There's nothing good on TV.
How does a tiny dinky island host not one but two car shows, and the United States has nothing even close to it? The new season of Fifth Gear just recently started up, two episodes so far and they were a terrific warm up to Top Gear's (Fifth Gear's competitor) sixth season.

Back in Pittsburgh, I was distraught over the fact that the cable carrier didn't offer Speed Channel. Now that I finally have Speed Channel back in Jersey, I am again unsatisfied. Sure there's some F1 coverage but most of its programming caters to NASCAR fans (just how exciting can left turn racing get). There's only so much in terms of muscle cars, drag racing and classic cars that I can stomach. Where are the exotics? The rally coverage? Grand Touring?

Fortunately, there are others that suffer the same fate and thank the British for acknowledging our plight. There is a fine community over at Final Gear. Their main purpose? To broadcast episodes of Fifth Gear and Top Gear over the web for those poor souls (including me) that do not have access to it.

Don't know what Fifth Gear and Top Gear is? A member over at Final Gear put together a short history of the two shows. In short, Jeremy Clarkson and Tiff Needell used to cohost the first series of Top Gear. Eventually their relationship dissolved and the show was cancelled. Read the post for more information.

In related news, a member of the Newstoday community saw my post lamenting the fact that us poor Americans are starving for real automotive racing. None of that NASCAR BS. He sent a very informative email to me, telling me of a free program available at Cool Streaming.

Hey, I saw you were looking for an F1 feed the other day. There's this program called CoolStreaming (http://www.coolstreaming.org/) that has a bunch of channels from Asia - mostly China. Anyway, if you download and run the application, F1 broadcasts are the channel called "test sports", which is actually Star Sports.

You can also go to http://www.espnstar.com/tvtimes/tvtimes_index.jsp to see the listings for Star Sports and ESPN. Just scroll down to China and keep in mind the time is +13 from EST, so you might need to change the date selection as well.

When you run the program it should open Windows Media Player - if you use something else, you'll need to edit the options. It takes a little time to buffer completely, so you might start it up 10 or 20 minutes before the broadcast you want to watch begins so it plays smoothly.

The great thing about this program? I tried it for the first time last night, and though there was no automotive racing on, I was able to catch a rugby game between the Hurricanes and the Chiefs. Unsure what league this was in though.
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried watching F1 (IRL in St. Petersburg) on TV Sunday. I didn't understand it at all, but it held my attention longer than I expected. Maybe I'll try catching FIA where all the drama and high stakes seems to be. Enlighten me DC! Other than that, whenever I stumble on SCCA Touring Car races I usually watch for a bit, only because I like the familiar shapes of BMWs, Mazdas, Audis, Acuras, etc. going round and round...

At 6:07 AM, Blogger Jake said...

I have been watching both of these shows for some time now and I have to say that they are both amazing. I realy enjoy JC's wit, but I love Tiffs ability to control a car. I respect Tiffs opions on cars more since he was a former formula 1 driver but Top Gear has more funding and therefore is able to produce very unique episodes which catch my attention.

These two are not the only kick ass car programs out there. When I am in Malaysia I watch a show called Auto Motor und Sport. It is broadcast sometimes realy late at night here in the states but it is in german.


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