Tufty wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:08 pm
hairy_scotsman wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:55 am
Tufty wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:33 am
MotoGP apparently threatening to not return as well given the state of the track this year. Not what COTA needs, they've already lost IndyCar.
... and V8SC, WEC, IMSA, World Challenge, WRX, XGames, etc.
And yeah, the condition of the track for MotoGP was disgraceful.
I hadn't realised it was that bad. At what point does the track cease to be viable?
No way to know, really, but if they continue with these piecemeal, half-assed patchwork repairs, it's just a matter of time until COTA is another ghost track. The track is in need of major repairs, stemming from the poor soil conditions combined with a poor drainage system choice by the owner at the beginning. The COTA boss has displayed zero interest, however, in getting PROPER repairs done. Knowing Epstein's M.O., he'll continue doing the absolute barest minimum to the track to keep it just
raceable and keep F1, NASCAR, & maybe
MotoGP coming back. The reason I say "maybe" with MotoGP, is that they need a better track to race on than the cars do. What we saw during MotoGP a couple of weeks ago is completely unacceptable. I honestly feared for the riders' well-being.
Epstein had about 40% of the circuit resurfaced in 2019-2020, with pretty dismal results. He ignored much of the worst bits of the circuit, but the straights are smoother now. However, bumps quickly returned to much of what was resurfaced. Some areas had to resurfaced 1 or even 2 more times, and even then the bumps still came back (at T1, 2, 9, 10, 12, and 18). There was no specialist in these kinds of repairs supervising the work, so it was done poorly and without the proper materials or precision equipment. He also said at the time that he would address the underlying drainage system deficiencies (stemming from his bad decision early on to go with a cheaper, less robust system). Of course, true to form for COTA, that never happened, and the drainage system went untouched. Without drainage upgrades, no repair will last long term.
F1 has COTA listed on the new calendar as "subject to contract". I could see F1 going year to year with them, but I can also see them extending them by 5 years as well. If the State continues to give COTA big annual subsidies for F1, and the track doesn't become completely unraceable (probably not a word), then F1 will probably keep cashing in, at least until they have enough other US venues to race at (Vegas is happening. Indy? Maybe). Then COTA becomes expendable. The funny thing is yesterday I saw an article with Epstein talking about a contract extension being imminent. The article was from 2018.