Motorsport Vision Racing Media Day
22nd February 2017
In preparation for the fast approaching 2017 calendar, last week Motorsport Days was on hand at Brands Hatch for the pre-season Motorsport Vision Racing Media Day.
The day started with an introduction from MSVR’s chief executive Jonathan Palmer. As an ex-Formula 1 driver and father to Renault F1 driver Joylon and F4 champion Will, this is a man well invested in the promoting of talent through the ranks- from grass roots up to the very top tiers of motorsport.
As he explains, motorsport in the modern century has so many more readily available opportunities that present themselves at a far younger age than ever before. It’s a definite far cry from Palmer’s own experiences with which his academic education saw racing preclude him until he was 16 years old. Similarly, BRDC president Derick Warwick was still competing on grass and had yet to make the move to asphalt at the same age. That sort of CV would never make for a F1 driver today.
So what does MSVR offer said young hopefuls that the other clubs can’t compete with? Well for starters, it’s no secret that MSV run some of the best circuits and facilities across Europe which gives them a leading edge. Let’s not forget, the MSVR brand has only been with us since 2006 so it represents a major success story that for 2017 they will be running 28 championships across 38 events.
This year sees new championships under their wing. These include the new LMP3 Cup comprised of 420BHP prototypes participating in one hour races across six European circuits. For those with a more modest budget, there’s the launch of ZCars. This is a championship featuring, as the name suggests, BMW roadsters of the same denomination (it is also worth adding that MSD understands this series will not feature Brian Blessed in any capacity).
2017 also sees MSVR adopt the VW Racing Cup and embrace truck racing with the SsangYong Racing Challenge both being added to the calendar. So too are they expanding their celebration of car culture thanks to Festival Italia, American Speedfest, Deutsche Fest and the Mini Festival.
So what does this mean for those looking to rise up the motorsport ranks?
What our editor says:
For me, I felt last year more than most you felt the ferocious rivalry between championships. During each round you had organisers defending their corners on why they are the most cost-effective and ‘bang for buck’ series. To me, I’d rather hear why and what they are doing to encourage racers and success; how they have made it cheaper in an expensive sport. It shows how tightly contested this is in an already competitive world.
Mark from Monoposto said “Motorsport is never cheap – keeping it controlled is crucial” and I couldn’t agree more. Many one-make series are famous for over-charging on spares and controlling this enables more people to race.
Phil from Bute told me: “F1 has bricked the door up, sports car racing is a great option”. This has never been truer. It’s of little surprise to see the emergence and success of more and more endurance racing with the likes Blancpain GT among others. It is because they offer a great route for competitive motorsport for those who find that F1 is unreachable.
One thing that we are seeing coming back strong is the F3 Cup. This year it boasts representing 10 nationalities. This has long been a feeder series along the way to F1 for hopefuls looking to progress in the sport.
With the likes of a full Lotus season costing as relatively little as “£25k including car hire and entrant fees for Lotus Racing” (according to Stephen Docherty), it shows that its more than possible to race purpose-built cars in a genuinely competitive series.
Or, how about an incentive like the one on offer from Stuart Lines of the VAG series? He is offering a test drive for the top 3 drivers in the series. Alternatively the Track Day Championship offer media training and a test in a Mini Challenge car.
Stepping beyond the economics, what do the drivers look for in racing? They want the right circuits, controlled costs, close competition and above all a good comradery between competitors.
Internationally revered circuits? Cost-conscious? Competitive but fair? MSVR seem to be delivering in all of these areas for 2017.
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