In an effort to boost waning attendance at motorsport events, German promoters have been pushing for a so-called "Master Race." The series would feature the best German drivers from DTM, Le Mans, Formula 3, and other popular series in a single-model racing series. With every driver in an identical VW GTI, events would focus more heavily on driver skill over team politics or significant differences in budgets.
"Germany has tried similar concepts before, but without much long-term success," laments Juergen Mengele, director of promotions for Germany's famous Hockenheimring circuit. "We are very wary of such endeavors, but unemployment is very high and the economy is very bad at the moment. We are open to almost any improvement, no matter how difficult."
Charistmatic event promoter and entrepreneur Karl Koenig, often described as Germany's answer to England's flamboyant Richard Branson, has stepped up to fill a visionary leadership role in German racing. "For too long we have tolerated Formula 1, with their growing budgets and international appeal. It is time to purge our people of this boredom, malaise, and complacency. It is time to purify our motoring heritage and bring it back to the people!" His motto of "Ein Volkswagen, Eine Reise, Ein Fuhrer!" (One Volkswagen, One Tour, One Leader) has caused critics to note the dangerous parallels between Koenig and another rabidly popular historical figure, former US President George W. Bush. "At best, Koenig will do for us what Bush did for terrorism," says an anonymous contributor to Spiegel Online. "At worst, he'll do for us what Bush did for the English language."
Koenig has suggested an initial season of just seven races, beginning with a energetic Berlin road race and culminating with "Judgment at Nurburgring" to finish the series.
Often controversial, Mr. Koenig denies any involvement with the recent vandalism of foreign-owned auto dealerships across Germany. "I cannot be responsible for the actions of a few vigilantes. I admire their enthusiasm, but must encourage them to fight this battle through official means, such as winning sanctioned races and freezing competitors' assets while they're under a protracted investigation for money laundering."
FIA head Max Mosley is not threatened by the groundswell of support, though he acknowledges it could siphon fans away from Formula 1's perennial cash cow. "If Mr. Koenig wants to try, he has my blessing. Will he have women with uniforms and accents? That would be a very nice touch." F1 supporters accuse Mr. Mosley of appeasement, while British F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone states he would consider large-scale racing expansions into Italy, France, and even North Africa in order to contain Koenig's expansion. "We are also working with Russian promoters on several options in the East," Ecclestone continued. "We're not sure we trust them from a partnership standpoint, but we welcome their efforts to contain Koenig's expansion."
As of press time, several "viral" promotional racing posters had already been spotted around Prague and the surrounding countryside. Officials from the world's second-biggest racing series, America's NASCAR, are taking careful notes as they combat a three-year decline in viewership. Among fans, 71% recently reponded that they would "fully support" or "somewhat support" the creation of a master race here in the US. 17% of responses had unsolicited, written-in tirades criticizing "that Mexican [sic] Montoya" and similar comments.