Still feeling kind of empty and unmotivated following that abysmal display on the Saturday…
So it’s into the mailbag to answer a question… (ooh, how Robin Miller/Curt Cavin of me…)
Just prior to the weekend I got an email asking me why I don’t like ovals, or I guess, more specifically why I prefer street/roadies over the roundy rounds. And what tracks are my favorites.
Well after this weekend I guess the short answer could be “that’s why” 😉
It’s not that I don’t like ovals… it’s more that I prefer street/road courses.
Now of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t disclose or admit that there are/were some pretty shitty street/road courses out there too. Likewise, there are some ovals that are better than others.
I guess in terms of IndyCar, the flaws with the current formula are just that much more pronounced on the ovals.
Outdated, ugly, cars, that are in some cases undriveable, especially for the smaller, underfunded or newer teams, who, knowing that the formula is on the precipice of change, realize it would be like setting fire to money to do any worthwhile R&D at this point.
I don’t like how ovals are less about drivers driving skill than about the drivers surviving skill. You hear that all the time. “I was holding on for dear life” “I had no control”
Also it’s about windtunnels and technology, and drafting rather than actually racing.
I also truthfully feel that you don’t get a true sense of the oval experience watching them on tv. I find them mindnumbingly boring. Yet when I was in Vegas a few years back for the oval race (Champ Car), I could barely breathe or take my eyes off the track and the cars. It was a cross between exhilarating and terrifying. Only two races gave me that feeling last season. The Lights race in Kentucky I think (fucking insane racing by those kids) and the season finale in Chicago.
I guess as well that because my home race is a street course I am more partial to them. Also the bulk of my “in person” race experiences are street/road courses during the Champ Car years.
I like that on street/road courses (most of them) the drivers get to actually drive! They get to stretch their mad driving skills, and maneuver, left and right…
I also experienced the new DP01 during the final Champ Car season, which actually allowed for closer racing and actual passing on street/road courses, so the racing was actually pretty damn good as the series gasped it’s last breath… 😦
My preferred track would be neither a street or a road course, but rather one of the airport courses like Cleveland or Edmonton. It’s like the best of both worlds. Cleveland never disappointed! I can’t believe the brain trust is thinking of fucking with it if/when they bring it back.
Probably the most amazing track was the downtown temp street course in Vegas designed by the brilliant Chris Kniefel. That track had elements of all the genres of tracks. Long front straight, sweeping oval like turns, twisting and turning sections and elevation changes… Fuck it was awesome!! The drivers loved it. The fans loved it. It was gorgeous on TV, amazing in person. So sad that it ended up being a one off. After that race, I wished that “The Knife” would visit and revamp all of the street coures on the circuit.
I also loved Denver once they worked the bugs out and the drivers learned the nuances of the course and drove the shit out of it.
So there ya have it. I guess when it comes down to it, I have a love/hate relationship with all of the tracks on the circuit.
I also think the schedule is lending itself to setting up a hate hate relationship for many because of the clumps of genres together. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m ovaled out right now. After that yawn inducing display the other night, the thought of two more in a row is making me wish for time travel.
What say you my peeps? Weigh in, lets gets some chatter going..