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Join Paul, Grace and me as we discuss Formula 1 in the first half of our two-part podcast. Grace leaves to have a life and Paul and I continue with our thoughts and commentary on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We cover each class and give out thoughts on the race. We hope you enjoy the coverage and appreciate your continued support. Don’t forget your Office Aerosol tomorrow.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Manuel G

    This was actually my first 24h of le mans and I must say it was amazing. The tech of the cars & the history of the event itself atracted my attention, however I still had my doubts wether I was going to be able to watch it without falling asleep. But I was proven wrong, from start to finish I was on the edge of my seat wether it was the audi´s fighting, the gt cars, toyota retiring and the audi turbo trouble it all added to what was a great experience.

    I can now say I’m a fan of the WEC, there is just something about it. I loved the fact that anything can happen not only in the sense that you can crash out but the fact that you can also bounce back and win the whole thing. Incredible event.

    • Well said on bouncing back; watching intently for the first time, I had to reset my internal race tempo meter. 4 hours to go, for sure Audi-Porsche 1-2, either Porsche or Audi on the final step. Whoops!

      So, in your estimation it’s worth it from a viewing spectacle? Spouse/significant-other friendly? I’m curious, as La Sarthe is so long, where you sat. I’m a new (TV) fan as well, and am thinking I’d like to attend next year.

      • the drivers seat

        definately a viewing spectacle, a must attend at some point, partner friendly depends on the partner I think, if you can afford a a nice room in a chateau yes, if your thinking of camping and they don’t like noise and hanging out with a bunch of drunk strangers maybe not

      • Tom Firth

        Advise looking at beermountain.com for campsite information, Additionally look at Travel destinations and Just tickets as options to help you plan. Are other options besides Camping and hotels, flexotel accommodation is available too, It just depends what you want really, lots of options available.

        • Thanks to you both, Paul and Tom. Camping actually sounds the most fun, how I envision watching an endurance race in the middle of nowhere, but flying over, then buying supplies in situ might prove difficult. The girlfriend’s a trooper, having to deal with me :D

          Either way, will check out resources and schedule; you both make a great case to Le Mans being a can’t-miss. Great stuff.

          • Tom Firth

            Would suggest trying to go to a 6 hour race or another endurance race first before Le Mans, check the format of the cars works trackside for you before going for Le Mans.

  • That’s really great that you both are new to Le Mans. That’s a terrific start too. Now that it’s got your attention, there are lots of great stories and histories surrounding the event. Maybe I can ask Tom politely to do a few features on the history of Le Mans for you to start building some back story as well. I’m really impressed that you managed to watch the entire race. It is epic. Many folks ask me which F1 race I’d like to go to most and I say…Le Mans. :) It is THE race of races. It has all the drama, strategy and pace too. IT seems like I learn something new about Le Mans every year. So glad you both liked it.

    • Tom’s been magnanimous answering my questions, giving tips and perspective. Good stuff, particularly with so large a topic as Le Mans. I’ve knowledge of the history, but anecdotes from one who’s actually been WATCHING is always a good thing :)

    • Manuel G

      Some features would be fantastic, and yeah it was quite challenging watching it full but I just couldn’t sleep at the thought that I might miss something, Definetly THE RACE.

      Although I do think it’s important to know some of the basic history of the race in order to fully grasp the magnitude of it all. And as you said in the podcast in the case of F1 (lacking access) and as Grace mentioned something similar to “america’s game” would be awesome. So I don’t wan’t to be asking to much but it would be awesome if you guys did something similar….maybe you writing about the most memorable moments for you as a motorsport fan wether it was a le mans, F1, indy car or nascar anecdote. What drivers blew you away and why, amazing races etc.

      Anyway, thanks for the podcast my interest in F1 and motorsport in general has actually grown since i’ve started listening to it religously every monday night since malaysia 2012

      • Tom Firth

        Really enjoyed the podcast, Thanks Todd, Paul and Grace.

        I’m equally impressed that you guys managed to watch the whole race, particularly as its your first time watching, that’s fantastic. It really is a race as Paul alluded too on the podcast that you can never get bored with.

        It’s a race that you have to see as much as possible of if you really want to follow it, Understandably not everytime everyone can see every second, I missed some last year due to other events but it is a race that can just throw itself completely into a different outcome in a matter of hours and seeing as much as possible is great, I’m glad you guys liked it.

        2010 showed that with Peugeot bringing 4 cars to the classic race, three factory and one with Oreca, Although almost factory in all but name. The cars where the absolute favourite and all four broke , three within a couple of hours and it just showed that whatever you bring, it’s not always guaranteed that you are going to win, until that flag falls at the end of the race.

