Learn to Dance With Australian V8 Supercars!

This has nothing to do with the article, but it's just so pretty I couldn't ignore it. (Image source: CarAdvice.com.au)
This has nothing to do with the article, but it's just so pretty I couldn't ignore it. (Image source: CarAdvice.com.au)

Think you’re a pretty good driver? Well, maybe you are. Maybe you’re a very good driver. But are you V8 Supercars good?
One of the great things about the V8 Supercar Series is the great camera work they do for the telecasts. Even though this season they had fewer cameras on cars than in previous years, it still resulted in some amazing footage. Now, as we told you before, the Bathurst 1000 is the biggest, meanest, toughest race, and toughest track of the series. It requires a level of skill even most of the regular drivers can’t fully claim to have.
So, since today we’re learning about the intricacies of heel-toe downshifting (or, ball-ball downshifting… hee hee hee hee hee!), who better to get a further education from than some of the best drivers out there. First up, we have Cameron McConville, for a solid lap in the wet at Bathurst. As a side note, that clutch requires 60kg of force to press, and the brake pedal requires 100kg of force. That’s, like, a million pounds or something:
Followed, of course, by Garth Tander, perpetually one of the five best drivers on the track in any conditions, doing a comparable dry lap at Winton in 2007. Not as great camera work in this one, but still something to watch. Any time someone tells you that racing drivers aren’t really athletes, direct them to these videos.

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  1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    OK, I didn't read the article yet, but after seeing the picture, I had to pour myself a Jack and Coke…… now I'm all set to read on.

  2. Deartháir Avatar

    Strangely, I wasn't able to find any pedal-cams of a NASCAR on an oval track for comparison. I assume their technique consists of "push/don't-push".
    /obligatory NASCAR shot…

    1. lilwillie Avatar

      Ha, good one. I am sick and tired of everytime they run the road courses for Napcar they have to explain every littel nuance to those watching. Geeze, wish they would just shut the hell up and show the damn race with no commentary.

    2. joshuman Avatar

      I recall seeing a bit of in-car fancy footwork from Boris Said a couple of years ago at the Infineon race. Hey, I found a clip. [youtube LRWj248s93E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRWj248s93E youtube]

      1. jewfro47 Avatar

        Even though this is more how I would probably drive a car like that, it's still dull as dishwater and embarrassingly inelegant.

      2. Deartháir Avatar

        I've tried to comment on this several times, an IntenseDebate keeps om-nomming my comments.
        NASCAR can be really interesting on a road course. I really wish they'd do ALL the races there. That, and give up on the pretense of the "Car of Tomorrow". It's not a Camry, stop pretending that it is. Let the automakers design their own custom-built race cars and set them loose. Sure, restrict their performance to keep it competitive, but let the people involved design something fun! We've accepted that NASCAR doesn't run road cars anymore, that's what the KONI Challenge series is for. Make NASCAR a road-racing equivalent of the old Group B cars, and I'll be clearing my schedule to watch it.

        1. engineerd Avatar

          Absolutely. That is all.

  3. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    You know you've got an awesome racing series when the bigger screen is on the dude's feet, not the pack of racecars.

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      I think that's a big part of why I love that series so much. The cameramen, the commentators, the drivers, the producers, the TV directors… everyone just seems to "GET" what is so awesome about racing. It's the technique, the real skill of racing, not just the shiny cars going zoom-zoom-zoom past us.

      1. Uncle_Bo Avatar

        Where does V8 Supercars fit into the overall AUS sports world? For example, if NFL is #1 in the US, and NASCAR is #2 in terms of fan attendance, what is the top 3 or 4 sports in AUS?
        It's been quite a few years since I watched any Supercars so the vids attached above were interesting. I find the excessive in-car coverage and extended views of the driver's footwork to be a bit too gimmicky. It's interesting and all, but not 3 consecutive minutes interesting. Great for the hard core racing nerd, but that's it. I wonder if this type of detailed coverage limits the sport's popularity. While watching both videos I had to take a moment to determine what was going on – was it practice, qualifying, or a race? I guess to someone deeply focused on a driver's footwork, it doesn't really matter. Might as well be a video game or something.

        1. Deartháir Avatar

          V8 Supercars, depending on the source, is generally ranked as the number one sport in Australia, and indeed in much of the Pacific rim. Some races will bring in hundreds of thousands of fans. I think it even outranks football, either Rugby-style or Soccer-style, which would be #2 and #3; but again, it depends on which source you believe.
          That video is a bit of an exception. That's during the Bathurst 1000, which can be 8 hours long; so they have TONS of time to do a three-minute stint following his feet, because the whole race, start-to-finish, is carried live on TV.
          Again, this isn't meant as a shot against NASCAR. I think, as I've said before, NASCAR has enormous potential. When they put it on a road course, it's actually pretty interesting. The racing itself doesn't need to be improved, aside from maybe more road-courses; it's the people in charge. They seem to think their entire fan-base consists of brain-dead morons, so they dumb it down to the absolute lowest possible level, and I find it infuriating. Yes, I KNOW the big shouty thing at the front of the car is an engine. I know the round rubbery things are tires, MOVE ON, MOVE ON. The racing itself is being killed by people who just don't get it.

          1. Uncle_Bo Avatar

            Can't disagree with you on some of the NASCAR TV coverage. One of my big pet peeves is the TV announcers feel the need to constantly introduce us to the drivers, like we have no idea who they are. After the first 4 or 5 races, the TV audience is pretty much set and we all know who drives what for whom.
            I feel NASCAR has completely sold out control of their image and story to the media, and the media (ESPN in particular) packages the sport to the storylines they see fit. If they want to talk about Kyle Busch vs. Carl Edwards, that is all you will hear, even if Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski are beating the crap out of each other on the track. Only radio and TBS get it right (can't believe I just gave props to TBS, but they did a fantastic job this year). You know NASCAR has completely f'd up and given control of the sport to TV media when you mute the TV during a race, turn on the MRN radio broadcast, and hear a completely different race being announced. It's amazing.
            I'll be watching the Supercars when they come to TV. Its an exciting series and maybe it'll get a little visibility in the States and can stick around.

          2. muhnkee_2 Avatar

            Its a somewhat sad day when the biggest sport in Australia is one that is "watched" by the most and "played" by the least….
            the biggest sports by particpation in Australia in 2004 was golf, tennis, netball, soccer (outdoor football) and swimming.
            surely people cant think they are particpating in a sport if they just watch it on tv?

  4. engineerd Avatar

    I tried driving like that once. That ended up with my mom's '86 Sable sitting on a curb with a busted radiator. That was 17 years ago. It's about time I had another go at it.

  5. skitter Avatar

    left foot brake
    heel, toe, double clutch
    still can't dance

  6. skitter Avatar

    Race is live NOW.
    Happy noises keep me awake.

  7. Socco Avatar

    Where are you from? Is it a secret? 🙂

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