What is the complete package and why is there a photo of a V8 Supercar field above? You're about to find out.
As an avid fan of motorsports whose eclectic tastes in racing range from Formula One to stock cars, endurance racing, and even to dirt bikes and rallying, I'm able to make a fairly objective statement on which series has the best product in my eyes.
The complete package
That series is not F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, the WEC, or the WRC. It's a division of touring car racing and no, I don't mean WTCC which has been made stale in 2014 by something that starts with a C and ends with an n. Nor am I referring to F1 Jr., aka, DTM.
I'm talking about the action-packed Australian V8 Supercar series. They are the complete package in my eyes and I don't agree with the rumors that their future is in doubt.
The beasts and their riders
The field is composed of 25 beasts that are heavy like stock cars, slick like sports cars, and nimble like rally cars. The pilots? In V8 Supercars, there's no lack of personality when you have the 'tell it like it is' Russell Ingall, the incredibly focused, yet easygoing Craig Lowndes, and the wonder boy in blue who likes to give it some jandal.
The tracks compliment the cars and are perfect for creating close, intense action throughout the entire event. It's not uncommon to see a heated fight ignite for last place; we saw it happen a few weeks ago. These drivers will fight for everything they can and will never back down. If not for money or points, they'll do it for pride.
The close competition is one of the main attributes of the series. Mercedes, Nissan, and Volvo joined the series less than two years ago and all have already claimed at least one victory.
Parity and championship format
In qualifying, which can be just as exciting as the races with its unique format, mere tenths separate the entire field of 25 cars. The championship format? They don't utilize double points or Chase, no, they've kept it traditional and somehow made it work....that's about the only thing traditional about this highly innovative series by the way.
So does this kind of format still work? Check out what went down in the penultimate weekend of 2010 and judge for yourself. Also keep in mind that the top three runners here are all battling for the championship as well.
"He's in the fence! They're both in the fence! They're all in the fence!" Did I mention the announcing? Superb.
V8 Supercar racing is never lacking in healthy controversy and drama either. There aren't controversies surrounding scandals or politics, but rather, on-track battles and driver feuds.
Dave Despain is a smart man and he once said that one of the better ways to judge your product is how many 'wow' moments take place. A 'wow' moment is an unexpected turn of events in a race or championship that has you shocked and fully engrossed by what's going on. Something that makes you stop everything you're doing and just sit (ot stand) in absolute awe. That's most races during the V8 Supercar season.
So to those who say V8 Supercars' future may be in jeopardy, if any form of racing should be concerned, it should be the ones that V8 Supercar racing is catching, and catching fast.