2015 GRC
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Thread: 2015 GRC

  1. #1

    Default 2015 GRC

    Looks like GRC should be a little more interesting than even last year was?

    *Chip Ganassi Racing in now with new team of Arpin and Deegin in Msport Cars

    *Foust and Speed back and both in Beetles

    *Bucky and Sverre still in subarus

    *bunch of new lites entries

    *new schedule

    I'm sure I'm missing things, but anyone else excited for the first turn one pile up of the year??

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  3. #2

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    Wait, they still have this series? I thought it was gone a few years ago.
    Grant Hughes - 1985 Merkur XR$TI Group 5
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  4. #3
    International Rallying Icon Brian J's Avatar
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    Clearly, Chip Ganassi didn't read Dan Spalinger's post about how GRC was going out of business. Neither did Andretti. Or Herta.
    -Brian Johnson

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  6. #4
    don't cut HiTempguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by granthughes View Post
    Wait, they still have this series? I thought it was gone a few years ago.
    It appears to be doing quite well... it just has zero interest to anyone over the age of 22.
    Adam

    Blew up the clutch at PFR, back at it for Big White!

  7. #5

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    Huh. Interesting. I truly thought it had gone. Are they still in X Games or has the stadium truck racing replaced it there also?
    In the 21-60 age group the most number of people of any given age is 21 so probably smart to appeal to them.
    Grant Hughes - 1985 Merkur XR$TI Group 5
    rally.build
    885 Parfet St Ste C
    Denver, CO 80215

  8. #6
    100 oversquare right
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    This is the Series with Foust and Block right? I was watching it intermittently last year. my nephew who is 13 wants to go and watch .. but only after i told him about it, he didn't know anything about it . he lives in Vegas.


    cool stuff.
    Welcome to Rally Addicts anonymous! Hi I'm Alex Rademacher, and i have a Rally problem..... 23 rallies and counting....

  9. #7
    100 K right 4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post
    It appears to be doing quite well... it just has zero interest to anyone over the age of 22.
    You must have acquired that data from all the GRC rounds you've attended? Yea, I didn't think so.......... As for myself, having been to 24 GRC rounds since 2011. I would say that 75-80% of the fan base that attends these races are at minimum 22 years old.
    Ken_Butch

  10. #8
    don't cut HiTempguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rallikid View Post
    You must have acquired that data from all the GRC rounds you've attended? Yea, I didn't think so.......... As for myself, having been to 24 GRC rounds since 2011. I would say that 75-80% of the fan base that attends these races are at minimum 22 years old.
    I flew out to New Hampshire (from Alberta) to see a round in 2013. So yes, my comment being jest, you are correct my data sample is small.

    However, its not the asses in the seats that marketing cares about, its TV viewers. And for the record, everyone in NH was there for the asphalt roundy round stuff it seemed.

    Its hard to tell the hype from actual success is all. Even Stadium Super Trucks are more outwardly successful appearing than GRC and has a dedicated fanbase. So wadunno.
    Adam

    Blew up the clutch at PFR, back at it for Big White!

  11. #9

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    As a rally editor for OpenPaddock.net I've covered a lot of the GRC and it's evolution over the past few years. Is it dead or dying? FAR FROM IT! Chip Ganassi Racing just announced this week they are joining the Red Bull GRC fray and using Ford Fiesta's built by M-Sport (like Ken Block) not the Olsbergs machines built by Andreas Eriksson.

    Why is it popular among sponsors and teams? Because it specifically markets to the "extreme sports" enthusiast age bracket from 16-30. I've interviewed Colin Dyne the CEO of Red Bull GRC and he's said himself that is a target of the series. They also have a TV package with NBC, and that's the real kicker. Even NASCAR is noticing a decline in viewers, largely because the younger generation isn't willing to sit in front of a TV watching cars go in circles for two and a half hours. The short sprint style races are becoming more and more popular than the endurance races. An example would be the Pirelli World Challenge which are 50 minute timed races with sports cars which has seen an explosion of manufacturer entries. Red Bull GRC has that short sprint style of racing that younger or busier people can absorb.

    Of course the TV package being on the main NBC network is a big part of why GRC is successful too. Sponsors still think that TV is the only way to get seen vs. those that argue the internet can be equally successful. Broadcast TV or Radio is full of lies though. They estimate how many supposedly millions of people are tuning in, where as online videos show reality of how many people actually click to view something. Sponsors don't like reality as it is much more bleak looking in numbers than the broadcast world of estimated viewers. That's a whole other argument, but the main thing is that sponsors and manufacturers believe the GRC is a platform that gets them seen. In dealing with the "cable cutters", it is rumored that this year's events will also be viewable on RedBull.tv.

    The other reason it is successful is that the racing has now become quite good. Personally I prefer stage rally as drivers are taken out only because of their own mistakes, not because of 8 cars trying to fit into a single lane in turn 1. I've been very critical of the series and those turn 1 issues. However, as I've watched the series evolve and grow, the track designs have changed to avoid much of the turn 1 calamity seen in the past. This isn't true for every track, but if you followed the series last year you would notice as the year went on the organizers experimented with different design elements. The most successful were the tracks having either a long sweeping turn 1 that narrowed to a tight turn 2 naturally forcing the cars into single file, or when they would put the "joker" at the beginning so that the cars can split half taking the joker and the other half going the traditional route. These methods were quite successful in reducing red flags to the point that many events had none whatsoever.

    Oh, and X-Games? Even Red Bull GRC realized those were no longer a good idea for the championship as the tracks could not be made to the specifications they wanted and X-Games has a lot of less experienced guest drivers that could affect those trying to compete in the full series. So the X-Games GRC races are an exhibition for X-Games medals only, they are no longer part of the championship.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is the Red Bull GRC isn't dying, it is growing whether we like the full-contact sport it is or not. The age demographic it hits is what the sponsors want and they have the TV package to boot. The racing has become much better than it was, and I look forward to more improvements this season. Track design and track size seem to be the most important elements to prevent the wrecks. About 0.75 mile length seems to be about right. If nothing else, watching Red Bull GRC has been quite interesting in just seeing a new series evolve.

  12. #10

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    I was involved with American rallycross from the very start with Rally America in New Jersey and then through the first season as GRC when it was owned by Brian Gale and Chip Pankow. Right from the start it was a highly entertaining show for spectators on-site, online or on TV. You have to admit racing can often being boring to watch, but the short multi-heat format is like Top 40 radio. You may not like this song, but wait 2 minutes and maybe you'll like the next one.

    Though TV2GO parted company with the promoters after the inaugural season, the potential of the series was obvious to all involved and I've remained a loyal fan. To their credit the promoters have continued to tweak the rules, the tracks, the format and the schedule and almost always for the better. It's improving and growing with each season. As for television vs internet, a couple of insights in defense of broadcast. Advertising budgets are targeted to geographic areas. Subaru of America doesn't invest to sell cars in other countries. They aim to promote sales at home. So for them global internet reach is nice, but only the domestic audience counts. Secondly, a live webcast is "destination viewing". The viewer has to consciously seek it out. Network TV on the other hand garners much of its audience from grazers who just happen to stumble across the show. Riveting eye candy like GRC is great at arresting these grazers during live shows or promos in other non-related programming. The perfect solution (and GRC has it with Red Bull TV) is live network TV in the home market plus live online for foreign fans and on-demand viewing later. GRC deserves credit also for waking up the FIA. Rallycross was an old established sport in Europe, but the Global Rally Cross model prompted the FIA to revamp their sport and relaunch it as World Rx. Now we have two booming rallycross series and the future looks bright for both.
    Lawrence Partington

    TV2GO Toronto

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