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Old 9 May 2007, 01:02 (Ref:1909505)   #1
cos
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A1GP Season 3 - news, views, rumours...

It's only just under 5 months until A1GP season 3 kicks off at Zandvoort. There'll also be a 2-day test at Silverstone International on 28/29 August. In the meantime, A1 Team USA are branding Buddy Rice's car in the Indy 500 which should get a tad more publicity for the series at least.

Season 2 was full of good things but there's always room for improvement. My thoughts for A1's next season:
  • Make sure all teams commit to the whole season. Grids of 24 or 26 at some races are nice, but it makes the series look unstable if smaller teams like Greece and Singapore dip in and out of the championship. 22 teams that contest the whole season is good enough.
  • Tighter schedule, 10-12 races would be fine, keeping it more in the motorsport "off-season". This avoids stepping on F1's toes and would hopefully allow more drivers to take part who might otherwise race in clashing series.
  • Try and steer away from street-races - they bring bigger publicity to the local area but cost a hell of a lot more and bring far too many variables. Stick with one or two viable street courses that have good local and political support and don't shed money.
  • Qualifying format - excellent. Don't change a thing.
  • "Rookie" sessions - excellent; gives teams a chance to try out youngsters and also permits "developing motorsport nations" extra time
  • Sprint/feature race format needs sorting out. Either go back to the format of season 1 (two equal length races) or just have one main race on raceday (2 stops mandatory, like DTM). At the moment the sprint race is a bit of a non-event, no prize money, no live coverage on SkySports etc. If the season 1 format is used, have a reverse grid lineup of sorts for race 2 to spice things up.
  • Continue to limit outfits like SuperNova/WSR running more than one team, except for "developing motorsport nations". Introduce something that requires X% of a team's crew to be of the country of the team they are running.
  • Hold a race in the USA (again).
  • TV - improve the TV coverage! It would be great to have free-to-air live coverage here in the UK for example, but with Sky on board that won't happen for the time being. Five's highlights are better than nothing, but at 3am they're pretty wasted. Why not put the 1 hour A1GP highlights package on FiveUS at primetime a couple of days after the race - this is what they're doing with IRL, ALMS and NASCAR (I think).
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Old 9 May 2007, 09:25 (Ref:1909670)   #2
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Originally Posted by cos
Make sure all teams commit to the whole season. Grids of 24 or 26 at some races are nice, but it makes the series look unstable if smaller teams like Greece and Singapore dip in and out of the championship. 22 teams that contest the whole season is good enough.
Completely agree
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Tighter schedule, 10-12 races would be fine, keeping it more in the motorsport "off-season". This avoids stepping on F1's toes and would hopefully allow more drivers to take part who might otherwise race in clashing series.
This is definitely one thing that annoyed me a bit. The gaps between some races this season were far too long. It made it difficult to keep track of when the next race actually was. If people manage to watch one race on TV, and enjoy it, the next one needs to be 2 weeks away max - by the time a month passes they'll have forgotten how good the last race was.
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Try and steer away from street-races - they bring bigger publicity to the local area but cost a hell of a lot more and bring far too many variables. Stick with one or two viable street courses that have good local and political support and don't shed money.
I think it's more a case of ensure that the street courses are planned better. We don't want street circuits that the hairpins are too tight at, for example. If the season was entirely street circuits, I wouldn't object (much) - providing they still produced good racing
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Sprint/feature race format needs sorting out. Either go back to the format of season 1 (two equal length races) or just have one main race on raceday (2 stops mandatory, like DTM). At the moment the sprint race is a bit of a non-event, no prize money, no live coverage on SkySports etc. If the season 1 format is used, have a reverse grid lineup of sorts for race 2 to spice things up.
Last year wasn't 2 equal length races - it was just a shorter gap between the two. Which proved pretty well unworkable for the teams, and with a fairly long gap on the coverage. I don't think we'll see the format return to as was in season1. Perhaps add things to the sprint - and try to get live TV coverage for it.
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Old 9 May 2007, 09:40 (Ref:1909691)   #3
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Mark Webber has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
the whole one outfit running two teams HAS to go its killing the sport every team has to be stand alone this is a must
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Old 9 May 2007, 11:11 (Ref:1909746)   #4
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Kiwi3 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridKiwi3 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I think we can lose a couple of teams. As much as I admire Nur Ali's spirit I can't see the Pakistan team ever taking off. 18 nations that have sponsorship would be better. Singapore and Greece were a waste of time and we need to avoid that.

