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GP Week : Issue 12
Letters email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Get emotion back post-race, post-haste Of all the moments of a stand-out Monaco Grand Prix, perhaps the most human was the after-race period. Unlike the sterile, insulated parc ferme parking, followed by five-minute towel- downs before the podium ceremony, Monaco reminded us how it should be – park the top three on the finish line, allow a bit of genuine driver/crew emotion and get the presentation over and done with. That’s what we Americans love to see and what we do so well – no more so than a few hours later at Indy. While F1 spends countless hours navel- gazing over its tech rules, a return to this kind of post-race genuine celebration at all races should be on the agenda. Mike O’Laughlin Portland, Oregon, USA One law for one, another for the minnows Hello GPweek, love the mag! With the recent collapse of Super Aguri, and all the manufacturers wincing at the spiraling costs of Formula One, it seems everyone is asking what happened to the 'glory days' of the 80s. I can say it's two words... Tobacco Advertising. Firstly I don't smoke and I am against smoking, but people forget that the 'black' tobacco money built F1 into the business it is today, and Ferrari get paid $1 billion to drive around with barcodes on their cars for seven years. Surely if a team deemed a 'B-level' team was allowed to exploit this path, we may see a new dynamic ... but not in this PC world I guess. John Bagusauskas (Australia) email@example.com Great Scott! I am writing to say how much I enjoy Michael Scott's incisive coverage of MotoGP in GP Week (yes bikes are my thing).. He is someone who is clearly close to the action, and knows what is happening, especially technically. I also have to say that the pictures from Le Mans, espcially the main one, were brilliant. Roger Watterson (England) firstname.lastname@example.org IF you thought the first gauntlet in the battle royal between the IRL and Champ Car was thrown down on January 27 1996, date of the first IRL race, you would be wrong. Well, you would be wrong to those who look to another date. They feel that the first CART race, held on March 11, 1979, was the spark that slowly smouldered for some 17 years before igniting a civil war in American open wheel racing. Like the renegade Indiana Jones, getting the jump on the evil Nazis and the maniacal French archaeologist Rene Belloq, the IRL and CART/Champ Car were jumped by the NASCAR boys. While the IRL and CART/Champ Car bickered and battled, NASCAR – with it’s rough and tumble, blue collar “rubbing is racin” nature – took their fans. Quickly NASCAR’s marquee race, the season opener at Daytona, gained prominence at the expense of the Indianapolis 500. Now it is NASCAR’s Daytona 500 that is considered the Great American Race. Even the Coca Cola 600, NASCAR’s longest race, challenges the Indy 500. Drivers like Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart who have run both races, which are held on the same day, dropped the Indy 500 in favor of running the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte. But the emergence of Danica Patrick began shifting more attention to the Indy 500 three years ago. As the most serious treat to win since Sarah Fisher, television viewership and overall interest in the Indy 500 increased tremendously. The IRL then received another boost when the most famous name in American racing introduced a new heir. After leading the Indy 500 up to the last lap, Marco Andretti attracted even more attention for the race and IRL. Now that both camps have buried their proverbial hatchets and pulled out the knives that they stabbed each other with, things are looking up. Last weekend’s Indianapolis 500 has been the most anticipated and important in the past 12 years. The 92nd running of the Indy 500 was one of the deepest fields in decades. New drivers like the aforementioned Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal (son of Indy 500 winner and three time CART series champion Bobby) and Danica Patrick will bring American open wheel racing back to glory. The IRL simply can’t afford to lose sight of its positives— competitive racing, good technology and relatable, personable drivers. If they are truly committed they could end up challenging NASCAR again for top American motorsports series honours. o p in io n 22