Have you noticed how many folks are automotive enthusiasts, automotive connaisseurs, automotive experts....yes we are only scratching the surface?
These days it seems that everybody is an automotive "something" or other.
Have you ever wondered how many folks are genuine "gearheads" that get involved and interactive with vehicles (Work on their vehicles, take them apart, put them back together, scraped their knuckles a few times)?
Real "gearheads" don't have to say a word, you just know that they are real!
Have you ever wondered how many folks actually earn a living with vehicles, in one form or another (design, engineer, assemble, repair, sell, service, interface with customers)?
All these folks each one in their own way is a link in the chain to produce a product, and create a customer
Have you ever wondered how many folks are armchair spectators of the automotive industry?
Its very easy today to be an armchair spectator of the automotive industry.
If you are of a certain age you remember having to attend a racing event, television coverage was non existant, let alone the various modern technologies that greatly facilitate watching auto races.
You probably remember getting race results from newspapers or auto publications.
Lets ask a few questions to The Colonel, he's been around longer...he will share his thoughts.
Q: Colonel how did you watch races in the day?
A: Simple, you had to go to the various tracks to watch the events, be it drag racing, road course, you had to go, find a good spot where you could see some action. It was out of the question to see the entire track.
Q: You had to make your way to the track,pack food, drinks, endure whatever climatic conditions?
A: Exactly, you needed to make an effort to attend races.
Q: It was more dangerous for the drivers in the day.
A: Absolutely, motor racing is a dangerous sport, or was a dangerous sport, not a year went by that drivers did not kill themselves. You almost knew which driver was going to put himself in harms way.
Q: There were less sponsors, it was not as commercial as it is today.
A: Motor racing requires, better yet demands substantial sums of money. Through the years there were always individuals or companies that were prepared to invest resources to race. It was not as commercial as today, it was easier to see the human factor of racing.
Q: The human factor?
A: Yes, although you need some form of machine to compete, there is also a strong human element that comes into play. Today it seems the human element is overshadowed by the technology, especially with racing series that make extensive use of tehcnology.
Q: Can you expand on the human factor, its intriguing to us.
A: The fellow that used to tow his car to the drag strip with a tow bar, and free wheeling hubs for the rear wheels, was he less of a racer than the fellows that show up with a semi and massive letterings. The Saturday night that we hustled to replace the transmission on Pete's Corvette, we were as much racers as anyone else on the planet on that day.
Q: You are saying that humans enjoy competition, its a productive endeavour, it tends to bring the best in them.
A: There are a gazillion variables in racing, but if the human factor is not motivated to win, all the money in the world will not win a race.
Q: Could it be that if a car is on the track, the sponsors get TV and media coverage, a good portion of the job is done.
A: Sounds plausible to me. When there were less sponsors, less commercial activity, even if cars were slower, perhaps there was a stronger human factor towards winning.
Q: Do you think that racing will put a stronger emphasis on the human factor?
A: Yes, its the reason human beings race, when a race series requires 20 race engineers in front of laptops in a back room, several satellite dishes to communicate with the factory, and another good number track side, where is the human factor.
Q: Are you saying to use technology to design, engineer, build, and prepare a race car. Come race day its the human factor that comes into play. It sounds like ancient history, for folks that are attuned to video games.
A: The emphasis should be on the humans and the machines. How do humans interact, and interface with their machines and themselves on this particular day to win.
Its Saturday, its motorcycles!
We always say that a video is worth a gazillion words. This video is powerful...enjoy.