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Old 21 Aug 2017, 07:13 (Ref:3760671)   #1
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Supercar Has Lost Its Relevance?

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Old 21 Aug 2017, 07:26 (Ref:3760674)   #2
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Yes.

Next year all of the races will be won by cars no longer in production. Of course this has happened before but the promoters and the governing body were smart enough to put a stop to this and force the teams to run current models.

The racing will no doubt still be good but what must the average punter think when they watch Bathurst next year and possibly the following year and there are still V8 Commodores and Falcons running?
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 07:32 (Ref:3760675)   #3
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Well i guess when you are racing 3 cars that by the end of the year will no longer be sold here then relevance is an issue.

But whats the alternative.

There are few cars being sold in australia in significant numbers that derive any passion.

The surveys all say V8's but manufacturers are moving away from them. Car being sold in Australia in significant numbers are mostly not suitable for racing as we have known it for the past 50ish years
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 07:36 (Ref:3760677)   #4
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I have to admit, the article is somewhat right. The last couple of times I've been to the events in Queensland (Ipswich and Gold Coast) there wasn't the same amount of crowds nor atmosphere. Even the small businesses that used to profit from having a stall at the event (and their promo model girls, etc) were sorely lacking. (At QR the other week, even the food vans which were plenty in the past only a few were there)

Plus with Volvo and Ford leaving the sport, it has lost a lot of the series fanbase. When I was at the QR event a few weeks ago, there was only a few diehard fans wearing blue oval merchandise and anyone wearing Volvo or Mercedes gear was non-existent. (with the exception of a few people wearing F1 shirts with one wearing Mercedes colours)

Speaking of marques, when even the top international backed teams are struggling to get factory acknowledgement (Penske, Prodrive, etc) to the point they're running cars no longer being made is alarm bell ringing.

The flip side is that there is some heartwarming nostalgia seeing an Aussie icon still being used and the lack of people means it's easier to see and catch up with friends in the series who would usually be drowning in a sea of fans who would want a photo and/or autograph . (I had a good old chat to Greg Rust, Brad Jones, Neil Crompton and a few others instead of the usual quick hello in the past)

Maybe I'm being an optimist to think that Supercars will survive as the top-level motorsport in this country but with the ever-shrinking market and sponsorship becoming harder and harder by each passing day compared to Aus GT and with some of the top teams looking at the category, (speaking to guys like Tekno, Walkinshaw plus lower-tier runners like Ben Eggleston and Jim Pollicina) it looks like the Supercars series is in troubled waters. So can they save it from sinking or time to abandon ship?
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 07:56 (Ref:3760680)   #5
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While I still enjoy the series and what it has to offer the writing is on the wall with the lack of manufacturers interest.

It would be so easy to convert the series to a modified GT4 platform that would likely bring manufacturers back and a few new faces but also maintain the level of performance expected.

The passion just isn't there for new drivers like there is for the past generation of superstars, I remember Murphy codriving with JC for HRT at Sandown a few years ago had the grandstand making plenty of noise while he was making up places, yet JW would be leading with little to no excitement.

The Ambrose situation also highlighted how stupidly over regulated and what a closed shop our series has become, he was bringing supporters back by the thousands but decided to walk away due to huge expectation of him and the team and little to no opportunity to improve the car between meetings.

I understand not having it open slather but for a professional series it's laughable they get 3 tests all year and almost no tyres.

Also when you make the cars almost exactly the same (Thanks Skaife and COTF) with little to no difference in componant suppliers, and you find yourself listening to everyone talk about tyres for 6 hours it gets a little taxing.

When you watch telecasts from the early 2000's, you would barely hear anything about tyres besides a basic promo of how good the product Dunlop was supplying.
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 11:33 (Ref:3760722)   #6
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Originally Posted by peckstar View Post
Well i guess when you are racing 3 cars that by the end of the year will no longer be sold here then relevance is an issue.

But whats the alternative.

There are few cars being sold in australia in significant numbers that derive any passion.

The surveys all say V8's but manufacturers are moving away from them. Car being sold in Australia in significant numbers are mostly not suitable for racing as we have known it for the past 50ish years
The alternative is to race cars with relevance, which has/had been the backbone of touring car racing for decades (save the 78-79 period, as alluded by chavez)

Cars being sold in significant numbers are more than suitable for racing.

Maybe, as per the changes in 1973 and 1985, it is time for the style of car we race now to be sent off to Sports Sedans?

