In no particular order, here are a few things I observed while watching the 52nd running of the 24 Hours of Daytona.
- IMSA needs to improve its Internet presence, especially for endurance races. Not doing so forces otherwise honest people to resort to less than legal methods just to watch a race. That's lost revenue. People aren't going to pay for a sports package they don't want when they can watch what they want on-line for free, even if it is illegal.
- Cars running under completely different sets of rules shouldn't be competing for the same points. IMSA is now going to have to spend the rest of the season balancing out the DP and LMP2 cars and they're never going to get it to everyone's liking.
- Just because a color commentator has spent decades covering NASCAR races, it doesn't mean they know jack squat about sports car racing. Sports car fans may not be as upper crust as F1 fans, but it doesn't mean that we're Miller High Life swilling rednecks, either. Trying to force an inferior product on us is only going to insult us and force us to go elsewhere. Get rid of MRN, bring back Radio Le Mans, end of discussion.
- You can't officiate a 24 hour endurance race like you do a 500-mile stock car race. Throwing an arbitrary caution at the end of the race to bunch the pack together for an exciting finish isn't going to earn you any bonus points with the fans or the teams. Decades of endurance racing has proven that the drama will come to the surface if you let it happen. You don't have to force it.
IMSA, the most important thing to remember is that you aren't the only game in town. This isn't NASCAR where you can make arbitrary decisions on the fly and the teams and the fans have to deal with it. There's an old saying that stock car drivers need NASCAR more than NASCAR needs them. Well likewise, IMSA needs its fanbase more than its fanbase needs IMSA. The fanbase is already on edge about this merger and trying to force a watered down product on us is only going to drive us away.