No. 1005
July 17, 2019

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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Editor's Note: Peter's column about his "must-see" races has generated a lot of comment in the racing community, so we're going to leave it up another week. Peter will return with a new "Fumes" next week. -PMD


By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. Now that the racing season has kicked off, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about the races, the events I deem worthy to attend in the upcoming racing season. Now let me be clear here, racing enthusiasts all have their own lists, and my list isn't the be-all and end-all by any means, but it's a perfect time to do it, so here we go. (I am leaving the vintage races to discuss for another column.)

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Road racing fans and key operatives from IMSA will insist that every race on the sports car racing calendar is worth seeing, and that might be so, but I am only going to talk about the can't-miss races from my perspective. Don't get me wrong, the Daytona 24 Hour is an important race and the season opener, but the endurance race to see on the IMSA calendar is the 12 Hours of Sebring. It's the oldest and most historic race on the IMSA calendar, and it's also the toughest endurance race in the world to win. The other must-see race on the IMSA schedule is the annual visit to Road America, "America's National Park of Speed." The 4.048-mile natural-terrain road racing circuit is where these cars belong and where they should be seen. Now remember, every enthusiast has their favorites, and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Road Atlanta certainly deserve mention, but those are my two favorite IMSA races.

Verizon IndyCar Series. Not to be a broken record here, but the Indianapolis 500 is still the greatest single motor race in the world and the one race that every driver wants to win. It's also the one IndyCar race that an enthusiast should see at least once in person. I don't need to restate all of the things about this magnificent motor race that make it special, because there are far too many to list, but the start of the "500" is still the most electrictrifying moment in all of sport, and that alone makes it truly special. My other favorite IndyCar race to see in person? You guessed it, the IndyCar race at Road America. If Indy is where you go to see the pure speed of the Indy-type cars on an oval, then Road America is where you go to see them in their natural element. It is there where you realize that the Indy-type cars on a natural-terrain road course are the genuine descendants of the great F5000 series from long ago. And it's no wonder that IndyCar drivers consider it their favorite place to race.

NASCAR. No, I'm not a fan of the people who run NASCAR, or their shocking lack of judgment, total lack of vision and piss-poor decision making, but I do have the utmost respect for the drivers and crews who make up the sport, because they are some of the best of the best in the motorsports world. And no, I wouldn't go to the Daytona 500 - yes, it's NASCAR's biggest race, but it's a restrictor-plate race and it doesn't interest me. The tracks I would try to see the series in action? Atlanta, Charlotte, Bristol (the night race) and of course, Watkins Glen. The NASCAR drivers on a road course is still a must-see event. I didn't mention Sears Point because Watkins Glen is just better. I know, people will take issue with that, but there it is. 

Formula 1. I guess I have to have F1 in this column, and I guess I have to mention the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, because it's the only place the glittering circus races on U.S. soil. But I would love to see Spa, and Monaco, of course, and the British Grand Prix.

Did I leave a lot of races out? Yes, of course, and there's one in particular that deserves special mention. I've been to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and it is still a must-see event if you can arrange it, there is simply nothing like it. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

And there's the dirt-racing palace at Eldora, and countless other racing events in regions all across this country worth seeing too. But knowing how busy people are and the advanced planning that attending races requires, I offer my list for a good start. I hope you can get out and see some of them.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.



Editor's Note: Many of you have seen Peter's references over the years to the Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation (HERF), which he launched in 2007. For those of you who weren't following AE at the time, you can read two of HERF's press releases  and . And for even more details (including a link to Peter's announcement speech), check out the HERF entry on Wikipedia . -WG

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, September, 1964. The Roger Penske/Hap Sharp/Jim Hall No. 67 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport in for a pit stop during the Road America 500. They finished third behind Walt Hansgen/Augie Pabst (No. 7 Mecom Racing Ferrari 250 LM) and Ken Miles/John Morton/Skip Scott (No. 99 Shelby American Cobra).