Thursday, 8 April 2010

Personal ambition

I'm not sure if I should post this here, but here goes anyway. I have just heard that my name has 'been put in' for the Radio Le Mans coverage of the Nürburgring 24 hours. That's nice, as it's an event that I enjoy, having been to the last two. It's near where I used to live, I can speak the language (more or less) and it is usually possible to combine the pleasure of being there with the business of working and making coherent noises into a microphone. Two years ago, when the broadcast shut down in the early hours of the morning, I drove off into the forests and rubbed shoulders with 'real spectators', pressing against the fence watching the cars through Brünnchen, Pflantzgarten and the rest.

Last year, I have to admit here to the world, I left the track, and went back to a hotel for some shuteye. That was a first, and I felt very guilty (although well-rested) afterwards. But there were family issues then, and this year won't be the same, I'm sure.

The Nürburgring 24 hours is different from Le Mans, of course. More cars in the entry, far more amateur drivers and more an event for the participants than for the spectators. Although, having said that, the spectators turn up in droves (aka VW camper vans). The cross-section of humanity may be more limited than that seen at Le Mans, but there are many folk there having fun. I hate to say it, but they are stereotypical Germans, whereas at Le Mans, you get examples of just about everyone.

In some ways, it's a simpler race than Le Mans. At eight and more minutes a lap, your lap chart, if you have one, is much narrower. But the complexity of running eight or more cars out of a garage means nightmares for team managers. Co-operation is required. And the achievement of getting a production based car through 24 hours is not so great as getting a highly strung racer to the finish. However, if you've done it for a tenth of the price of getting a car to Le Mans, then I'm sure the sense of achievement experienced by those involved is just as great.

Given the choice, I have to say I would prefer Le Mans over the Nürburgring - its sense of history, of 'greatness' - legacy, if you will - is so great. But it certainly should rank as the event to go to, if you're just going to go to one event in the 'Green Hell' of the Eifel mountains.

Finally, on the note of personal ambition, is a message that arrived recently from a 'fan', for which I am very grateful. And I hope that we can make something work, despite my dramas this morning, which saw me waste three hours of my life while a failed water pump on my til then marvellous Audi S4 was diagnosed.

Maybe I have a future outside IT consultancy, but I will have to wait awhile yet to find out.


  1. Can't wait for your Nurburgring coverage, along with Mr. Hindaugh and the rest of the team. Thanks for the great broadcasts in prior years.

  2. I certainly hope we will all be there, David. And if it all goes quiet in the middle of the night, you can just imagine me stepping carefully over sleeping bodies, torch in one hand, notebook in the other, the smell of smouldering barbecues in my nostrils, mixed in with tortured rubber. Eyes stinging from staring into 500watt (or whatever they are) headlights - the adrenalin keeping me awake.

    Am I looking forward to it as well? Most certainly I am. Thanks for your support.