Sunday, October 5, 2014
For a variety of reasons, I didn't watch much sports car racing on TV this summer. And I decided to take a pass on flagging my club's fall Autobahn Country Club event this weekend. (Lucky for me: the weather was even more windy, cold, and rainy than last year--which itself was unseasonably crummy.) So I was free to watch Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta, which was available as a live stream internet video from the IMSA website.
The Fox TV coverage was superb, with good camera angles and direction. The bonus was that when Fox cut to a commercial, the IMSA website just ran whichever shots the director cut to, with live sound. It's great to watch a race without being shouted at by people selling things. I wound up watching about 6 of the 10 hours of coverage, and enjoyed it thoroughly.
A realization crept over me as I watched: it is helpful, and makes the racing more enjoyable, if you have been to the course, as I was to Road Atlanta in 2012. I now have a much better sense of the flow of the course, how fast (or slow) the corners really are, and the best lines. Before I went to Road Atlanta, I was a bit at sea watching it on TV. I still am a bit at sea watching a race at Sonoma, Laguna Seca, or Virginia International (to name three course I've not been to). This time, watching Road Atlanta on TV was like watching an event at Mid-Ohio or Road America or Watkins Glen. My ability to understand "what it's like out there" was much enhanced.
So V.I.R. is now on my bucket list: gotta get there in the next few years!