The Various Le Mans Series

Sportscar racing has always been a confusing branch of motorsport to follow. There are many fans of racing who could be potential sportscar fans but may be a bit bewildered by the variety. When discussing the Peugeot launch on Thursday,Christine and Mr C at Sidepodcast asked exactly what the ILMC actually is, and where it fits into the sportscar world. I thought I would answer that question with this blog post, but first let’s set the scene.

Here follows a fairly rough guide to sportscar racing and the collection under the ‘Le Mans’ label in particular.

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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!

Continue reading “World of Racing: 16 Jan 2011”

Off to Silverstone

I am going to the Autosport Silverstone 1000km today, the final round of the Le Mans Series and the first qualifier for what I suppose you could call the ‘trial’ Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, which this year is a series of 3 races comprising Silverstone, Petit Le Mans and a race at Zhuhai in China. The ILMC will be expanding substantially next season and could become the de facto ‘world championship’ in all but name for Le Mans-style racing, something that has been missing for many years.

The reason I am going is because it sees the first battle between Audi and Peugeot since Le Mans, it’ll surely be epic. I’m also going because I’ve never been to a race like it before and also because I need to see more live racing.

I’m not doing this to make a point. Unlike many other fans of sportscar racing I am not one of these snooty types who hold their nose up at Formula 1, there seem to be plenty in that community who take great pleasure in making their distaste of F1 known to all and sundry and making snidey sarcastic comments as if everyone agrees with them. In the 1990s it was cool for F1 fans to act this way about all other forms of racing. Thankfully I’ve noticed over the last couple of years this attitude has largely disappeared. It is a shame to see it rearing it’s ugly head amongst sportscar fans, a group I consider to be among the most ardent of motorsport fans and so a group I expect to have an appreciation of all forms of racing (even if they don’t like some of it). Unfortunately it seems some among RLM are guilty of this and I’m going to be very annoyed if I have to listen to that kind of diatribe all day on the tannoy or the radio (if I can find a radio).

I’m actually quite annoyed to be missing the Italian Grand Prix particularly with the grid the way it is and I’ve been agonising over whether I’m making the right choice. For the last two years I’ve bottled out in favour of watching Monza, this year after coming back from Spa I’ve got the trackside buzz back again and I want to get one more fix in before the winter arrives, so off I go.

It’ll be interesting to see how easy the race is to follow, I’ve heard multi-class racing is very difficult to follow in person. It should last about five and a half hours so I’m hoping to see the cars from many vantage points. I want to see the start from somewhere cool, either Becketts or Stowe, whichever I have time to get to. After that I’ll be wandering around the circuit trying out different stands, perhaps finding my way into the paddock at some point.

If you see me, I’ll probably be wearing a blue raincoat and a Goodwood hat, a bit like in this photo. In the unlikely event it is as warm and sunny as Saturday has been I guess you’ll have to just look for the hat.

I’ll be tweeting as much as I can during the day but I’m conscious of how much of my stupidly small data plan I’ll be using up, particularly after the continental trip. Since it is a little more than 3 hours from home each way you won’t see a wrap-up post until late evening or Monday, and I’ll probably save the full details until I’ve posted my Belgium wrap-ups.

Enjoy the GP and if you’re able to follow the LMS on Eurosport, RLM and live timing, enjoy that too.