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Old 28 Jul 2019, 20:19 (Ref:3920109)   #631
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The SC following a FCY kinda 'works' in the shorter races. Or rather, it works the way they intend it to. Due to the stint length rules, everyone has the same strategy in a 3 hour race, so it never impacts anyone.

With 24 hours, even with stint length rules, everyone is everywhere and the SCs always ruin someone's race.

I understand why they do it in the 3 hour and 1 hour races (but still disagree with it), however it simply doesn't work in 24 hours at all.
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Old 28 Jul 2019, 20:56 (Ref:3920117)   #632
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72 GT3 cars at Spa = wonderful spectacle, terrible race. Just as expected.
I apologise for doubting that you were there!
Fair play to you - think that you even managed to walk further than I did! But I think that I might have way more images to sort through when i get home tomorrow!

I am less worried about the FCY/SC issue than some - I understand purists views but for me I just love the whole show.

Friends often ask me - how can it be better the F1? - really??? - more overtaking in one lap then the whole of an F1 race! Probably 100+ of the best sports car drivers in the world in one place actually racing each other in near identical machinery! What more could you want?

I know John Watson is not to everybody's taste but I really enjoyed the live feed throughout the weekend and the fact that I could keep up with the race wherever I was, helped no end. I thought overall, there was plenty of info provided, and the availability of 'live', accurate timing kept you constantly up to date. What the hell did we do before it?

For a slightly different view on the whole show - my wife comes with me every year, and in January this year she asked me BEFORE i had broached the subject, which week she should book off work for Spa and we are going aren't we! She covers the whole week with me, taking almost as many images as I do and enjoys the whole vibe - she feels that it's 'just right'. As someone who isn't as 'aware' as maybe we are the whole debate about the FCY/SC, it just passes her by - 'well, that's what they do isn't it' was her comment when I suggested that many people don't like it!

Regarding the circuit this year, I discovered an area that I had always considered 'off limits' - parking at 'Karting' and walking back under the tunnel and turning left and walking anti-clockwise around to the inside of Pouhon - some great views and photo opps to be had - spent the last three hours around this area.

Apologies for the length of this - just had dinner and a beer or two and wanted to try to tell people who didn't get the chance to be at Spa - BOOK IT FOR NEXT YEAR! - Just the best weekend of the whole racing year!

Hope everybody who made it has a safe trip home and that you have all finally dried out!
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Old 28 Jul 2019, 22:10 (Ref:3920134)   #633
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Regarding the circuit this year, I discovered an area that I had always considered 'off limits' - parking at 'Karting' and walking back under the tunnel and turning left and walking anti-clockwise around to the inside of Pouhon - some great views and photo opps to be had - spent the last three hours around this area.
Last year there was a temporary grandstand up the slope through the gate (the corner is called Paul Frere I believe) but you couldn't walk any further round inside Pouhon. This year I walked under the bridge hoping to find the same but saw the gate was shut and turned back, assuming the tents and people I could see there were one of the many corporate shindigs. I then saw people who were obviously regular spectators walking round, but by then I'd gone quite a long way further round and decided not to retrace my steps. One for next year. It seems that every year where you can go or not changes - at least that means exploration can be rewarded!

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Apologies for the length of this - just had dinner and a beer or two and wanted to try to tell people who didn't get the chance to be at Spa - BOOK IT FOR NEXT YEAR! - Just the best weekend of the whole racing year!
Second best - Nurburgring 24 beats it :-). But I wholly endorse the suggestion that anyone who likes endurance racing should make the Spa 24 a priority.

Last edited by Anyopenroad; 28 Jul 2019 at 22:17.
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Old 28 Jul 2019, 22:44 (Ref:3920139)   #634
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Originally Posted by Akrapovic View Post
The SC following a FCY kinda 'works' in the shorter races. Or rather, it works the way they intend it to. Due to the stint length rules, everyone has the same strategy in a 3 hour race, so it never impacts anyone.

With 24 hours, even with stint length rules, everyone is everywhere and the SCs always ruin someone's race.

