This week Talkmotorsport will run a series of articles on the future (post-Covid-19 lockdown) of motorsport….Richard Craill gives us his point of view
In 1990, then Australian Treasurer Paul Keating famously described the 1990s economic recession in Australia as ‘The recession we had to have’. He would subsequently go on to become PM, though whether it was by direct result of that catchphrase is unlikely.
It could just be that Coronavirus, and more specifically the economic downturn that will follow, could be the re-set Motorsport in Australia had to have, too.
Through adversity comes opportunity and this situation, and more specifically the knowledge of what is to come, has to be seen as an enormous opportunity to sharpen some pencils and evolve the sport rapidly in the direction it needs to go: More affordable for competitors. More accessible for fans. More enjoyable for everyone.
There will be a natural contraction in this process; larger categories will shrink and some may vanish but this has to be seen as an opportunity to re-set the market and cut some of the deadweight from the sport to make it leaner and meaner moving forward.
The same can be said for Supercars next set of regs – if there was ever a time to swing the knife under the pretence of saving the sport in extreme situations, then this is it.
The bottom line is that I happen to think Aussie motorsport is in reasonable shape. It could be better, of course, but by sheer weight of numbers (remember, more than two and half million Australians watched Bathurst last year) there is the depth of support from both the public and internally from those heavily invested to see it come out the other side.
It may look different and there’ll be casualties along the way but if the leaders have courage and conviction to make real change then there is also opportunity; a chance to make Supercars – and by extension the remainder of the sport – a healthier version of what exists today.