• Brian Wong, WSR Demoted to 12th in Chaotic NASCAR Truck Series Return
    Brian Wong, WSR Demoted to 12th in Chaotic NASCAR Truck Series Return Check out the action from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
  • Strong ARCA Run for Brian Wong
    Strong ARCA Run for Brian Wong WSR heads to Chevrolet Silverado 250
  • Brian Wong and WSR Return to ARCA at the Road America 100
    Brian Wong and WSR Return to ARCA at the Road America 100 Check out the Action Sunday August 27th
  • MDM Motorsports Partners with WSR for NCWTS/ARCA Road Races
    MDM Motorsports Partners with WSR for NCWTS/ARCA Road Races Plans announced for NASCAR Crafstman Truck Series and ARCA
  • Strong Day, Tough Finish at Sonoma
    Strong Day, Tough Finish at Sonoma Check out the action from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
  • Brian Wong Returns to NASCAR
    Brian Wong Returns to NASCAR WSR and Brian Wong return to NASCAR competition at Sonoma
  • Brian Wong Impresses at Red Bull Global Rallycross
    Brian Wong Impresses at Red Bull Global Rallycross Check out the race report here!
  • Wild NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Debut for Brian Wong and WSR
    Wild NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Debut for Brian Wong and WSR Check out the race report!
  • VIR cut short for Brian Wong and WSR
    VIR cut short for Brian Wong and WSR See the Race Report Here!
  • Brian Wong at Watkins Glen
    Brian Wong at Watkins Glen See the race report from Watkins Glen

Safety: Do Looks Matter

917f7d46a3e94532b2d02e432b4fd043We’ll answer this question at the beginning. We don’t know. But it’s going to be a big question of 2018 and 2019.

Open wheel racing, whether internationally in Formula One, or domestic with IndyCar, is facing an uphill battle in the fight for relevancy. With a youth culture continually moving away from a love of high powered automobiles, and major automotive manufacturers moving marketing and development resources toward movements like autonomous driving and eco-friendly, it’s an interesting period in automotive history.

3 6One thing that’s universally bad for business, however, is death. Hence, major movements from both series to provide relevant head protection for open cockpits. Opting to move quickly in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s death at the Japanese Grand Prix, Formula 1 has opted to implement the maligned “halos” as a means of deflecting major objects.

Indycar, however, has put the movement on hold for a year, working to continue its development of a more revered deflection screen. Looking more the part of a jet fighter, the screen still requires a year of development, and in such IndyCar has instead opted for no extra protection in 2018 to “do it right” in the future.

Universally, F1’s “halo” systems are considered ugly. Distractingly so. In an era when the sport needs to hold on to the viewers it has, can they survive an era of even uglier cars in the name of safety?

indycar-phoenic-windscreen-test-2018-4-470x313Some would argue yes, they’ll be fine. An ugly overhead device doesn’t change the quality of the racing, or the sophistication of the cars, and at the heart of it that is, theoretically, what viewers look for.

IndyCar, on the other hand, is taking risk on another year of exposed drivers in favor of a more appealing look for the future. To their credit, it’s universally revered by fans.

Will it matter? Will F1 lose popularity? Will IndyCar gain popularity? Only time will tell.