Friday, January 16, 2009

Will anything ever go right for A1GP?

We are still awaiting an update on the story/rumor that began last night about A1GP's cars still being stuck in Malaysia instead of transported to New Zealand for their race next weekend, and now we get to add problems B and C to the list.

As just reported by SPEEDtv.com; A1GP has officially lost their race in Indonesia, and honestly by no (direct) fault of their own; as they were scheduled to race on a new track as the tracks maiden race. Sounds like a great idea, new track made for this kind of race, break it in etc....

The problem, the track has just failed FIA certification and will not be able to make the adjustments needed in time (the race was in 3 weeks).

On top of that is also reported that A1GP has just asked the FIA to approve a date change for their race in Mexico city, as their venue shares part of a baseball stadium that has now been double booked to host a Radiohead concert on the same night....

...and this is ALL assuming that the cars aren't still stuck in Malaysia due to an injunction as previously reported (see post below) AND this is already coming after the new chassis debacle where not enough teams got the new Ferrari chassis forcing many teams out of the season opening race...

While Indonesia isn't directly their fault, it does beg the question: Why did they wait this long for a track on their schedule to get approval? And as far as Mexico City goes, maybe if they stuck with their original Mexico City track(s) they may not have had to worry about this. Surely a track like Barber/Miller Motorsports Parks, Elkhart Lake would be happy to have this series in the U.S. and surely there are many other great tracks out there already waiting for a series like this, why gamble on a new track??

...ugh....

It saddens me, it really it does; because the concept of a Motorsports World Cup truly is a magnificent one, its easy to know who to cheer for, and its easy to explain, and (maybe if scheduled to end a little earlier so as to not conflict) fills up the hole in the IndyCar/F1/GP2 etc. off-season...but it seems they just can't get anything right and its very unfortunate for motorsports fans.

4 comments:

Too Much Racing said...

You'd think someone would check about being double-booked, surely someone at the Mexico City circuit would have noticed..

I have some sympathy with the Indonesian race, I mean Herman Tilke designed it and his tracks usually work straight away. I guess street tracks are different.

In any case I thought the Sentul circuit was on standby in case this happened... I'm convinced I read that in Autosport some months ago. Although I wasn't impressed when GP2 Asia visited Sentul a year ago, so perhaps A1 thought better of it. The locals didn't have a clue how to marshal the event.

Michele-Marie said...

um... here's an idea... hold the concert in conjunction with the race!!
Other series do it all the time. I mean come ON! Just how popular is Radiohead down there anyway???

philip.e.chandler said...

I agree with you there, A1 GP is a good concept, but has gone all wrong this last season. And the thing is, with the Lola chassis last season, it was going all so well. It was getting competitive, all races were secure and teams would be able to just race at all of them. I was never that keen of the new Ferrari chassis, and particually of basing it off the old F1 car, but the series just doesn't seem to be well managed.

SandWedge said...

I don't mind the new chassis, as I was never too fond of how the Lola (front wing) looked; but while thats neither here nor there for me, they definitely should have any new chassis or equipment change entirely ready to go for all teams before a season starts. When they realized the Ferarris weren't going to be ready they should have just done this season with the Lolas.

the management of this series is definitely questionable at best. If I had any say I'd make the following immediate changes:

1- Schedule is mid/late October to, at latest, beginning of March; an offseason, world-cup oriented competition has no business competing with F1 & Indycar; and theres no reason they can't at least get 1 or 2 races in December; A1GP should be where guys go to represent their country, not a feeder series.

2- Either school everyone on rolling starts or remove them from Sprint races.

3- Do NOT change the chassis or any other major specs for at least 5-6 years, the longer we go without changing anything the more countries can buy into the series with knowledge of equipment existing.

4-They desperately need to add a Canadian and United States leg to go with Mexico's. There is no shortage of all ready to go permanent certified tracks. They also need to extend their contract to race in New Zealand and get it closer to their new Surfer's Paradise date.