FUMES
Monday, March 1, 2010 at 06:58PM
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March 3, 2010

 

NASCAR with an Aussie accent? At least we can imagine...

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

(Posted 3/1, 7:00PM) Detroit.
I'm sure the powers that be at Speed TV didn't really think all that much about putting the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series on its network for enthusiast consumption. After all, media is now - and has been - a content game, as in you either have it or you're looking for it. And in Speed's case a "turn-key" racing program - like the German and British Touring Car Championship races or the Aussie V8 Supercar series - had to be better than some of the crap they fill their time slots with, right? They even have former V8 Supercar star and current NASCAR wheel man Aussie Marcos Ambrose doing the intros during the show.

But by adding the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series, Speed may have inadvertently opened a Pandora's Box for itself and its biggest on-air partner, NASCAR. Because the V8 Supercar Series - which has Holden Commodore VE and Ford FG Falcon-based race cars squaring off against each other - is everything NASCAR isn't. Production, recognizable bodywork (and no, not just to Australian racing fans either, as the Holden is what the Pontiac G8 was based on), fuel-injected V8 power, sequential gearboxes, etc., etc., the V8 Supercar Series just might be "The Greatest Show on Wheels" as it bills itself (okay, it's not MotoGP but it's damn good).

Featuring close racing, V8 sounds, and some great competition, it's no wonder that the Aussie series is so popular. And not surprisingly, the Austrailian V8 Supercar Series has been pointed to by two of the domestic automakers currently running in NASCAR as an example of where they believe NASCAR needs to go, using NASCAR's own Grand-Am GT-specification cars as a starting point.

It remains to be seen whether NASCAR will finally step up to the plate and embrace the changes necessary to improve their outlook for the future. But judging by the myriad pockets of emptiness in the grandstands in Las Vegas and California over the last two weekends, they better think long and hard, because the continued erosion of the NASCAR fan base is palpable.

In the meantime, check out the Australian V8 Supercar Series on Speed. If you like production-based racing cars with V8 power, you really owe it to yourself to tune in.

And then squint real hard and imagine what NASCAR could look like in the future.

(www.v8supercars.com.au/)

 

Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Dearborn, Michigan, 1967. The Ford  "J" car being prepared for wind tunnel testing by Ford engineers. Designed to the FIA "Appendix J" regulations put in place for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the "J" car was a much more advanced racing machine than the Ford GT Mk II in terms of its aluminum honeycomb chassis construction and the use of other technologies, and in competition it would become known as the Ford GT Mk IV, or just Ford Mk IV. Two years in development, the MK IV made its competition debut at Sebring in bright yellow livery with Bruce McLaren and Mario Andretti driving to the overall win. The Mk IV would then go on to its memorable victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans the following June with Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt sharing the driving duties.

 

 

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Article originally appeared on Autoextremist.com ~ the bare-knuckled, unvarnished, high octane truth... (http://www.autoextremist.com/).
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