Jump to content

- - - - -

Emotional attachment to motorsport

  • Please log in to reply
43 replies to this topic

#1 Victor_RO

  • RC Forum Host

  • 5,529 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 15 February 2019 - 08:35

Inspired by a long Twitter thread started by RACER's Marshall Pruett last night.
Flood of people telling their stories about this, and a lot of good posts with various answers but quite a few common themes as well. I will put the same two simple questions to the forum as Marshall did:
1. What made you fall in love with racing?

2. And what keeps you coming back when it disappoints?




#2 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 10,960 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 15 February 2019 - 08:54

First a qestion, why didn't you give your answers as an example? (No offence intended BTW but based on what I know about you, curious for your answers)

For me:

As a kid I loved cars.
My earliest memories I have about racing were on the Sunday afternoon of the Le Mans race of 1970.
Dutch TV showed the last half hour of the race live.
The race was won by Attwood&Herman, driving a Porsche 917K.

Need I say more? Seeing a 917 being driven at the track it was built for, rushing along those famous locations of that track?
I got fascinated by that car, those locations like the bridge, Le Esses etc.
Later on I found out about other kinds of racing, F1, touringcars (GT's) and rallying in particular. And from '73 on Indianapolis.

But I think that it because of my first ever racing memories being related with Sportscars and not F1 that it made me aware of the fact that racing is much and much more than just F1. And that's still the case for me.

I come back probably because of the memories of the past when things were perhaps indeed better, if not with everything and the vain hope that such enjoyable moments will return again. As for F1, I'll survive those two more years of upcoming Mercedes&Lewis titles to deal with, hopefully after those two years we finally gonna see a change at last again. But it would have helped to survive all that had Endurance racing been more entertaining with regards to the prototypes and less confusing due to all those different championships within GTs.

#3 noikeee

  • Member

  • 18,024 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 15 February 2019 - 11:28

I... actually don't know? I guess it's just something I grew up with, always liked and always feel familiar with?

#4 Taxi

  • Member

  • 3,882 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 15 February 2019 - 11:59

Love cars. Love the idea of speed. Love the gladiator type show. Love driving specialy through corners.  Love the smell of tyre rubber. Love the racing glamour. Love the dancing WRC cars. Love the clinical F1 aproach. Love the sound of combustion engines. 


That "love" will always get me back even after my driver passes 113 yea... races without winning. 

#5 sgtkate

  • Member

  • 1,005 posts
  • Joined: May 17

Posted 15 February 2019 - 12:07

My dad was a mechanic, who then bought a petrol station. Our house was joined to the garage so I spent most of my childhood with my dad helping him fix the cars and so on. Occasionally we'd get a sports car for repairs and my dad would always try to take me out for a 'test drive' in it and I fell in love with speed. As my parents were franchisees they got taken on a lot of fun events to keep them sweet and as they were a Fina garage (sadly gone now :( ) we got lots of corporate days out at various BTCC events as Fina sponsored BMW. It all grew from there really.


I got into karting when I was about 8 or 9 and went karting a few times every week and became fairly good at it but gave it up when I hit my teens as other things took over!


I keep watching because to me racing isn't just about the action on the track, it's about the engineering miracles that are pulled off every weekend all over the world to make those cars go. In particular I enjoy F1 as it is the epitome of technical engineering of the car in my opinion and that stands the test of time even if the racing is a let down at times.

#6 paulstevens56

  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: January 19

Posted 15 February 2019 - 12:08

My Dad taking me to a few things as a kid, not many, but enough. banger racing, bike racing, a few circuits races. 


I struggle I must be honest with carrying on going back, certain things I simply cannot watch anymore like f1 and a few other top line series as they simply offer me nothing I want.


I have had to push the boundaries to find things I like, but would I follow them as much if there was no social scene involved?  I doubt it. None of them are covered on these pages really, that seem utterly obsessed with F1 which in my mind is the dullest, most predictable thing I have watched for some time.


Motorsport in many ways is now so off limits to so many and struggling to hold its identity with new and old fans, I feel a crisis is looming.

#7 absinthedude

  • Member

  • 1,962 posts
  • Joined: June 18

Posted 15 February 2019 - 12:21

I like cars anyway, as a very young child I could pick out the cars on UK roads in the mid 70s by their radiator grills or headlight configuration. They interested me. My dad was an engineer and had worked in the aircraft industry, starting around the tail end of the investigations into the Comet crashes and ending up with Hawker Siddley military equipment circa 1971....ending up an expert in furniture structures. But he did all the service and repair work on his cars himself...."Do you have full service history for this?" was an utter insult to him. He never had a car serviced, always did himself....and he dismantled and rebuilt a 3-wheel Morgan almost single-handedly over the course of a decade. 


