Bob Lutz Thinks Manufacturer-Sponsored Racing Is (Mostly) A Waste of Money


Bob Lutz isn't known for pulling punches.

The industry icon speaks with all the bravado you'd expect of an old-school Marine fighter pilot, and in May's issue of Road & Track, he sounds off on manufacturer-sponsored racing, writing: "Today, as a manufacturer, I would no longer spend the money—not on Formula One nor any other open-wheel series, the DTM, any sedan series, and most certainly not on NASCAR."

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The position might seem surprising for an auto executive who has so closely aligned himself against the industry's ever present "bean counters"—see his bestseller Car Guys vs Bean Counters for all the details—but his frustration comes more from ever-encroaching rules which he believes have sapped the sport of the relevance it had "when various technological approaches were allowed to compete against one another."

And while Lutz does thinks factory teams make sense for marques like Porsche, Mustang, Corvette—"those owners care"—it's easy to see why he's particularly unimpressed by NASCAR, given how far removed everything on a superspeedway is from the modern models whose names they bear.

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For example, by the mid-1980s, American companies have largely left the carburetor behind. NASCAR didn't make the switch to fuel injection until the 2012 season.      

But regardless of how you feel about manufacturer-sponsored racing, Bob Lutz's pieces are always worth a read. After all, this is the guy who formed a company so he could drop Corvette ZR1 engines into Fisker Karma bodies.

How do you not love that? 

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