If you are a fan of racing, winter is mostly a quiet time. The forms of racing that are dearest to my heart are all in hibernation at the moment. Being born in Europe must have had a profound effect on the type of race fan I would become. NASCAR and Indy are fast but oval tracks don’t hold my attention. The American Le Mans and Grand Am series are both very exciting and their upcoming fusion should yield some great results but my favorite racing types all occur almost exclusively outside the United States. My true loves are Formula 1, World Rally Cross and MotoGP. For now, let’s concentrate on F1.
Formula One is enjoying great popularity and seems to be ever-expanding, this year featuring a record twenty races. This last season especially has been exciting and full of rare circumstances that add to the overall drama of the sport. The changes to the regulations seemed to rob the Red Bull racing team of the advantage that allowed Sebastian Vettel to nearly sweep the series in 2011 and the result was seven different winners in the first seven races (a new record) and the series being won at the last race. The battle between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel was further heightened by the performances of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Räikkönen. If it wasn’t for the mechanical problems that forced Hamilton to retire several times, things may have turned out very differently. Now that Lewis has left McLaren for Mercedes, it’s anyone’s guess what the new year will hold. Six more weeks and the 2013 season starts in Australia.
Satisfying my need for speed is accomplished in a number of ways. I play quite a few racing games including Forza, Dirt, Grid, Formula 1, Need for Speed, PGR, MotoGP and MX vs ATV. I am sure that I left a few out. Forza (especially 3 & 4) and the Codemasters games (Dirt, Grid and F1) are my favorites for their realism in modeling and handling. Any game that allows me access to exotic and rare cars and the ability to fine tune as I see fit will be spinning in my Xbox quite a bit.
Some of the tuning of cars has spilled in the real world and I have been slowly upgrading my car, a 2011 Subaru STI. I have taken the boys to a few race tracks including the NJ Motorsports Park to see different types of racing. Sometimes even my wife comes with us. This year we plan to go carting more often and get my car on the track and stop just playing games. And then there is our new activity, slot cars. It’s great to race the same cars (sometime with the same liveries) from games like Forza in 1:43 scale in our basement. Much more on all of these topics soon.