If you’re anything like me, you’re sick of people asking you why you watch NASCAR or Formula 1 or whatever satiates your need for speed the most. It’s not like I ask my friends why they like watching a bunch of guys standing around on a baseball field for three hours. To each his own, right?
Anyway, I decided I’d had enough of the constant harassment and figured I’d put together a list of five solid reasons as to why racing cars is more important than ever:
1. Trickle-Down Technology
The goal of racing, for the drivers and their teams at least, is to win a race. To do this, engineers and designers are constantly trying to devise cars that are faster, have more torque and even have better lights. Car manufacturers such as Audi and Porsche are constantly trying to build better machines. For example, Audi debuted a racecar that had LED lighting way back in 2011. Fast forward to this year, and the R18 E-tron features laser lights, something drivers say significantly enhances visibility. These benefits ultimately get passed down to the cars regular guys like you and I drive.
2. Enhanced Safety Measures
In today’s nanny state that is America, it’d be hard to have a sport keep existing if racecar drivers were perishing every few weeks on the track. Sure, accidents happen from time to time, but it’s pretty amazing when you stop to think about how few deaths there actually are on the racetrack. That’s because car manufacturers work to make their cars safe as can be. And like the technology that trickles down, so too do the safety features.
3. It’s Thrilling
Of course, if you’ve never been to a track to see a race, there’s a good chance you won’t understand it. But being there on the track — and hearing the cars whizz and whirr for hours on end — is something entirely different. Those sounds will never be adequately captured on television. So if you’ve never seen it, you can’t knock it. Simple as that.
4. It’s an Escape for Fans
Back to baseball: Pretty sweet sport you guys got there, right? Bunch of overweight dudes running slower than leaky faucets, “adjusting” themselves and slapping buttocks? Of course, baseball is the American pastime. I don’t knock on it. I watch racing because it’s even more entertaining. Just like any other form of entertainment, it helps me escape. What’s wrong with that?
5. Lots and Lots of Money
OK, at the very least, you can always talk about the economy. Believe it or not, NASCAR alone generated $3.1 billion in 2013. That’s a lot of money, and it pays a lot of people — not to mention while helping our government collect a whole lot of tax revenue. When you really stop to think about it, racing fan or otherwise, the country really relies on the industry, like it or not.
Hopefully you can keep some of these tips in mind so that, the next time one of your buddies invariably gives you a hard time, you’ll have the ammunition to put him in his place. Good luck!
Article submitted by Scott Huntington
With this year’s auto racing season at an end, the auto racing industry will be looking forward to 2012, and making plans to promote this exciting sport despite the gloomy outlook for the U.S. economy. The recent ceremonial ground-breaking for the new Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing headquarters to be built on Speedway’s main street, can be seen as a vote of confidence that auto racing will maintain its place as one of the country’s most popular sports. With a budget of $2.5 million, the new headquarters is a collaborative effort with the Speedway Redevelopment Commission (SRC) and will feature shop and office space for the race team, gathering all the aspects of running a winning team – such as engineering, machine shop, service, paint and composites – under one roof.
The new SFHR headquarters has the IndyCar construction company, Dallara Automobili, as its neighbor – taking delivery of their new race cars will not present any challenges. Engineer Gian Paolo Dallara was recently presented the John Bolster Award for his achievements in the sport of auto racing, and his company will be supplying their new DW12 to fifteen IndyCar teams, including SFHR.
Sarah Fisher made a name for herself in US motorsport by becoming the first, and only, female team owner, as well as being the youngest owner in the IZOD IndyCar Series. She was also the first female team owner to win a race in the IZOD IndyCar Series. At the age of 19, Sarah made history by becoming the youngest female to compete in the Indianapolis 500, making her the third female ever to compete in the iconic race. In that same year, 2000, her third place finish at the Kentucky Speedway made her the first female to stand on the podium. By taking second place at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Sarah became the first female to finish as a runner-up in a major-league open-wheel race. These are just some of the accomplishments of this talented driver who has made auto racing her career. The new headquarters for her joint venture with Willis “Wink” Hartman, is the fulfillment of another of Sarah Fisher’s goals.
The 38,000 square foot building will include a home-style kitchen and a retail gift shop, with the latter featuring an area for fans where they will have the opportunity to interact with members of the SFHR team. Conference facilities will provide a convenient venue for meetings with sponsors, while a state-of-the art gym will ensure that the team has what it needs for each member to be in peak physical condition, with the added advantage of having the Indianapolis Motor Speedway just a five minute walk away.
The majority shares of V8 Supercars Australia Auto Racing Championship will now be controlled by Archer Capital, and the series is valued at an estimated $316 million. Archer Capital is based in Sydney and funds Australian Motor Racing Partners Pty Limited. The organization will now own sixty percent of the series. The remaining forty percent of the V8 Supercars will be retained by the management holding and teams. Even though Archer Capital has taken on some debt in taking over the series, Andrew Gray, Director of the Australian Motor Racing Partners, expressed his optimism in regard to the takeover.
