Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Good ol' boys

There was an interesting race at the weekend.  A chap by the name of Scott Poulter came up with the idea of getting famous racing drivers that haven't raced for a while to get back into modern race cars and thrash round a track. The series is called Grand Prix Masters and it's a bit like the senior tour for golf and tennis, except if you get it wrong you don't just lose a ball or do your back in.

I was a bit concerned about the idea at first. Driving a racecar, especially one that generates a lot of downforce, is a very physically demanding task. And as the races last around an hour, you need to be very fit to be able to do it. But the first race at Kyalami, in South Africa, passed off without a hitch. Well, almost; Alan Jones, the 1980 F1 world champion, was unable to race because he suffered spasms due to serious neck pains, as he'd never driven the car before and wasn't used to the seating position. But the medical arrangements showed themselves to be first class, and he wasn't allowed to race.

As for the race itself, the two remaining world champions, Nigel Mansell and Enerson Fittipaldi (both of whom also raced extensively in the US Cart series) lead the field and were never more than a second apart. There was excitement down the field too, with a couple of minor incidents and feedback has been very good.

So it just shows that older sportsmen remain competitive, and are prepared to stay fit enough to carry out the sport they love. And as most racing drivers play golf (you need to be able to play with the sponsors) I wonder how long it'll be before the concept gets extended to include a round at a local course.


Post a Comment

<< Home