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chevronb37

5,954 posts

73 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Well, I wrote an article recently about a topic which has been hot in the racing industry recently - how to get young folk interested in the sport. The truth is that racing is geeky. There's no getting away from it. Go to your average club meeting and the crowd is male-dominated, middle aged and far from numerous. The cult of celebrity has bitten motorsport, just like every other walk of life.

Like you, I saw Jenson race in FFord and F3 - in fact he was on the TOCA package at the same time as Dan Wheldon and Danica Patrick. Interesting to see how their various careers panned out. My girlfriend on the other hand isn't so fussed by club-level racing. She's tried it but there are only so many times she will tolerate getting cold and wet watching guys she's never heard of before she loses interest. However, she is a committed Jenson fan, and has remained loyal to him since he was a rookie at Williams.

I suppose the point I'm making is that some people are sports fans, some are F1 fans and others are motor racing fans. I fit into the latter, I too have an anorak but I am relatively indiscriminate in my tastes. This year I've been to club races, hillclimbs, DTM, MotoGP, Grand Prix, historics, etc. It's all racing and it's all wonderful to me. And as much as I admire the old days (Lord knows I would simply love to have seen the Targa in 1972 or the Monza 1000 in 1967) I still get a flutter of excitement at the start of every single race I watch. And the sheer spectacle of watching modern F1 cars around Monza thrilled me equally to seeing Lola T70s and McLaren M1Bs around Goodwood the following weekend. Fast cars are fast cars and fast drivers are fast drivers. I love them all!

Old Merc

1,155 posts

54 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
[quote=coppice]The last time I was in the F1 pits was Silverstone 1987;no pass or armband but we just wandered in early evening before the race to watch the mechanics working on their cars.I stood a yard or two from the Ferrari mechanics as they worked on the gearbox of one of the F1 cars. Nobody minded at all and it was a privilege which was not abused. Nobody screamed 'Look it's Prost '(or whoever )we just sort of clocked the driver who was walking past you in the paddock. I remember seeing Lauda,Pedro R, Hill, Surtees, Hunt , Chapman and many others just getting on with their day throughout my first ten years of watching GP racing.

Your so right "coppice".Just look at all our photo`s as an example?an ordinary fan could not get that close these days,unless you paid £2K+ as a VIP guest.
The 70`s was even more laid back.In 1975 my mate and I hitched a lift to Zandvoort in the Embassy Hill F1 artic and drove into the paddock with all the stars of F1.Got into conversation with the team manager Ray Brimble who gave me his hire car and asked me to collect his girlfriend from the airport!!!
He also gave us full F1 passes and a spare room in the team hotel!! and this was my first foreign GP,I was in dream world.Out with the mechanics every evening,sat at a bar with a number of top drivers,met Mr & Mrs Hill and their young son Damon,then in the pit lane on race day.After all that we helped load the artic and got a lift to the UK.Those were the days.
With that experience I became a master of "bunking" into Grand Prix paddocks,I could tell a few more stories.

Eric Mc

77,753 posts

152 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
I'm listening smile

Old Merc

1,155 posts

54 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Eric Mc said:
I'm listening smile
Like turning up at Silverstone at 5AM !! with a box of gearbox parts from a road car and convincing the security bod that Frank Williams was waiting for them."Their truck is over there mate!"

Spent a grand prix w/end camping in the circuit at Paul Ricard,with no facilities,so we did not wash for three days!!After the race we all got into my car,parked in the paddock,went into the main circuit HQ building found the drivers shower rooms and stripped off.After we had a beer watching everyone pack up.

Another ruse was to do the pit walk about at Brands Hatch and just before everyone was ushered back down the tunnel nip through a garage and hide under a truck.Once the tunnel was closed off everyone in the paddock and pit lane were "team personnel" so we could walk around unchallenged.

Happy days!! now there is more security at Silverstone than there is at Heathrow??

Edited by Old Merc on Wednesday 3rd October 15:28

Eric Mc

77,753 posts

152 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Fantastic.

Maybe a book on being a motor racing fan in the 70s wouldn't be a bad idea.
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chevronb37

5,954 posts

73 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
In light of the thread direction, you chaps might enjoy this book. It's a cracker.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Toolbox-Michael-Oliv...

