Ok so the first round of the brand new all electric racing series at Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Italy might not have blown the racing community away but lets not be too harsh on it.
As both electric vehicle and motorsport fans we have to hope that championships such as Pure ETCR are given time to mature into genuine championships with major manufacturers and privateers battling it out on track.
The current format is far from ideal.
Because only six cars are ready for the first season (two for each team), the twelve drivers are randomly drawn into two groups ("Pool A" and "Pool B") for each race weekend. Throughout the weekend, a driver never directly faces a driver from the other pool. Points are collected in a series of short races and the driver with the most points will be the overall winner, called "king of the weekend".
Saturday sees two rounds of short races with two or three cars (called "battles"): Round 1 consists of four battles (two per pool) of three drivers each (randomly drawn). The two winners of each pool face each other in round 2, so do the two second-place and the two third-place drivers, for a total of six battles of 2 cars. Points are award in both rounds.
Sunday starts with round 3, time trials to determine the grid for the final. No points are awarded in this round. Round 4 are the "superfinals" where the six cars from each pool race against each other.
If it all seems rather staged its because it pretty much is. The race format, the tv graphics and even the teams watching the race all in the same room"hot zone"all looks more like a show rather than a motorsport event.
So why not just get all the cars on the track and let them battle it out for 30 laps? Well for sure the organisers would love just that but right now we neither have the technology nor enough teams and cars signed up to the championship to be able to stage a what could be considered an all out touring car event.
Touring cars are all about rubbing doors with intense on and off track rivalry but unfortunately with only six cars, control drivetrains and the teams looking like they are at a pyjama party rather than a race weekend we are pretty far off the ideal electric touring car race series.....for now.
So here is to the future, 30 cars on the grid, all out racing, private teams and manufacturers will develop battery and motor control systems that will really push technology to the limit. Get the teams out of the "hot zone" and back onto the pit-wall where they belong, oh and give "King of the weekend" back to WWF.