Monday, July 23, 2012

Racing in the Olympics? Why Not?

The logic is simple: If kayaking is an Olympic sport, then so should racing.

It is a real shame to see one of the worlds biggest sports constantly excluded from the Olympics. If racing were to be added to the Olympics, I am sure it would be an amazing sight, seeing drivers race for their country, and also to see drivers from different series from around the world racing on the same track.

But there are obviously a lot of hurdles it has to overcome in order for it to work. First off, you'd need a car. Everyone would have the same car and the same engine as to not give an advantage to any one country. The car could maybe be an open wheel car that would be affordable, maybe a Formula Nippon car. It doesn't have to be an open wheeled car, maybe something like a V8 Supercar. Each country would get two cars and two drivers.

Takuma Sato in a Formula Nippon car (no photo credit given)

Todd Kelly in a V8 Supercar (photo credit not given)

They should have two races, one on a natural road course and one on a street course in the host country. The races should be short enough so that a pit stop for fuel is not required, maybe 20-25 laps long, so that the race is an all out sprint rather than a fuel conservation race.

The name of the game is keeping the costs down. I wouldn't like to see the cars littered with sponsors, rather they run a livery that best represents their country (like Team USA running the red, white, and blue colors). So making it affordable would be nice.

Countries that should participate and the drivers of the respective countries (that I would like to see):
  • USA (Tony Stewart, Ryan Hunter-Reay)
  • Canada (James Hinchcliffe, Alex Tagliani)
  • United Kingdom (Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button)
  • Australia (Will Power, Jamie Whincup)
  • Germany (Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg)
  • Japan (Takuma Sato, Kamui Kobayashi)
  • New Zealand (Scott Dixon, Fabian Coulthard)
  • Mexico (Sergio Perez, Esteban Gutierrez)
  • Spain (Fernando Alonso, Oriol Servia)
  • Italy (Max Papis, Luca Filippi)
  • Venezuela (Pastor Maldonado, EJ Viso)
  • Finland (Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas)
  • France (Romain Grosjean, Sebastien Bourdais)
  • Switzerland (Sebastian Buemi, Simona de Silvestro)

That makes 26 cars, plenty I think.

But where things get political is who makes the car? Who makes the engines and how do we make sure everyone has the same engine? Who is the steward in charge and how do we make sure they aren't bias? How many points does a driver get for finishing wherever he finishes? How would this sport be payed for?

All these questions can be answered, someone just needs to get the ball rolling. If it were to go through, I see racing in the Olympics as one of the premiere "gotta watch it" events.

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey

1 comment:

  1. Hey Matt,

    Awesome idea. I've got a few ideas for the questions you raise.

    Who will manufacture the cars? Re: A1GP. That series was basically the Olympics of motorsport. Spec car, spec engine, spec tires, spec EVERYTHING. And it worked. Not sure who made the chassis, but Ferrari provided engines in the last few years. I don't think it matters who supplies the cars, engines, tires, etc. as long as it is reliable and competitive. If it is a big deal who made it, don't brand it. Anonymous suppliers.

    How do we make sure everyone has the same engine? Simple. Sealed motors, all from the same manufacturer. That's what IndyCar did for years with the V8 Honda lumps. And we never had ONE single failure.

    Who is the steward? Shouldn't matter, the referees in all the other Olympic sports are from different countries, and they aren't ever (kinda) biased. Non-issue.

    Points? Again, simple. Sliding scale, 1st-26th, just like any series, and average all of those up, and the top three countries get Gold, Silver, Bronze.

    How would it be payed for? I'd imagine the manufacturers of all the equipment used in all the other Olympic sports are paid by the host country. THAT is why the car used for Olympic motorsport would have to VERY cost-effective. In fact, why not make karting an Olympic sport? Cheap, and not just any fool can go out and be competitive on a kart.

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