It was not so long ago that anyone in Britain who wanted to go motor racing had to buy a foreign car, preferably with foreign mechanics – and the use of French and Italian words in the team’s name all added to the glamour. We had Ecurie ‘this’ and Scuderia ‘that’ disguising Bert Bloggs’ Balham garage, but it was all harmless fun and showed an appreciation of the superior forces in international racing. If you could dress your mechanic in blue overalls, a white cap and dark glasses, you were immediately one up, providing no-one heard his Cockney accent.
Gradually, the superiority pendulum swung and Great Britain became the acknowledged leader of grand prix racing and Colin Chapman thought up the simple title Team Lotus: a more English-like name would be hard to find. Today, among the amateur racing drivers in Europe, it’s fashionable to use the title Racing Team ‘this’ and Racing Team ‘that’, even though the members may not speak a word of English. From Lugano we have the Picciona Racing Team, then there is Racing Team Holland and Caltex Racing Team from Germany. The Ecuries and the Scuderias are fast disappearing.
One wonders which way the pendulum will swing next. Somehow I cannot see the name Racing Team Ferrari ever appearing on the entry lists!