It was he, who sat me down aged five to watch a grand prix on television.....two black and gold Lotus cars driven be men called Andretti and Peterson were circulating at the front. I could see Andretti was faster but Peterson's technique was sublime. The whole thing was a joy to watch and quite fascinating as the Lotus clearly handled better than the other cars even to my five year old eyes. 


I was hooked. And what kept me hooked was the ebb and flow, how a team like Lotus could be ahead in 1978 but mid-field in 1979 with Ferrari ahead...then Williams began to win and took over in 1980 only for Piquet to win in the Brabham in 81.....and really until the Schumacher era 20 years later no team dominated for too long. McLaren did have a long period of success 1984-91 but didn't win every year and even so won with three different drivers taking the title. 


I guess I've become disillusioned in the last decade or so. I don't even bother watching all the races live any more. In the 80s and 90s I'd catch F1, the premier sports car championship of the day, BTCC, Indycars, a bit of NASCAR, F3...everything I could watch on TV. Now not so much. I guess time is more precious. I still come back to F1 in the hope that it will once again rise to greatness. 

Edited by absinthedude, 15 February 2019 - 12:25.

#8 Victor_RO

  • RC Forum Host

  • 5,529 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 15 February 2019 - 13:42

First a qestion, why didn't you give your answers as an example? (No offence intended BTW but based on what I know about you, curious for your answers)


I rushed the original post because I had to jump into a meeting at work.  :lol:


I guess I fell in love with racing in a few stages, my first contact was with some racing magazines and a couple of random F1 races on TV when I was about 3-4 years old. It was the characters (and the pretty cars probably) first for my young mind at the time. Guess I've always kind of been into cars and technical stuff, but I only started to appreciate the technical side of racing when I was able to dig further into it, as I only got Internet connectivity to start looking things up when I was about 15, and access to physical materials about motorsport in my neck of the woods has always been quite limited. Once that happened, my passion kind of got a second wind in its sails. Finally solidified by actually going to races on my own dime and feeling the excitement trackside. So one might say my passion grew as my mind grew. :)


What keeps me coming back? About 15 years ago I was mostly fixated on F1 (I was still in high school at that point, so you can guess my degree of immaturity), but then gradually I had my horizons opened and I saw how wide the world of this sport is in fact. So if I lose excitement for a championship one year, I still have something else to look forward to in another series. And then the winter break comes, along with the yearly hope of a reset and excitement in the new season (even though quite often it turns out to be slightly misplaced  :lol: ). And a few races across the year have become traditions for me: Daytona 24, Bathurst (both the 12 Hour and the 1000), Sebring, Nurburgring 24, Le Mans, Indy, so whatever happens across any series I know that these races, as long as they still keep going (and I still keep going), will be a part of my year. Basically, in motorsport across a calendar year there's always something worth being excited about if you know where to look.

#9 Collombin

  • Member

  • 5,162 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 15 February 2019 - 13:46

1. The speed, the danger, the noise, the smell, the excitement.

2. I don't come back when it disappoints, hence only watch Indy these days. F1 history is still a never ending learning experience, so I don't need to miss or worry about the present.

