News and views on motorsports

Monday, April 04, 2005

Covering Motorsports Outside Formula 1

True racing fans with a healthy appreciation of the sport naturally appreciate any form of motorsports be it F3000, F3, touring cars, rallying or sports cars. However, being stuck in Malaysia, I find it quite difficult to follow closely events outside Formula 1. Thank god for the internet else we'd largely be in the dark here in Asia.

I noticed many racing related Blogs cover NASCAR. I confess, I have very little liking for that, the second largest motorsport category in the world. But nevertheless, you can tell its easier to follow the sport in the US due to massive TV coverage and media information.

Outside Formula 1, my favourite categories are Touring Cars and the Super GT (aka the Japan GT). I know what you're thinking, I watch Super GT merely for the babes. I would be lying to you if I said I didn't watch the babes. But then, so does every bloody one else if you ask me. Nevertheless, the racing is exciting and always unpredictable.

Touring cars though is a highly serious sport. Though in current times, it has lost its sparkle if compared to those heady and glorious days of the 90s when the action simply had Formula 1 beat. The racing was simply out of this world. Formula 1 drivers who entered touring cars found great difficulty because it was door to door, wing mirror smashing bumping all the way. Something unheard of in Formula racing.

This year, the FIA has seen fit to organise a world championship for touring cars. And not forgetting of course, there is still that grand daddy of all touring car events, the British Touring Car Championship. The event really that started the 90s supertouring rules rolling.

Whilst I follow the action on the various websites with anticipation, nevertheless its hard to feel passionate if you don't actually get to watch the bloody thing. Oh sure, Motorsports Asia on Astro satellite TV will show highlights. Like in a few months time, its not the same as actually seeing it in real time. I doubt if the situation will improve since sports channels in Asia seem obsessed with football all the time. Which is not bad. But then they also like to show lots of these stupid golf tournaments, which is not only boring but appeals to bloody cronies.

I could take a week's delay in showing the highlights. Much like what the BBC used to do in the UK for the BTCC. But over here, I don't even know what event they are going to show on Motorsports Asia next. There's never any details for racing fans like us.

Outside the WTC and BTCC, there is of course the DTM. This series and the V8 Star series are to the rest of the world, what NASCAR is to North America. Big engined, brutal saloon cars. Lots of noise, horsepower and action. Again, the Astro channel over here does cover it in Motorsport Asia but I just never bloody well know when they do it. And hence, I always miss the bloody coverage.

Thankfully though, the Macau Grand Prix is always broadcasted live at the end of the year. And this year, Macau will be part of the World Touring Cars. And of course its sort of the F3 race of future champions. Fingers crossed, I hope I finally make it to Macau this year.

I really wish I was back in England. Sky Sports and Eurosports expanded coverage of motor racing now covers the DTM (live!) and Touring cars. And I really miss watching BTCC before the Grand Prix coverage. I'm pretty sure there are enough racing fans in Asia (if you add China and India) to make some sort of Speedvision channel a viable option. Are you guys at ESPN Star listening?

At the very least will you buggers please give some detailed information on exactly what event you are going to cover next on Motorsports Asia.

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