August 31, 2013

Baltimore FAIL

...are you kidding me?
Why anyone would want to hold a race on the streets of Baltimore remains a mystery. Street courses generally blow anyway, the one in Baltimore more so than any other it seems. If it's not the asphalt peeling of, it's that ridiculous chicane and bottleneck on the main straight.

Add bad judgement by less than top tier drivers in the P2 class, a race determined by crashes and restarts and cut to just 41 laps and there you have it: a complete an utter fail.

Is this really what American racing fans want to see?


  1. Perhaps the outside-pole sitter had a speed limiter on for the pace lap? And failed to turn it off. Then, once the accordion is set into motion...

  2. Wow. Just wow- I'm speechless. This course is likely going to be axed from the 2014 schedule of the USCR after this deal. I usually regard the streets of Canberra as one of the all-time worst street courses for when the Australian V8 Supercars raced that course in the early 2000s. This courses here is ludicrous.

  3. Look at how the IndyCars handled that track last year... Absolutely horrible

  4. it's insane. I imagine there will be more fail today when Indycars take to it

  5. It's the second year we've been - wasn't going to go this year but the wife persuaded me. It was the most unprofessional race I've ever seen and I was at the 2005 USGP! That said, I actually enjoyed it, in a 'laugh at the incompetence, see what goes wrong next' sort of way.

    But street circuits are almost always awful, and this one is doubly so. The locals hate the race, and that chicane (and certainly the tires on the exit) have no place being there.

  6. Anytime I get irritated by the F1 on NBC Sports crew, I'm reminded of the far worse alternatives like the clown commentating this video... 290 MPH?

    This event has been a shit show for years and speaks about this country's lack of decent racing circuits.

  7. That chicane really improves safety!

    I really would love to know who's responsible for certifying these INDY circuits. In addition to dangerous insanity like above. It also seems there is no need for the course's surface to be in any way maintained. The amount of bouncing around the cars do is comical. Not just in Baltimore, but St Petersburg, Detroit, San Paulo, etc. Screw paving or leveling a street. Got a pot / sink hole, fill it in with whatever crap you have laying around. If the driver hits the bump at a bad angle there is plenty of concrete to stop him.

    In contrast, I remember a year or two ago they had a wet spot on the starting grid at Monaco. This was the result of a minor water pipe leak. Overnight, they dug up the pipe, fixed the leak. leveled and repaved the spot in time for the GP the next morning.

  8. I really don't see why this has blown up like it did. The V8 Supercar series regularly races on tighter street circuits than this, and the entire accident was caused by a P1 driver. Had he gotten on the gas the pileup wouldn't have happened. The rest of the race was either incident free, or typical contact between racing cars. I don't think the track is all that bad, they can't just pave over utilities like the train tracks, and Long Beach is even tighter all the way around.

    What really pisses me off is they still continue to allow the Z4 to race with an M3 enigne, thereby completely nullifying the whole street-to-track concept of GT racing, and then they allow the BMW team to ride around for a few laps with a bumper falling off and telling their driver to go fast as possible to make it fall off on track so they don't have to pit. What they should have done is black flagged them, and if they didn't they should have given them a penalty that was at minimum 90 seconds for endangering the field by having parts fall off their car on purpose. I'm getting really tired of them letting BMW do whatever they hell they want. They heavily favored the M3 over the last few seasons, they are allowing them to use an engine that isn't offered in the car here in the US and not they are allowing them to litter the track with parts because they don't want to pit. I HATE that they let them do whatever they want.

  9. Some of the locals hate it, some (like me) love it. The chicane sucks, and I think sports car are ill-suited to street courses in general, but I'd love to see proper touring cars race there. Too bad we don't have a high-level touring series in this country.
    The Indycars make a mess here too, but that's true of most street courses.

    I hope the event continues, but it may not be a good fit for sports car racing. (Competition-wise. Money-wise, I don't know.)

  10. I dont think it was a Fail event. Auto racing has to be show business at the end of the day for it to be sustainable, so adding a little bit of risk without putting the drivers in danger adds to the spectacle of it.
    Street courses are what they are, with no margin for error and big jumps over kerbs and broken pavement are the norm. A lot of the drivers loved the circuit and will happily race there again.
    I personally prefer this type of street circuits because it puts a penalty on drivers who take a lot of risk and have ballsy driving styles (go blindly into a corner to see if they make it) rather than measured finesse.

  11. At about 1:46 in the first video, it looks like he nicked the center median, which caused him to either slow or lift off. Either way, the guy behind him was full on.


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