Should the "Australian Touring Car Championship" title, which is still awarded to the VASC winner, be continued to be awarded if the series regs continue down a path with ever increasing "no relevance" to the road going models?
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 12:08 (Ref:3760733)   #7
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This 'elephant in the room' has been ignored/pushed aside/glossed-over for way too long now.
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 12:33 (Ref:3760737)   #8
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The series is on track to be an updated Touring Car Masters.However as Peckstar says there are probably no viable alternatives.See you all on the F1 forum soon.
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 14:31 (Ref:3760744)   #9
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I feel like singing this.... The Blues... sort of
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 15:05 (Ref:3760749)   #10
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Grab a coffee.

I disagree with the article, in part. Yes, the crowd numbers are down. But relevance and category death…?

It appears the key two reasons people jump aboard the “it’s dying” train relate to 1) manufacturer involvement/car relativity, and/or 2) FTA v PAY.

It’s a flawed argument to say “oh, in a year or two they’ll be racing cars that aren’t even made/sold in this country anymore, and without that connection it’s doomed”. Newsflash, the cars you’ve watched race for the last 20 years haven’t been made/sold in this country.

An Aussie Race Car skinned as a Commodore or Falcon is about as close the showroom edition as a Supercar, so I stay on the platform when the whistle blows to jump on the manufacturer irrelevance train.

In terms of the tunnel draft created from the always approaching FTA/FOX express, I just don’t see how it can be identified as a reason for a supposed “imminent doom” for the category/business. Have the crowds lessened in the recent past? Yes. Has this downturn coincided with the shift to PayTV? Partially, however there’s some overlap.

Did anyone think, just for a moment, that the TV product is so good that attending an event is actually less enticing? I, for one, didn’t attend the QR round recently. One of the key considerations was knowing the quality of the Supercars Media broadcast is that good!. I guess then, in some way, the people who say FOX has caused a shift in crowd numbers are right; however they’re not leaving the sport. They’re just watching it at home instead.

I do not assert, even with that defence above, that there’s no problem. I just don’t think the thing is irrelevant or nearing death. And for what struggles it may appear to have from the outside, I don’t think changing technical specifications to satisfy a romanticised need for manufacturer alignment is necessary, and I definitely don’t believe a shift back to FTA is the answer.

I have some ideas, but before we worry too much, let’s not forget the good that already exists.
• The racing quality is second only to MotoGP. Ok, it wrangles with some others for 2nd, but it’s consistently up there.
• The TV product is equal to best motorsport globally
• 26 car grids. Sure, we hear the rumours, but there are always 26 (and sometimes more)
• Street event production/delivery is world class. Seriously, watch some other “world” championships and see how well the Aussies do it.
• Driver and team accessibility and marketability
• Series sponsors – Virgin & Vodafone are two recent additions. Ok, only 2, however 2 can become 4 can become 6. The first few are the hardest.
• That’s just scratching the surface.

So what, then, do I think needs focus if there’s no manufacturer relevance or PayTV issue, and there’s so much good to rave about?

Event ticketing/pricing.

Let’s first look at the signature events, the big six – Adelaide, Townsville, Sandown, Bathurst, GC, Newcastle. They have some or all of the following: history, FTA, sponsors, colour, movement, fun, noise, marketing and government funding. They’ve got the fact they are what they are; it’s a raw, almost effortless appeal. It’s easy to go to one of those, because even though you’re a Supercars fan and that’s what you’re going to see, once you’re there you feel real value for your ticket because there is so much going on. There is so much off-track engagement. They are genuine EVENTS, not a car race.

Let’s shift to the other venues. Tasmania, Winton, QR, SMSP, Perth, PI. (NT & NZ are anomalies). These are not, and will never be events; EVENTS as in the type of experience I detailed for the others. There are no side shows, the show bags suck, the dagwood dogs are rarely hot, and the atmosphere rises, peaks and falls away only when the Supercars are on. At the moment though, if you purchased a ticket for one of these events, you will most likely arrive somewhere between 7 and 8, lay down your blanket with an esky and wait it out until you see what you really came for.

Why? I think the ticketing price makes you commit to going the whole day. I mean, there’s a certain sense of no value for money if you pay for a full day show but only go for a quarter of it. Admit it, you feel better knowing you went the whole day to get the full value of your ticket, even though you rarely pay attention to the other track cleaners, and end up with a nose full of dusty track boogers!

