De-commercialize Motor Racing

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Sir,

In your issue for this month, you suggest readers to send in a pot card to Mr. Niki Lauda in order that the Nurburgring be preserved.

am flabbergasted that so erudite a writer as Dennis Jenkinson should make this appeal and that furthermore, you have printed this appeal without comment. Correct, it is certainly democratic for a journalist to see published what he submits. Surely however, it could be commented upon, for does not Mr. Boddy in the same issue (page 524) once again state that “Motor Sport” prides itself on having set the fashion in honest fearless reporting…”.

As Jenks has so often rightly pointed out, Formula One is almost like a circus (but that would be an insult to the circus, for is not Formula One something far worse).

Is not Formula One a highly organized commercial spectacle, playing with the lives of people and what is worse, mentally corrupting our beloved motorsport and barring the way to a healthy development of the motor car as a challenge to the individual who has that urge to master the mind.

Formula One surely should be put where it belongs and where the majority of constructors and drivers apparently intend it to be: a colourful spectacle, a live commercial presentation, an expression of the decadence of “our” world, but not the major motorsport.

Formula One does not decide whether circuits will be reduced to the lowest possible common denominator – unless Formula One is changed, and radically at that.

Watching motorsports can still be enjoyed by ten-thousands of people on beloved circuits, in delightful countryside by allowing wider publication for the already fairly numerous meetings of the real amateurs, running their single-seaters, saloon cars, sports cars, including the various historic events.

If these meetings are published by Motor Sport as well as promoted (through giving them more advance notices, etc.), then more of the public will come and hence racing circuit owners will find that there is no need to join the rat-race of commercial gimmickry. For that race is endless and leads to certain premature death.

Motor racing could be educational in more than one way and motorsports would gain in prestige. Motor Sport could show the way, for I am convinced that many of its readers already are inclined to think that ‘de-commercialisation’ of our beloved sport, would be a great boon!

Amsterdam, Leslie Hurle Bath

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