Spec Racing Is Crap -- Really?

With all the changes to Grand-Am, ALMS, DTM, V-8 Supercars etc., I've read a lot of comments that race series built around a tight set of specifications (F1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, DTM etc) are bad. Since I don't think there is a series on earth that doesn't have a tight set of rules, I have to say I think this idea is wrong-headed. Here's how the world works as I understand it:

1. Racing is expensive

2. People who watch racing pay for it (buy tickets, watch ads, etc)

3. People want to see racing action (passing, cars catching cars, drama in qualifying, mistakes on track, pit stops)

4. People like the cars and want them to be interesting

5. No rules or few rules means #3 gets violated -- some team(s) will have way more money and/or skill and dominate (see Can-Am)

6. No rules or few rules means the cost of racing goes up in a tech war

7. If you escalate costs while making the on-track action worse (reducing sponsorship money, attendance and ad $) you have a recipe for a diminishing series (aka it loses money). LMP1 might be the current example of this. A few series can exist in this position because they are vanity/brand projects for the OEMs. But this cannot be a widespread approach. 

8. But note, the limited rules series that survive in #7 aren't great racing. They're (a few) nice cars. 

9. The conversation, if you like racing, isn't about spec vs non-spec racing. It is about which specs are best to achieve a mix of #3 and #4. 

by BillS on March 31, 2013 - 9:25 a.m.