Auto Racing, in general, is having a bit of an identity crisis. It is not so much that the fans, or even the general public, do not recognize it. It is more a general feeling that there is no real connection to racing anymore.
Practically everybody can look at the #14 Office Depot Chevy driven by Tony Stewart in NASCAR and recognize it as a “NASCAR” race car. However, present the general public with the #10 Target / Ganassi Racing Honda of Dario Franchitti and the #4 Vodafone McLaren of Lewis Hamilton you will find that few outside of the paddock recognize the difference from IndyCar to Formula 1. Both of those cars, to the “non-racing” public, are likely identified as one or the other.
The “prototypes” of Grand-Am and American Le Mans are beautiful bits of shell and engineering but to the casual observer they are simply “race cars”.
Generally, if you throw a number and a logo on any given car it becomes recognizable as a “race car”. (more…)