Monday
Feb032014

For the benefit of Mr. Kite There will be a show tonight on trampoline 

CLICK FOR FULL GALLERY

The Hendersons will all be there Late of Pablo Fanque’s Fair, what a scene

With 10 days past, I’ve begun to formulate my own thoughts about this year’s running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. I’ve seen the opinions of others, and of course I’m aware of the actual race results. But with all due respect to the winners, for me, the competition… at least for this year, wasn’t the story. And… in all honesty, I’m not sure the story was really a story at all. If there’s any story, then it’s more in the form of a “to be continued….” and the cliff hanger was all but missing.

For me, the story left  me feeling suspended in limbo. Sure, the story had a plot, but I’m not convinced it thickened. It had characters, but I’m not sure they were fully developed. And the climax… well, it never happened for me.

Yes, there was an event… there was a race… it was attended by all the usual suspects with the unique scenario thrust upon us by the “merging” of the American Le Mans Series and Grand Am Racing. All the parts were there. But not unlike most Super Bowls, the product didn’t meet the hype.

To be fair, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. I understand that. I know we need to be patient. But how patient? How long? When are we going to know where this is all going? For me, there were more questions than answers.

The one question I do feel that was answered is one that leaves me very uncomfortable. There used be a joke in Detroit when Chrysler “merged” with Mercedes. It was “How do you pronounce, Damlier-Chrylser?” “The Chrysler is silent.”

Well… how do you pronounce “TUSCC?” “TSK” … in other words, the United is silent.

The celebrated Mr. K. Performs his feat on Saturday at Bishopsgate

Sorry… this was a NASCAR show. It was a Grand Am race in Sunday go-to-meetin’ clothes. A little splashier… a little more buzz… a lot more hype… yet once again lacking in substance.

First, we had 12 months of “wait n’ see” followed by six weeks of rule changes on the fly. We had a ridiculous opening grid ceremony that resembled a mosh pit “for the fans.”  (for Christ sake… grid the damn cars THEN let the fans on the gird!) Then we had the staggered start. We had debris cautions followed by long periods of sorting out on track positions all to be polished off with a finish that might as well have been run strictly on the oval just for the shear fun of it. And the podium celebration? Don’t get me started….

You know, I think I’d rather have honesty. But whatever. Mr. France, et al; you bought the ALMS. Why are you pretending it was a merger?

The band begins at ten to six When Mr. K. performs his tricks without a sound

If there are any “real” prototypes (you know, like prototypes from a real car manufacturer) on the grid within 12 months, I’ll be really shocked! It’s obvious they want the Daytona Prototypes to be the flagship. I asked that question last year… “will the Daytona Prototype be the flagship prototype on the grid?” Pretty straight forward question. The answer was something along the lines of “that’s not our intent.” BULL! They all but neutered the P2 cars while unleashing a wrath of power and handling on the DPs that had the cars going airborne at the November test. In the actual race, the beloved Red Dragon had almost a full straight away lead by the end of the opening green flag lap.

I could go on and on with my observations. I’m sure to do so would surely find me labeled a whiner. I’ll revisit my views following Sebring. Though I’ll tell you, I’m not real optimistic.

My report card today is that this merger is nothing more than the NASCAR-ization of sports car racing in North America. If you’re a fan of high-tech mechanical jewelry and and cutting edge innovation, you’re out of luck. You’d better get to the track this year… because the innovation train is about to leave the station.

Lastly through a hogshead of real fire! In this way Mr. K. will challenge the world!


For the record, the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona was describe this way by the communications staff:

“Fans at Daytona International Speedway – along with those following all of the televised action – knew they were watching history in the making at the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The debut of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship had the feel of a big-time sporting event, with many festive activities surrounding the terrific on-track action.

With a Rolex 24 record crowd in attendance, fans packed the pre-race Fan Walk where they were able to get up close and personal with the cars and drivers minutes before the green flag waived.

Capping the evening’s festivities was the largest fireworks display this side of the Fourth of July, lighting up the skies that already had the sights of brightly carnival rides, including the tallest Ferris wheel on the East Coast, while cars raced through the night.”

And Mr. H. will demonstrate Ten sommersets he’ll undertake on solid ground

Let’s review:

  • Fans knew “they were watching history.”
  • The event “had the feel of a big-time sporting event.”
  • The record crowd packed the pre race Fan Walk.
  • Capping the evenings festivities was the largest fireworks display this side of the Fourth of July. The fireworks made the sky even brighter than the tallest ferris wheel on the East Coast.

Really? The FEEL of a big-time sporting event?

And tonight Mr. Kite is topping the bill-.

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