The Greatest Show on Wheels finally returns after its
winter summer break, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
As we’ve told you previously, the Australian V8 Supercar Championship is finally coming to Speed for those of us in North America. This is fantastic news, and those of you who haven’t completely given up on the channel will have noticed recently that they are suddenly — albeit with some seeming reluctance — showing all kinds of great racing. Formula One, British Touring Cars, DTM, all are suddenly evident, and not only that, in High Definition no less! Be still my beating heart!
So why should we, as Hoons, care about one more obscure form of racing? Well, aside from that which I laid out in the earlier article, there is a further reason. The very term from which we draw our name, “hoons”, is an Australian term. Granted, in Australia, it is generally a derogatory term, but we are reclaiming it. We believe that those people who enjoy their cars, and enjoy driving them in an aggressive manner, are not necessarily the reprehensible sort
So what do you need to know, going into this new season? Well, first and foremost, there are two new races over last year.
This is good news, as taking the cars and drivers out of their comfort zone always makes for good racing. The Desert 400 in Bahrain took a hiatus last year due to external and scheduling conflicts, but it returns for 2010 along with the all-new season opener, the Yas V8 400 in Abu Dhabi. This is not only a new race, but a new circuit, having hosted its inaugural event only last year with Formula One. As such, it’s unfamiliar turf, so no driver has any distinct advantage, as they do with many other courses. Furthermore, for the desert races, they have opted to use course layouts very close to those used by the F1 cars, which has the potential to mean exceptionally high speeds from these modified production cars. Some drivers last month were speculating about top speeds well in excess of 300 km/h at multiple points across the circuit. The impact this could have on tire-wear and fuel mileage could result in very dramatic racing, as most of the fastest courses top out at about 290 km/h.
The other biggest pieces of news are somewhat more political. Ford, for instance, largely pulled its support for race teams in the past year. As such, the Championship-winning team, Team Vodafone, announced late last season that they would part ways with Ford and begin to race for the rival Holden camp instead. To us, this may seem trivial, but to Australian Ford fans, this would be akin to Carroll Shelby announcing he no longer liked Mustangs and was going to start modifying Priuses instead.
This is all the more significant in that Team Vodafone is owned by a company called Triple-Eight Race Engineering. They have built some of the fastest Falcons in the series for multiple different teams; because of their rift with Ford, they will now transition to building Commodores instead. This means that several of the smaller teams have nobody to turn to for their next-generation race car when it is needed.
Further adding to the drama is the news that Ford, in all its
This news has not been received well in Australia, if Facebook, Twitter and various Australian forums are to be believed. As such, there is a great deal of hostility towards Ford for its perceived slight to the Land Down Undah; look for them to receive something of a villain’s role in this year’s race series.
With just over a week to go before the start of the new series, there’s plenty of drama to go around; and any time the drama increases, so does the excitement of the racing.
Oh, and a few gratuitous shots here and there of P!nk in tight leather can’t hurt either. So sue me, she’s a guilty pleasure, and I have no problem with welcoming her on board.
[Special thanks to Jason Bright for the link to the video; images courtesy of Team Vodafone, Britek Racing and V8Supercars.]