History Lessons

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History Lessons

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:38 pm

An area to discuss the history of motor sport, ask questions, share opinions, deride members choices, and generally show off, if that's your thing.
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Damned Nuisance on Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:07 am

Bob,

Did you used to cycle to those chariot races in Roman times?....


Regards

Ben Hurr
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Bob Bull on Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:51 pm

Damned Nuisance wrote:Bob,

Did you used to cycle to those chariot races in Roman times?....


Regards

Ben Hurr

Yes indeed Ben, I rode literally thousands of miles attending various meetings. From North London, Silverstone, Crystal Palace, Brands Hatch were pretty regular outings, while Goodwood (80+ miles. Each way) was also on the list. Imagine cycling 80 miles watching a six hour sports car race and then cycling home again!
Snetterton was over 100 miles and a few of us lads did it there and back in a day, but only once.

By gum I was a fit fellow back then.

Charles Atlas.
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Bob Bull on Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:41 pm

The UK has had 10 F1 World Champions who have racked up 14 title between them.

Germany has had 2 F1 World Champions, with a total of 11 titles.

Brazil, 3 Champions, 8 titles.

Argentine, 1 Champion, and 5 titles.

France, 1 Champion with 4 titles.

Finland, 3 Champions and 4 titles.

Australia (for Greg), 2 Champions and 4 titles.

No point to this just an interesting statistic.
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Regazzoni on Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:32 pm

Interesting indeed. One thing that comes to (my) mind, is that since the end of the ‘50s F1 is a British-based sport. This fact accounts for the 10 British WC (am I allowed to say not all of them top drawer?), as well as for all the others that understood they had to emigrate there to succeed – Aussies, Brazilians, Finns. It also accounts for the meagre two Germans, the only French and lack of Italians (despite or, rather, because the country having the most famous marque). It seems that for the non-Brit Western Europeans to succeed they have to be outstandingly good, above average won't do.
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Regazzoni on Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:50 pm

To support my point above, look for example at how much the French invested in driver development in the ‘70s, with the Elf scheme. Of all the very good drivers that came through, only an outstanding driver like Prost won the ultimate prize and needed a British team to do so.
If Arnoux, Jabouille, Laffite, Jarier, Depailler, Cevert etc were born British, you could bet a couple of them would have probably won it, perhaps not more than once but they would have.
The same could be said for a generation that included Patrese, Giacomelli, Alboreto and De Angelis.
It’s not an excuse, just an example of the dynamics at work. Perhaps Western Euopeans were less open to integrate with the British way of doing things and waiting more for a call from their own – Renault, Ligier, Ferrari – than fully adapt and as a result being fully appreciated by the top British teams.
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Regazzoni on Thu May 01, 2014 9:59 pm

The lack of involvement of the German manufacturers clearly accounts for the lack of German WCs until the mid '90s. It is not by chance that Schumacher and Fretzen came out of the Mercedes junior racing programme, or Stuck jr and Mass before them were helped by BMW initially. But only an outstanding driver made it to be WC.
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Bob Bull on Fri May 02, 2014 6:13 am

There seems to be a great deal of luck attached to making it in Formula 1. Sponsorship can help get a driver into a team, but unless they get the results, they don't tend to last, pure talent is rarely enough either. How many promising names shine all the way up to the higher levels but never get a chance to progress to F1?

In British Formula 3, a well recognised stepping stone, Jenson Button was well beaten by Marc Hines, a series rookie driving for a new team, however, Button made it and even Burti, who finished third got a drive, whereas Hines disappeared from the scene until he appeared in the BTCC this year.

Without judging their talent, I often wondered how Di Resta made it, Magnusson! Just one among many 'names', Bottas, Maldonado.

Sometimes they just seem to spring out of nowhere, but that is probably because I can find little interest in modern motor racing, thus don't follow the career of promising newcomers.

Moss and Hawthorn had talent and success so got works drives, it doesn't happen today.
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Regazzoni on Fri May 02, 2014 9:08 pm

I think that a key point of this sport is that it is mediated, it’s not like athletics where one needs just a pair of shorts and trainers and if he runs fast enough then goes to the Olympics or could beat the world record.

The fact it is mediated has plenty of implications, not just about opportunity to develop as a driver, getting the right materiel etc, but also the need to relate to a team of engineers and technicians, sponsors. Skills in public relations are as much important as driving skills (provided one is quick enough, of course). It implies that there are plenty of pitfalls along the way to the top, along which very talented drivers disappear to leave room to others that seemed less quick.

No surprise that shared language and culture plays a key role in obtaining those opportunities to get there. And that is possibly why non-Brits who get to the very top are usually outstanding rather than just very good or above average. It also partly explains why Ferrari is not a factor in developing Italian drivers, because Ferrari is Italian only nominally, but its marketing profile is now so high that effectively it has an aura of extra-territoriality, such that being local has no interest to them anymore.

