Enthusiasm vs objectivity

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Sir,

I find it difficult to believe that your correspondent Mr Cracknell (July 1999) has taken four decades to realise that Denis Jenkinson was an enthusiast rather than an objective reporter. That is surely the whole point!

Presumably Mr Cracknell believes that the legendary account of the Milk Miglia is flawed by the lack of objectivity? Very few fellow enthusiasts agreed with the point that Jenks made but that did not devalue his work rather it enhanced it. If I am re-reading a Grand Prix report from 20 or 30 years ago I want to relive the atmosphere of that race, not remind myself that some no-hoper had retired on lap 38. I would also like to comment on Mr Steve Williamson’s robust criticism of those spectators and marshals who wore ear defenders at the Donington VSCC meeting. Like Mr Williamson I adore the sound of racing engines and have indulged this passion so much that I am now well on the way to being stone deaf.

In 1996 I suffered the ignominy of having a perforated eardrum while watching the Grand Prix practice at Silverstone. The offender was Pedro Diniz and his Mugen-Honda V10. After several months of tests I was told that I had lost a significant part of my hearing in both ears I now struggle to hear both alarm clocks and birdsong!

Apart from the physical discomfort, for several months I was reduced to driving my Caterham 7 while wearing car defenders this looks less than cool. Listen to racing engines by all means but be prepared for the consequences of prolonged exposure!

I am, yours, etc. John Aston, Thirsk, North Yorkshire