With the new year already started, many car enthusiasts are bemoaning the lack of excitement on the Motorsport stage. Sure, there are plenty of one-off stories of the unexpected, but nothing that remotely matches the deluge of new cars, new teams, and new sponsors that characterized 2018.
It’s not just the absence of new machinery that’s piqued our interest. The lack of a world championship combined with the seemingly endless array of support series has rendered the sport rather unappetizing. Even stalwarts such as Formula 1 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans have suffered in the decline of motorsport.
The Resurgence Of The Indianapolis 500
Although it underwent a revamp from 2017 to 2018, the Indianapolis 500 still feels like a breath of fresh air. For one, the race is back to a 2.5-hour format, which is far more palatable for fans who have to work or go to school during the day. Moreover, it appears that the cars are faster this year and there’s a good balance of faster and slower teams. This is a positive sign, because it means that the level of competition is remaining high, which ennoys motorsport enthusiasts.
The Indy 500 also benefited from all-new venues, which include the Brickyard and the surrounding areas. These additions to the racing calendar give the event an extra touch of magic. Another interesting tidbit is that the winning cars this year feature advanced technology, which will appeal to a more mainstream audience. For example, Toyota’s winning entry was based on the hybrid model system.
Why Are There So Few Manufacturers?
It’s a common misconception that manufacturers only participate in sports cars. The truth is that big-name manufacturers have been involved in motorsport for almost a century. For instance, Duesler Studebaker mounted an excellent effort in the 1925 Tour de France with driver Louis Zborowski. They also took part in the 1926 Indianapolis 500 with a car built specifically for the event. This was also the case for Austin-Healey and Jaguar, which entered cars in the 1937 and 1938 races, respectively. To this day, all three brands still participate in the Indy 500. If you want a truly unique piece of motorsport history, check out the Austin-Healey page on Wikipedia, which is filled with photos of the company’s illustrious racing career.
This brings us to the question: is the Speedway GP On Sky This Year? The answer is still doubtful, considering the fact that the premier motorsport series is yet to confirm its participation for the season. If the series did, in fact, go ahead with plans to return in 2019, it would be the culmination of an incredible turnaround. Thanks to the likes of Ross Brawn, who orchestrated the championship-winning result for Mercedes, and the legendary driver Ayrton Senna, the sport would undoubtedly receive a huge boost. We can only hope that the teams and the FIA have enough good sense to realize the benefits of having the Speedway GP back on our screens. The truth is that without it, the new year already seems rather hollow.