Andrew Gray spoke at a conference, which is viewable on the V8 Supercars website, saying that Australian Motor Racing Partners are a company that considers themselves long-term investors and that they are patient. He commented that the industry has grown and that they foresee a lot more growth in the future. Tony Cochrane will remain the chairman of the V8 Supercars Series, continuing to supervise the daily management that includes races in Australia, New Zealand and Abu Dhabi. Last year, the sport attracted approximately a hundred and twenty thousand spectators for each event. It is hoped that the new structure of V8 Supercars will develop the sport and create an infrastructure for the sport to continue on a steady growth pattern, and possibly add additional venues to the series.
The Australian Motor Racing Partners have a very distinguished history behind them, and are known to be successful in developing businesses and brands. With the backing of this leading company, V8 Supercars has a wonderful new future ahead of it. Financially the sport will be able to continue and develop under the watchful eye of the new investors, who will also be assisting in promoting the sport.
Tony Cochrane is also excited about the future, being quoted as saying: “It has been a fantastic and exciting 14 year journey to date, and this new ownership structure and investment are an exceptional outcome for everyone who loves this sport. Everyone in V8 Supercars should be immensely proud of the business and the sport that has been created. For my part, I am most proud of the nearly 1,600 jobs that are now contained within V8 Supercars. I have been asked and have agreed to continue with my role as both chairman and full voting board member as I see the coming years as the most exciting and most dynamic in V8 Supercars’ history.”
John Force is a name in the racing industry that is associated with success, determination, and a passion for the sport of drag racing. Not only does he own John Force Racing, but he is also a seventeen time champion car owner and has won no less than fifteen championships as a driver in the Funny Car division. With more than a hundred and thirty victories, John Force has proven his worth in the racing industry and continues to do so without any thought of retiring.
After a very serious accident in the year 2007, many of his fans and close friends did not think he would return to driving. Not only has he managed to return to driving, he has gone on to win more championships and has been motivated to begin a campaign to ensure the safety of drivers. The Medlen Project, named after the late Eric Medlin, was created by Force and his wife, and they were the pioneers in three rail chassis and improved housing tubes to create safety awareness for drag racers.
This past weekend, at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals, which was held at the Royal Purple Raceway, John Force once again showed the racing community that he is still at the top of his game as a drag racer at the age of sixty-one. And make no mistake; he has no thoughts about slowing down either, only plans for the future. Even though he has set many records and won many trophies, Force maintains that he focuses on the driving and not the awards to keep his head in the game..
Force now drives for Hood, and has managed to qualify in first position for three consecutive events. John Force qualified with a time of 4.097 seconds and a speed of 310.27 miles per hour, while his John Force Racing team was not doing badly themselves with a time of 4.131 seconds and a speed of 293.44 miles per hour. In regard to race day, John Force commented: “We are just going to come out here tomorrow and hope we have a beautiful day. We hope we pack the stands. That is what this is all about. We want to entertain the fans. You have war, tornados and the economy we just want to entertain the folks tomorrow. Somebody will get a Wally tomorrow and they will go home. Maybe it will be this old man.”
There are quite a few differences between the Nissan Leaf that the public are familiar with and the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC prototype. The changes had to be made to adapt the new Nissan for racing conditions, and the vehicle will be making its debut at the New York Auto Show 2011. It was designed by the motorsport group of Nissan, and it is hoped that this electric car will make a positive impact on the racing industry.
To begin with, the power of the vehicle is now directed to the back wheels by moving the inverter and lithium-ion battery pack. The synchronous (80k W) motor also has a very high response, allowing the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC to generate 207 lb-ft of torque and an amazing 107 horsepower. To racing enthusiasts, these statistics might not sound like much, but with the car’s battery being similar to a stock battery, they are able to get eighty percent charge from it. Of course the vehicle itself needed to be adjusted accordingly, increasing the length of the racing Nissan by 0.8 inches as well as dropping its height by 13.9 inches, giving it a ground clearance of 2.4 inches. Its wheelbase also had to be adjusted, and was made shorter by 3.9 inches. Its width was increased by 6.7 inches. In total, the racing edition of the Nissan Leaf now weighs 2 068 pounds and is able to reach speeds of sixty-two miles per hour in 6.85 seconds, and can reach a top speed of ninety-three miles per hour. When racing, it is expected to be able to maintain these speeds for at least twenty minutes.
The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC is the first step towards the vision that Nissan has for future racing, to create an industry that is still as exciting as it is today, but with no emissions. Chairman of Nissan Americas, Carlos Taveres, commented on the car’s appearance at the New York Auto Show, saying: “Combining the talents of NISMO, Nissan’s world renowned motorsports group, and engineers behind some of the company’s Super GT and FIA GT1 race teams, the Nissan LEAF NISMO RC will serve as a rolling laboratory for the accelerated development of EV and aerodynamic systems, as well as a platform for the development of new green motorsports series.”