As we approach the shortest day, the holiday season, and the turn of another year, it is a good time to reflect on times past and anticipate times still to come. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my ramblings on this blog over the last twelve months; I have certainly enjoyed receiving your feedback (when there has been any) and also looking at the widespread geographic spread of the readership. You are truly at all corners of the globe (or maybe I have one reader who travels a lot)!
I certainly don’t want this to become a news website, nor a source of results, race reports or re-hashes of PR interviews. What I’m trying to do here is to share some of my thoughts – either by recalling past experiences or by taking an ‘angle’ on some aspect of racing that you may not find elsewhere.
I’ve been blessed with an affinity for numbers and an eye for seeing patterns, so much of what I put here is the result of my playing with the vast amount of data that is available these days. I’m also lucky enough to meet with some of the personalities of the sport from time to time, and if they tell me things that I can’t publish anywhere else, then I’ll certainly post them here, provided that I have permission to do so, and if I think they will be of interest.
If you’ve read my autobiographical pieces here, you’ll know that I’ve been going to motor races since the 1960’s, that I first went to Le Mans in 1981 and that I’ve been commentating since the mid-1980’s. In 1998, my daughter was born and (encouraged by my wife) I spent less time at the races, and more time with my family, especially after the birth of my son in 2001.
You may also be aware that throughout this time, I’ve had a full time job in the IT industry. In 2012, though, I’ve spent more time at races, and more time writing and organising the writings of other people, than at any time since getting married 16 years ago; and balancing the requirements of work, family and motor-racing has become more and more difficult.
So, next year, I’ve decided to reduce my IT working to four, rather than five, days per week. This will obviously cause a 20% drop in my salary, but I am optimistic that there will be sufficient money to be made from motor racing to compensate. And I’m hoping that cutting my working week will enable me to devote more time to things that people might be prepared to pay me to do, while still being able to spend time being a husband and a dad.
The first such will be the Dubai 24 hour race on January 11th / 12th, at which I shall be commentating, along with John Hindhaugh and Jim Roller. I seem to have spent a lot of time with John this year, and hopefully he’ll be prepared to spend time with me again next year. We certainly aren’t Murray and James, but I like to think that we work well together and make a reasonable double act. And I’m hopeful that we’ll be allowed to do more of the same in 2013.
I’m also grateful to Andrew Cotton at Racecar Engineering and Marcus Schurig at sport auto, both of whom have provided outlets for my analysis this year, and both of whom I am hoping will do so next year as well.
Then there’s the stuff I do for www.DailySportsCar.com. The trouble with the Internet is that it is such a vast and unregulated resource, and there are not many people making a living out of writing in the medium. In its chosen field, DSC is without doubt one of the leading players, but that’s not to say that its quality could not be improved. As a member of the team of enthusiastic amateurs that contributes to that website, I feel responsible to be part of that continuous improvement, and I hope that I can be. DailySportsCar has a high-quality reputation, and is recognised by the industry; I hope that I can be part of improving its readership figures and securing its financial footing in 2013 and beyond. But that will take time as well.
So wish me luck, then, in 2013: and if any of you, my loyal readers, knows of any opportunities that might suit my rather eclectic mix of skills, please do let me know. Find me on facebook, twitter or LinkedIn. If you’ve read these pages during the year and think that I could do something for you, then I’d love to hear from you!
Merry Christmas, everyone!