ROB LAD­BROOK

“Bri­tish se­ries need to stop clash­ing dates”

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

This is al­ways an ex­cit­ing week to be work­ing on Mo­tor­sport News. It’s the week we re­ceive the first draft of the Na­tional Rac­ing Cal­en­dar for the 2016 sea­son. For those not fa­mil­iar with the cal­en­dar, it de­tails each and ev­ery race meet­ing hap­pen­ing in the UK and Ire­land this year, along with each round for the 209 in­di­vid­ual rac­ing se­ries op­er­at­ing.

There are a colos­sal 201 race meet­ings this sea­son, so no doubt we’ll be able to bring you plenty of con­tent to en­joy over the com­ing sea­son.

But the cal­en­dar also raises a few con­cerns. There is such a thing as too much choice, and with 201 meet­ings tak­ing place largely be­tween March and Novem­ber, there are inevitably go­ing to be clashes, but a few just seem down right silly.

Within my role at MN, I cover the Bri­tish GT Cham­pi­onship and the FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship. Be­ing a sportscar fan, it’s a dream, but this year could be a bit of a night­mare.

Let’s look at the week­end of April 16/17. The WEC roars into life at Sil­ver­stone, pre­cisely the same week­end as Bri­tish GT be­gins at Brands Hatch. That’s Bri­tain’s best sportscar class start­ing in Kent, and the world’s best one start­ing in Northamp­ton­shire. For a fan – or a jour­nal­ist – that’s a pain as we have to choose one or the other, as do the driv­ers in­volved in both se­ries.

Aside from just sportscars, you will also find the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship holds its se­cond round at Don­ing­ton Park on that date too.

Don’t fancy top-flight sportscar rac­ing? Well the En­durance Rac­ing Se­ries is on at Rockingham too to make it three en­durance races within a few miles of each other!

Or fancy some­thing more clas­sic? Head to Cas­tle Combe for the 50th An­niver­sary meet­ing of the His­toric Sports Car Club! This must be a joke, surely? But it’s not. That gives us four ma­jor meet­ings and an in­ter­est­ing ‘clubby’ – none too far re­moved from each other ge­o­graph­i­cally – on the same date. That’s plain stupid sched­ul­ing. Crowds will inevitably suf­fer for each event as fans are forced to choose, and it makes it near im­pos­si­ble for an in­di­vid­ual to keep up with ev­ery­thing that’s go­ing on across those two days.

Surely some­body in a po­si­tion of power should be stand­ing up and de­mand­ing a re­think?

I un­der­stand the pres­sure on cham­pi­onship or­gan­is­ers to find suit­able dates, and the pres­sure on venues to ac­com­mo­date them. But a bit more co­or­di­na­tion to avoid clashes – be­tween the Bri­tish cham­pi­onships we con­trol es­pe­cially – would surely work bet­ter for ev­ery­body in­volved.

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