How to Make the Race of Champions Better
Today, the Race of Champions decided to move away from Wembley Stadium in London to the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. Needless to say doesn’t seem to be a wise move, with the Formula 1 event in China most likely to be chopped because of dwindling crowds. Then the fact its during a weekday, most people will be at work or school and don’t have time to watch it.
So I’ve been thinking, how should the Race of Champions event be run? So lets start with location.
Logistically, Europe seems the prime location, with massive stadiums and the main focus of motorsports around the world. However a North American location could also be considered. A venue here could see NASCAR and Indy Car drivers compete and make the racing more exciting. I listed potential and suitable venues with pro’s and con’s.
Stade de France (Paris) – 75, 959. Pros – Has experience of hosting the event. Cons – Has hosted the event before.
Olympiastadion (Berlin) – 76, 065. Pros – Big capacity, includes athletics track so the circuit can be bigger, country has good race drivers to help capacity. Cons – None.
Luzhniki Stadion (Moscow) – 84, 745. Pros – Massive capacity, includes athletics track. Con’s – Will be cold in November, it is an old stadium and has not been renovated since 1956. Russia is not known as a massive watcher of motorsports.
Athens Olympic Stadium (Athens) 71,000. Pros – Has experience of hosting massive events (2004 Olympics), Won’t be cold in November. Cons – Crowd may not be massive due to not being a big motorsports nation.
Soldier Field (Chicago) – 61, 500. Pros – Expand American interest, will allow US drivers to compete, recently built. Cons – Small stadium, circuit must be small.
After thinking about it, I felt that the Olympiastadion in Berlin is the best option, prime location for European viewers and will get a good crowd. There are loads of possibilities for a stadium to be used, and too many in the USA and Canada, but for the purposes of this blog, I’ll keep the number low.
So we’ve sorted out the location, so when are we going to do it? The RoC will be held on two separate days, just days after the end of the Formula 1 season. This will ultimately cause too many problems, the drivers coming from F1 will be shattered and wanting a rest, the other drivers from other series coming all the way to China for a one off event.
I would instead have it on a Saturday, more useful for fans to go and watch instead of missing work/school for it. However, lets note that the Olympiastadion is used in football for both Hertha Berlin and the German national side. Lets be realistic here, we can’t reorganize a regular football fixture, the fans are not going to be best pleased. So we really need to wait until the fixtures for the Bundesliga to come out in June. Now this might not be ideal, but there is a winter break at the end of December, and whilst drivers may want to have a break then, its a good opportunity and best time for it. Plus people are on holiday anyway with the Christmas breaks.
Then who would I invite. Primary invitees would be the champions of the following events:
- Formula 1
- World Touring Car Championship
- One winner of Le Mans
- One winner of the Le Mans Series
- World Rally Championship
That means eight drivers, say if the champion couldn’t do it, it would be offered down to the next driver in that championship. In an ideal world, 8 different nationalities will win each event, but that is highly unlikely, so if say two Brits win, then another nation will be allowed to choose two drivers for it to compete in the Nations Cup. For the Nations Cup there will be 8 teams, all from different countries.
Now the cars, of course you have to have the RoC buggy.
It is an unique car only for the Race of Champions, massively symbolic towards it and I find it great to watch as well. The other cars vary, you can’t have anything Formula 1 fast as you’d lose control way to early, but a similar car to the Abarth above and perhaps a rally car could work as well. Say a reliable Honda Civic and a Ford Rally car, so not biased in favour of the inevitable WRC champion Sebastian Loeb. For an open top car, how about an historic one. A classic 1960 style racer to suit just about everyone.
These I believe are the main details in attempting to make the racing, the viewing and most importantly, the enjoyment of it more better. Sadly I don’t thinking putting it in China will help one bit, but hopefully they will have seen sense for 2010. If you have your own improvements, please do share in the comments.