#10 messy

  • Member

  • 4,855 posts
  • Joined: October 15

Posted 15 February 2019 - 13:47

As a kid cars were everything to me, but I wasn't really into racing cars. I thought the stickers and advertising all over them spoilt them and if I bought a model of a racing car I'd peel off the stickers. I liked the real cars I saw when I went down the shops, my Mum always says that by about two or three I could name a Ford Fiesta, Nissan Micra, Vauxhall Cavalier...I liked car the more mundane the better. It pissed me off that I couldn't go into a shop and buy a model of an Austin Maestro or a Fiat Uno. Ferraris were just silly, I was never going to be able to afford one, nobody could, so why pay them that much attention? A brown Citroen BX estate in Morrisons car park? Now we're talking - is that the 1.3 or the 1.6?
I became an avid collecter of Autocar, CAR and Whatcar magazine, knew all the most obscure cars on the road and had a soft spot for the truly rubbish - a Kia Pride with whitewall tyres, a beige Lada Riva estate that used to drive through our village.....eventually I discovered motorsport through the British Touring Car Championship which I think I found when flicking chanels on a lazy sunday afternoon. I watched it with my Gran. Still remember that detail. I liked that because the cars all looked like what you could actually buy, a Renult Laguna, Nissan Primera....and I watched it and was captivated. The WRC followed for similar reasons. Suddenly I wasn't peeling the stickers off so quickly. 
Videogames helped, too. About this time I got a PlayStation for my birthday and suddenly I could actually pretend I was a driver and I became attached to games like TOCA and Colin McRae Rally which helped me find out even more about all this stuff. 
I discovered F1 fully at the 1998 Argentine GP just when channel flicking again. I watched the qualifying session, was captured immediately by the sights, colours, sounds, commentary, everything about it. The next afternoon I watched the race at my Grandparent's house and they let me eat my dinner on a tray in front of the TV. From there it was a steady development of taking in and falling in love with more and more types of motorsport. When you've discovered something you already know is going to be the passion of your life - yet you still realise there's so much more about it you need to discover, that's the most exciting feeling I can really imagine. 
What keeps me coming back is remembering that feeling. 

Edited by messy, 15 February 2019 - 13:54.

#11 taran

  • Member

  • 3,472 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 15 February 2019 - 13:59

  1. Got a Yardley McLaren M23 miniature as a young child and then got hooked on the Michel Vaillant comic books.
  2. I started following F1 in 1982. So I have experienced several periods of domination, from the McLaren years, to the Williams era etc. So if races are boring or there is a serial winner, I know that eventually some race will be amazing or another team will rise to the top.

#12 Sterzo

  • Member

  • 2,252 posts
  • Joined: September 11

Posted 15 February 2019 - 16:17

Dad took me to Oulton Park when I was nine. I gawped at the cars rushing past, with the drivers so obviously trying to beat each other, right down to the one in last place, and I thought it was fantastic. That’s still what I do, really.


TV isn’t so good but does have obvious advantages, so I watch plenty of racing there too. Plus I love reading about everything to do with racing. Did you know that in the 1902 Paris Vienna… oh, never mind.


One of the odder things about my fellow oldies is their ability to live through many decades without spotting that things change as a matter of course, and you just adapt. I’ve seen many boring races and some boring categories, but there’s plenty of fantastic sport going on under our noses today, and I include F1 in that.

#13 aray

  • Member

  • 4,424 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 15 February 2019 - 16:30

For me i have been following F1 for most part of my life. Started to watch it accidentally while switching the channels( true! :lol: ) in 1998. I was 15 years old back then. Since then stuck with it. I was supporting Micheal during Hakkinen's era, Montoya during Micheal's era and then Alonso since 2006-07.I indeed had have lots of emotional ups and downs and passion with this sport.

And without Alonso now a new 'era' begins for me. If i have to use a single word, then i would say nowadays it is more of a 'habit'. Old habits die hard...... :cool:

Edited by aray, 15 February 2019 - 16:31.

#14 Nonesuch

  • Member

  • 15,870 posts
  • Joined: October 08

Posted 15 February 2019 - 16:39

1. What made you fall in love with racing?

Michael Schumacher dancing his Ferrari through the rain in 1996 and 1997. :cool:


I hadn't seen any F1 previously, but the commentator made sure the viewer knew that The Best Driver was taking the fight to The Best Team in the most difficult of circumstances. What's not to like? From around the middle of 1997 I was a fan, and tried to watch every F1 race I could.


Jan Lammers introduced me to Le Mans in 1999 with his privateer effort, and that was even better!

2. And what keeps you coming back when it disappoints?


A mixture of habit and hope, I suppose.


No sports event is exciting all the time, and that's fine. However, when a series continues not to impress, I don't keep coming back to it.


F1 has been a bit different because it's been such a long term interest; but these days I'm happy to stick to the highlight clips.

#15 Zmeej

  • Member

  • 52,187 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:51

1. What made you fall in love with racing?

As a young whippersnapper, in 1969, watching Mario kick mangia cake ass at the Indy 500. :smoking:

And what keeps you coming back when it disappoints?

Almost quit watching F1 in 1994 when Senna died, but my loathing for Schumi brought me back. :cool:
Actually did stop for a while the following year when Mika wiped out & almost died and Schumacher kept getting away with his cheating.