Interesting discussion.
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Regazzoni on Tue May 06, 2014 10:34 pm

Motorsport has apparently put his archive free online, temporarily it seems. I found a pearl, a scathing letter by Jenkinson on the switch from the Nurburgring to Hockenheim, which concludes:

How anyone can view an event on the silly concrete autodrome that is Hockenheim as a Grand Prix, let alone the "Grosser Preis von Deutschland" is beyond me. And before any readers write to say the Hockenheimring is "...a great modern facility for Formula One..." I hope they will visit both Rings and compare them. If they think the German GP should be at Hockenheim then Grand Prix is truly dead, and Formula One rules supreme. —Yours, DSJ

Priceless.
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Bob Bull on Wed May 07, 2014 2:52 pm

Jenks was the ultimate enthusiast, he loved motor sport, and wrote with passion on the subject. Being 'Old School' he knew that motor racing was dangerous, and accepted the risks inherent in the sport, both as an observer and participant, any dumbing down was an anathema to him.
Times change and the world moves on, as the anniversary of Senna's death shows fatalities are un acceptable to the modern fan.

I am quite sure that Jenkinson would not want to have lived to see the current state of Formula 1. It represents everything he hated, well ordered namby pamby, H&S conscious, participants.

"When men were men, and they raced in green."

Thanks for that Reggae.

Bob
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Bob Bull on Mon May 12, 2014 8:18 pm

I only met Jenks once, and that was at Vintage Sports Car Club meeting at Silverstone, he had recently written a two part article on a particular Maserati model for Motor Sport, and had used a picture I had taken earlier in the year. The owner of a newly restored example had raced it and I got a few decent shots (pre digital), which I sent to him. Apparently when Jenks asked if he had any pictures of the restored car he had given him mine, one of which appeared in the magazine. A good friend rang me one day to say that one of my pictures was in the Motor Sport, which seemed impossible, but after rushing out to get a copy I realised it was true, so when I saw the great man in the car park talking to Peter Scott-Russell, I introduced myself and thanked him for using my picture. He was most apologetic that it had not been credited to me, as he had requested, probably because Bill Boddy did not want to pay up.
I still have the mag., it must be worth a fortune.

Peter Scott-Russell was an ex-driver, who was now commentating at the circuit, when I came across the pair Peter was showing off his new Honda sports car with all of the latest F1 technology, I believe it was known as the Senna model.
Jenks was not impressed by Scott-Russell's purchase, and when after a long exposition of the car's power and top speed, I remarked that;

"It's still just a Jap car!"

Which pleased Jenks no end.

Perhaps this should be in the Claims to Fame section. Very Happy 
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Regazzoni on Tue May 13, 2014 12:27 am

Not growing up in the UK I did not know Jenks’ journalism, only that he navigated Moss in 1955. Here, I have read the collection “A passion for motor sport”. Reading others recollecting about him somehow gives the impression that I wouldn’t have liked to get too close to the man…  Wink 

There is one English motor writer that I really like, LJK Setright. I have got most of his books and have collected most of his magazine and daily columns. He really makes you think, always original in his views, a truly British eccentric (with Australian parents…) but never a bigot, on the contrary, extremely open minded, versatile and technically competent.  Have you ever met him, Bob?

About the Jap cars comment, I don’t know what is it with you guys here liking your Vauxhalls so much, I wouldn’t want one not even for free…  Shocked
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Bob Bull on Tue May 13, 2014 2:03 am

About the Jap cars comment, I don’t know what is it with you guys here liking your Vauxhalls so much, I wouldn’t want one not even for free… Shocked wrote:

When I was just a small boy certain foreigners set out to kill me, and damn nearly succeeded on a couple of occasions. These were Germans, but the Japs were also having a go at the British Empire, so for us older members of society there remains a degree of antipathy towards both nations.
To those who did not live through the war (no.2) it may seem a long time ago, and the world has moved on since then. So it has, but some of us move slower than others, personally I hate to see Japanese motor bikes and cars doing well in sport, can not support German cars in motor sport. (Hamilton's a traitor affraid ) I suspect that Jenks was 'one of us'.

I notice that Greg does not share these sentiments. VW Beetle!! Bah Humbug! Or even Hunbug. cheers 
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Re: History Lessons

Post by Greg Mackie on Tue May 13, 2014 8:20 am

Bob Bull wrote:


I notice that Greg does not share these sentiments.  VW Beetle!! Bah Humbug!  Or even Hunbug. cheers 

Actually, Bob, if it had not been for British army officer Major Ivan Hirst, Volkswagen may never have survived after WW 2. My Beetle was built in Australia, by the way.

Although born in 1941, I do not blame any particular race for what their fore-fathers may have done... Oh, wait a minute......

Damned Doubtful.
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