If Beijing returns I'll be horrified. Durban was good but apparently cost a packet.

I have read that Ireland are about to re-sign for another five seasons. The series needs to concentrate on the dedicated franchises and continue to arrange events in countries that have teams. As long as it does that it should continue to grow.

The other thing that needs to be improved is stability of drivers. It is a nation vs nation contest however fans also want to get to know the personalities involved. Brazil for example had way too much turnover and it didn't do any good at all.

I do like following live timing on the web site while the TV is on. Cannot do that if the Sprint race is delayed, plus there is too much temptation for the drivers not to take any risks meaning the Sprint race is often a procession. Therefore if given the choice would probably mildly prefer how things were in season one. Agree very tough on the teams though.

Generally though I loved it again and look forward to seeing it continue to grow.
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Old 9 May 2007, 12:07 (Ref:1909775)   #5
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NAC should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridNAC should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
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Originally Posted by cos
  • Sprint/feature race format needs sorting out. Either go back to the format of season 1 (two equal length races) or just have one main race on raceday (2 stops mandatory, like DTM). At the moment the sprint race is a bit of a non-event, no prize money, no live coverage on SkySports etc. If the season 1 format is used, have a reverse grid lineup of sorts for race 2 to spice things up.
cos your on the money and I like everything mentioned but the option for a reverse grid race. Although reverse grid races are good to watch I just hate the fact that we are penalizing the guys at the top of doing well. Plus it messes with the drivers heads and encourages drivers to throw previous races to end up at the front of the pack for the reverse. It's just not right.

At least we are lucky in New Zealand that TV3 has the rights to A1 and is free to air although we to get the delayed coverage of the sprint. The unlucky thing in NZ is that most of the races are in the middle of the night same as F1.

If anyone bumps into Uncle Bernie can you ask him to arrange a night race on a European circuit so us down under can watch it at a decent hour. I know that was getting off the A1 topic but had to get a dig in there somehow.
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Old 9 May 2007, 12:39 (Ref:1909793)   #6
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Mathias should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridMathias should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
[Continuing off-topic]This whole "night racing for the good of live TV" thing is in my view . With the exception of F1, virtually nothing is shown live on anything other than satellite, so most viewers have to put up with videoing highlights at stupid times of a Wednesday morning two weeks later anyway. Why go to all the expense and wasted energy of night races so we can video the highlights at night? Beats me. Mutter mutter mutter.[/continuing off-topic]

Last edited by Asp; 9 May 2007 at 12:43.
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Old 9 May 2007, 12:44 (Ref:1909797)   #7
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Mathias should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridMathias should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
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Originally Posted by cos
Sprint/feature race format needs sorting out. Either go back to the format of season 1 (two equal length races) or just have one main race on raceday (2 stops mandatory, like DTM). At the moment the sprint race is a bit of a non-event, no prize money, no live coverage on SkySports etc. If the season 1 format is used, have a reverse grid lineup of sorts for race 2 to spice things up.
Have to say I'm not a big fan of the sprint/feature format. I don't know what it's supposed to achieve, unless it is just a TV thing. Why not just have 2 races? Or one longer one?

The sprint race is usually fairly processional. If it was billed as a kind of second qualifying that might make more sense, but probably not.

Perhaps it could be made more interesting by teams having to enter different drivers for each race. But I'm not sure about that either.

