Tuesday, 15 April 2014

China, but more importantly .. It's the SILVERSTONE 6 hours

Okay, China up next and after the amazing race in Bahrain, I’m not going to be watching it.
Not because I’m afraid it won’t live up to Bahrain,  that it will be a return to the sort of race we had in Malaysia all dull and processional. And not because I think it’ll just be another race between the Mercedes of Lewis and Nico. I rather enjoy watching two team mates have at it.

No, I shall miss the race because I will be at Silverstone watching the first round of the 2014 FIA world endurance race (WEC) championship, because it’s going to be mighty.  

Endurance racing has been in a bit of a rut the last few years; if you didn’t have an Audi then there wasn’t a lot of point turning up to the race. Peugeot had a crack at them and left with a bloody nose in the dead of night. Toyota stepped up to the track after the French had turned tail and run. The Japanese squad showed some promise but failed to capitalize on that first season as new boys, last year Audi just steam rolled all over them at Le Mans and pretty much everywhere else.
Audi didn’t always have the fastest car or the most efficient engine. But they have a phenomenal team on the pit wall, in the garage and a driver squad of proven winners. They are the most drilled, the most professional and yes, ruthlessly efficient team possible.

But now they have a real challenger, on old warrior has been awaken, has risen again and is coming back to claim what was once their crown. A glittering crown made from the defeated enemies of countless battles.
 A behemoth of a company which in days of yore, bestrode the world as the absolute last word in racing domination. They can trace their linage back to the very dawn of motorsport.  They've driven the small and helpless away from danger, they’ve driven some of the world’s best remembered dictators around the parade grounds.
They've raced in every corner of the world, on every surface, at every level.
They are Porsche and they are coming back to ground the upstarts into the dust and take back that which was stolen from them.
Porsche are coming back and they are going to win.

Not that I’m a particular Porsche fan by the way, I want Toyota to win, but that’s like supporting Williams when Redbull and Mercedes are slugging it out with their cheque books, pretty futile.

Porsche, Audi and Toyota, racing for the crown of Endurance Champion of the World and it’s all going to start at Silverstone this Sunday. So whilst Mercedes disappear off into the distance in China, three manufactures will be racing for the win in England.
And the best thing about it, they are all different. Porsche have a two litre turbo charged Petrol V4, Audi a single turbo diesel V6 and Toyota a normally aspirated petrol V8. And if you don’t like the sound of the current F1 engines, come and listen to that Toyota scream, and hear what a really silent diesel car can sound like at 180mph.
Then you’ve got a load of GT cars; Aston Martin Vantage V8’s, Porsche 911 RSR’s, Ferrari F458’s. And best of all the Stig has got himself a ride in a blue and white Ferrari.

For just £35 you can watch 6 hours of proper racing, sit in the stands or wonder round the track. Get there early enough and you can breeze on into the pits and have a chat with actual real racing drivers. Not weekend cowboys with a Fiesta and janspeed bolted on. The real thing, people that drive in the dark down poorly lit French country roads at 200mph, honest to goodness heroes.

Or ... you can sit on the sofa at home, moan about the lack of sound, have a cup of tea, fall asleep and wake up to see which of the Merc have won this time.

I’ll be there Saturday (for the ELMS race which is just as good) and Sunday for the big event.   


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