Old old old photo from a visit to Rockingham to see the British Touring Cars. Rockingham doesn’t even exist anymore.
Anyway. Motorsport season has started, and I am very sad that I can’t go and watch any. Not at Rockingham, not at Thruxton, not at Brands Hatch, not anywhere. There isn’t even any on telly.
Why? Because of this wretched coronavirus.
However. There is hope. There are still e-sports going on – the World Rally Championship has got a virtual series going on and so has the GT World Challenge. It’s a bit surreal watching them race on a computer instead of on the actual track, but it’s a Thing and a viable way of keeping the drivers and fans occupied while there’s no racing going on. Plus there’s the added interest of sudden disconnections. I was watching a race the other week where the race leader disconnected on the last lap and handed victory to someone else. That was actually quite tense.
I also know there’s an e-NASCAR series happening. This is televised. I watched some of it on FreeSports the other day and well… it’s more interesting than actual NASCAR. Sorry. It really was. E-racing definitely has a future as a legit televised sport. It’s quite entertaining.
The British Touring Car Championship powers that be have also had a genius idea and are doing these things called ‘Race Day With A Difference’. They’re showing races from years past at various tracks, on the weekend that the series was due to be racing at the track this year. Viewers can vote for the races they want to see and they get shown on the website in their entirety. It’s a great idea. I’m thoroughly enjoying reliving some of the greatest moments from BTCC races gone by.
But there’s really no substitute for actually being at a racetrack. The smell of petrol, tyre squeals, the glorious browwwwpbraaaapapapapapbrowwwwwwwp of the turbocharged cars, the bark of a Ferrari as she’s started up in the cold morning air… there’s nothing like it. Strong coffee, sweet tea and the obligatory bacon sandwich at stupid o’clock are also crucial components of what makes a race day.
Ok, so I don’t miss the uneven sunburn and the dust and the mysterious bruises that I always seem to get after a trip to a track, but I do miss the racing. That’s what it’s all about, after all.
Motorsport will return. I know it will. And we must all be patient while the world works its way out of this nasty situation. That doesn’t stop my heart longing for the sounds, the smells and the exhilaration that I love about live motorsport.