Sunday, October 5, 2014

Commercial Free!

The Falken Tire Porsche RSR won the GTLM class at Petit LeMans, making it two Petits in a row for the team and
helping Porsche to clinch the 2014 manufacturers title in the United Sports Car series.  But there are still five
competitive makes in this "rules holdover" from the defunct but excellent ALMS series.  After years of dual
radiators and various aerodynamic approaches to the front end of the car, Porsche finally has a decent-
looking 911 race car again in 2014.  And it does evoke the RSR's of the mid 1970's...

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!

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