Well, that certainly wasn’t the race day we had planned or wished for. Particularly the Toronto fans. My heart broke a little for Paul on Sunday. Knowing his opportunities to run in this event are dwindling, I really wanted to see him have if not a successful time, then at least a fun time. Sadly he had neither. The car was a pig all weekend (brake issues until morning warm up, which disappeared and were replaced by the downshift sends the car into neutral gremlin!) and then a bizarre twist of racing fate takes him out on the first lap.
“if only” comes into play.
If only the team Aussie boy’s hadn’t bumped into each other, Simon wouldn’t have lost his wing, which wouldn’t have merged with Paul’s car, which wouldn’t have crashed, which wouldn’t have collected Kat & Figge… and so on and so forth. (of course I can’t say for sure whether the Heylen/Gommendy incident would have happened though…)
As for the event itself? Well, I honestly can’t say whether it was a “huge” success or not. The organizers were keeping information pretty close to the vest. Absolutely ZERO numbers released in the media centre, which says more than if you just posted the damn things. Every year, every day, the attendance numbers are announced during the final press conference and posted on the wall you see as soon as you enter the press centre. Nothing this year.
Since I pretty much spend most of my time between the media centre, pits and paddock, I really don’t have much of a feel for the pulse of the midway. I heard everything from “it sucks” to “it’s packed”. I didn’t get a sense of packed. It was certainly crowed in parts, but I think that was mostly due to awkwards bottle necking from odd layouts, rather than hoards of people. I know rows of seats were removed from numerous grandstands, so when those grandstands aren’t filled to capacity… well, you figure it out.
While I appreciate the title sponsorship of Steelback (and the piggy backing of D’Angelo beverages) I think there should also be other options. (not for the beer, but for the non-alcohol) It’s pretty sad when you bring your own beverages to the track or just go thirsty rather than drinking the free offerings in the media centre fridge. (yes, they are that bad)
There was a real sense of “empty” this year. I don’t know how to explain it. Again, I didn’t get around one corner of the midway, and the new stadium seems to have really disrupted the flow imo.
more thoughts to come…