The Thrill of Victory, the Boredom of Viewership


I love motorsports.  I am a big fan of auto racing.  I love the cars, the speed, the technology, the spectacle, the carnage (though I do not want to see anyone get hurt) and the sound.  Generally I prefer touring cars to the open wheel racers that come in the form of Formula One and Indy Cars.  I still like open wheel cars, I just have a preference for touring cars.

This weekend I watched the Izod Indy Car race.  It was the first of the season and a Canadian was the winner.  It took place on a sunny afternoon on an unusually circuit with lots of driving variety.  I should be happy.  I should have enjoyed the whole experience.  Sadly, I did not.  I watched with a lot of disinterest and I am not sure why.
Cogratulations James Hinchcliffe!

I am forced to conclude that the coverage was not good.   I hate to say it, but I think it’s true.  It wasn’t my definition of horrible.   My definition of horrible is the English broadcast of Japanese Touring Car races.  They are horrible because they are out of sync and I know that they are sitting in a studio just trying to keep up with what the editor has done.  They are horrible because they have lost the immediacy of a sporting event.

Today’s broadcast was just lacklustre.  Indy Cars always produce lots of yellow flag situations, and all that brought was more commercials.  NASCAR, which also has its fair share of yellow laps, seems to fill these gaps with some inspired programming.  In today’s race, I didn’t learn anything during these lulls.

I would really like to hear from some people who saw the race and could comment on it as well.  I really wanted to enjoy the race, but something was definitely missing.  Could someone tell me what it was.  Could someone tell me it’s going to get better.  I don’t want to write off an entire season just as it has begun.

A Need for Speed

Okay, I admit it.  I love car racing.  There I said it.  I have come clean.  I know what you’re going to say.  I have heard it all before.  I know all the jokes about going around in circles.  Say whatever you want, it won’t affect me.  I know what I like, and I am comfortable with that.  I told you people at the beginning that I loved cars, so really, this shouldn’t come as a shock to you.

one of my “to do list” models
Generally speaking I prefer either touring cars or open wheel racing.  So, yes that means I sometimes have to get up very early on a Sunday and watch the races from Europe.  It also means I must scour the internet looking for races that are rarely broadcast on TV channels I get.  A cable channel devoted entirely to fast cars sounds wonderful, but why did they have to put it in the top tier TV package.  How I long for the day when I can choose the 15 channels that I watch and pay about $1 for each of them.  Quake in fear cable companies, that day is coming

What spurred this blog topic was my local paper.  Every week they have a car section and the reporters get to drive a whole bunch of cars that I never will. This week one of the reporters went to a racing school that is located a reasonable distance from my house.  In between fits of jealousy and rage, the fire, the desire, the urge (perhaps it would be too cliché to say the drive) for this hobby was reignited (maybe if I had an editor he or she would want me to use puns like, it got my engine started…. perhaps it’s good for all of us that I do not have an editor)

I love the look of these cars
I guess there is a speed demon lurking in most of us.  I love car chases in movies, and I love the roar of the engines.  I have fantasized about racing Porsche 911 down an empty highway, foot to the floor.  These thoughts haven’t surfaced for a while (I guess that is what life on a commuter bus does for you) but this newspaper article did it.

So, I did what anyone who had an internet connection would do,  I googled it.  Then of course reality set in.  They have long and short courses.  They have a cool track, great facilities and Van Diemen Formula cars, and a cool program.  The pictures are fantastic and the lust for speed is boiling in my blood.  Everything is perfect, except that to go to this racing academy I would have to give up eating for the next two years.  I grant that it would be worth it, but somehow…… after two years without sustenance, my body would be too emaciated, and I probably wouldn’t have the ability to turn the wheels.
vintage and cool

Reality is cruel.  It gives passions, dangles them in front of you, and then watches as you vainly jump for them–it is like playing monkey in the middle with two taller older brothers.

I could write a letter to the editor, hoping to wipe that smug smile off the reporters face, but what good would that do.  It isn’t his or her fault exactly (I was too angry to check if it was a man or woman), but my frustration level makes me want to lash out.  I probably won’t feel better until I get my own dose of speed.

Just in case somebody wants to know.  Currently, my favourite kind of racing is The British Touring Cars, followed by Endurance Racing (most notably the 24 Hours of LeMan) and then the Australian V8 SuperCars.