If you blinked last week, you may have missed the announcement from the World Endurance Championship that they will discontinue the age-old tradition of “grid girls” in 2015. For those unaware, grid girls are essentially young females dressed in attractive outfits, often scantily clad, who stand next to a racing car as it “grids” before a race begins. It’s a common tradition in motorsports, found in Formula 1, MotoGP, Pirelli World Challenge, and beyond.
One series who will not be on this list, however, is the premier category for sportscar racing, the World Endurance Championship. After carrying this tradition since the series began, in an effort to be more “progressive” the organizers have elected to drop the practice.
It has sparked some debate within the social media spheres, with some fans resisting the larger issue of political correctness, and other fans, most notably professionals clinging for relevance, who use this as an opportunity to grandstand on sexism in the sport.
With all of this being said, the issue has largely been ignored by the racing scene as a whole, and most likely for good reason: no one cares.
For those who watched the Super Bowl, traditionally the highest rated sporting event of the year, Nissan’s presentation of their “With Dad” campaign sparked a large amount of conversation and buzz within the racing community.
While the merits of the commercial in and of itself is for another conversation, the topic widely missed by most of the motosports public is that of the existence of a Super Bowl ad altogether.
Running at 90 seconds, an ad-buy purchase of likely between $8-12mil, the key feature within the motorsport community was the commercial’s reveal of their highly touted GT-R LM Nismo prototype, which will compete at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
To repeat, Nissan paid Super Bowl prices for a sportscar program.