After the deaths and injuries at the Goodwood Festival of Speed it would be too easy to conclude that if such events were not allowed, then people would still be alive and their families not ripped apart.
The truth is, we love the Festival, we have supported it for years and will continue to do so if, as I hope and expect, it remains on the calendar. That said, there are always lessons to learn and if such events make us think of ways in which the risk can be reduced without spoiling the event, then some good emerges from the disaster.
I spoke to a dozen drivers on the Sunday, and all thought the event should continue but that the competitive element should cease, and I found it hard to disagree.
This is not a race, nor even primarily a hillclimb. It is a motoring pageant where people go to see heroes drive cars usually found in museums. Yes, we want to see them go swiftly, but there’s a world of difference between putting on a show, booting the tail out for the crowd, and actually seeing how fast you can get up the hill.
I’m not saying that, had this been the case, there would have been fewer casualties at Goodwood. But such a move would reduce the likelihood of accidents without, I feel, hurting the event in any significant way; for that reason alone, it has to be worthy of consideration.
This is my last issue as the editor of Motor Sport. After more than three years of taking the credit for returning it to critical acclaim and commercial success, it is time to let someone else have the fun. The truth is, I was just one of several who made the magazine what it is today and all deserve the plaudits. I am going simply because I have done the job I came to do and if the magazine is to take the next step, it needs to be with someone else’s feet under the desk.
But while I am returning to my old life as a mainstream motoring hack, I will not be going altogether. I will continue to write for Motor Sport every month for as long as its new editor can put up with me. He is Paul Feamley, former editor of Motoring News and F1 Racing, a man with an awesome knowledge of and passion for this sport and its history. Those of you who read Fl Racing will realise also that few know more about how to put a magazine together. There is no better person for this wonderful job.
Finally, I wish to thank every reader who has been with us these last few years. It is you, not me, who put this tide back on the map; watching it happen has been the greatest privilege of my career.