Jacques brought me back. :)

Lately, it really hasn’t been so much disappointment with the sport so much as my erstwhile enthusiasm has lost its insistent edge.

Will NEVER watch a Sochi race. :evil:

Also, what E.B. said in answer to both questions. :up:

Edited by Zmeej, 16 February 2019 - 08:08.

#16 AustinF1

  • Member

  • 15,398 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 16 February 2019 - 08:06

For me it started when I was 5 or 6, in 1970-71, with my dad taking me to Riverside Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas. We watched Hooker Hood and a very young Sammy Swindell race sprint cars around their little 1/4 mile dirt oval that's still operating today.  It was the best thing I'd ever seen, and I was hooked for life.

#17 PayasYouRace

  • RC Forum Host

  • 25,714 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 16 February 2019 - 08:17

Really as long as I can remember I've had a passion for racing cars of all kinds, and for cars in general. Some of my earliest memories are going through Grand Prix programmes that my parents brought back for me and looking at all the cars and learning the drivers' names and numbers. This was in the 3.5 litre era so I had plenty of cars to look at (no surprise then that I always quote those cars as my favourites). When I was old enough to go, my parents took me to a Grand Prix, and I started watching it more closely on TV. Formula 1, Indycar, touring cars and GTs (Eurosport's Super Racing Weekend with the FIA GT Championship and European Touring Car Championship was ideal), Le Mans, NASCAR, rally... I'd watch what I could when I could.


But the thing that really helped was the fact that racing games and sims have allowed me to learn about he sport in an almost first hand way. There are very few sports where you can learn about their intricacies from the comfort of your living room. More than anything, these sims have fuelled my passion for the sport, because they taught me better than anything else about racing lines, racecraft, car setup, strategy and so on. They gave me the deeper knowledge to understand what I was watching on TV, growing up in a place where to watch any motor sport meant a border crossing to a foreign country or a flight to the UK. Without Grand Prix 2, Indycar Racing II, and all the good sims and games since, I'd probably not have the passion I have for the sport today.


Now, having a career in aviation engineering, the technical side of high level motorsport still fascinates too, and perhaps fortunately, I never managed to get a job in Formula 1. Who knows? It might have turned me off it if it became more than just my hobby.

#18 Stephane

  • Member

  • 2,523 posts
  • Joined: February 10

Posted 16 February 2019 - 08:30

I was just bored a sunday afternoon in 1992, i turned on the TV and saw two cars battling in the streets of Monaco. Barely missed a race since then.


Why am i coming back ? I just love seeing cars go fast and we are a little group watching the races together. Even if the races are boring, we have fun.

#19 MikeV1987

  • Member

  • 6,371 posts
  • Joined: July 12

Posted 16 February 2019 - 10:01

1. What made you fall in love with racing?


I've always loved cars as a kid but I credit Gran Turismo for making me love racing, I played the **** out of that as a kid. I still play the GT series to this day, the only difference is now I use a wheel and pedals.


2. And what keeps you coming back when it disappoints?


I just accept that not every race or season is going to be a classic.

Edited by MikeV1987, 16 February 2019 - 10:02.


#20 alonstar

  • Member

  • 141 posts
  • Joined: November 18

Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:30

i did stop for a while when Senna kept getting away with his cheating. I couldn't believe that this man had all the rights to constantly bully drivers on track without any consequences. I was disgusted.


Michael brought me back. His rainmaster performances mesmerised me.

Edited by alonstar, 16 February 2019 - 11:35.

#21 JHSingo

  • Member

  • 7,548 posts
  • Joined: June 13

Posted 16 February 2019 - 18:34

It's hard for me to define the point when I "fell in love" with the sport. Some of my earliest memories are of pushing diecast cars around on the living room carpet - I always thought the racing cars looked the coolest compared to ordinary road cars. I also remember walking to school in a morning and saying what each make of car was, I learnt car badges very easily and I'm even told my first word was "Peugeot". Although whether that completely true, or just a family myth, I don't know.


My dad used to take me to all manner of unusual racing events from an early age. From banger car racing, to Brisca F1 stock cars on short ovals, and various club meetings at tracks like Castle Combe, it's just something we'd do at weekends. I suppose in some ways I was just brought up with it - my dad always liked cars, and watched F1 religiously back then, so it was natural I'd take an interest too. But I don't think there was one particular thing that really triggered my love for it. I was just a kid that enjoyed playing with cars, and would be transfixed by watching cars at tracks, no matter what type of car or what type of racing it was.


