Go to AutoRacing1's Home PageGo to AutoRacing 1's Champ Car PageGo to AutoRacing1's NASCAR PageGo to AutoRacing 1's F1 PageGo to AutoRacing 1's IRL PageGot to AutoRacing1.com's ALMS pageGo to AutoRacing1's Grand-Am PageGo to AutoRacing1's Other Series page
Go to AutoRacing 1's Rumor's PageGo to AutoRacing1's Hot News PageGo to AutoRacing 1's Discussion ForumsGo to AutoRacing1's Racing Store PageGo to AutoRacing 1's Links pageGo to AutoRacing1.com Race Schedule pageGo to AutoRacing 1's Automotive pageContact AutoRacing1.com

Editorial

CART Podiums - they can be much better

 

 by Paul Josephson
July 3, 2001

Go to our forums to discuss this article



Although Cleveland is better than most CART events, compare the pandemonium under a F1 podium (above) with the rather blasť CART affair (below).  Where are the flags and air horns at CART events?

One of the many things that contributes to Formula 1's success is the way Bernie Ecclestone, et al, package Formula 1 as a racing spectacle. Each race follows a consistent pattern in the way races are held and shown on TV, and that includes the all-important post-race show. 

Quality and consistency are paramount when presenting a Formula 1 race. For example, the Tag Heurer scoring graphics are the same for every race and have remained unchanged for many years. Another example is the way in which post-race ceremonies are held for the top three divers. After each race, the winners are shown on a podium with a backdrop that is virtually identical from race to race.

More importantly, however, is the fact that virtually all podiums (with the possible exception of Monaco) are strategically placed where a lot of fans can see: a.) the winners, b.) the presentation of the trophies, and c.) the drivers having fun, spraying champagne over the crowd below. The F1 podium at Indy is next to the pagoda at the Start/Finish and is raised so that thousands of fans, up and down the main straight, can see the post-race ceremonies.

I just returned from the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland last night. The Cleveland podium was right in the middle of the main grandstands, where it should be. I asked one of the workers if the podium had always been in that spot. He said that, yes, it had been in the same place for at least the last 8 years. The podium was raised so that fans standing at ground level could see the festivities, and there was plenty of room for photographers in front of the podium. Fans up and down the grandstands could also see the winners on the podium. See a Windows Media, or Real Player video of how other CART race podiums should be, courtesy of CART.com.  Still nowhere near F1, but a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, podiums at several CART tracks leave something to be desired. CART podiums are sometimes tucked in out-of-the-way places where only a small number of photographers can see the post-race podium activities. There are at least three CART events that I'm aware of where placement of the podium needs improvement:

  • At Long Beach the podium is at ground level and is at an angle to the track by pit in. It should be elevated and re-positioned so that the fans on the opposite side of the main straight can see the post-race ceremonies.

  • At Road America the podium is only slightly elevated and towards the back of the Goodyear/Marlboro Media VIP Tower building, hidden amongst the trees. It should be elevated and moved so that it's adjacent to the front of the Administration building. In that way, fans in the adjacent grandstands and across in the paddock could the post-race ceremonies.

  • At Belle Isle, the podium is several hundred yards from the Start/Finish, on the side of the Casino, almost at ground level. It should be elevated and moved to a place opposite the main grandstands by the Start/Finish line.

After Joe Heitzler's press conference on Saturday at Cleveland, I chatted with him a bit about the podium situation. He said that CART is working with a firm that specializes in driver promotional activities and that changes would be made. (He also joked that CART wanted to do something about how driver's dress for promotional events!!)

I was glad to hear that CART is seriously seeking better ways to promote its drivers. After all, like other motorsport series, the drivers are the main products, and they need to be promoted as much as possible. With CART, it's particularly important, now that CART is entering into negotiations for a new TV contract for next year that will be expanded to 2.5 and 3.5 hours, depending on the race. The additional time will be used for pre-race and post-race shows that should include the podium ceremonies. Hopefully, CART will make sure that podiums are strategically placed at all tracks to maximize exposure of the winning drivers for the benefit of the fans at the track as well as those watching on TV.

The author can be contacted at contacts@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article

Author

 
CART Editorials

Rebuilding CART from the grassroots up!

Could this be the break Gidley has been waiting for?

CART, ALMS or NASCAR extravaganza weekends

A true global vision will serve CART well

A proposal for CART and IRL to coexist peacefully

The Triple Crown - a proposal for CART's success

650HP, 750HP, 850HP, it doesn't seem to matter

Movie Review: DRIVEN

Ryan Arciero hopes to continue family dynasty

CART & IRL, a missed opportunity

Things are happening at CART

CART' Data Acquisition Systems - there's a new kid on the block.

CART's next moves will be crucial.

The greatest Long Beach GP of all-time.

CART & IRL - close, and yet so far.

CART Engines, if it ain't broke, don't fix it

And the 2001 CART Champion will be....

The HANS Device saved my fathers life

Soft walls or soft cars?

Safety- It's going to take more than just magic to fix

CART vs. IRL, Hatfields vs. McCoys

DRIVEN is CART's best chance to become mainstream

Is CART's problem really a lack of American's?

CART vs. NASCAR - TV Coverage

Perhaps CART need look no further than NASCAR to understand that the Bubbas' rule auto racing

Book review - Autocourse 2000/2001

Do heroes make a sport, or does a sport make heroes?

To-Do-List, for CART's new President

 Lawsuits, Will Greg Moore's final legacy to racing be more than one of "spirit"? 

Tire Warmers, an idea whose time has come

Branding CART and their race cars

Will CART's next leader be a corporate visionary?

Addressing CART's TV issues

CART, do you know who you are?

Will CART miss this boat too, - Destined to forever race in the shadows of NASCAR?

Lights to IRL Specs - Why the new Indy Lights cars should meet IRL specs

Soft Walls - drivers take a stand while you still can

Sigma team - ready to do combat in CART

CART Fan Forum - Highlights from CART's very first Fan Forum

Warren Hughes - A name to remember

CART restarts - NASCAR Style

Mario Andretti Tribute - America's Driver of the Century

Shift w/o Lift - How it works

Aerodynamics - CART's chance to make progressive changes

CART's HP dilemma

Soft Walls - Finally, a safer wall system

Buddy Rice deserves a shot at Champ Cars

Choices, Choices, we rate possible new CART venues

CART must avoid Detroit's politics

10 ways for CART to invest $100 million

Montoya and Ganassi do CART proud at Indy

Welcome to AutoRacing1.com

A year of progress shapes Rockingham

A solution for CART's franchise dilemma

Lausitzring nears completion, fighting hard to win CART date

Paul Tracy keeps his Kool, wins LBGP for 2nd time

What is an American driver?

Warming up at Nazareth

172 mph in a Champ Car is the ultimate adrenaline rush

Standing Start Rules proposed standing start rules for CART

Standing Starts are they right for CART

Visit the Nascartop50

Our ranking out of 750 NASCAR websites since joining on 7/3/00

Convert this page to
another language

e-mail us:
contacts@autoracing1.com

Back to the top

AutoRacing1 is an independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by CART Inc., NASCAR, FIA,  FedEx, Winston, or any other series sponsor. This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without permission.
User agreement & disclaimer

Copyright 1999 - 2001, AutoRacing1, Inc., Hamilton, NJ