I understand why they do it in the 3 hour and 1 hour races (but still disagree with it), however it simply doesn't work in 24 hours at all.
It does not work anywhere. The Blancpain GT series really stinks now. I used to be to excited about the Spa 24 throughout the decade. This year, I barely followed it. Exactly as I predicted a safety car calamity. This is no endurance race its just a bunch of sprint races with a safety car pause and then you go again. Strangley though I have enjoyed the sprint series races more than the endurance so far this year despite the fact that the sprint series is lacking in manufacturer diversity. Its pretty much Lambo vs Mercedes vs Audi, with an occasional lone Ferrari or Aston Martin.

There really is not much real endurance racing anymore. I think Nurburgring is the best since they just go with slow zones. Daytona and Sebring have gotten better mainly because of their field sizes which are in the 40's now. Perfectly fine in this day and age of great reliability. Quite content to keep those grids under 50 cars. Bathurst has too many safety cars. Actually I am looking forward to the Suzuka 10 hours. That went off well in 2018 (broadcasting aside). The Indy 8 hours has a ton of potential I think. On the Creventic side, I've become a big fan of the COTA 24.

Last edited by MaskedRacer; 28 Jul 2019 at 22:52.
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Old 29 Jul 2019, 05:07 (Ref:3920180)   #635
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The Safety car post FCY is a safety measure supported by the teams. It means the cars can get heat into the tyres, whereas a long period of FCY then straight to green would mean cold tyres. It was discussed during the commentary yesterday and explained the teams support it
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Old 29 Jul 2019, 06:32 (Ref:3920185)   #636
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The Safety car post FCY is a safety measure supported by the teams. It means the cars can get heat into the tyres, whereas a long period of FCY then straight to green would mean cold tyres. It was discussed during the commentary yesterday and explained the teams support it
I'll be honest, I don't believe the commentary team. It wasn't long ago they had no idea what was going on with the FCY/SC procedure. It also doesn't allow the leader to get much heat into the tyres, only those behind. And it could be solved by having a "Code 150" as gert suggested earlier.

It's just not a good solution and it makes the racing worse.
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Old 29 Jul 2019, 09:26 (Ref:3920204)   #637
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I'll be honest, I don't believe the commentary team. It wasn't long ago they had no idea what was going on with the FCY/SC procedure. It also doesn't allow the leader to get much heat into the tyres, only those behind. And it could be solved by having a "Code 150" as gert suggested earlier.

It's just not a good solution and it makes the racing worse.
Im a big fan of the Nurburgring's slow zones, and I do believe it could be implemented at a track like Spa.

It would remove the issue of cold tyres, itd remove the issue of excessive time under safety car, and itd still ensure that cars are moving through an incident zone at a safe speed.

Just make sure you penalise anyone going too fast properly so it is clear that the speed limit is crucial.

I get the track isnt as long as the nurgburgring, but think, if you had an incident at the top of Eau Rouge, you implement a slow starting at La Source, and ending at Kemmel.

Or if theres an of at Stavelot, start a slow zone at Campus, end at Paul Frere.

I dont think its beyong workability.
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Old 29 Jul 2019, 10:58 (Ref:3920216)   #638
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I'll be honest, I don't believe the commentary team. It wasn't long ago they had no idea what was going on with the FCY/SC procedure. It also doesn't allow the leader to get much heat into the tyres, only those behind.
I agree. The commentators are just repeating what their employers have told them. They don't sound convinced themselves.

The irony is that the drivers who get warmed tires are the ones driving like nutters to catch the back of the train before the safety car comes in, since it doesn't always wait.

That is really the crux of it for me. It's perfectly coherent to decide to prioritise the show over the purity of the racing. It's not my preferred option, but IMSA do it and they are open that it is to keep the race close. But IMSA do it right - immediate safety car then pass-arounds and class-ordered pit windows. SRO do it badly - FCY first, then a short safety car, artificially mixing up class races.

They just need to decide and be honest about it. FCYs and slow zones to preserve the purity of the racing, or safety cars with pass-arounds to keep the pack bunched for closer racing. Either is fine (even if I have a strong preference for the former) but the current mish-mash is horrible, neither one thing nor the other.
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Old 29 Jul 2019, 11:47 (Ref:3920218)   #639
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I enjoyed the race.

