We at Paddock magazine were pleasantly surprised when we found this interesting USA-based radio show called Track Source Radio. It was developed along with Tim Frost from the National Speedway Directory as a way to give those in the racing community a programme that discussed topics important to the business side of their industry. We have the host of the show, the petrol-voiced Dennis Michelsen, Co-Owner of RaceTalkRadio.com, to give us his insights on just talking about Formula 1.
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Since our show is based in the United States, the big question is whether a North American driver or team is important to the growth of Formula 1 interest on American and Canadian television. Thankfully, our interviews with motorsport professionals ‘over the big pond’ like Chris Aylett from the MIA or William Kimberley from Race Tech Magazine have given our show an international flair, which is not a regular thing on such shows in our continent.
The popularity of NASCAR in the United States skews how some American race fans look at Formula 1. Media members and race fans often compare statistics between the two series in an attempt to show why Formula 1 is less exciting. This sort of bias shows that a lot of people in the industry do not understand the Formula 1 style of racing. Our goal on Track Source Radio is to show motorsports insiders that Formula 1 shares many of the same concerns that they are dealing with and that they can learn from how Formula 1 handles those issues. This is probably the most popular topic of discussion and it always keeps the interest high when talking about Formula 1 and motorsports in general.
Formula 1 has done an admirable job over the years of controlling the message that they want people to hear about their racing series. However, here in the United States, racing fans get very little news about Formula 1 outside of the weekly race broadcast. While other forms of racing here have dedicated radio shows on their style of racing, there is no nationwide counterpart that is well received by racing fans.
My big concern is ticket pricing for the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). In order to see growth of Formula 1 here, there needs to be a more affordable ticket price somewhere on the grounds. Formula 1 and COTA have not felt the need to lower prices since the high-end customer will pay whatever price they set. But in order to see true growth in the interest of this style of racing in the USA, there needs to be a more affordable option for sincere fans. This is even more important than having a North American driver or team in Formula 1!