The Black Flash

5,873 posts

85 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Great Dane said:
Wow, might lose hours in that thread! Cheers.

coppice

1,518 posts

31 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Chevron B37- well yes I suppose you could level the geeky charge. But as it now means actually expressing some enthusiasm about something and turning up to watch it I think I can live with that. Especially as the opposite to geekiness often seems to involve making snide adolescent comments on youtube clips etc - don't you love 'em- some guy driving his nuts off around the Ring or wherever and some little a**wipe loftily proclaiming his verdict on the driving from the comfort of his own bedroom . I am amazed how few youngsters actually watch racing live- is it really more fun showing off your stereo in some shopping mall car park ?

Better stop - I have turned into Ed Rearden (a grump of Olympian standards for any non R4 fans reading )

FourWheelDrift

61,733 posts

171 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Eric Mc said:
1968 Monaco?

Who's car is that?
Pedro Rodriguez's BRM P133. Crashed out on lap 16.

Eric Mc

77,753 posts

152 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
So he survived that one at least.

Fate caught up with him eventually.

chevronb37

5,954 posts

73 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
You're quite right - how often does your enthusiasm for the subject bubble over as awful geekiness? Unfortunately there is a monumental chasm between your local club meeting and a Grand Prix. It's amazing how many folk will pay hundreds to go to a GP but wouldn't even consider heading half an hour to their local circuit. It's as much fun watching a Legends race as it is a GP, it's just different.

coppice

1,518 posts

31 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Sounds like you were at Croft(aka geeks corner) last weekend, as I was....

chevronb37

5,954 posts

73 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Unfortunately not. But I was at Donington for F3 and GTs. How was Croft? I haven't been this year but might get up for the Superprix if I can.

coppice

1,518 posts

31 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Croft good- excellent NSSC and Legends; the single seater ex F BMW things were pathetic- tiny grid. The prod saloons were even worse. Something is rotten with the state of UK Club racing....

chevronb37

5,954 posts

73 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Certainly seems unpredictable at the moment. FFord grids have been poor this year, FRenault has gone and now we have the Formula 4 on its way. Not sure where everything's headed. MSV seems to generally do a good job but GT Cup suffers fluctuating grids. Not sure Britcar is doing all that much better.

Must say, though, that British GT has made an excellent account of itself at both rounds I've attended this year. Fine grids, close racing, fantastic machinery and top driving up and down the field. It's the best I've seen the championship in the 15-odd years I've followed it.

Have you seen the CNC Heads Northern Sports/Saloon series? That always seems to produce the goods.

Old Merc

1,155 posts

54 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Searching for photo`s for this topic reminded me of my Grand Prix International magazines,does any of you Grand Prix buffs want them??
I have everyone?(two or three missing I think)from number one January 1979 to end of production in 1986.
A lot of the issues covered WRC & sports cars as well.I also have 28 Indy Car mags from USA,Nigel Mansell`s time.

aeropilot

8,996 posts

114 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
chevronb37 said:
I know it's not F1, but my dad was a regular at Croft back in the 1960s and 70s, having grown up in Darlington. The Birthday Cup was a big deal back in the day - Lotus brought a trio of works 47s, resplendent in Gold Leaf livery. This is Jackie Oliver surveying his mount for the day.

My eye was drawn to the Escort Twin Cam in the background smile

chevronb37

5,954 posts

73 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
Old Merc said:
Searching for photo`s for this topic reminded me of my Grand Prix International magazines,does any of you Grand Prix buffs want them??
I have everyone?(two or three missing I think)from number one January 1979 to end of production in 1986.
A lot of the issues covered WRC & sports cars as well.I also have 28 Indy Car mags from USA,Nigel Mansell`s time.
Yes please. I am slowly trying to build a fairly comprehensive motorsport library and those would be perfect. Drop me a PM and we'll chat business.

chevronb37

5,954 posts

73 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
aeropilot said:
chevronb37 said:
I know it's not F1, but my dad was a regular at Croft back in the 1960s and 70s, having grown up in Darlington. The Birthday Cup was a big deal back in the day - Lotus brought a trio of works 47s, resplendent in Gold Leaf livery. This is Jackie Oliver surveying his mount for the day.

My eye was drawn to the Escort Twin Cam in the background smile
From the same meeting. Alan Mann Escort clearly visible, along with Jeff Edmonds' 250LM Ferrari, Chris Ashmore's Porsche 906 and what I believe is probably John Lepp's Chevron B8 on the far right.


FourWheelDrift

61,733 posts

171 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Looks like a good race line up, my money is on the Mini Clubman Porsche Special. biggrin
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