Saturday, April 18, 2015

TV Racing Find

The Brands Hatch round of the 2015 British Touring Car Championship was on CBS Sports Network, followed by the Monza round of the Blancpain GT series.  Each was edited down to an hour's length.  I tuned in, and was not disappointed.

CBSSN?  That's a channel I've not associated with motorsports.  Turns out it did a deal with Roger Werner, the founder of the (very good) Speedvision channel.  He later sold it.  He has a new venture, Torque.TV, which is producing tapes of European events, including historic racing.  Apparently the BTCC and the Blancpain series will be covered this summer and fall by CBSSN on a tape-delay basis. These first races were aired on a Thursday evening.  Don't look for them on weekends.  That doubtless remains stick-and-ball territory on CBSSN.

For me, a live event is always more fun than TV, even if it's just a local club race.  Luckily, there are several club circuits within a couple of hours' drive of my house.  And Road America is only three hours away if a pro event catches my fancy.  But the BTCC and the Blancpain series are fun to watch because the cars are about as close to production cars as modern pro racing cars can be. And they run on some legendary European circuits, with plenty of elevation change and interesting bends.

I love the shorter, "club" circuit at Brands Hatch.  And the new Honda Civic Type R won two of the three events at Brands,
making it even more fun for a Honda acolyte.

Monza is... Monza... Not much going for it but tradition.  But it was fun to see the GT's chew on each other, ALMS-style.
Blancpain gets much larger car counts, and more variety, than ALMS did: Audi R 8's, Bentleys, Lambos...

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