Matters of moment, November 1992

Indelible evidence

We applaud TOCA’s decision to ask RAC stewards to make use of comprehensive TV footage to examine driving standards in the final round of the British Touring Car Championship, at Silverstone on October 4.

As you can read elsewhere in this issue, the elevated profile of the BTCC has brought about an increased commitment to win. With it has come a sharp fall in driving standards.

It’s something British motor racing does not need.

Six days after the controversial BTCC finale, a successful Formula Ford racer lost his life as a result of injuries sustained while disputing the lead of a race that was crucial to his title hopes. No blame was apportioned for this particular incident, which received little media coverage, but for those of us close to the sport it brought the safety question into sharp focus once again. It was the third fatality at a British race meeting this year. It has not been a happy year for motor racing in general.

In an age when certain other sports cry out for umpires and referees to make use of TV cameras. TOCA’s stance is a triumph for common sense, albeit belated. Unhappy batsmen, given out lbw, and disgruntled strikers, ruled offside, bemoan the fact that TV technology is not used to back their claims, as it is in horse racing, where the human eye is often incapable of ruling accurately.

This brings us to a separate, worrying aspect of the rumbustuous BTCC decider. If the series co-ordinator feels that its product needs to be scrutinised in the interests of future fair play, why is it that some of the unsavoury incidents in the race were not reported at all by the officially appointed observers?