I suppose it's just tradition that keeps bringing me back. When you've followed something for your whole life, and it's something that has brought you a lot of happy memories, I'd find it very difficult to suddenly stop watching motorsport. It has been a constant in my life, and, as cliched and cheesy as this sounds, helped me through some difficult times. I've often had an approach whenever I'm coming up to something I'm not looking forward to, whether it's an exam, interview or whatever, and thought "yes, but then after that F1/MotoGP/BTCC will be on". I always like having something to look forward to, and that something is often motorsport related.


F1 will frustrate the hell out of me at times, but I don't think I could ever truly give up on it.


Now, having a career in aviation engineering, the technical side of high level motorsport still fascinates too, and perhaps fortunately, I never managed to get a job in Formula 1. Who knows? It might have turned me off it if it became more than just my hobby.


Exactly this. While at school and university, I had an aspiration of being a motorsport journalist. But I began to feel the same way as you - that it'd potentially start feeling like a chore, particularly at times when I was frustrated with the sport. Plus the travel would be a major buzzkill too. I'm a bit of a homebird, and so much traveling doesn't appeal to me.

#22 DanardiF1

  • Member

  • 9,929 posts
  • Joined: February 10

Posted 16 February 2019 - 19:23

1. I'm not actually that sure... my exposure to it was from my Dad who didn't like other sports so would sit me on his knee each weekend to watch a Grand Prix. I wasn't really exposed to football or anything else other than motorsport until I was maybe 6 or 7. I can't pinpoint exactly why I love it so much, but I do and I think I always will... I will always be grateful to my Dad for his own preferences (the rest of his family is football and cricket mad, he couldn't care less about either) because it always gave me a more unique angle as a kid, that I was the kid who knew everything about F1...


2. What keeps me coming back when it disappoints? I think nowadays its the sheer depth of what's available to watch, that means if you see a particularly rubbish race or a series takes a route that you don't like, you can watch something else. I now watch way more racing than I ever did or could as a kid, which back then was mostly limited to F1, BTCC and Indycar on Eurosport... Now in some weekends I can watch 5-6 different fully professional high-class racing series.

#23 RacingGreen

  • Member

  • 2,843 posts
  • Joined: March 17

Posted 16 February 2019 - 23:13

I fell in love in the early 70's with:


  • The noise 
  • The danger
  • The big on track personalities and their rivalries.
  • The sense that cars were constantly on the edge and (partially due to poor reliability) anything could happen and anyone could win.


Now we have:


  • The noise of a vacuum cleaner
  • Comparatively very little danger (the cars have a halo for ****s sake)
  • The drivers are PR'd and manicured to within a millimeter of their personalities (luckily we still have a throw back in Max even if he is a bit obnoxious)
  • The cars have a near bullet proof reliability so we rarely get a surprise on the podium let alone on the top step.  


So why do I keep coming back:


I really enjoyed Bathurst at the start of month, and have seen some great Supercar / GT / Indycar and junior single seater races in the last couple of years so I know if the product was better I'd still enjoy it but honestly as far as F1 goes I really don't know, habit I guess.


Having said that I've got my Albert Park tickets (again) and will give this mediocre 2nd rate "show" yet another go live, but am not going to buy any on-line / pay to view subscriptions to watch it on a screen this year - it's definitely not a good enough product for that so I won't be doing that again.

#24 Zmeej

  • Member

  • 52,187 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 17 February 2019 - 00:56

alonstar :wave:

You preferred Michael’s cheating & bullying to Ayrton’s? :cool:

Edited by Zmeej, 18 February 2019 - 04:09.

#25 PeterScandlyn

  • Member

  • 347 posts
  • Joined: October 17

Posted 17 February 2019 - 02:28

I got hooked back in 1954 when as a seven year old, my primer class was marched off to the local picture theatre to watch a a reel on QE2 coronation and associated carry-on.

A short prior to that feature was Le Mans 1953 when Jaguar won and I got hooked there.


It helped that a year later, rinse and repeat for Le Mans 1954 and more Jaguar. That absolutely did it and I used to read whatever I could on motor sports results in general before I started collecting books. 

Built up quite a library.

It's a whole lot easier to follow now with the www. Back in the day result reports often took weeks to come thru, (magazines).


Alas tho' I don't feel the love now and as a season goes by and my intelligence gets increasingly insulted by the 3 Liberty clowns, interest wanes quickly.

