"Some things never change." Should this be the banner motto of CART for 2001?
I would like to say in a positive light that I truly enjoy this sport and "still" think it is the best racing series in the world. Be that as it may, I am starting to become dissatisfied with the product that CART is producing the longer I follow it. I will list some of the reasons and see if anyone cares or if anyone (CART) is listening.
While watching the race I decided to somewhat time the second yellow of the day. It took CART approx. fifteen minutes to get the track "green" again after removing a car from a spot that another would go only if the crashed! This makes no sense! If you were the only car in a McDonald's drive through and it took fifteen minutes to get your burger would you want to go back? Fifteen minutes, that is 1/8 of the broadcast on one yellow! Move the car, quickly get any debris off the racing line and immediate area and get things going again. Of all the people I know that watch CART this is their biggest frustration with the series! When one channel surfs during a CART sanctioned race, this is not a good sign! So if both yellows were 15 minutes, and the time cut in half, the race would have finished under normal circumstances and an interview with the winner could have been possible. What a concept, a race with a normal finish and an interview with the winner... How yellows are handled is something CART needs to learn form F1!!! Will CART ever learn??? One can only hope.
As far as promotion goes, the tickets went on sale for the Portland race on March 3rd through Ticketmaster/G. I. Joe's with no advertising, announcements what so ever. Well in a time when I thought CART was going to do something to promote its drivers/ series they must have fallen asleep here. I have not seen anything mentioning ticket sales for the Portland race at CART.com, and Autoracing1.com, the Oregonian (newspaper) or any other CART related site. This is sad! Good for me, as I was the only one there buying tickets for the race. One would think that at least the series official Web site CART.com would post such notorieties to let its fan base know and be aware of its own event ticket sales. It is no surprise to see somewhat lackluster sales at this event due to the lack of hype and promotion. Maybe CART needs to do a survey with its current fan base, people like myself, and find out what brought them to there first race and if they continued to go, what do they like and dislike about the series and the way it is run? They have the Web site and resources to do so. The problems with CART are not the drivers, the lack of promotion and publicity and hype is certainly not helping.
As far as the Television coverage, it was status quo, weak and unchanged. To see the ABC guys broadcasting other sporting events while the CART race was green were atrocious! CART wants to continue with ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 with that kind of broadcasting? Maybe due to the length of the yellows some of this is brought upon themselves, knowingly the networks know they would have to have some kind of coverage under CART's typical yellows! Yellows do bring the cars together; long yellows are an embarrassment and create lack on interest! I do not watch racing to see cars under yellow flag conditions!
Last but not least, for us wanna be racers, the only decent SIM for racing CART on PC's that I am aware of has to be the "old" Microsoft CART Precision Racing. There are leagues run online but with no current games such as NASCAR4! It is typical I guess that there are a lot of new F1 games, NASCAR etc., but nothing for CART. So where will you find most of the online gamers, some of which are true CART fans? Very few in CART. Maybe someday there will be a good but updated SIM so that Microsoft's and CART fans will have a place to go to race against each other. The Zone and or the game MS CPR have a lot of problems for online racers. Who knows, maybe CART would be smart and someday host or sponsor a site where on occasion people could race against CART drivers online in real time. They could set up a series in which the winners may be able to "Win" a pass to lets say a Skip Barber's Driving School or Driving 101.
So for now, as I stated earlier, maybe CART's banner should be, "Some things never change!"
to discuss this article