I have thought about this thread in terms of the motor racing angle for a day or two before posting my own thoughts, so here goes. Can't promise they will make much sense to anyone else though!

I think the problem that Supercars are struggling with is the ability for your average punter to relate to it. I notice that some seasoned motor racing fans talk about the early days of Supercars as being the golden days or the best era of supercars. Well remember it was really the continuation of the ATCC without the diversity of 4cyl, 6cyl, other makes and unfortunately, anything but a V8. At first, when the Supercar formula was in its early development (1992, 1993) which seemed pretty exciting and I seem to recall argy bargy brewing between various business interests and a bit too much influence from the promoters, but perhaps that was a little bit later. The racing was good I thought while the BMW M3's were still a threat on the smaller, tighter tracks, but I do remember going to the NSW rounds of the ATCC thinking it was a bit boring watching only three makes plus Colin Bond's toyotas which unfortunately didn't have much of a chance.

So the Supercar formula we know about but I think all it had going for it was the personality dramas which bored the crap out of me and I had to stop watching it. The endurance races were OK I guess because you had some part time drivers and some different strategies which when added to the mix makes it very interesting. (Unfortunately though, the efforts by some of the "professional" drivers to thin the fields out and relegate some of the lesser prepared teams to a second tier category also helped make it more of a race by numbers and make it even more boring. At least some of those drivers got a chance to have a go at the enduros)

Well it seemed to be popular still (though I couldn't understand why) and I gave up on watching it for maybe 10 years because it was as interesting as watching Taxis on George St in Sydney. Some business risk taking by Kelly Brothers and GRM and whoever else was involved that meant new makes were included made it interesting and I watched it on TV again but my local tracks were gone so I never got to see it in the flesh again.

TCR I find I can't watch, too many hatch backs and FWD, they don't seem like racing cars to me, I know I should be open minded and give it a go but I tried and I tuned out really quickly.

Back to the hey day of sedan racing... Big crowds, lots of sedan based categories, the big guns of the time (Gheogans, Moffats, the Holden contingent etc) all ran in several categories, Sports sedans, Improved Production, Series Production and the ATCC, they were running in several categories, my old man had kept race programmes from 1971, it seems racing was in its heyday, even Sports Cars had a large following. What do we have now? Larger population and less people interested (it seems) so what is wrong? Is it because people can no longer relate?

GT3 and GT4 I reckon has something for car enthusiasts but maybe its harder for average people to relate since they are cars that a lot of people would likely not ever buy.

What about sports sedans? Could supercars base their competition on a sports sedan like model, allowing more diversity of chassis and engine configuration rather than all the control engines and chassis that just makes all the cars too much like each other. I don't know, maybe it would just be a money wins races problem.

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Racing Entitlement Contracts. That's where it went wrong. Less cars means less depth means less action. Less action means less mainstream news coverage and less casual interest. 

Sedans are out of vogue, supercars are unaffordable yet aspirational, crew cab utes are a joke so that leaves suv's (see crew cab statement) and hot hatches. I'm biased, most of my cars have been hot hatches, and my new one will be delivered next week. I used to get canned at the v8's for driving a 'Girls car'(quote) around the 1998-2000 mark when i had my n15ii SSS Pulsar, ironically by folks in vn vacationer wagons and other such vanilla garbage - the actual car guys new that what i was driving had some credibility. 

Back then crowds were huge at Phillip island even in the pouring rain, when large fields of privateer vr & vs, ef & el took on the current spec cars of the bigger budget teams, sometimes placing very well. There was racing throughout the field and it was somewhat affordable to compete. There were bumps, slides, spins and occasional carnage too, but honestly i was there to watch drivers have a go, it was the near misses that got me excited. Big budget teams didn't like sharing tv time with low budget plebs and the Konica second tier series was born, splitting the category into haves and have nots. 

To top that off the racing has become so professionally processional that i normally watch (on tv) the support races and nap whilst the Supercars are on after about lap two, occasionally opening my eyes when Crompo's heart rate rises.

I'm not saying 'back in my day', remember 12 regular cars for the last Group A season? I do, it was televised at 11pm in a brief and boring highlight package on the sunday night, and I was a Nissan fan. What i am saying is the business of motorsport forgets what fans want, and that is racing, particulary something they either do or can conceivably own. Manufacturers want to sell cars, sponsors want to sell goods and services, I want to buy entertainment in the form of motor racing. V8 engines are fantastic, the sound of a field of v8 engines at full noise on the main straight at Sandown in the grandstand is a wonderful experience and i hope the powers that be can find a way to keep that alive in some form, alas I fear it will be soon reserved for Historics.

And please, not electric cars, not yet.

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My mum says I'm an excellent driver

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So I see the Camaro is back in the news to replace the Commodore again, but not until Gen3 in 2022, so with Holden name ending this year does that mean we will have the car formerly known as a Commodore racing next year.

Saw pics of the 2022 Mustang in the paper and at least it looks like a Mustang this time, only a couple of years late.  I did like the description of the current car looking "as much VW Beetle as it does Mustang".

 


"I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life, it's just too intelligent to come here."  Arthur C. Clarke

Social Media - The Internets sewer

 

 

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