In lockdown

How are you getting on without your motor sport fix? Do the virtual races provide any compensation? I am not missing racing hugely, but there is something of a hole there and the virtual races leave me cold.

My pleasure from motor sport came mainly from being there and I was fortunate to be able to see live action at Thruxton, Crystal Palace, Snetterton, Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Lydden Hill regularly between 1968 and about 1977 along with a one-off trip to Monaco. Since then I can add Castle Coombe, Daytona, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Homestead to the list.

In my day it was nothing at an F1 race for there to be a gap of more than a second between pole position and second on the grid. You might get some close racing, but a battle at the front throughout the race was a real rarity. There were many times in all classes of racing when someone took off at the start and vanished away to win, sometimes by nearly a lap. I didn’t care and I don’t think that too many others did either because we all turned up again next time.

Being there, seeing the cars and drivers, hearing the sounds and smelling the aromas was what may the day out for us and we would have been appalled at the sort of tactics that have blighted NASCAR and seem to be creeping towards F1 where the artificial levelling of the laying field so that a 5 or 10 lap shootout to the flag results. What is the point of having a 500 mile race or whatever if you are only bothered about the end?

So racing for me these days is a shadow of its former self and I don’t miss it too much. I do miss finding out about how certain teams and drivers have fared though and I feel for those for whom this shutdown is potentially ruining their career.

But in the overall scheme of things their problems are a drop in the ocean. The wider world has a lot to concern it and whilst all sports are a recreation and a necessary part of society, our society needs to survive this crisis first. We can worry about sports another time.

Le Mans 66, setting the record straight part one

Le Mans 1966 was a special race for me, and it could have been even more so had parental permission been granted for me to join the Model Cars magazine group on their Page & May run trip to the race. Sadly the trip was vetoed (I was only 13), but a slot racing friend had a relative who worked at Alan Mann Racing and he was on their crew for the race so I got a lot of second hand news from the race plus a programme. My French teacher was impressed with my surge of interest in her native tongue even if was just to help me translate the programme’s pages. Continue reading

What a difference a track makes #F1

The Canadian GP showed why the right track can make a difference, for whilst the front runners were cruising around in formation we had some great racing going on elsewhere down the field.

Why? Because there are places where passing is possible; fast corners, slow corners, decent straights and places where you can outbrake. None of the slot car track nonsense that we have seen in newer circuits over the last thirty years or so, just the basics for good racing.

Long may it be a part of F1.

F1 on an Oval? Why not?

That tracks have changed for safety reasons is unarguable; it had to happen, but I can’t get excited about so many of the circuits that are raced on these days. Then reading something the other day struck a chord with me. Continue reading

#F1 to return to Vegas?

The F1 calendar is starting to just get ridiculous and rumours of a return to Las Vegas for another street race just adds to the stupidity. Why would we want this? Bernie can’t see past a big bag of cash of course, but what we are getting is quantity over quality. Continue reading

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