My love for Motor Racing

 

From the age of 5 I've been hooked on motor racing, with my first live event being a British Touring Car Championship round at Donington Park in 1996. The series in my opinion is the best national championship in the world and has been for 20 years or so (minus the odd year). Along with my dad we've been around the length and breadth of the country watching the BTCC, from Thruxton to Snetterton to Knockhill. There can't be many national championships in the world where the fans are as dedicated as they are in the BTCC, and that passion and love is not repeated anywhere else in national motor sport.

Although the BTCC has been a mainstay of my love of motor sport, other series such as NASCAR, Indy Car, MotoGP and BSB all attract my interest. What's not to love and admire about men and women trying their hardest to succeed in something which they love.

Although to many who have never watched or who only watch the odd race, the racing in NASCAR seems dull, boring and too long. What a lot don't seem to understand is the sheer amount of skill and concentration needed to even complete a 200+ lap race, let alone challenging for the win. Running two, three or four wide, constantly adjusting the level of fuel saving and conservation of tyres and with the chance of caution at any moment, the 40+ NASCAR drivers and teams show remarkable anticipation and reaction skills to deal quickly and efficiently with virtually any situation that may occur on the track.

Up until a few years ago I never really paid much attention to the 2-wheeled varieties of motor sport; something which I regret. Since working at Donington Park on work experience as a 16-year-old though, my views on bike racing changed. As a leaving gift I was given a Casey Stoner print, and although at the time I was aware of who he was, I had no real idea of the series he was racing in and just how good it was. All I knew was the name; MotoGP. As silly as it may sound, that print encouraged me to go out there and find out as much as I could about MotoGP and where I could watch it. Largely thanks to the superb commentary work of Toby Moody and Julian Ryder, I've been following the sport ever since.

There really is something to be said about the commentary in motor sport. It truly is fantastic and I think other sports could learn a thing or two about good pairings (Euro 2012 springs to mind here) because after all, if you're watching a sport on TV then the experience is much greater with commentary. But not just commentary, it has to be commentary which works. Pairings such as Toby Moody and Julian Ryder in MotoGP, Ben Edwards and Tim Harvey in the BTCC, Murray Walker with the likes of James Hunt and later Martin Brundle, all work and worked great as a team. They all know what they're talking about and can explain to the range of listeners and viewers what is happening in a race and potentially why. Commentators are often given a lot of stick (I often complain about football myself), but these guys have done a great job over the years and hopefully shall continue to do so. They've certainly played a big part in my continued love for motor sport and I thank them greatly for that.

For as long as I can remember, I've always tried to make sure that I'm free to watch as much motor sport as I can over the course of a weekend. It must be over 5 years since I missed a live Formula 1 race (on TV), and there's probably not a BTCC race I've missed since the 2000(ish) season. Motor racing is arguably the most unpredictable sport in the world; you never know what could happen around the next corner, next lap or next race and that is surely why so many people worldwide love motor racing, right from karts through to Formula 1. I know for a fact that that's why I myself love motor sport.

Formula 1 for me though is the main attraction. It truly is a global sport; we have drivers from Europe, Central America, South America, Asia and Australia competing in 20 races across 5 continents. Arguably the 24 best drivers in the world compete across 8-9 months each year in the quickest racing cars the human race can build and drive. It is simply brilliant. I heard over the weekend that the motor sport industry is worth £6 billion to the UK economy. We're world leaders in motor sport technology, hence why so many of the teams are based in the UK. We have some of the best engineering minds in the world developing racing cars for some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. Motor sport and Formula 1 are huge parts of this country and we should be proud of what we've achieved. Multiple world champions and teams in cars run and designed by British people. Let's hope this leadership and success continues.

This coming weekend I shall be attending the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. It is the first Grand Prix and either my dad or myself have been to and I honestly cannot wait. To spend three days watching the finest drivers in the world race their hearts out in front of 100,000 adoring fans is something I can't wait to see, hear and feel. Not only is it the main class I'm looking forward to seeing, but the action so far this season in GP2 and GP3 has been brilliant to watch. These are tomorrow's stars who will one day replace the likes of Schumacher, Alonso, Button and Hamilton and be challenging for world championships and to see them racing live will be great (especially with the British talent we have racing).

Had it not been for my parents taking me to Donington Park in 1996 to watch the likes of Alain Menu, Rickard Rydell, Frank Biela and John Cleland racing in the BTCC then my love and admiration for motor sport may not be the same. After 16 years of waiting I'll finally be able to say I've attended a Grand Prix come Sunday evening. It'll hopefully be the first of many more to come. Motor sport, and in particular Formula 1, is my main passion and thing I love in life. To work in motor sport as a journalist/writer would be a dream job for me and hopefully through this article and the others (previously and to come) I can show just how much I'd love that dream to become reality.

The best way to experience motor sport is by being there live. The noise, the smells, the fans and the atmosphere cannot be recreated and need to be felt first hand. This weekend at Silverstone I'll feel all these, and I cannot wait. Motor sport, you are fantastic. Long may it continue.

Top Drivers

 
Driver Points
Hamilton 252
Rosberg 211
Vettel 203
Raikkonen 107
Bottas 101
Massa 97
 

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