It is my assertion that a growing number of people are having this chat with themselves, “hmmm, its $65 (+paddock), to go watch the Supercars. ****, at that price, I should go all day and see what else is on”. Then… the kicker… “oh hang on, I have to take Johnny to soccer at 8. I have to mow the lawn at some point this weekend. And I promised my partner we’d go check out the café for breakfast this weekend.”

You can still go in the afternoon, and catch the Supercar race, sure. But would you pay 60 or 70 for that? Nope! No value there, and the TV product is ace! So you, and the other 8,000, don’t go.

Proposal:
• Leave the Super6 as they are
• Leave NT & NZ as they are
• For the others; Ticket price (either Sat or Sun):
o $50 for all day access including paddock, and pre race grid walk.
o $35 for access after Supercar practice/before qualifying, including paddock, no grid walk
o $25 for access after Supercar qualifying/before race, no paddock, no grid.
 As well as targeting the hard core “I’m only free in the afternoon fan”, the $25 ticket would tempt new fans. The ones in Wangaratta for Winton, Cowes for PI, Ipswich for QR, Launceston for Tas, all of Sydney for SMSP!
• No g/stand tickets. If venue has g/stands, first in best dressed.
• No VIP/corporate parking. You find a spot, you park.
• One other thing I’d do, and it’s motivated by something I remember as a kid. When a cricket test match was on at the SCG it wasn’t shown on Sydney (or outer burbs) TV unless the event was sold out. So, if you lived close enough, the only way to see it was to attend, or hope for a sell out. I recognise that kind of extreme is not possible these days, so:
o sign up for FOX Sports and receive a ticket (the $50 version) for both Saturday and Sunday at your “local” event”. Might just get more subscribers & more attendees.

Sorry for the long-winded post. Probably could have been said in less words, but when you’ve been standing on the platform waiting for that freight train of positivity and belief, you’ve got a fair bit of time to write!

It astounds me as I flick through posts on this forum how much, what almost seems like hope, people have for others’ failure. People seem, sadly, to take delight in not only predicting some disappointment for another, but them seem gleeful if they’re even just 50% right.

I challenge the main protagonists to use their next 3 posts to be positive about motorsport in this country; specifically, Supercars. We’re doing just fine compared to others.
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 18:30 (Ref:3760780)   #11
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Quote:
getting into the circuit is a breeze

there’s no longer a line of people waiting to get in and the grand stands
Organization is better, then?

Quote:
Nissan must be surely wondering why they’re involved given their poor results in a car (the Nissan Ultima) that was also unsuccessful in showrooms.
So much for a motoring guru.
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 22:58 (Ref:3760820)   #12
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Originally Posted by one five five View Post
The alternative is to race cars with relevance, which has/had been the backbone of touring car racing for decades (save the 78-79 period, as alluded by chavez)

Cars being sold in significant numbers are more than suitable for racing.

Maybe, as per the changes in 1973 and 1985, it is time for the style of car we race now to be sent off to Sports Sedans?

Should the "Australian Touring Car Championship" title, which is still awarded to the VASC winner, be continued to be awarded if the series regs continue down a path with ever increasing "no relevance" to the road going models?
That great, what are those cars? The corolla, mazda and camry or a ute or an sUV
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 23:14 (Ref:3760822)   #13
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Grab a coffee.

Deleted because it was long and is above for reference

.
Dont disagree with anything you said

For me cost has become a little prohibitive. for most events my secondary school aged kids are now almost full price (most events are from 12 and up). I can now get foxtel for 4 months for the cost of entry to one day to an event. not that i have made that choice just showing a comparison. Foxtel also gives me access to other sports that i and my family enjoy so its a win for everyone

We do however need to find the replacement cars/ models. In the past it just rolled along as next model was introduced. But we are at a point now where there is no next model (apart from commodore) So we as the fans are unsure

Last edited by peckstar; 21 Aug 2017 at 23:24.
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Old 22 Aug 2017, 00:04 (Ref:3760824)   #14
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We do however need to find the replacement cars/ models. In the past it just rolled along as next model was introduced. But we are at a point now where there is no next model (apart from commodore) So we as the fans are unsure
I struggle to understand how many of the same people who cite model relativity as being crucial for sustainability also scream "keep the V8's. We don't want this turbo 6 crap".
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Old 22 Aug 2017, 00:06 (Ref:3760825)   #15
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The problem with PI is the date and event has chopped and changed over the years continuity has been shot.

Either have a sprint round or an enduro when the weather is good - with Sandown's future unknown given VRC ownership something needs to be locked in
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