Question of sport


Your comments (Matters of Moment, January) are timely, but your mistake is in considering racing as a sport. That era is long gone. It is a business, and the moguls controlling it have long forgotten that it is about humans displaying skill in piloting four-wheeled vehicles.

I am certain that it is of supreme indifference to Bernie Ecclestone and his cohorts as to where current Grands Prix are held, or whether anyone turns up to watch them. Television is king, and as long as this is so, the word `motorspore will become increasingly redundant.

Of course there is no going back. Costs have reached such heights that all the teams involved find they have a tiger by the tail and must somehow generate huge funds merely to keep going. One wonders what will happen if the sponsors find something else to keep their attention. After all, if you want to watch supremely gifted people displaying their craft, watch downhill ski racing — much more exciting than the no-overtalcing procession on increasingly sterile circuits.

And now we have a new power in the land — Octagon, who own Silverstone and, from what I hear, seem intent on driving the clubs off the circuit. Not the modern single-seater boys, but the last refuge of the real enthusiast, such as the Aston Martin Owners’ Club and Bentley Drivers’ Club, where the racing builds few multi-million dollar careers. limes Ireland must be spinning in his grave.

If you want to look into the future, just examine what has happened in football, our national game. Since the money men created the Premier Division, most clubs seem permanently on the verge of bankruptcy, and because of it, many clubs in the lesser divisions are staring into the abyss of extinction, dependant on a share of TV money and private funds to keep going.

It can only get worse.

I am, Yours etc, Brian Wylie, Bicester, Oxon