AUGUST 1, 2003

Motor Rock ready to roll?

The latest word from the United States of America is that CART is about to be bought out by a conglomerate of team owners and will then relaunch itself with a new concept in entertainment, switching the races to big city street events and twinning them with major rock concerts. Thus there would be a race in the afternoon followed by a rock concert in the evening. Such an idea cuts down the running costs of such events and offers more to the fans and would attract new fans to both the sport and the music world. We hear that if all goes to plan the series will be called Motor Rock, or something along those lines. We hear that there is already funding for the project and that music partners are included in the possible deal.

We continue to hear that Bernie Ecclestone could be involved in the plans but it may be that FOM would only be a shareholder in the business to takeover some of the events which CART will drop as a result of the switch to street races only. The races that would then become available include the CART races at Laguna Seca, Portland, Mid-Ohio, Road America and possibly Mexico City. While not all of these would have any interest to F1 there is no doubt that the races in Mexico would be interesting as Brazil remains one of the least popular events on the F1 calendar but the sport needs a venue in Latin America. It would also provide the possibility for an F1 event on the West Coast of the United States. It is possible that the rumored San Francisco event would be part of the Motor Rock idea.

Twinning races and concerts is not new, the best early example of the genre being the F1 events in Adelaide in the 1980s and 1990s. Silverstone has taken to hosting a music event after the event and more recently the Warner Music Group has announced a deal with NASCAR for the September 6 event at Richmond International Raceway, which will be headlined as the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 and will feature pre-race concerts by Hootie & The Blowfish, Uncle Kracker and Trapt with other bands playing on Friday before the NASCAR Busch Series race.