2014 – are we in for a good year? #F1 #NASCAR #IndyCar

Daytona Speedweeks have begun, the Rolex is history and new spec F1 cars are pounding (well some of them are) around Jerez. The 500 will be with us soon and you can feel the racing blood starting to circulate once more.

A new dawn for the sports car boys, but the Rolex is not really a classic in our book, at least not in the way that Le Mans is, or even Sebring. It’s more of a lottery in many ways, but that isn’t to belittle anyone who manages to finish, let alone win it for it is a test of endurance. Hopefully the sports and prototype teams will de well this year and provide us with some strong racing over the coming months.

In F1 we have some of the most awful looking cars we have ever seen. There has often been a real dog in the pack, but this lot are just a pack of dogs livened up only in one or two cases by a nice paint job, and the Force India boys have what we think is the best livery by far. The look of the cars is entirely down to the regulations and just goes to show how regulation can screw up things. Reliability is maybe the biggest topic this year and so far we have not idea how that will pan out. Maybe we can expect some rogue results and who knows if Caterham or Marussia might even get onto the podium? When Brian Redman brought his Cooper-BRM into 3rd at Monaco in 1968 winner Graham Hill is alleged to have said “Bloody Hell. What are you doing here?” when they met on the podium. Possibly 2014 will have some similar finishes.

NASCAR media season is in full swing and we are close to feeling the thunder. It will be good to have them all back on track again if for no other reason than the results each week are reasonably unpredictable not because of new regulations as in F1, but because NASCAR is always a bit hard to predict the outcome of. Sure there are a few teams that are likely to end the season with a shed load of winnings in the bank and that Hendick, Rousch and Penske will probably be represented in the Chase, but week on week there are chances for many of the others to pick up a decent qualifying or race result and that is one of the attractions.

IndyCar looks in good shape (even if the cars retain that awful look) and the return of JPM to the fold bodes well. He may take time to adapt back to single seaters, but the guy has always been quick and the series will benefit. He has the looks and the personality to be an ad-man’s dream too and the series will benefit from the media attention he can generate.

All around the world there are other series too; V8s down under, the DTM in Europe and all of the supporting series that make up events for enthusiasts to watch week in week out. As long as we can have some good weekend weather around the world there should be plenty to keep us petrol heads amused. Enjoy your racing whichever style suits you best and stay safe.

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