Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

November 1, 2010

The Race That is Missing from The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 9:49 pm

Speed TV has an article about F-1 boss Bernie Eccelstone turning 80 this week. The liver-spotted mini-dictator has ruled that arm of the sport for a good long while, and this week spent time slamming first year F-1 teams and how bad he believes they are. He has also vacillated on whether public ownership is a good or bad thing. Right now it seems to be bad. A lot of people want to know what his succession plan is. No one actually knows.

This all means that the next few years ought to be interesting. Personally, I wish for two things with regard to F-1:

-That the current leadership of IMS has the vision and desire to re-add a USGP at IMS.

-That Bernie takes his head out of his arse with regard to the vig and jumps back into the realm of actual reality.

I am supportive of the effort underway for Austin, but let’s face it. It would be good for a year or two, and then the country and the world would probably lose interest. Last time I checked there was still no actual facility and the natives were getting restless. F-1 in Indy consistently drew their largest crowds ever, despite regular fan screwing of one sort or another, from the infamous ‘tyre’ fiasco to managed competition. It could again.

It is easy to blame lack of a title sponsor for lack of an event, but pricing the event three times higher than it should be is pretty egregious. In F-1, just as in Indy Car, fans do not really matter so our collective breath should not be held. As an attendee of every single USGP in Indianapolis, I would like to see that event return while I am still alive.

Let’s make it happen.



  1. If IMS can find the Poison Dwarf’s massive sanction fee then go for it.

    He’ll own any ad space on the track as well, so the only way to turn a profit is from gate admissions, concessions and finding a big paying title sponsor for the race.

    Good luck…

    Hence the proliferation of second/third world pseudodemocracies hostiong F1 races using their taxpayer’s money.

    Comment by hates crappies hates gomers — November 1, 2010 @ 10:47 pm | Reply

  2. F1 among other series will work in Austin and prosper. It may even be so popular that it could spill over to other circuits. Sorry Indy couldn’t make it work, but once you see F1 in Austin, I believe you’ll change your mind.

    If you support Formula 1 returning to the US, join “Friends of Formula 1 Austin Texas” on Facebook and Linkedin.com
    Great commentary, pictures and anything related to the new circuit in Austin Texas.

    Comment by vfacundo — November 2, 2010 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

    • I’ll believe it when I see it. But Austin’s welcome to it as far as I’m concerned. F1 was fond of treating Indy like dirt, and the racing was an embarrassment.

      Comment by Zachary — December 20, 2010 @ 4:12 am | Reply

  3. I think you are dead wrong about Austin’s future…

    While Indy is a GREAT oval track, it is NOT even a marginally good road-race course. Elevation changes, camber changes and good long straights with excellent braking zones for passing opportunities are essential.

    Indy has NONE of these…well, it does have 2 good long straights, I can give you that.

    While a “few” environmental natives are restless, the overall opinion I get from just asking people how they feel about F1 coming is positive. The most vocal anti-F1 sentiment comes from those that have listened to propaganda spewed by the likes of Stefan Wray and his Anti-F1 group which is predominately false. Once everyone knows how the track is paid for (private funding), how the Major Events Trust Fund REALLY works (and how just about every Texas city BUT Austin has taken advantage of it) and how much economic impact this event will have on the area and you’ll see a major shift.

    Nothing against Indy, but the races were BORING!!!! If you didn’t qualify well, once you got past the first few turns there was hardly ANY passing and pit strategy became race strategy. Sorry, but that isn’t very exciting to watch.

    Austin has great venues for entertainment, we have a beautiful city that is high on the list of “wanna be there” for U.S. cities, and we are easier to get to than Indy by far. We have TWO major airports, one 3 miles away and the other a mere 1 hour drive away in San Antonio. We are a 45 minute flight from DFW…a major hub for many airlines.

    While Indy is close to Chicago, it is easier to fly to DFW for many in this country and even for those outside our borders.

    Whine all you want…we can give you some cheese to go with it. Austin will open yours (and everyone’s) eyes as to how it can and should be hosted.

    You want it back? Revamp the speedway so it fits the bill and re-bid for 2022…and good luck. By then the drivers and fans will LOVE it down here. Bernie will be dead and maybe some sanity will reign in how they calculate sanctioning fees.

    You’ll have to tear up everything in the infield and start from scratch…care to guess what that will run? I’m betting the cost of building Austin’s track from scratch…maybe a little less. Tony spent over $80 mil just on infield course and pits/race control. I’m betting they’ll need 2x that to rebuild Indy into a great F1 track.

    Get over it already…

    Comment by J. Raymond — November 2, 2010 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

  4. Building that infield track and associating with Ecclestone was the worst mistake Tony George made.

    Comment by redd — November 2, 2010 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  5. If the Austin thing ever gets built, it will be a reminder of the USA lay of the land when it comes to motorsports.

    Before Indy, there’s a list of F1 efforts that were tried and failed. At least at Indy, they had a turnout. But it will take more than attendance. F1 in the USA means very little. Sad but true.

    Comment by M. Miller — November 2, 2010 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  6. The City of Austin is in for a royal screwing, just go back to every city in the USA that has held a F1 race, Phoenix, the city spent millions, inconvenienced many thousands for two weeks before and two weeks after each race, then F1 abandoned the city for another big check from another country, just like Indianapolis, after spending over 100 million building the F1 track and required garages F1 raised the anti so high that the Indianapolis management was forced to say no thanks, they sit there now with garages and a track that is just another piece of the landscape.

    There are 5 or 6 purpose built Road Courses where F1 could race in the USA, anyone know why F1 does not want a race on any of the existing tracks.

    Comment by rosco — November 2, 2010 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

    • I believe that none of the existing tracks in the US conform to the stringent safety standards that the FIA requires to hold a full race weekend, not to mention that almost none are within easy distance of a 5-star hotel that Bernie requires for himself and his buds to stay at. Most of the tracks here are too cash strapped as it is to put up the dollars for the safety and infrastructure (media center, traffic ingress/egress, paddock/garages) upgrades necessary, so it basically makes more sense to find an investor (a Red McCombs-type) and build an all-new track from scratch. I’m a little on the pessimistic side, but I hope that the Austin thing happens. It could (emphasis on “could”) be the track that lands a US GP for a long while.

      Comment by The Speedgeek — November 3, 2010 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  7. Open Letter to Mr. Bernie Eccelstone:

    Dear Dwarf:

    Please, please never return to Indianapolis to stage another F1 event…despite the track’s hallowed status as the cathedral of motorsport, the misfortune that befell the race from 2000-2006 call into question whether the race belonged at this venue to begin with…let us instead focus our attention on the Lone Star State and its chances of hosting another F1 event on US soil…


    An American F1 Fan

    Comment by Neil Rubin — November 6, 2010 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: