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Purists, Fans, Enthusiasts and ???


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#1 Don Capps

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 02:16

Apparently, there are Fans, Purists, Enthusiasts, and perhaps a few other breeds of those who follow motor racing in its myriad forms in some sort of fashion. I had noticed that more than a few times that the term "purist" gets used on Another Forum to refer to those who wish F1 to be as it has become of late, full of no end of wizardry, manufacturers, and the rest of it.

Labels are rarely completely accurate, but I usually find myself thinking of myself as an "enthusiast" since I find it easy to lump Juan Fangio and Curtis Turner into the same world as Colin Chapman and Smokey Yunick, Jimmy Bryan and Jim Clark, Earl Cooper and Keke Rosberg, and so on.

While I try to remain as neutral as possible on the current State of Things Across the Board, some series simply fail to "inspire" me as a whole and others limp when they should be as Mercury and run strong & true. Some series have reached a point where their very "success" is almost toxic in how it is altering the nature of the sport. On the other hand, there are small voices in the wilderness which never get heard in all the noise which defines "success" in very narrow, financial terms.

Not all that is of the current motor racing "world" is "bad" or whatever else we might use to describe the players and the actors. It is difficult to condemn someone for simply being born at the "wrong" time. Nor is it correct to wear blinders about elements of the past.

I am enthused about certain aspects of motor sport and lukewarn at best about others. But, it seemed so interesting to see how the term "purist" has been operationally defines by the current generation.....

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#2 stuartbrs

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 03:30

Here in football obsessed Aussie rules territory, whenever I say my favourite sport is "motor racing" I instantly get called a "revhead" !!?? Which, frankly, annoys the sh*t out of me, so I always say "Nah, Im an enthusiast, there`s a big difference". An enthusiast, I feel, is always willing to learn something new about the sport, never professess to being an expert on everything ( which Im definately not ) but just loves so many aspects of the sport, more past than present, but still enjoys contemporary motorsport, which I do.
And I love painting old racing cars, reading about them, looking at them, thinking about them...but I have a life, I can think of and do other things, its not like some of the young "revheads" I know who can only talk about what brand of turbocharger theyre fitting to their japenese buzzboxes, what their Celica will do in 3rd gear or why their Commodores kick arse and nothing else, and I mean nothing else, that is all theyre capable of talking about, it bores me senseless.

#3 David Hyland

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 05:46

Originally posted by stuartbrs
Here in football obsessed Aussie rules territory, whenever I say my favourite sport is "motor racing" I instantly get called a "revhead" !!??

Or the other response is: "So, who do you follow: Ford or Holden?" (reference to the local V8 Supercars (touring cars) series, because, that is, of course, the only form of motorsport that exists/matters...)

#4 David McKinney

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 06:45

Following from the above, in England the question many strangers ask is "Who do you support?" meaning which (Association) Football team. There don't seem to be any soccer enthusiasts, only Arsenal fans, or Manchester United supporters etc
This seems to reflect a lack of love for the sport per se, and it is a trend that seems to be taking over motor racing, especially among those whose only contact with it is by way of televised F1 races.
I think "motor racing fanatic" would have been a good decription of my own interest in my earlier days, when I couldn't read/hear/talk enough about the sport in all its aspects. Now maybe I'd be happier to describe myself as a motor racing student - I'll never attain all the knowledge I'd like to.
Viva TNF :up:

#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 08:10

My thoughts parallel David's... though my history is slightly different.

I looked at drag racing, spent time at speedway, then I embraced road racing... all the while learning whatever I could about all aspects of cars.

Along the way I became totally disenchanted that the rest of the world thought I was out of step.

#6 FredF1

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 08:24

I concur with the soccer analogy.

On being asked what sport I follow - I always state 'motorsports'.
Being Irish means the first question is "So you're a Jordan fan then?"

Myself and my brother attended the Italian GP in 2001.
We were watching the news the Saturday night and saw/heard Zanardi's terrible accident.
We were talking to fellow spectators at the race the following day about it - most hadn't heard about the accident.

Me: "He's a driver in CART"
{Blank looks}
Me: "Former champion too"
{Blank looks}
Me: "Drove for Wiliams 2 years ago"
{Blank looks}
Me(Getting desperate now): "He drove for Jordan"
Their eyes lit up - "When was that?"
Me: "1991"
Them: "Nope, don't remember him"

Spa 2000 - Hakkinen overtakes Schumacher for the lead - Most of his (Michael) supporters in the stand where I was started to leave. Compare that to Monza 2001 where the tifosi applauded Montoya on his cooling down lap.

I'm not trying to take the moral high ground on this or anything but it does depress me when I see this kind of behaviour.

#7 Bladrian

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 08:28

I view myself as an enthusiast, since I am as enthusiastic about Alberto Ascari's driving fifty years ago as I am about Michael Schumacher's today. (and many drivers - and cars - in between).

I regard myself as a purist when it comes to certain handguns, wines and cigars - having sampled a great many, I decided a few are truly worthwhile and the rest can go hang! ;)

Pragmatically speaking, therefore (and in an entirely personal sense) - an enthusiast is merely a bore to those who have no or limited knowledge of the subject, whilst a purist is a true pain-in-the-ass ...... :rotfl:

#8 rdrcr

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 18:13

It would be hard to pidgin-hole myself in one of those categories without knowing the exact definitions... Call me a "Gearhead". Short of swamp-buggy racing and tractor pulls, I'm into it.

:smoking:

So much so, that it's part of my annual budget.

#9 sennadog93

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 18:26

Originally posted by Don Capps
Labels are rarely completely accurate, but I usually find myself thinking of myself as an "enthusiast" since I find it easy to lump Juan Fangio and Curtis Turner into the same world as Colin Chapman and Smokey Yunick, Jimmy Bryan and Jim Clark, Earl Cooper and Keke Rosberg, and so on.


In the past, I'd have labelled myself as obsessive about motorsport but over the years that has been watered down to enthusiast.

To put it another way, my waning interest in F1 over the last few years could now classify me as an unleaded petrol head, whereas before I was a super unleaded petrol head.

Luckily, my interest has returned to other forms of motorsport over recent times so I'm unlikely to ever stoop to being a two stroker.

#10 bobbo

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 19:12

I guess that I would consider myself as an "Enthusiast-addict" as I just can't leave racing alone! :lol: :lol:

However, living as I do, here in the heart of NASCARLand, I find that any time I mention "Championship", it is assumed by my listeners that I am talking about NASCAR, or if they are really eclectic :rolleyes: :rolleyes: CART. In talking to local enthusiasts, "Grand Prix" is a kind of automobile, all tracks have about 4 turns (All left handed) and If I mention the name "Andretti" the usual response is "WHO?" or "Yeah, John's just a mid-field runner. Never be as good as Petty (Earnhardt, Yarborough, Allison, Turner, etc.)." "Schumacher? Who the h**l is he?" If I mention GP/F1 racing to any one, I'm met by a blank look and usually have to do some evangelism, so to speak, to try to get those poor benighted souls to maybe admit that some other forms of racing have some validity. It's a tough, uphill road, but at least my mechanic (and he's REAL GOOD!) started reading _Road & Track_ and even looks through my occasional copy of _Vintage Racecar Journal_ and commented that it looks "kinda neat!" I guess there is hope!

For what it's worth, if anything, I have driven in SCCA (LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time ago!), NHRA drags, gone to NASCAR, GP (The Glen, 1965 - 1975), Long Distance (Watkins Glen 6 Hours), Can-Am, CART, micro-midget racing and will watch Demolition Derby if no other motor"sport" is available. H**l, I would LOVE to try 1/2 or 1/4 mile dirt track stuff!

Thanks for letting me blow off some steam!

Bobbo

#11 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 19:13

Originally posted by FredF1
Spa 2000 - Hakkinen overtakes Schumacher for the lead - Most of his (Michael) supporters in the stand where I was started to leave. Compare that to Monza 2001 where the tifosi applauded Montoya on his cooling down lap.


Monza 1972. I remember that when the 3rd (and last surviving) Ferrari retired, a lot of attending people in front of me retired too.

I did not feel depressed at all by their behaviour : it was wonderful to watch the race from the front row of spectators, now !

#12 Lotus23

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 23:54

rdrcr and bobbo, many of your observations echo mine.

bobbo, try living in Georgia for provincial NASCAR enthusiasm. My wife and son are the only persons I encounter on a regular basis who have any idea who MS is or what he drives. Or care.

rdrcr, I don't know if this is good or bad, but I've actually spent money to attend a tractor pull -- and enjoyed it immensely! Guess I'm a Gearhead at heart. But I have to draw the line at demo derbies and figure-8 racing: the're beyond the pale. IMHO.

#13 Pyry L

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 12:23

I would put myself in the gearhead category...Although I prefer the term motorhead in the classical Blues Brothers film context :) If it looks fancy, makes a really loud noise and goes really fast I like it, be it a racing car or motorcycle. However should the fancy, loud and fast thing be going around a circuit made up of public roads or a circuit requiring...how should I say...a notable degree of nerve the liking turns into an unhealthy fascination, which includes wanting to do the driving myself.

EDIT: And about the gearhead thing...I find myself much more interested in the inner workings of old racing cars than the ultra modern ones.

#14 Alan Lewis

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 13:02

Originally posted by David McKinney
Following from the above, in England the question many strangers ask is "Who do you support?" meaning which (Association) Football team. There don't seem to be [B]any soccer enthusiasts, only Arsenal fans, or Manchester United supporters etc

I know what you mean David, but football (proper football) has always been more of a tribal experience than a mere sport, at least in this country. Your team matters on a far more fundamental level than a group or individual would in any other sport I can think of, not just motor sport. Living in the North East, I know that when I go into work tomorrow morning, there will be Sunderland fans who are either off sick after yesterday's abject performance against Charlton put them bottom of the league, or, if they do turn up, it will be best to leave them to themselves for the day.

Of course, all the Newcastle fans will be going through agonies trying not to make some smart remark...

As to labels...all my friends refer to me as "The Anorak", which suits me fine. I've been called far worse.

APL