        I’m good to write a few features on the history of the race, if you want me too, just let me know what you guys want to read. Le Mans is a race steeped in history and the championships and iterations sportscar racing connected to the ACO and Le Mans has been through is incredible as well as what the race has meant to manufacturers as you both mentioned in the podcast. Peugeot is a classic example of that in recent years.

        Just one more thing, What Todd and Paul where saying about Prospeed and Bleekemolen doing his marathon stint, you would think after that he would want a couple of weeks break, well no, Jeroen is back racing this weekend in the Nurburgring 24.

        Now that place really is dark in the way Le Mans used to be, particularly out on the nordschliefe part of the circuit. I believe the entry list is around the 160 car mark this year, which is down on previous years although I haven’t counted exactly.

        The cars are different though, These cars at the front are FIA GT3 although the N24 is incredibly complex to follow with some many classes and different styles of cars, Everything from a GT3 specification Audi R8 to a Renault Clio Cup car race this one, though live streaming does exist.

        Although a number of names from last weekend will race again this, including Marcel Fassler, Darren Turner, Niki Thiim and Richard Westbrook among them.

  • MIE

    Going back to F1 briefly. McLaren may not be able to polish a turd, but they can crome plate it…

    As for Button vs Magnussen, while Kevin had a stunning first GP, since then he has managed better than 9th. As you say this is down to the car not the driver, but maybe a more experienced driver could help the development a little more. Who McLaren could get given their current performance is debateable.

    • MIE

      Apologies for the typos.

      crome should be chrome;
      Magnusson has not scored higher than 9th since the first race.

  • PM

    Actually, speaking as a 22 year old, i wouldn’t mind seeing Google at the meeting. Think about it. Google owns YouTube. What if they could actually offer race streaming online on YouTube as well as other content throughout the week to keep fans engaged. People of my generation don’t get cable. It’s too expensive for what it offers. We just use Netflix and other streaming websites to watch video content. The TV numbers have probably fallen because more and more because more people are streaming f1 races rather than watching them on TV. If they want to increase popularity among the younger generation, offering a paid,(reasonably priced) online streaming service via YouTube would be the first step.

    • I appreciate your thoughts on it. I tend to think that the desire to stream on the iPad pales in comparison with the desire to have content stream when you want it via a service. I’m not sure what happened but a 7″ screen versus a 60″ isn’t a battle I think the smaller-is-better wins. Like Netflix, having an F1 service to pay for so you could stream live or past races with the telemetry sync’d is a much better platform and you don’t need Google there to figure that out. Google and Apple aren’t brining anything to the table because they aren’t stakeholders in F1. They’ll take their money but little else.

      I’m more concerned about why this meeting isn’t bringing actual fans into the equation? WTH?

      • PM

        I agree with your point that the streaming shouldn’t be fixed to a specific device, but a more generalized service. While f1 could do this, the bottom line is, they aren’t. I was merely hoping that a meeting with Google might actually consider this option seriously, although according to an article on autosport today, Bernie isn’t having any of it.

        And yes, the lack of communication with the fans is shocking! We have no place to have our say, except for those stupid Ferrari surveys. Sooner or later, fans will take their time (and money) elsewhere, such as WEC, which provided live streaming of onboard shots online and great racing to boot.

        • I agree mate. WEC did it right this year and even the full package was just $10.

        • Tom Firth

          One issue though is that even if live streaming was provided through Youtube, it would be so restricted through geographic rights to the coverage, it would almost be useless in actual reality, unless it was PPV directly from FOM.

          I can’t see for example Sky saying ok we paid lets say £50 million for the rights, but you can view it on Youtube for free instead, completely cutting the host broadcaster out of the deal. The broadcasters are awkward enough with geo-blocking fringe motorsport to protect their assets never mind something as major as F1. I’m guessing here but I would imagine that reaction for most nations broadcasters.

          The way it is been run so far with host broadcasters paying for online streaming broadcast on the broadcasters individual platforms works and is more successful from a point of view of keeping exclusive control of the broadcast to the TV networks / diversifying from TV into web based media although it provides added frustration for fans on platform availability , which is the flaw.

    • YouTube was the first thing that popped in my mind when I heard Google was invited. About a decade ago, Bernie had Digital F1, a PPV service that was offered on a race-by-race basis, and included something like 8 or 9 channels of coverage. (World feed, on-boards, pits only, timing and scoring, etc) He asked the teams to invest in the infrastructure, and they rightly declined; which, when you acquire a 100-year license for the TV rights to F1 for a relative pittance, I think the spend for the tech to fully exploit those rights is sort of an implied responsibility you are signing up for on your own. But I digress.

