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Old 08-18-2009, 02:47 PM   #1
Ferg
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Default What Happened to Speed World Challenge?

I'm watching the round from Autobahn Country Club on Speed...and it's just flat and lifeless.

I haven't watched any of the races this year so I must have missed on the changes.

Coin flip qualifying?

Combined time compressed coverage?

Shrunken grids?

Randy Pobst in a Volvo?

I used to adore these races but watching Speed's terrible coverage (the quality of the video alone is laughable) I don't think I'll be tuning in for any more.

What happened?

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Old 08-18-2009, 02:59 PM   #2
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$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Cost to run went through the roof. They've tried a number of things to get competitors/viewers interested but are losing big time to GrandAm.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:01 PM   #3
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Economy- I used to love this as well and went to Portland Int to see them several times. Now the average field is about 10 cars. Another series about to go belly up due to $$$$$. Sad.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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I also have some very fond memories of seeing the series at Portland when they were supporting the ALMS a few years ago.

Yeah...seems like SPEED isn't very interested in supporting their own series...

I heard rumors that Discover is going to morph their HD Theater channel into something called 'Velocity' and show racing. God I hope that's the case as I'm just about done with SPEED and their bizarre business model which avoids broadcasting actual motorsport...
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:27 PM   #5
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I've only seen one race that was broadcast and was shocked at the difference from previous years. It just to be one of my favorite series but man has it gone down hill. Number of cars and lack of coverage is sad. It is directly related to the economy but I hope it makes it back.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:40 PM   #6
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It is NOT directly related to the economy. It is related to the poor management of the series. Rules Creep caused an huge increase in money to run a competitive car.

GrandAm is putting out a better product for teams to bring a car to. 3-6 hour races. Gentlemen drivers can be brought in to offset the costs which are MUCH lower than World Challenge. FWIW a front running Grand AM ST seat can be found for under 10K if you aren't a complete schmoe off the street and you get roughly 2 hours of track time at the shorter events and more at the long ones. Front running WC seats are defintely more expensive 15-20K and the seat time is markedly less.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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I was talking to one of the advertisers in one of the 2 series last night and heard the exact opposite information. Just so you know I wasn't pulling that out of my butt, we just have conflicting info.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:48 PM   #8
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I am pretty sure that Speed doesn't actually record and produce the videos that air, which explains why the quality is poop.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooleyjb View Post
Front running WC seats are defintely more expensive 15-20K and the seat time is markedly less.

Is there a decent amount of start money on offer? If the product is so bad why is there such a static field of drivers?
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooleyjb View Post
It is NOT directly related to the economy. It is related to the poor management of the series. Rules Creep caused an huge increase in money to run a competitive car.

GrandAm is putting out a better product for teams to bring a car to. 3-6 hour races. Gentlemen drivers can be brought in to offset the costs which are MUCH lower than World Challenge. FWIW a front running Grand AM ST seat can be found for under 10K if you aren't a complete schmoe off the street and you get roughly 2 hours of track time at the shorter events and more at the long ones. Front running WC seats are defintely more expensive 15-20K and the seat time is markedly less.
These prices sound right to me.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:43 PM   #11
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As far as I'm concerned, WTCC > all. But probably too expensive to be a realistic alternative to Speed TC. I'm not sure how it'd compare to Speed GT.

-Mike
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:52 PM   #12
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WTCC should be cheaper..spec engines and spec transmissions..right?
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:52 PM   #13
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What is the budget (for one season) for a competitive WC team?
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
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What is the budget (for one season) for a competitive WC team?
There was an article last year in which Turner quoted their Grand-Am car to cost 90K, while the SWC car cost 120K to build.

From my own experience, it cost about 50K to build our Grand-am Legacy in 2006, including the cost of the car. It then costs an average of 15K a race for the one car.

I have been quoted by SWC TC teams an average price of about 15K per race.

Multiply by 10 events about for each series, you have your cost. The nice thing about Grand-Am, is that then you get to divide by 2 drivers. Each driver still gets more track time than in SWC, which makes Grand-am the value winner for drivers who have limited funding, which most of us do!

Now if you have a big sponsor, more power to ya!

Chris Lock
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pio!pio! View Post
WTCC should be cheaper..spec engines and spec transmissions..right?
It's definitely not a spec engine. Transmission might have to be "stock" (like probably stock case with straight/dog internals or something), except for Zanardi who gets a sequential.

