Monthly Archives: January 2011

Blogathon 2011 is This Weekend!

I can’t believe it has come around so soon, this weekend from 8pm GMT it is the 3rd Annual Blogathon at Grab Bag Sports!

Previously known as Furious Wedge, GBS will again be hosting the 24.5-hour blogging marathon. The original was set up ostensibly to follow the Daytona 24 Hours but also to check in with a bunch of other sports happening the same weekend, including the Australian Open, basketball, even cricket.. anything vaguely sports-related happening over the weekend. The focus is generally Daytona, tennis and American sports but really anything goes, if a way can be found to watch it or talk about it, it’ll be watched and talked about. Don’t forget to follow that link and leave your guess for when Scott Pruett says hello to his family – prizes are at stake.

This year’s event is bigger and better than ever, featuring as it does these special guests:

- IZOD IndyCar Series driver Alex Tagliani (#77 FAZZT Racing), one of the most ‘social media’-aware drivers from possibly the most SM-aware paddock in the world, and also a great guy.
- ESPN senior writer Ryan McGee who covers motorsport and college football, which seems an odd combination but there you go.
- NZR Consulting’s Tony Cotman, he’s the man charged with bringing in the 2012 IndyCar rules, did the same for Champ Car, and is also the chief steward for the Firestone Indy Lights series.

There will be Q&A chat sessions with each, check the site for times as well as a schedule of sports occurring this weekend, a slightly different schedule is here for UK/European-types and those elsewhere who find a way to watch.

A regular feature has become the guest bloggers posting throughout, this year includes (but is not limited to):
- Steph and Paul from More Front Wing;
- Tony from Pop Off Valve;
- James from 16th & Georgetown;
- Shane from Australia (regularly contributing to Curt Cavin’s Q&A and radio show);
- and… me. While the above are IndyCar fanatics I can struggle to keep up with it so I guess I’m there to provide a different dimension.. or something? Er. Thanks for the invite!

We’ll be posting regularly alongside our esteemed hosts: Allen Wedge, Mike Furious, and Andy ‘The Speedgeek’.

There will be a blogger Q&A too, come along and ask questions. Primarily ask them to Tags and Cotman, but if you get there at the wrong time ask us blogpeople instead.

Let’s not forget the Mario Kart tournament featuring a live chat room! It may be a bit late for me, it didn’t stop me staying up until 5am last year but I may not go that far this time.

I really do hope you join us, even if you have no idea about Daytona, NFL, the Aussie Open, or whatever else might crop up. It’ll be fun!

Head to http://www.grabbagsports.com/ from 8pm GMT Saturday until 9pm Sunday for much fun and merriment.

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Filed under 2011, fans, other blogs, Sportscars

TMR Game 2011: Week 1

Hello, and welcome to the 2011 TMR Game!

Intro

For those new to the game, welcome. All you need do is pick a selection of up to 10 names per week, the twist being you can’t pick more than 7 from a single championship. This is my way of helping you learn of championships you might not normally follow. :)

If playing this way doesn’t grab you, how about a challenge? If your usual series is F1, or IndyCar, or whatever – spend the year picking only drivers who race in your series currently, or have done at some stage in the past! You might be surprised at how competitive you may be.

For the returnees, welcome back! There are a few changes to the rules based on what was learned last year, details below. Alternatively if you want to be spared the details, jump down to the bottom of the page for instructions for this week’s race.

The game runs from the Daytona 24 Hours to the last major race of the year, usually that is NASCAR Cup at Homestead but this year it looks like it will be the Formula 1 Brazilian GP. If you are unable to play each week don’t worry, this year we’ve collectively thought of a way around that.

The winner of the game may declare: “I Watch Too Much Racing!”
(The real aim of the game is for players to learn about a wide variety of series.)

Read more about this year’s rules and simple instructions on how to enter the game.

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Swap Shop: Too Much Racing?

Too Much Racing?

I am really excited to be guest writing for Pat’s blog as part of the Bloggers’ Swap Shop series as I am a regular reader of this blog – like Pat, I’m not just a Formula 1 fan, but a big fan of all Motorsports.  It’s amazing how different each form of Motorsport is and what makes these series so enjoyable for different reasons.  The long-term strategy of Endurance Racing, The wheel banging of Touring Car Racing, the ‘Maximum Attack’ opposite lock slides of Rallying and the madcap daring of MotoGP to name a few.  If it’s got wheels and an engine then I will probably like it…

Back when I was a kid, when I lived in the UK, we watched F1 on Sundays only (no qualifying sessions were shown on TV) and the RAC Rally.  Then when Nigel Mansell moved to America, we started watching Indycar.  Then the BTCC started getting really popular too.  Then a chap called Carl Fogarty started looking quick on a motorbike and so we started watching Superbikes.  But with most of these series showing half or one hour highlights and usually at the weekends, so these were quite easy to watch and didn’t take up too much time.

Then in my teens, I moved to NZ, which back then was a Motorsports moratorium! F1 was on Sky only, no WRC, no bikes and not even any V8 Supercars coverage except for Bathurst itself! Thankfully this situation slowly improved, and Sky in particular started to show more of the series I was used to – including Indycars, as soon as Scott Dixon had a ride…

So now I live in Europe again and I have access to all of these Motorsports if I want to.  But the main difference is that the way they are shown on TV has changed – while they used to be short highlights packages, we now get full live coverage, Not only that, but we have access to the whole season of racing, so for example the RAC Rally expanded into the WRC, Le Mans into Sebring, Petit Le Mans, ALMS and LMS, MotoGP has the 125′s and Moto2′s, Indycar has the  Lights series, plus F1 has all the practice and qualifying sessions live on TV.

