IndyCar Rolling Out Its Own Version of ‘F1: Drive To Survive’ in 2023
Unlike the F1 docuseries, however, it won’t come to a popular streaming platform like Netflix, Hulu, Disney, or even Amazon.
IndyCar's popularity among millennials and nonwhites has been historically low. And despite recent improvements in both areas, Formula 1's renaissance in the United States is now threatening the midwest series' home audience. As someone who lives in Indy and makes the yearly pilgrimage to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway every May for the Indy 500, it's easy to see that IndyCar's marketing department is fighting hard to correct course under Roger Penske's ownership. One of its biggest weapons will arrive this spring, when the 100 Days to Indy docuseries debuts on national TV.
The six-part series will air on The CW Network and is produced by Penske Entertainment and Vice Media Group. According to the press release, the series will show viewers the arduous road drivers and teams must traverse to get to the Indy 500. Much like Netflix's now-famous F1: Drive To Survive series, 100 Days to Indy will bring forward the key players in the series, their personalities, and the drama that takes place on and off the pit lane.
"The Indy 500 is the most unique, exhilarating and engaging event on the planet,” Penske Entertainment President and CEO Mark Miles said. “It’s an unrivaled spectacle fueled by ambitious, fearless and captivating personalities. This series will give viewers an unprecedented front row seat as the racing season begins and the countdown to Indy accelerates. Ultimately, through the compelling creative lens and massive reach of both Vice and The CW, we will bring the world-class competition and drama of the NTT IndyCar Series to a newer and more youthful audience.”
Could this be IndyCar's silver bullet? It's too early to say. Right out of the gate, however, the platform of choice to broadcast the series is an odd one, and that could prove detrimental to the project. Not sure about you, but like most 30-somethings out there, I wasn't even aware that The CW was still a thing. If IndyCar really wanted to put its fresh content in front of the people they should be chasing for the sake of the series' future; Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or even Disney (via ESPN) would've been a much better choice. I'm no media mogul, of course, so I could be wrong.
IndyCar's roster has always been heavy with talent, but in the last few years we've seen an even bigger number of stars turn their backs on Europe and favor the American series. Folks like Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson, Pato O'Ward, in addition to tenured favorites like Scott Dixon, Joseph Newgarden, Will Power, and Tony Kanaan have huge potential to draw young crowds.
No exact date was given for the series debut, so stay tuned for updates as we get closer to the 107th running of the Indy 500.
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