Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The thing about age

So here’s the thing. I was watching a review at the weekend of the 1993 Indycar World Series. You know the one with Mansell winning it straight after his F1 championship. It was quite well known.

For me it was the finest season of motorsport, ever, anywhere. I watched a full replay of the Indy 500 that year on YouTube the other day and I was glued throughout. With all due respect, I can’t do that these days with Formula One.

Then it struck me. The leading contenders that year were ‘old’ when you compare that to the present day. Think back to ’93 – Mansell, Fittipaldi, (Mario) Andretti. All over 40. Some over 50. Yet they were still at the sharp end, fighting tooth and nail. I think the battle between Mansell and Fittipaldi at Cleveland’s airport circuit was one of the finest battles ever in motorsport history. Gripping, edgy, lively, gutsy… it was all there.

So this got me wondering about age in motorsport, hence my blog today.

In other sports, physically you are limited when it comes to age. Your body performs better at a younger age – fact. But what about motorsport? Surely if that were true then younger drivers at the time – Paul Tracey for example – would have performed better in Indycar 1993. Or was it just inexperience?

Is motorsport - particularly F1 – now almost obsessed with young drivers? Are ‘junior programmes’ REALLY necessary or is it just based on commercial interests? It’s an interesting debate.

I’d love to put a series of drivers from teenage to 50 in the same car and see who would come out on top. Would younger age beat experience? Intriguing…

Monday, 17 October 2016

Help me get on the grid (well, sort of)

So the motorsport season at large – with the exception of a few – is coming to an end. It’s been incredible once again. Across the categories there’s been classic close racing, strong grids, a last race BTCC title decider and a new F1 champion (well, maybe!).

For me, as most of the teams get to enjoy a small amount of peace and quiet before next season, it’s an opportune moment to address the motorsport industry with a personal message – I can help you in 2017.

Let me explain why. In a nutshell, my time in motorsport isn’t finished yet. I’m 32 and I have many more skills to give now than I ever have. In other words…my motorsport mission is incomplete.

I’m a motorsport PR and marketing specialist primarily, although I’m not working in the industry at the moment. So what actual motorsport experience do I have? In 2007, I was press officer for the Sibsport independent team in the BTCC, who ran an ex-Team Halfords Honda Integra. It was a great experience and something that I will remember forever. I got involved with everything, from writing pre and post-race reports to arranging local TV interviews. I even created a competition that, to my knowledge, no one else had ever run in the BTCC.

Away from this, I’ve worked for some of the world’s leading motorsport suppliers when I was working in a leading motorsport marketing agency. This included gearbox manufacturers, brake specialists, race car builders and even a fire safety firm. I also worked agency side for Donington Park, where I played a key role in an exciting BTCC media day at Alton Towers in 2012.

From car launches to brochures, I've got a lot of skills honed in motorsport

I’m active in motorsport on a personal level too. Together with this blog, I have various social media outlets. I also do a lot of motorsport photography when I get the chance. I’ve even got a National B racing license so I can pretend I’m the new Ayrton Senna (one can dream!).

So what is the point of me writing this blog? Well, just to let you know I’m in the market and would happily discuss terms with anyone. Freelance, weekends or even full time…I need to get back into the paddock.

Thanks for reading; I hope this catches someone’s eye.

Jon Bennett

Twitter: @jbautosport