Being a Motorsport fan has changed a lot with the advent of satellite/cable TV and the internet – seeing a short highlights programme and maybe reading a small clipping in a newspaper (or Autosport if you were lucky enough).  Can you imagine following the sport like this now?  We spend hours watching footage, reading articles on the web, writing blog posts and arguing the toss on various internet forums – we analyse, scrutinise and opine in ways we never dreamt of before.  As a viewing pubic we have welcomed this move with open arms and consider that if you don’t watch the whole coverage, then you aren’t following the sport properly.  These have been big changes over the last 10 years.

Another big change has been the number of series – I have mentioned some of them above, but you can add A1GP to that mix, along with the IRC to supplement the WRC, DTM, WTCC, Superleague Formula and various other Feeder Series like GP2, GP2 Asia, F2, F3, AutoGP, GP Masters, Formula Renault 2.0 and World Series, and many more.  All of these have unprecedented TV coverage and it’s hard not to feel as a racing fan that you should be watching these.  All racing drivers say they want to get to F1, but I wonder if there are those who wouldn’t mind a career where as long as they get sponsorship, they are happy just to compete year after year in this multitude of series having a laugh?  They’d never admit that to though as it would surely upset their sponsors…

I do wonder where all of these series have come from – and they keep coming too.  Granted, some of the above have failed as quickly as they have started, but plenty of others have happily taken their place.  You do feel as though there is critical mass now and at some point that the bubble will burst, a lot of sponsors and money will just disappear from the sport and we will be back to the old days again.  I feel sorry for the young guys wanting to get to F1 – in the old days it was simple how to get there, but now there’s no clear path at all.  It’s especially hard to see drivers with talent not doing as well as they should do just because of a lack of funding, but that’s another story…

One can only conclude that there are simply aren’t enough hours in the day to follow all of the Motorsport we want to any more, which means that we have to pick and choose what we follow and what we don’t because we just can’t watch them all.  And as I said earlier, with no clear path to F1 any more, it’s hard to prioritise which ones are more important to watch.  At the end of the day this can only be a bad thing – there are so many series all competing for the same turf that they are taking fans and sponsorship monies away from each other.  This is why I said earlier that I think the bubble will burst – and that a consolidation of the many series on offer is just over the horizon.

So I leave you all with a question: Do you think we have too much racing?

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Rubbergoat is the author of the popular stats blog Making Up The Numbers, is a regular commenter across the motorsport blogosphere and Twitter, and is a regular caller/emailer on multiple podcasts. This post appears as part of the 3rd instalment of the fantastic Bloggers Swap Shop by VivaF1. Thanks to Gavin for writing it!

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Filed under Blog Swap, fans, other blogs, Too Much Racing

World of Racing: 16 Jan 2011

Links posts. Often useful, these can sometimes be seen an easy route to blogging, simply sharing what’s around as a way to have something on your own blog. Never one to shy away from stealing a good idea which lazily gives me content, I present ‘World of Racing’, my interpretation of the ubiquitous links post!

I’ve noticed many posts in this style focus on one championship, so you’ve got F1 sites sharing F1 links and IndyCar sites sharing IndyCar links, which great and these blogs do it very well indeed, but I don’t see many cross-motorsport blogs doing the same which I think is odd. Whilst it is true many fans focus on one series as their preferred championship and they might not watch all the races of other series or read the dedicated blogs/news sites, perhaps they are interested enough in other championships to watch the occasional race, catch up with a bit of gossip or read an interesting post on the topic. That’s where I hope to come in.

Let’s get started with the first set of links!

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Filed under F1, IndyCar, NASCAR, other blogs, Sportscars, Twitter, WRC

Blog: 2010 in review

[Happy New Year! As you can see, I've switched to a completely different blog theme and layout, a fresh start for a new season, with bigger easier-to-read text and far less clutter on the page, not to mention I finally have a header image now! I hope you like the redesign and bear with me while I iron out the kinks and final colours etc. A similar change has been made to my personal blog to keep a common thread between my sites.
This is quite self-indulgent, apologies for that. The following stats were sent to me as an email by WordPress, it offered the option to publish it and I thought.. why not? I'm not one to crow but I'm really pleased with how the site grew in visitors over the past year, and I also thought you might be interested in the most popular posts in 2010. Thanks to everyone who stopped by in 2010 and I hope you're interested enough to return!  I have a few other little projects to finish off and then I'll be back to normal blogging. Here is the unedited email.]

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 137 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 361 posts. There were 17 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 15th with 181 views. The most popular post that day was 38th ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were sidepodcast.com, twitter.com, toomuchracing.blogspot.com, vivaf1.com, and google.co.uk.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for too much racing, 2010 alms google calendar, izod indycar, goodwood 2010, and indycar google calendar.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

38th ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours May 2010
3 comments

2

2010 Race Calendar January 2010
6 comments

3

Game February 2010
2 comments

4

IndyCar – A New Hope July 2010
4 comments

5

Report: 2010 Autosport International January 2010
8 comments

5 Comments

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