LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION: CLUB MOTORSPORT ENTERS THE LIVE TV ERA
A new concept in televised motorsport action is to be pioneered in Britain next season, with viewers across Europe set to enjoy a five-hour feast of national race action live from Mallory Park.
The Mallory meeting – a pilot event for a planned quartet of live-TV meetings in 2010, ahead of a full season of such meetings the following year – will feature a 16-race programme of 10-minute races for saloons, sports cars and single-seaters with the emphasis squarely on entertainment.
“The aim is to provide the most exciting spectacle that British club racing can offer,” says event director Magnus Laird, “and to bring back some of the appeal which has been eroded in recent years for spectators, competitors and sponsors alike.
“The combination of full grids, short races and live television, combined with slick organisation and presentation, should prove a winning formula.”
Behind the cameras at the Sunday 16 May event will be the technicians of HayFisher, the country’s leading motorsport TV production company. The action will be beamed via HayFisher’s unique wireless camera system and a satellite uplink truck from rural Leicestershire to the Paris HQ of Motors TV, from where it will be broadcast to homes Europe-wide.
Eight championships are scheduled to appear and take part in double-header races at Mallory, including Kent-engined Formula Fords, Caterham Graduates, 2CVs, the Kumho BMW Championship, BARC Dunlop Motorsport News Saloons, BARC Intermarque League, Sports 2000 and the BARC Tin Tops Championship.
Organisers are pegging entry fees for competitors at £300 per car, to include a 10-minute qualifying session and two 10-minute races, with test sessions available at Mallory on the Saturday at just £30 for 25 minutes of track time. All competitors will receive a free DVD of the Motors TV programme and free in-paddock catering is planned.
The Mallory live TV raceday is being designed to appeal not only to armchair viewers and competitors but also to circuit-goers. Paddock entertainment will include between-race autotests against the clock, which all the race winners will be invited to contest, and there will be professional commentary and a 40-metre TV screen broadcasting the action.