The thoughts of Chris Gurton on motorsport, his photography, his work and his life in general. The thoughts, views and opinion's expressed in this blog are those of Chris Gurton and not necessarily those of any publication that he contributes to.

Call Yourself A Motorsport Fan?

With some big racing event going on over the weekend such as the Formula 1 in Valencia, the British Touring Cars at Croft and the British GT and F3 Championship at Brands Hatch, it was a good weekend for motorsport fans. However, my attention was bought to something that was not only disturbing, but concerned me greatly and made me question the mentality of some so called motorsport fans.

Whilst in the media room at Brands Hatch during some down time between races, I switched on the live streaming on the internet of the first BTCC race of the day at Croft. As I had the race on my laptop, my colleague had his laptop on running his live twitter feed. He, like me obviously follows a lot of racing fans on his twitter account so the feed was full of racing related tweets either about the F1 or the BTCC.

As the BTCC race got underway, there was a big collision on the start straight between a few cars causing terminal damage to at least two. Just after this, two tweets on the twitter feed to my right caught my attention. I was shocked and appalled. Both were very similar in content, and whist I can’t remember the exact wording of them, they went along the lines of ‘Wow, what a big accident. This is why I love BTCC and this is why it is the best racing series.’

Sadly it seems the accidents make motorsport exciting for some people.

Really? Is this some kind of joke? Do people really want to see big accidents in motorsport? Are these accidents what constitutes as a good racing series? More importantly, with this kind of mentality, can you really call yourself a motorsport fan?

Whilst I appreciate the close racing and contact nature of the BTCC can make it exciting to fans but do the fans want to see huge accidents that put people in danger? Yes, we all know motorsport can be dangerous but baying for accidents is just moronic. There have been a number of high profile deaths within motorsport recently and this is something surely no one wants to see, so to have fans wanting and getting excited by accidents is deeply disturbing. Thankfully the majority of drivers do walk away from big impacts unscathed, but not everyone is that lucky. My last blog touched on the fact that the mainstream media only reported on Le Mans due to Anthony Davidson’s huge crash in which he suffered some potentially career threatening injuries. But maybe the media realise that this is what people want to hear about. I sincerely hope this is not the case.

Thankfully most drivers walk away unscathed from accidents. Some arent so lucky though.

I’m pretty sure that If I went for a day out with a friend or family member and before leaving I turned and said to them ‘I really hope we have a big accident on the way, it would really make things more exciting’ they would think twice about getting in a car with me and would probably try to get me sectioned under the mental health act. So is it really acceptable to have this mentality when it comes to not only motorsport but any kind of sport?

Racing doesn’t need to have accidents to make it exciting. The British GT race at Brands Hatch proves this and I will be writing about that later in the week. So if you are one of these people who disagrees with this, then may I suggest you take a good look at yourself and stop calling yourself a motorsport fan. Failing that, put down the moonshine and look for another interest. I hear skydiving without a parachute is pretty exhilarating.


5 responses

  1. I agree with you completly hate folk that go for hat reason, I was at BSB at knockhill and there was a massive highside and i over heard a guy saying waw that was amazin i love this, this was said whilst the guy was lying face down in a gravel trap. I honestly felt sick and appauled by this. I am a huge motorsport fan it rules my life and i love gfood close racing but some people are just sick

    June 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm

  2. Well said Chris, I think the driving standards of the BTCC have gone too far and the drivers want the crashes. Considering I cover both BTCC and WTCC, I hardly have to mention a major accident in WTCC, in 11 races I’ve reported on this year. Croft had 2 in 3 races…

    June 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    • Tim Preston

      The drivers want the crashes? Really? They want to cost their teams ‘oooos of pounds in repair bills, jeopardise their health, fellow drivers and that of the spectators, risk losing drives and sponsorship deals. What an interesting point of view.

      There maybe one or two drivers who push beyond the limits of the car and their ability but that is down to their competitive nature. Even JP admitted he ran out of talent at one of he earlier rounds.

      In my opinion they are racing to win, not crash! Seems like a lot of effort to take a whole team, prepare two cars more in some cases just to roll them out to wrap them up on a Sunday afternoon.

      Back to the point anyway, I experienced this exact same thing a couple of years ago at Oulton Park when Carl Breeze had his big accident in the Ginetta. It was terrifying to watch, horrific in fact and there were “Motorsport fans” clapping and cheering and joking about it long before Breeze was removed from his safety cell behind curtains.

      You wouldn’t do it on the side of a main road! Would you………..?

      June 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm

  3. Cat

    Well said Chris. As you know in my sport there have been several very tragic deaths lately. It is not funny and it’s not exciting. We all love to see committed driving and close racing but there is a fine line between enjoying such competitive driving and expecting to see crashes. If someone had been killed in the accident you describe I am sure the same people would be fast enough with their sanctimonious RIP tweets………. please everyone, have some respect.

    June 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm

  4. Billy Earl

    Ive not heard much of these type of comments at club meetings but thats mostly people with friends and family involved in the racing spectating. But one of the reasons I dont enjoy the bigger events as much is this type of attitude. They forget that very often those drivers have a proper job to go to on Monday morning to make sure their family has food on the table and a roof over their head. They also forget that all to easily That car could break up and send debris their way possibly hurting them and the other Muppets they are with. And thats not even considering the Marshells who are giving up their time for nothing to put themselves at risk for nothing more than their own love of motorsport. These people need top grow up and realise its real life not a computer game.

    June 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm

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