Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Daddy Was A Race Car Driver

I think my parents gave a collective sigh when I announced that I was going to law school. You see, I went through a stage where I was determined to be the first woman pace car driver for the Daytona 500. Nevermind the fact that I had no idea if there had already been a female one before, or the fact that I had no idea where Daytona was, that was what I wanted. Thankfully, I grew out of it, or realised it was never going to provide me with a bright future (seeing I lived in australia), or else I could have carried on the family tradition of being involved in the motor racing industry.

My daddy was a race car driver.

I've never worked out why it is that I loved fast cars tearing around really fast in front of big crowds. Its quite boring, to be honest. You see a blur of colour for a brief second and then its gone...for atleast another 2 minutes. You are often stuck in the middle of a crowd, with a camera stuck firmly to your eyes, hoping that this time you will snap the button in time to get a shot. Motor racing is madness. However there is something that draws me to it. Mum says its either a genetic connection or an extra "motor racing" chromosome that has done it. But regardless of what it is, I get a huge kick out of being a part of it, even in a small, spectator kind of way.

From a public relations perspective, F1 is in bad shape. With Spygate, Crashgate and Sidegate (ok, I made that last one up), the public is losing faith in the sport. Why should we pay to support a bunch of billionaires who will stop at nothing to win? Are we watching fiction, or are we actually seeing sportsman compete fairly for the prize? None of us know right now. However, when I look at the crowds that have jammed into the Marina Bay precinct in Singapore, I realise that for the majority of people, they are prepared to let go of these issues for just this weekend. The noise of these machines, the money, the glamour, the fashion, the atmosphere and the sheer marvel of watching a bunch of testosterone-filled kids (and let's face it, many of these nut cases are barely 21) still has people coming back for more. Sure, F1 may have lost some of its shine by recent scandals but the fact is you are watching the equivalent of a fighter jet tearing around the skies - but only they do it on street circuits with plenty more opportunity to crash and kill themselves.

People like F1 because it is just another thing that the human being has done that a century ago was thought not to be possible.

Add a bunch of good looking young men, a few busty girls on the start line and a whole lot of cash, and suddenly, all sins can be forgiven.

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