The 'it' to which I refer is the basic formula for what I believe would be the next great automotive racing series to happen on this planet. This will be a sport that won't be dictated primarily by TV ratings or revenues. It won't need special or elaborate marketing plans and efforts.
Ever notice that certain things that are in very high demand need very little promotion and are able to not be subject to the demands of TV production? Rather, they invert that formula and tell TV and media how it may be covered, if they choose to cover it, so as to provide the best possible viewing experience to the audience. One of the few examples left in this sports landscape I can point to would be something akin to The Masters golf tournament. "Here's the duration of ad and frequency we allow to our viewers, take it or leave it". Brilliant. Coverage with the viewer foremost in mind, not the advertiser? I like it very much already.
A racing series which focuses on open and futuristic propulsion technology as the primary basis for competition would certainly be highly interesting to a vast motoring public as well as manufacturers who would love to ultimately sell their latest engineering triumph to commercial and individual buyers the world over. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday is still a valid modus operandi for those who would provide their vehicles to the public for sale.
I seriously believe a racing series that would focus on moving a four-wheeled vehicle of very specific size and weight as quickly as possible with a limited fuel/'net-carbon' usage formula would be of great interest to many people and industries. Even better if you do this over more varied terrain and course styles (ovals, streets, roads, distance/rally, sun, rain, snow, locusts, etc.)
I'm far from a energy scientist but it seems an equivalence formula for differing propulsion resources (hydrogen, electric, hydrocarbon, solar, wind, biofuels, whatever) could be established and then establish a challenging maximum amount allowable to reach the finish. To be clear, I'm assuming we're talking about moving a mass that is well-beyond the limits of human-power here. Also in the formula I would support major time credits or monetary bonuses for meeting limits on amount of the post-propulsion carbon output (exhaust). All of course would need to be measurable and even-handed.
I realize this all sounds MUCH easier than it likely would be, and quite possibly more expensive, but when has anything great ever been easy? I contend that the expense already incurred by manufacturers involved in multiple series would actually be reduced by limiting it's involvement to this series. The basics of the series formula could be used all over the globe and tailored to meet regional resource limits of that global region.
Racing returning as a true laboratory for our future vehicles in this manner sounds like something I would have a tremendous amount of interest in watching (compared to what is produced as racing today) and something that seemingly would market itself to manufacturer participation and product-consuming public alike. What do YOU think?