I did think, if it is genuinely meant to be a team game, that you could maybe have different qualifying and race drivers. That would at least give Jarno Trulli something to do after his retirement from F1.
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Old 9 May 2007, 13:52 (Ref:1909861)   #8
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Originally Posted by NAC
cos your on the money and I like everything mentioned but the option for a reverse grid race. Although reverse grid races are good to watch I just hate the fact that we are penalizing the guys at the top of doing well. Plus it messes with the drivers heads and encourages drivers to throw previous races to end up at the front of the pack for the reverse. It's just not right.
Something like the BTCC reverse grid system would avoid that last problem - randomly selecting anything between the top 6 and top 10 to be reversed, meaning drivers can't "throw" the end of the race to ensure a decent starting position for the next.
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Old 9 May 2007, 17:39 (Ref:1909992)   #9
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I don't mind the two race format, except that the sprint race should be longer. Sure, nothing much happens at the front but sometimes a driver (sorry, nation) can significantly improve on his qualifying position and then progress further in the feature, e.g. New Zealand at Brands, South Africa the first time they had a decent car etc.

I also think that qualifying is excellent, but maybe that's because so far I've watched it on TV guided by the brilliant Ben Edwards. A friend who was at Brands said it was almost impossible to follow, partly because of the noise and partly because the commentators (when you could hear them) seemed uncertain themselves.

Any thoughts from others who have watched qualifying live?
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Old 10 May 2007, 11:04 (Ref:1910197)   #10
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Kiwi3 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridKiwi3 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I have been to A1 at Sepang, Shanghai, Taupo and Beijing and for the first three mentioned had no idea what was happening during qualifying. I won't mention Beijing because the censored icon has been used in this thread already.

I like Mathias idea of having a different driver for the Sprint and Feature races. A piece of inspiration there I feel. Someone get on the phone to the organisers!!!
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Old 10 May 2007, 11:41 (Ref:1910212)   #11
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spider should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridspider should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Was at Brands during qualy as well as the race. Qualy is impossible to follow and imo they should adopt an F1 style knock-out format. Without the odd last-stint fuel-run, it would work extremely well. I was trying to explain the format to a few peeps who saw me with my £5 radio out the back of the track, but takes too much explaining.

The different drivers for Sprint/Main-event format would be a great way to bring more youngsters through...a great idea. E-mail them...now!
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Old 10 May 2007, 14:19 (Ref:1910317)   #12
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NAC should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridNAC should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
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Was at Brands during qualy as well as the race. Qualy is impossible to follow and imo they should adopt an F1 style knock-out format. Without the odd last-stint fuel-run, it would work extremely well. I was trying to explain the format to a few peeps who saw me with my £5 radio out the back of the track, but takes too much explaining.

The different drivers for Sprint/Main-event format would be a great way to bring more youngsters through...a great idea. E-mail them...now!
Try a Radio Ear Muff, you may look like a dork but you get to hear what's going on and protect your ears at the same time. Might also cost a bit more than £5 though.
http://multimedia.mmm.com/mws/mediaw...s666g&zCOrrrrQ- Sorry link not working go www.3m.com and search 1510 FM Radio Ear Muff

Totally agree on the F1 style knock out is good (apart from the fuel burn)

Last edited by NAC; 10 May 2007 at 14:23.
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Old 10 May 2007, 21:08 (Ref:1910590)   #13
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I was there on qualifying day out on the GP circuit. The cars looked amazing but I didn't really understand what was going on. I'll buy a radio next year!
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Old 10 May 2007, 22:31 (Ref:1910647)   #14
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[offtopic]I took my headphones, which proved to be useless. My mate had a set of earphones that were almost like earplugs, and they worked well, I must get a set![/offtopic]

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Old 13 May 2007, 17:16 (Ref:1912410)   #15
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the whole one outfit running two teams HAS to go its killing the sport every team has to be stand alone this is a must
What's your justification for this statement? I am very interested to know from a purely personal standpoint.
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