Today’s question: We’re all motorsports writers with vast experience covering open-wheel racing. What race around the world – other than one in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES – would you like to cover for the first time?
Curt Cavin: I was fortunate to travel extensively covering the sport for The Indianapolis Star and Autoweek before joining the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016, so much of my motorsports bucket list has been filled. I have been to all of the current NASCAR venues except Martinsville and toured the inside of Ferrari while going to Monza and San Marino, among other F1 haunts that have rich history. I’ve also covered a half-dozen Race of Champions all-star races where I got to spend time with Michael Schumacher. Pressed to come up with one or two new adventures, I guess I’d wish-list a race at Spa, which looks amazing on television, but more than that I’d like to go back to Monza so I could again stand on the steep banking that hosted the 500 Miles of Monza -- often referred to as the Race of Two Worlds and Monzanapolis -- in 1957-58. If you’re unfamiliar with that event, research it. Incredible. It’s one of the sports moments in time I wish I could go back to. As for the photo above, that’s Jimmy Bryan in the No. 1 Dean Van Lines Special, a Kuzma/Offy he used to finish third in the 1957 Indianapolis 500. A month later, Bryan won two of the three heats at Monza with that same car, finishing second to Troy Ruttman in the other heat.
Joey Barnes: Well, a few years ago I would have put the Chili Bowl Nationals – an indoor midget racing event happening this week, actually – at the Tulsa Expo Center as my coveted crossover dream, but I made sure to check that one of the bucket list a couple of times now. So, a trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans or experiencing a Formula One race at Monaco, Singapore, Spa-Francorchamps or Suzuka is pretty high on the list, as is the Bathurst 1000. The handful of Supercross races I’ve covered in the past also have me eager for more and even adds a desire to venture out to a MotoGP event someday. However, the one thing that looks simply awesome and would really be unique going to is Rally Finland, widely viewed as the signature event in the World Rally Championship. The amount of courage it takes to slide through the elements venturing through the forest, around lakes and is equipped with jumps and just inches from disaster, with thousands of people also near the racing path, too, is simply on another level. The amount of car control and bravery to handle a bend at well over 100 miles per hour while in a full slide from some incredible talents such as Sébastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville and Kalle Rovanperä would simply be unreal to witness in person.
Paul Kelly: It doesn’t matter if the question is “Which race would you want to cover?” or “Which race would you want to attend as a fan?” My answer is identical: The Isle of Man TT. As friends know and some readers might have figured out by now, I’m OBSESSED with this event. Only the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge registers higher on my interest and racing lust meter. I’m a massive fan of motorcycle road racing, especially MotoGP. But the Isle of Man stands alone among global bike events for me because there’s simply nothing else like it on Earth. It’s incredibly challenging and dangerous, as riders reach speeds approaching 190 mph on a 37.73-mile circuit on public roads that includes 219 turns. And we thought the incredible Road America was a beast with 14 turns and 4.048 miles of racetrack! Sure, it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison of an open road circuit with a closed course, but you get my drift. I watch as much coverage of the race over the two weeks of the event as possible, transfixed by the sheer speed and bravery of the riders as they race against the clock and each other. It’s bat-you-know-what crazy, and I love it. The riders also seem very accessible to fans and media, which would make covering the event a joy. Plus, the Isle of Man looks beautiful – when it’s not raining. It would be a tight squeeze to cover this race, though, as the two weeks and eight class main events of the TT usually start on Indianapolis 500 Race Day on Memorial Day weekend. Still, I would love to work the “500” and then high-tail it across the Atlantic to get to the island and the incredible Snaefell Mountain course for nearly two weeks of petrol-powered, two-wheeled bliss.