Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Minardi at Le Mans

Paul Stoddart, ex-Minardi chief, has apparently been talking about the future of F1 on British radio. If you read the article on pitpass, you'll notice editor Chris Balfe's thought that Paul could create a new sports car team, in order to run at Le Mans.

I think that's a great idea and, if I'm honest, I can't help but ask myself why sportscar racing isn't watched as much as it should be. I certainly don't watch it myself, except maybe every couple of years when I go to Le Mans for the 24 Hour race. But that's as much a social event as a race; I go to meet friends, and eat and drink much more than I should. Apart from the Grand Prix, there are never more than 30,000 spectators at a UK car racing event. But double that number of Britons get in their cars and catch ferries or use the channel tunnel to go to the classic French event. There's clearly an interest, but it's just not developed into a watchable, sustainable series.

Chris may be right that Paul Stoddart should start a sports car team. But maybe he should go one step further and organize a viable sports car racing series. Wresting control of Le Mans away from the ACO would be impossible, but it must be possible to work with them. Wouldn't it be great if Paul could use all of the experience he's gained dealing with Bernie Ecclestone, and give us a competetive sports car series to watch too?


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