Roland’s View: Christmas 2032
By Roland Dane
Wednesday 21st December, 2022 - 2:08pm
It’s Christmas 2032!
Hey folks, welcome to the Christmas edition of Tales from the Rocking Chair at the end of a thrilling 2032 season of Motorsports.
Sitting here overlooking the Brisbane River I’m feeling very much glass-half full – and that’s not always been possible when you reflect on some of the doom and gloom of the last decade or so.
I can’t start a look back at 2032 anywhere other than here in Australia and another ripper Supercars season. Watching the likes of Brown, Feeney, Fraser, Best, Ojeda, Prince, Sargent and Love battling it out across the country has been an absolute delight. Race winners all with a fully deserved Champion emerging at the end.
Of course, now we have just two, highly treasured, street tracks (plus Bathurst) on the calendar, Townsville and Adelaide, it has meant that we’ve seen Supercars in action across every meaningful permanent circuit in Australia plus Hampton Downs in NZ.
The superb redevelopment of Calder Park by the Jane family has meant that we don’t really miss Sandown and dropping Supercars from the Australian Grand Prix card has been a blessing in disguise, giving the opportunity to Supercars to race to their own timetable rather than when nobody is up and about.
And now Queensland Raceway has been developed into the QR Colosseum, it’s become a real night race spectacular each season reminiscent of Bristol in the US. With so many American service personnel coming to the event every year now from the nearby Amberley base, it even sounds like Bristol when you’re sitting in those huge stands.
We’ve also now become used to the delivery of so much of all live sport on OTT (over the top) direct platforms and the Supercars service is exemplary with its multi-channel offering. Okay, so it costs $20 per month but, these days, that’s very good value. Ever since Fox bought Supercars (along with so much other content) the vertical integration model has served the sport well and never more so than now with these highly developed AI (Artificial Intelligence) operated cameras and direction.
Thinking back, the 2022 World Cup really started to show people just what was going to be possible with this technology and it really has matured now. However, I’m not totally convinced by the Manga style artificial presenters, but it’s clearly much cheaper than paying real ones!
Meanwhile, like much of the motorsports world across the globe, Supercars has most definitely benefitted from the resurgence, over the last three years, of the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) and the fact that it’s no longer politically incorrect to use them.
This GT4PRO class has given us a real selection of different makes and models like never before as manufacturers such as Toyota, Mercedes-AMG, BMW, Ford and Chevrolet (that we see here in Australia) surf the wave of recognition that the ICE is far from dead and that the latest lightweight, efficient, sporting hero models running on a high percentage of renewable fuel really do represent an alternative rather than the electrification of everything.
Adding 100hp to the original GT4 formula to create GT4PRO whilst steering clear of increasing aero has created some great racing and the highly developed BoP (Balance of Performance) has meant that the various cars have been very well balanced despite the immature heckling from the tiny minority of ‘parity’ keyboard warriors.
And then there’s F1. What a revelation that has been since they realised, two years ago, that those huge, heavy, lumbering 1200hp hybrid behemoths were no longer relevant or interesting.
These new lightweight, ICE-powered cars are tiny by comparison but represent the very pinnacle of technology on so many levels as well as being an absolute joy to watch even around tracks like Monaco where passing is once again sometimes possible.
Given that the air freighting of sports equipment over 50kg per person is now banned under the 2030 UN Climate Convention, F1 of course had to change its model and these new, smaller and far cheaper cars allow teams to sea freight cars to each non-European event using up to six sets of equipment in rotation as they circumnavigate the globe.
It’s truly amazing how adaptable motorsports has been to this changing environment and at the same time, as we reflect on 2032, it’s also amazing how the internal combustion engine continues to be developed to new levels.
In the words of the old boss of Toyota, many years ago now, it’s not the ICE that is the enemy, it’s CO2. The advent of the widespread use of renewable fuels and these outstandingly efficient new engines across the wider world, as well as motorsports, has allowed us to have another great season of spectacular sport.
Have a very happy Christmas.