#26 PeterScandlyn

  • Member

  • 347 posts
  • Joined: October 17

Posted 17 February 2019 - 02:34

Oh and I forgot to add - the utter dead weight pretending to call the shots at my favourite team, McLaren, is utterly dismaying.

#27 PayasYouRace

  • RC Forum Host

  • 25,714 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 17 February 2019 - 08:21

i did stop for a while when Senna kept getting away with his cheating. I couldn't believe that this man had all the rights to constantly bully drivers on track without any consequences. I was disgusted.


Michael brought me back. His rainmaster performances mesmerised me.


I assume you're talking about Michael Andretti, seeing as Michael Schumacher was cut from the same cloth as Ayrton.

#28 djparky

  • Member

  • 1,388 posts
  • Joined: May 12

Posted 17 February 2019 - 10:52

I remember watching grand prix highlights with my dad in the late 70's and for some reason stuck with it ever since. Over time it expanded to BTCC, F3, Nascar, CART / Indy Car and occasionally Moto GP

I had a moment after Imola 1994 when I wondered whether I would carry on watching, but I was at Silverstone for F3000 that weekend, the minute i heard the cars erased any doubts.

Over time my interest in various series ebbs and flows, I gave up on F1 in the mid noughties for a bit as the Ferrari domination made it utterly boring, Indy Car in the last days of CART ( only to come back again a few years later)

For F1 my interest has reduced over the last few years, I hate the halo, the pointlessly complex aero crap, sanitised tracks, the predictable results etc.

On the other hand the moment I saw the first pictures of the new universal aero kit Indy Car it reminded me of the glorious CART era cars and for the most part its bought back the brilliant racing of that era- to the point where I'm prepared to spend money to go and watch it in person ( and fly across the Atlantic to do so)

#29 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 6,081 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 17 February 2019 - 11:52

My Dad still has a love of Duesenberg automobiles and the Indianapolis 500. My brother and I are fortunate that his passion became something we still share. He and Mom got their first Model J Duesenberg in 1957 from a barn in rural Indiana when they were 24 and 22 years old. It was also the year that Dad began going to the Indy 500. He hasn't missed one since 1962. I remember listening to the race with my brother on the back porch knowing Dad was there and wanting to be there too - as soon as we were old enough, we began attending with our parents.

Through the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club we were able to meet Duesenberg drivers from the early years that included Harry Hartz, George Souders and Peter DePaolo. Pete and his wife, Sally became family friends and when Pete flew into the area for business, we'd pick him up at the airport. He and Sally even joined my family for Thanksgiving in the early 1970s. Being around these gentleman and them reliving their stories was irresistible to me.

Competition Press and Autoweek was in the mailbox each week and Road & Track arrived monthly to follow the sport as closely as possible in the era of print media. Through the ensuing years, Formula One at Watkins Glen, Can-Am at Mid-Ohio and other tracks raced at by Indy Car became part of the routine for my brother and I with friends. I began working as a CART official in 1982 and this continued through the mid-1990s. Dad (now 86), my brother and I will be at this year's "500" with a Memorial Day classic race count of 167 between us.

As far as what keeps me coming back when it disappoints: being born in 1958, it has simply been part of my life from day one and I can't imagine that ever changing. It is the number one non-human passion of my life, and I cannot imagine ever walking away. It is life, and I'm grateful to Dad for having this perfect blend of cars and racing that he wanted to share.

#30 JHSingo

  • Member

  • 7,548 posts
  • Joined: June 13

Posted 17 February 2019 - 14:46

  • The cars have a near bullet proof reliability so we rarely get a surprise on the podium let alone on the top step.  


Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo would like to dispute this claim. :lol:


I think it would be more accurate to say the leading cars are fairly reliable, but since the introduction of the V6 turbos, they're a lot less reliable than certainly the V8s and arguably the V10s. Plus, I don't necessarily agree unreliability is a good thing. It became deeply tedious seeing Ricciardo retire from race after race last year, particularly when there's only a number of guys who can actually win anyway, of which he was one.

#31 DerFlugplatz

  • Member

  • 126 posts
  • Joined: September 14

Posted 17 February 2019 - 22:34

For me it started with playing Formula 1 97 & 98 on the PS1. Then I started watching it on TV around 99-00 and from then on I have been hooked.

#32 teejay

  • Member

  • 5,838 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 18 February 2019 - 00:58

Legit have no idea - just crew up loving cars and racing. 

