I stayed up late last night watching this Sportscar Racing Motorsport event, it's an instantly classic memorable race. Exciting, nail biting, and briefly heart-breaking from lap 1 to the checkered flag. All the teams I was rooting for (The best way to watch Sportscar Racing is to pick a favorite) had issues early on that let them out of contention for the win and the championship – or so I'd thought.
In a couple of hours we had the full range of motorsport experience:
- a dramatic failed overtake on lap 1, with a penalty with championship implications handed out later
- a pretty scary crash which happened under safety car conditions. my guess is that the driver of one car (a toyota prius race-equipped sportscar!!!) thought they were returning to green flags a lap too early and just crashed hard in to a Mach 5 speed-racer themed car.
- weird tire-manufacturer battles through the middle stages of the race. certain cars (even of the same model operated by competing teams) would experience different performance degradation as the race progressed. #supergt is one of the rare motorsports with "tire wars" where competitors have a choice of tire manufacturer each with different characteristics or ideal operating conditions and crazy levels of competition between their R&D departments. There were clear winners and losers today and watching that play out in real time was fascinating.
- laps and laps of hard Multiclass Racing, where as the top class overtakes the underclass, theyre being used as picks and wedges against their opponents. a handful of each class's top contenders were operating within a few seconds on track from each other the entire race, a true toss up and elbows-out tussle. its like a really subtle game of chess where you are trying to position your car in relation to the other class's car so that they interfere with your opponent or not. if you pass a slow car before going in to a portion of the track that is difficult to pass in, your opponent may lose a second or more caught up behind a touring car-custom prius instead of you.
- one of the teams i was rooting for, the shoe-in for gt300 championship (copiloted by one of the commentators of Super Formula, the japanese openwheel formula and a great experience itself!) got a flat and lost an entire WHEEL. They drove to the pit on three wheels to get four new ones and just sort of cruised around thinking they were essentially out of contention. they WON the championship after it went to a three-way tie until the final moments when ANOTHER car who was not in championship contention and on less worn tires charged past two of the three tied cars, passing one on the final lap handing the championship BACK to a driver who wasn't told he was back in contention until after he won.
- two cars in this championship contention raced side-by-side for over a lap, each refusing to yield or fall in to the fast line behind the other. This set up the 1-2 points tie which would eventually turn in to that 1-2-3 which would only break on the final lap.
- nearly everyone from the race- and championship-winning teams were crying from the emotional rollercoaster of the race as they got out of the cars and did interviews. a few were bawling with joy. even the interviewer was choking up.
- 7 cars won 8 races in one class and 8 cars won 8 races in the other. every race was won by a different team, nearly. this isnt like formula 1 where there are a few winners in a season and clear favorites, theres a bunch of really incredible drivers and very competitive teams.
- the race winner of gt300 brought a photo of their team founder on to the top step of the podium after he passed away near the start of the season, on their car manufacturer's home track
motorsport is cool as hell. and sportscar racing and japanese autosports are rad as heck. this is way better than formula 1, its way more anime. this race was exciting and nail-biting for all 300km. i wish this wasnt locked on a 70$/year streaming service so i could show y'all. the highlights VoD isn't even commentated.
In the references below you'll find links to the highlights and some recap Videos.