Is There Still Spectacle in Motor Racing?
Sitting in the lofty heights of various race-track commentary positions over quite a number of years, Donald has been afforded many opportunities to observe the best and the worst of motor racing on track performances and the changes to the “spectacle” over those years.
he current almost computer-controlled Formula One races, plus the attendant casts of thousands, is a far cry from the sport I started watching in the late ’50s. It seems hard to remember the heroes of yesteryear with their almost primitive team set-ups being as successful as they were when compared to the complexity of today’s racing teams. The technology is mind-blowing, and yet the driving skills – or the lack of them, in certain instances – don’t seem to have changed much. Is it just me, or is it something to do with the much younger age of today’s drivers? Brought up on a straight diet of either kart racing or TV gaming, today’s young men are a far cry from the old Boomer generation, who were usually brought up learning the art of opposite lock on local gravel roads or racing on grass-tracks.
Watching current Formula One team mates drive into each other or drivers throwing their cars into impossible gaps sometimes does make you ask yourself why these 22 people are regarded as the very best in the world. It’s hard to figure out when banging and crashing began and when the phrase “rubbin’s racing” came about. In F1, Michael Schumacher was quite good at it, but certainly the Australian Touring Car Championship, which morphed into the current SuperCars format, has brought this style of driving to new heights – or lows!
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