#33 SKL

  • Member

  • 1,108 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 18 February 2019 - 02:21

My parents told me I could tell the difference between a Ford and a Chevy before I could talk... on my 5th birthday my dad borrowed a friend's '55 T-bird so he could take me for a ride... then later a friend  of his was one of 50 to "have" a Chrysler turbine car to test and my dad and I got to drive it! 

Got my Simplex Challenger go-kart in 1961 and raced it at a local track in Cedar Rapids, IA...  the rest is history.  Still remember when I found out Jimmie Clark had been killed in that meaningless F2 race.  Also remember when I found out about Seppi Siffert and Mark Donohue...

My dad was race physician at Road America and Blackhawk Farms and when I finished med school in '75 I joined him in the ambulance.  Later I started racing myself-  both my boys inherited the car so the story goes on...

#34 HeadFirst

  • Member

  • 4,507 posts
  • Joined: February 10

Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:34

For me it was an article in "Car and Driver" mag introducing the new 3 litre formula in 1966. Prior to that I watched any kind of racing available on "Wide World of Sports", including bobsleigh, motorcycle, skiing, and even chuck-wagon.


For me disappointments with F1 are rare and fleeting in nature. Only once did I not make following the series a priority (after Senna's death), and in that case it was not for long.

#35 king_crud

  • Member

  • 4,922 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 19 February 2019 - 09:17

Bathurst 1984 when I was 7 was the first race I was properly mesmerised by, even though I'd watched other races and my dad had taken me to the Australian touring car round at Oran Park only a few weeks earlier. Apparently I was more interested in running around the grass hill than watch the cars. From that point motorsport interest of all kinds grew through the 80s, obsession in the 90s, then petered out in the mid 00s.

I moved the UK in 2008 and started watching F1 again. That lasted a couple of years but has disappeared. But now I'm at an age where I know what I like, I don't have the time to watch much so I need to be choosy. So I choose BTCC and Indycars. Very little else interests me.

#36 Cornholio

  • Member

  • 544 posts
  • Joined: March 16

Posted 19 February 2019 - 12:02

1. Stumbled across the broadcast of the 1991 French GP one afternoon, seeing Mansell first chase down, then fall back behind, then chase down and pull away from Prost had me captivated, then decided I wanted to watch again, and watched the whole British GP wanting to see how much Mansell could win by. Then started learning about the different cars, engines, drivers, tyres etc. The sport's history, other categories of racing, and so on, and just got hooked by it all.


2. It doesn't so much disappoint as generally underwhelm these days, with fields of ever more identical cars, decreasing number of drivers that I feel any sort of attachment to, and irritates when races are proclaimed "boring" when they aren't a Monza '71 or Dijon '79 tribute act. As negative as it sounds, what keeps me around is more a sense of appreciating what is still left for now, e.g. the proposed 2021 F1 and LMP1 regulations make it clear the direction the sport will continue to go in in the future. Combined with being a life long habit that can't just be erased overnight I guess.

Edited by Cornholio, 19 February 2019 - 12:03.

#37 genespleen

  • Member

  • 397 posts
  • Joined: May 06

Posted 19 February 2019 - 12:34

Dad loved European cars; had a nice cardinal red Capri II with the V6 and to my young eyes (growing up in northern Alabama), exotically "wide" Michelins.  I never was attracted to Nascar, so was somewhat at odds with the surrounding motorsports culture.  But then in high school, I had a Dutch friend who turned me on to F1--all we really had to go on was Road & Track magazine (race reports a month late) and the yearly televised Monaco GP.  But I was hooked.  Still am, despite it all.

#38 Grippy

  • Member

  • 67 posts
  • Joined: June 18

Posted 19 February 2019 - 14:20

I've just always been fascinated by speed since watching F1 on Grandstand with dad who was an agricultural mechanic. Corgi/Matchbox cars, a clockwork loco on a circular track. Getting out Scalextric on holidays and saving pocket-money to buy a Brabham BT44 and contemporary JPS Lotus – then gluing sandpaper to the tyres to make it corner faster. TopTrump cards.


Living on a low-fly zone so RAF fighters going WHOOSH!


I grew up in a small village so had go-carts made out of old prams. Buying a speedo for my pushbike and finding steep hills to freewheel down (and having the rubbers pop out of the brakes and ending up in a hedge). Then driving stripped out old Hunters and Vivas around friends' fields.


