No. 976
December 12, 2018
 

About The Autoextremist

@PeterMDeLorenzo

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established Autoextremist.com on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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Fumes


Monday
Dec102018

BRING BACK THE SCREAM, PART II.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit.
 As I have said repeatedly, F1 has squandered every opportunity it has been given to do well because of its mind-numbing propensity to place greed over common sense, especially here in the U.S. It has long ago ceased being about the racing for F1; no, instead it has been about whether or not the facilities were luxurious enough, or if there were enough decent places to stay, or if the garages would be up to its rigid - and sterile - specifications, and if they would really have to interact with "the people" not too much.

And, as if that weren't enough, then there is the FIA dictating track standards, which is a joke when you really think about it because F1 races at Monaco, and the FIA goes right along with that. Yes, we get it, Monaco is about tradition, and the rest of the circus is about the money, pure and simple. So call me skeptical about the "new" F1 that's allegedly coming with the next-generation regulations, because there aren't enough social media orchestrations and pushes to attract younger people to the sport that will matter.

But there is one thing that would. If you listen to the consistent grumbles from the people who actually drive the machines in F1, they seem to be echoing each other in their comments. They want more power. They want the machines to be as difficult to drive as possible. And they want more noise, which all sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Let's face it, the turbo V6s just don't sound like proper racing cars. Call me old school, but the fact remains that the great-sounding racing engines of all time, or in my time, are the following (by no means a complete list): A small- or big-block American V8. The Cosworth-Ford V8 F1 engine. The Ferrari V12 or flat 12. The Porsche 917 (normally-aspirated). The Matra V12. The Gurney-Weslake V12. The Honda V10. You get the idea.

F1 drivers know that the current cars sound like turbocharged tractors, and they're bored to tears with it. That's not what they grew up aspiring to drive, that's for sure. They grew up going to F1 races hearing that blood-curdling, gut-ripping, ear-splitting scream. And they wanted to drive that. It's funny, but racing enthusiasts are the same way. Hell, even casual racing fans expect to hear loud engines when they go to a race, not glorified UPS trucks with glass-pack mufflers.

If F1 really wants to make a splash and bring the buzz back, bringing back the scream should be priority No. 1.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.

 




Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, September 13, 1964. Jim Hall (No. 67 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport) leads Walt Hansgen (No. 2 Mecom Racing Ferrari 250 LM) in the Road America 500. Hansgen, with co-driver Augie Pabst, won that day. Ken Miles/John Morton finished second in the No. 97 Shelby American Cobra and Hall - with co-drivers Roger Penske and Hap Sharp - finished third.