It seems that recently some local residents to Mallory Park race circuit have become annoyed and are taking action against the circuit. The reason for their annoyance? Noise.
Yes, that’s right. These morons bought a house near a motor racing circuit and are complaining it is noisy. They now want the circuit to cut the amount of times it is used and impose further noise restrictions. The owner has stated that any further cuts in usage of the circuit will deem the circuit unprofitable and not worth running. An option to sell the circuit for housing is tabled as an alternative if the circuit was to be sold.
The most annoying thing is, what kind of moron buys a house by a race track and then complains it is noisy? Do people buy houses next to Airports, Motorways & Railway lines and then demand the council put a restriction on their usage because they don’t like the noise? I’m sorry, but if you by a house in a noisy area, it is your own fault. Don’t go complaining and ruining other peoples enjoyment of something they love. Just move somewhere else. After all, there are many race fans who’d love a house next to a circuit.
Most of you will know that all race circuits in the UK have to adhere to strict rules and regulations imposed by local authorities regarding usage and noise levels. Curfews are put in place, some race cars have to have silencers fitted to bring them within the noise level set for a race meeting and the likes of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix loop can only be used a certain number of times per year. All this is usually because a load of moaning residents don’t like race tracks to be noisy. Ironically, even Donington Park has curfews and noise limits and that is right next to the East Midlands Airport.
Most of the circuits in this country have been in place for many years. Long before these residents even moved to the areas. Racing on the whole, in past decades was a lot noisier than it is these days too. Some circuits like Silverstone, Goodwood and Snetterton were built on the site of old airfields, which, when in use, would have been noisy too. I really don’t understand the mentality of some people. Do people buy houses next to football stadiums and then phone up the council when the home team scores a goal because the crowd are being too loud? If you ask me, the noise restrictions in place at many circuits already spoil motor racing. I want the cars to be loud. I want to hear engines rumble or scream. In fact, I would love to live in one of the houses that back on to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Loop and I would be more than happy for it to be used every weekend so I find it unlikely that these factors would de-value a property as there are many other petrol heads like me who would love that.
What’s more, is that these killjoy NIMBY types don’t think of the bigger picture. These circuits bring a vital boost to the local economy. Not only do they provide jobs, but local Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, Pubs, Restaurants, Shops and Business’ all benefit. Thousands of fans flock to race meetings each weekend, many, along with teams, drivers, mechanics and even media such as myself, will often want somewhere local to stay, eat and drink. I often book myself into a local B&B or Hotel and eaten in the Pubs or Restaurants nearby and I have seen teams and fans alike do the same. Yes, some race weekends are bigger that others, but they all help. I’ve tried to book somewhere to stay overnight for some race weekends only to find that every hotel or guesthouse in the vicinity is fully booked. Think about the impact it would have on many people if a circuit was to close down.
A fine example, albeit on a grander scale, is the Isle of Man. Just think of how many tourism business would cease to exist if it wasn’t for the TT and the Rally. The locals embrace it and let’s face it, most have to in order to make a living. And how about LeMans? How many people would even know where that town was, let alone visit if it wasn’t for the 24 hour race? I can imagine tourism, due to motorsport, is one of the biggest sources of income for both these places.
You can’t tell me local businesses in Silverstone Village and the surrounding area would be thriving if the circuit wasn’t there and I imagine takings in the local guesthouses and eating and drinking establishments during the Formula One or Moto GP weekends are sky high! Some places probably even rely on the trade the circuits bring in and if the circuit was to close down so would they. Surely no one wants to see that happening. So it is much more than just a case of a noisy circuit being forced to close and sold off for housing development.
Whilst I appreciate talks over the future of Mallory Park is in the early stages, I sincerely hope that the Circuit does not fall foul of a few moronic locals who should just move away if they don’t like it rather than spoil other people’s enjoyment of something they love. We can’t lose Mallory Park and I hope sense will prevail. Otherwise who knows what the consequences will be for other Circuits and the sport we love.
Save Mallory Park.
As a photographer and fan of motorsport, I have a huge interest in photography from other eras of the sport. Therefore I love books that show photographs from other periods of motor racing. I am always fascinated to see images from years past of classic cars doing battle whilst the driver pushes the machine to its limits in a time when there were no devices to help the driver such as sequential gearboxes, traction control or ABS. I also find it amazing to see how great the photos are as the camera’s used are pretty crude compared to what you have now.
One of my favourite books is one titled ‘Motor Racing – The Early Years’ by Brian Laban and Getty Images. 350 pages charting motorsport from as early as the turn of the twentieth century through to the end of the fifties. The images are breathtaking and give a real insight into what it was like behind the wheel of these incredible machines. At the moment I am reading a book called ‘Track Record – The Motorsport Photography of Maurice Rowe’ This book charts the career, through images of Maurice Rowe starting from Formula one and sports cars in the fifties through to the late seventies. The book includes some stunning and also intimate images of the a golden era of the sport with the likes of Jim Clarke, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Graham Hill all captured on and off the track. Well worth a look if you can track down a copy.
I couldn’t talk about books without mentioning a very interesting book bought to my attention called ‘Go Faster’ by Sven Voelker. It looks into the graphic design of race cars and how racing liveries can shape and change the way racing cars look, perhaps something for the car designer in you.
This interest I have of racing cars of years passed, is why I head to the Goodwood revival each year. It’s a great opportunity to see classic racing cars doing what they were designed to do. Race. It’s nice to see the cars on display but you can’t beat seeing them take to the famous Goodwood tarmac and power round the circuit as they did many years ago. I hope that in many years to come, I will still get to see the current crop of racing cars in action as I feel it is important to keep history alive.
At this point, I’d like to hear from you. Are there certain books about motorsport that you like? Do you have any favourites you would recommend? I’m always looking out for books that interest me so it would be nice to hear from you.