Getting a motorbike at 17 (and life insurance – if I was going to kill myself my parents weren't going to pay) and wearing out the sides of boots cornering on twisty Devon roads. Even a knackered 175 Bantam was fun on these roads.


Never had the money to go racing – in the late 90's a mate of mine did 600cc supersport racing and would spend about £800 on a race fairing if he crashed – the same as I paid for a complete CB900.


I go indoor karting occasionally with mates and watch various local hillclimbs (my avatar), with an annual trip to Castle Combe.


It rarely disappoints, a little lack-lustre is the worst feeling I get. It's still people racing faster than I could ever afford.


The most disappointment we ever felt was friends from upcountry staying with us (Damon hill fans, we were Schumacher fans), we were out for the day in Cornwall and recording the race, left the car radio off, stopped in a Cornish tea-shop and overheard the next table say that Schumacher had won. :mad:


edited to delete triple spacing.

Edited by Grippy, 19 February 2019 - 14:21.

#39 Sterzo

  • Member

  • 2,252 posts
  • Joined: September 11

Posted 19 February 2019 - 17:22

I grew up in a small village so had go-carts made out of old prams. Buying a speedo for my pushbike and finding steep hills to freewheel down (and having the rubbers pop out of the brakes and ending up in a hedge). Then driving stripped out old Hunters and Vivas around friends' fields.


Can't understand why you didn't become a top F1 engineer.


#40 aportinga

  • Member

  • 8,502 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 19 February 2019 - 21:45

1. What made you fall in love with racing?

2. And what keeps you coming back when it disappoints?


1. Magnum PI > Ferrari > Alboreto/Johansen/Gerhard Berger

2. Everything and Everything!

Edited by aportinga, 19 February 2019 - 21:47.

#41 Zmeej

  • Member

  • 52,187 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 19 February 2019 - 21:55

Can't understand why you didn't become a top F1 engineer.

My guess is that s/he had more important things to do other than indulge automotive desires.

That said, the question is a good one. :up:

Then again, Cornholio’s post contains a confession of misplaced affection for Schumi, so maybe it’s all for the best. :smoking:

Edited by Zmeej, 19 February 2019 - 21:58.

#42 whitewaterMkII

  • Member

  • 6,860 posts
  • Joined: November 05

Posted 19 February 2019 - 23:21

1) Been around racing all my life, and my family is still deeply involved with it.

My first memory of racing was in the garage with Dad listening to the Indy 500, and he started crying. The first time I ever saw him do so that I remember.

His friend Dave MacDonald had died along with Eddie Sachs. 1964. I went to school with the Follmer boys, whose dad always seemed to be racing and we hung out in his garage tinkering with what now would be priceless sports cars, seemed like we went to Riverside raceway every other weekend. I started racing desert enduros with my trusty DKW in 1971 and went through countless dirt bikes until I broke myself nearly in half at about 35 on a Honda CR500, nasty fast bike which showed me I was well past it as a rider. During this period my brother and I worked together on drag boats and dragsters, also some sprint cars. Set at the time the world record in Blown Alky Hydros at 234mph. Sweet.  I also did a lot of work on off road race trucks and was on that circuit for a while. My brother still does attend pretty much every NHRA race and works on everything from Blown Gas to Pro Nitro Dragsters. Currently I am doing a restoration on a '76 Triumph Spitfire to SCCA race specs. My family also lives in one of the Agajanians homes. I could go on...


2) My family is currently racing in NASCAR, they did pretty good last weekend. I called my mom the other night, she's 87, and she was watching one of our 16 year old cousins running  NASCAR late model dirt and told me to call her back! She also has a few friends that host her at the NHRA pro meets when they come through. Nothing like seeing mom geared up at the start of a top fuel run in the starter van, full face respirator, ear protection and totally non-plussed at 80+. Crazy

#43 Grippy

  • Member

  • 67 posts
  • Joined: June 18

Posted 21 February 2019 - 11:36

Hi Sterzo,


My dad being an engineer gave me a good yardstick to realise that I'm not - I can do minor stuff but anything tricky and I call in a professional.  ;)



Hmm, Pressed the quote button for Sterzo's post but it didn't work - I don't fully understand this forum yet...

Edited by Grippy, 21 February 2019 - 11:38.

#44 barrykm

  • Member

  • 637 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 22 February 2019 - 03:55

The sound and the smell (..Castrol R.. :love: )