The real expensive thing I'd think would be the chassis and bodywork development.

I'm pretty sure BTCC runs the same spec as WTCC now, too.

-Mike
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:16 PM   #16
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WTCC is more expensive then Speed WC guys. The rules are similar, but the bodies, and suspensions are allowed even more work in WTCC/BTCC then they are in WC. Transmissions are not stock in WTCC. The FWD cars (Seats, Chevy's, Lada's) run a sequential box, where as the independent and factory BMW's run a H-pattern 5 speed with dog gears. However, in BTCC, everyone including the BMW's run a sequential box.

BTCC offers incredible racing. Nothing in the united states can compare, except, MAYBE Koni challenge. I'm sure it has something to do with the coverage and commentating too. The ITV4 broadcast with Tim Harvey and Ben Edwards as commentators is stellar.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:21 PM   #17
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Hey guys, to me, Speed is basically the Nascar/Redneck Channel. Very few programs that focus on non-Nascar type coverage and most of the shows that do other motorsports are too campy to be taken seriously.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:59 AM   #18
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I thought WTCC was going to spec engine and spec tranny once they transition to the S2000 spec cars...
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:01 AM   #19
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one show sums up Speed demographic profile now ' Pass Time ', that show is actually in prime time slots and heavy rotation.. it's a community channel broadcaster now.

The last time that channel and it's coverage were good, was the last 3 years of SpeedVision; full 4 day WRC coverage, Aussie super cars WTCC, BTCC, DTM and even the odd JGTC race.. now, it's Pass Time, Wrecked and lemans 24hr broken up into segments for reruns of monster jam and dirt track outlaws..
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:12 AM   #20
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It seems to me that series like ALMS are going the right way, whereas SWC is going the wrong way in terms of budget. Apparently the costs for the GT class are pretty out there, you can buy a GT3 Cup for $180k and almost double that to upgrade it to Speed GT spec. I think the new ALMS GT Challenge class has the right idea, only problem is the cars/drivers don't get much exposure because they are overshadowed by everything else on the track.

I have been going to the ALMS/SWC races at Mid-Ohio for the past 3 years and this year I definitely saw a sharp dropoff in the number of competitors in both series, but SWC especially. The paddock just didn't have the same atmosphere that it has in past years.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boost junkie View Post
It seems to me that series like ALMS are going the right way, whereas SWC is going the wrong way in terms of budget. Apparently the costs for the GT class are pretty out there, you can buy a GT3 Cup for $180k and almost double that to upgrade it to Speed GT spec. I think the new ALMS GT Challenge class has the right idea, only problem is the cars/drivers don't get much exposure because they are overshadowed by everything else on the track.

I have been going to the ALMS/SWC races at Mid-Ohio for the past 3 years and this year I definitely saw a sharp dropoff in the number of competitors in both series, but SWC especially. The paddock just didn't have the same atmosphere that it has in past years.
Not true, IMO, I thought they got a ton of exposure.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #22
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Neither series is doing very well. ALMS had like what...14 total cars?
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
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ALMS had like what...14 total cars?
At Mid Ohio they had 26 cars on the grid including the six cars in the Challenge class.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:18 AM   #24
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Sucks. The Speed WC was great a few years ago. I remember the battles of the proteges.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:20 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goto_racing View Post
There was an article last year in which Turner quoted their Grand-Am car to cost 90K, while the SWC car cost 120K to build.
I believe that was probably comparing SWC TC to Koni ST. The Koni GS M3cost almost exactly the same to build as a SWC TC car when we were running both series in 2004-05. The cost to build a SWC TC car has gone up a bunch since then. We ran a SWC TC race at Lime Rock in 2008, and withthe 2003-04 championship winning car and driver lighter than it was at the end of the 2004 season, the car was not competitive in large part because we didn't spend the $25k on the Xtrac transmission that all of the cars that finished ahead of us were running.

SWC TC has looked like it's on it's way out form the beginning of the season, but it looked like GT was going to be OK until mid season. Looking at it from the perspective of a "Gentleman Driver", would you rather spend $30k/race to ruun a SWC TC car or $35k/race to run a GT car?

$30k/race in Koni GS will get you more track time, a better TV package (this year, anyways), and a package very capable of winning.
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