A bit late, sorry.
The WEC Super (dull) season.
It all seemed like such a great idea, start the season with the big race and end it all with a championship decider at the big race a year later. What could possible go wrong?
Well it was just dull. No one cared who won any of the championships, only who won the big races. And they were mostly a forgone conclusion anyway. First off, Toyota never looked like being challenged once. Even at the race they “lost”, a technical infringement handed the Rebellion chaps the silverware on Monday afternoon.
The old adage use to be. Build on Friday, race on Sunday and sell on Monday.
Today the adage goes something like this. Ahem….
Build on Monday.
Test on Tuesday.
FIA BOP adjustment on Wednesday.
Complain about the BOP change on social media on Thursday
Practice on Friday whilst still complaining about the BOP change handed out Tuesday but later revised by algorithm Thursday night in a closed team meeting with one of the big manufacturer teams only.
Qualifying and endless discussion of new revises secret BOP adjustment by the teams not given any BOP breaks on Saturday
Race on Sunday; watch Toyota cruise round for umpteenth victory by a country mile.
Scrutineer on Sunday evening after the champagne has been sprayed and all the paying punters who bothered to turn up to the windswept circuit in the middle of nowhere. Who were kept well away from any of the action by increasingly bigger fences further and further back from the track with fewer and fewer facilities or seating areas unless they were prepared to pay for a platinum standard bench in a windswept grandstand. Which was usually situated miles away, as there are no bridges to cross the circuit available unless you have platinum + pass and the right old school tie. Have left and gone home.
Reissue results on Monday, to much moaning and red face loon ranting on social media.
Hastily revised rule change and BOP adjustments Monday evening.
The WEC has squandered the glory days of Audi v Porsche v Toyota. The days when the pace of development was relentless because the team that didn’t bring an updated car to the next race was going to be 2 laps off the pace. I understand that Porsche and Audi left for perfectly acceptable reasons and the ACO can’t really be blamed for the loss of teams. However, to then pander outrageously to Toyota and effectively guarantee them the win, was contemptible.
GT pro was tinkered with constantly, to the point that Aston Martin was given a performance penalty after qualifying for the last race of the season. The desperate need to have a level playing field in GT pro was hand waved away when it came to the LMP1 field. Toyota was given all the advantages, none of the penalties and a lap advantage to make sure they were ahead of the non hybrid cars. Even when they had trouble, they were four laps ahead by the end. It wasn’t racing, it was a farce!
There were more championship titles than circuits in 2019 and apart from the. “Here you go Toyota, here’s your trophy for being rich and having the rules changed to suit you world title”. I have no idea who won the other. Well, that’s not strictly true, the Signatech Alpine mechanics held up a big banner at the end of Le Mans in 2019 with the world “wold champion 2019”.
I have no idea which GT pro car or team won their bit of the championship. I am assuming it was Porsche, because they turned up to all the races and weren’t Aston Martin or the woefully inadequate BMW. Who despite having possibly the biggest car ever seen on a race track, were almost invisible all season?
Gt am is laughably invisible. The only team I recognised was Dempsey, because the team owner is a Hollywood actor.
When you did notice a GT am, you frowned, wondered who that team was, then instantly forgot them as they turned the corner. The most exciting car in the whole championship, turned up for the last race, won despite the ACO trying to hobble it with an hour to go. Then after the race the ACO found a technical infringement, that you would have thought might have been spotted in scrutineering and gave the win to a Porsche. A Porsche, which did the whole season, much to my surprise!
Again, I have no idea who won the championship, car or drivers.
And, the thing is I’m invested in the championship, I have years of fandom behind me and I know who the drivers and teams are but trying to find any information on the official website or app was laughably bad.
Lots and lots of pages for advertisers or opportunities to buy TV packages to watch on my tiny phone as opposed to my 50” HD tv. Yet another subscription to take out to watch a sport I want to watch. Except I choose the wrong TV service supplier, who only got a half-hearted “highlights” package, so I miss the racing because Mark Cole is clearly watching a different race to the one I’m patchily watching.
The nadir of all this lack of interest was the Spa race. Which was amazing, I think, well the first 2 hours were amazing, and then there was some darts on, then the YouTube channel the official Facebook page directed me to was shut down for “reasons”. Then Eurosport showed some hasty highlights that looked like it was great racing, but we didn’t get to see much of it. Then it was over, and I had to piece it all together. However, I was so disheartened by the whole thing I gave up.
It just felt like no one cared about any of it. it was a big club for all those involved and if you weren’t in the club with the right tie on, you just weren’t welcome.
And so, the season ended and everyone went home and no one not directly connected with the teams or a serious hardcore fan, cared one jot what had happened. And then it all started up again. I say that, but I have no idea if it did or not. There was next to nothing advertising the fact it was off to Bahrain!
I follow a bunch of teams and the official Instagram feed, and I all I saw were adverts for past races with Porsche and Audi. To be fair the current Toyota paint scheme is indistinguishable from either Porsche or Audi so it could have been promotion for the new season, I have no idea. The it turned out there was a race on at the weekend, and I had no way to watch it love, unless I bought the streaming service.
So I didn’t watch it, and I’m not sure I’ll watch anymore.