Like may others, I don't think the number of cars was a problem, that was more due to the weather and the stupid 'bunch-up-the-field' thing.

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I'll be honest, I don't believe the commentary team. It wasn't long ago they had no idea what was going on with the FCY/SC procedure.
You're absolutely right.

While the regular commentator team was away, one of the interim guys (Martin Haven I think) said wht he thought about the system. I suppose he didn't need to be politically correct ulike the regular commentary team. He also said teams didn't like it.

While I am at it: IMO the quality of the commentary team went up while the regulars were away. Martin haven is so much better than John Watson, even though he sometimes had difficulties identifying some driver-team combinations.
Not all combinations were as good as others though (Watson/Varsha was about the worst, but Haven + Ryan Myhren was as good as it got)
Myhren was excellent as pit lane reported, as was the other guy that replaced him when he went to assist Haven. As opposed to Dakota, they know how to conduct an interview and dig a bit deeper to get interesting answers.

If only we could get those on a regular basis ...

Last edited by gert; 29 Jul 2019 at 12:08.
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Old 29 Jul 2019, 11:55 (Ref:3920221)   #640
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I think SRO are relieved the #1 did not win by a small margin.
Otherwise, eveybody would point to the 50second advantage they gained when the safety car picked up the wrong car.

After Muller went off-track and later with the race-ended accident, we can quietly forget it and pretend it didn't happen.


On the other hand: if the #1 had won by under a minute, maybe they would have finally given the FCY-SC a second look and learned from it.
Now, that isn't necessary as all is good in the end.

Last edited by gert; 29 Jul 2019 at 12:08.
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Old 29 Jul 2019, 20:36 (Ref:3920307)   #641
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I enjoyed the race.

Like may others, I don't think the number of cars was a problem, that was more due to the weather and the stupid 'bunch-up-the-field' thing.

You're absolutely right.

While the regular commentator team was away, one of the interim guys (Martin Haven I think) said wht he thought about the system. I suppose he didn't need to be politically correct ulike the regular commentary team. He also said teams didn't like it.

While I am at it: IMO the quality of the commentary team went up while the regulars were away. Martin haven is so much better than John Watson, even though he sometimes had difficulties identifying some driver-team combinations.
Not all combinations were as good as others though (Watson/Varsha was about the worst, but Haven + Ryan Myhren was as good as it got)
Myhren was excellent as pit lane reported, as was the other guy that replaced him when he went to assist Haven. As opposed to Dakota, they know how to conduct an interview and dig a bit deeper to get interesting answers.

If only we could get those on a regular basis ...


Can we all just Agee its time for Watson to retire now?
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Old 29 Jul 2019, 22:52 (Ref:3920323)   #642
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I really don't see how it can be tenable for every year to be a 6 hour bloodbath to see who successfully manages to not end up in the hospital before anything even resembling an actual race starts. Well okay I do, because there's a large enough supply of idiots with money to keep things rolling even after the last batch of idiots wrecked themselves or whoever they collected out of the sport. But it's still ridiculous. Crashes of such magnitude you should see maybe one in a race BACK TO BACK because of amateurs that can barely drive a car in a straight line.

Even if you put aside the race interruptions making it barely watchable I honestly don't even have the stomach for it.
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Old 29 Jul 2019, 22:59 (Ref:3920325)   #643
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...some rant ...
Frankly, I fail to see which accidents you are referring too, or who are supposed to be the idiots.

Sure, there were accidents, and cars were wrecked.
However, if you are referring to the am bronze/silver drivers (you mention idiots with money) then I don't think that's fair to them.
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Old 30 Jul 2019, 02:56 (Ref:3920337)   #644
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My issue isn't amateurs in general, but the ones that drive over their heads, along with the (usually pro driver) 24 hour BTCC race stuff that seems to go on in GT3 racing these days. When I say "idiots with money" I more so mean there's an inexhaustible supply of entrants that will look past all the smashed cars and smashed bodies and keep doing the same stuff.

Mind you I hadn't realized the 3Y BMW might have broken, which would make that crash quite a bit more justifiable although still caused by driving standards.
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Old 30 Jul 2019, 06:30 (Ref:3920346)   #645
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