Mainstream Motoring Media & Sportscar Racing
exists for several reasons. Included amongst these are, of course,
the passion for ‘our’ part of the sport from dsc’s
contributors, but another important motivation is the overwhelming
feeling that sportscar racing just doesn’t get the attention
it warrants from the ‘mainstream motorsport media’.
pushing hard to improve our product even further:‘new dsc’,
though much delayed, is very much on the way and while there are,
as always, other offerings on the web, we’re very confident
indeed that, in the words of Carly Simon – Nobody Does It
The perceived competition has long come from the
motorsport print magazines, but now something interesting seems
to be happening.
While the motorsport magazines seem more content
to either almost ignore the sportscar racing scene, concentrate
on rumour and speculation or look back on ‘the good old days’,
there are signs that their more mainstream motoring cousins are
beginning to fill the void.
a trawl through the UK news stands today netted three mainstream
‘glossy’ motoring monthlies. EVO, TOP
GEAR and CAR.
Among the regular fare of shiny new cars, class
comparisons and lifestyle features, there is now a regular stream
of racing-based coverage.
is first up and there is plenty here to show that the racing scene
is seen to ‘sell’ – there’s a Brian Laban-penned
Le Mans preview, concentrating heavily on the prospects for the
Audi R10, and an accompanying feature looking at previous ’alternative’
entries to the great race. The new BMW Z4 Coupe road car is compared
and contrasted with the brand new racecar version, bound for the
VLN series (and perhaps elsewhere too!), and there are road tests
of the road-going versions of two very significant GT racers, the
Mosler MT900 and the new Porsche 997 GT3. And it’s not just
the editorial too. There are full-page ads. for the British GT Championship,
the Dunlop Race Academy and the revamped Radio Le Mans.
magazine has a little less on offer for sportscar racefans. There
is an in-depth feature on the GT3 Aston Martin DBRS9, which is a
very entertaining read. The impression gained by readers of the
thoughtful approach of George Howard-Chappell to the task in hand
is a fair reflection of this writer’s impressions having met
and conversed with the man himself. There’s a brief profile
of dsc’s European 2005 Rookie of the year, Vanina Ickx, as
she embarks on her maiden DTM season, and the start of a continuing
series that will take two of the Car staffers on the journey from
road to racetrack. Dunlop’s commitment to its racing endeavours
is further underlined with a double page ad. for their Race Academy
programme here too.
TOP GEAR is perhaps less of a draw for racing fans,
just a 997 GT3 road test on offer (and not as good an article as
the EVO version either) for ‘dsc’ers but there has been
a steady stream in previous months, with the Aston DBR9 and Audi
R10 both featuring recently.
There is perhaps
one rather odd anomaly though. Right next door to the monthlies
lies the weekly AUTOCAR magazine, ‘media
partners’ for the British GT Championship. Aside from the
road tests, there are ads. for the FIA GT Championship opener and
a double page ad. featuring the Audi R10 – “It’s
Inside The Audi A6 TDI Diesels”. The anomaly? That the same
ad. isn’t in the monthlies, alongside the features that tread
the same ground. There is a double page Audi ad. there (for the
new TT), but surely that has to go down as a miss in EVO,
alongside the editorial content plugging the technology of the R10!
All in all the parallel that this scene brings to
mind is that of the motor industry in general, and the US motor
industry in particular.
There’s an obvious market that draws easy
custom, but the challenge is always to keep an eye on the next big
thing. And it just might be that in concentrating too hard on the
obvious cash cows of F1/ WTCC / BTCC (or in our parallel market
the Pickups and SUVs), that the eye is off the ball.
There are other parts of the market in both instances
that have much to offer and at the moment it seems that as far as
sportscar racing and its crossover into the mass market is concerned,
the motoring media is beating its motorsport brethren to the punch.
Too much focus
on F1 in the motorsport weeklies – and on what anyone happens
to have said this week, no matter how uninteresting – has
been a long-standing complaint here. Well done EVO,
TOP GEAR, CAR
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