      The point is, the product was a bout ten years ahead of its time. Digital streaming is growing more and more common, and in some key demos is the most common way people consume media. I would absolutely kill to have access to a PPV streaming service for F1. Motorsport in general practically cries out for this level of coverage, but it’s especially true in this country with the chopped up way by which we have the races presented.

      A good example of this is NHL GameCenter. I actually dropped my 12-year old Center Ice subscription on DirecTV because the GameCenter product was so compelling. The same level of out-of-market access, streaming at 1080i, apps for my Vizio TV and PS3 in case I don’t want to (or can’t) connect my laptop/tablet (PLEASE support ChromeCast, NHL!). Plus they have the NHL Vault, which is an archive of hundreds of games from years past that you can access and watch (altho that does carry an extra monthly fee) Imagine spending, say, $200 a year for complete digital access to each of the season’s Formula One races, and a library of races from yesteryear.

  • Stan

    It’s all unicorns, rainbows, and the earth spinning properly on it’s axis. Porsche prototype back in the 24hr

  • Great to hear Paul’s passion for Le Mans and WEC. I watched almost the entire race from the West Coast US, and it was as thrilling as a mini-F1 season. Lots of storylines and information to consume. I switched off for 4 hours of sleep and the entire race changed by the time I got up….that is the beauty and awesomeness that is endurance racing. Great chatting with Andy and Tom from the forum as well!

    From a media perspective, I liked that the Fox Sports Go app streamed the whole thing and there were also many streams from the main Le Mans site…along with the timings and driver info. An F1 race just isn’t long enough to benefit from that level of coverage.

  • Kit

    I finally watched a Le Mans 24 hours and i am now a huge fan. I found it a challenge to pull myself away to run some errands and when i did all i could think about was the race! I ended up having it on my TV all day while i ran around doing things a quick as possible, trying find time to sit and watch the race when ever i could lol. It’s unfortunate that the start/finish of the race is at a very inconvenient time for me.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find that both Paul and Todd giving their thoughts on the race. I love this podcast!

  • Excellent podcast; I enjoyed the format you guys took reflecting on Le Mans, more impressions and analysis than a step-by-step overview. For F1, perhaps a brief synopsis, followed by extended analysis/opining? Less organized, to be sure, so just a thought.

    Contrasting F1, I found the multiple WEC viewing sources enlightening. Switching between local TV coverage and official WEC streams, I was able to pick and choose what interested me. As I and others have mentioned (hat tip to Mattthew Snyder’s NHL Vault comparo), I’d happily pay for something similar for F1.

    Returning to Austria this weekend: With further upgrades promised from the pack, I find this race tantalizing and difficult to predict. Roll on!

  • Rapierman

    1. Kinda makes me glad that I don’t own a pet.

    2. Hallelujah, Michael’s still alive and kicking!

    3. He didn’t drive down the hall and make a turn in 3rd gear….

    4. Right now, Merc’s the only team NOT failing.

    5. if all I wanted to see is who died and when, I’d go read the obituaries.

    6. Would Button really want to stick around?

    7. Go faster? With what!?

    8. Personally, I think Ric was brought in to light a fire under Vettel, but I dunno how that can be done with an engine that sucks huge, giant boulders.

    9. Oh, that “Joker” smile, you mean?

    10. Too late, I’ve already crossed that line.

    11. I’m going Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo and Massa for “First Out”.

    (….and since I don’t see Tony putting up the Staff Picks this week, I’ll go ahead and say 4. Vettel, 5. Button, 6. Hulkenberg)

    12. No doubt about it. When someone says that Formula 1 is a team sport, I question it like I question baseball being a team sport: Even if it’s a team, it’s still just one batter or just one pitcher who could win it all, but when it’s endurance racing, then it’s really a team of three or four drivers in addition to the pit crew who could win it all.

    13. It was a decent day for Porsche, considering how far they went.

    14. Nice day of racing for Rebellion. Maybe they’ll be in the podium next time.

    15. Isn’t “endurance” basically one part “fustest with the moistest” and one part “war of attrition”?

    16. Sometimes, you have dumb rules. “Spinning tires” just happens to be one of them.

    17. Hey, wait, where’s that Post of the Week, etc.?

  • nofahz

    Glad to see some new fans! I watch about 16-20 hours of it every year. RLM streaming, spotters guide at hand, TV or streaming coverage going. If I run an errand RLM is on. And then there’s the build up weeks prior…

    • Tom Firth

      Good to hear :) Followed N24 this weekend too, well about 17 hours of it, by the time it finishes, not the whole 24.