I was asked possibly the hardest question ever the other day when I was asked; “What sets Motorsport apart from other sports for me?” I dismissed the question at first because I thought it was unanswerable. Then giving it a little bit more thought I realised the question went a little bit deeper.
I wasn’t just being asked why I’m drawn back to Motorsport, I was being asked why I was so into marshalling and that did get the cogs turning. There are many reasons why people want to be a marshal; they want to be closer to the action, they want to give something back or they’ve been part of Motorsport for so long they just can’t let it go.
The Marshalling Bug!
In a previous blog, when talking about the F1, I spoke of how you can catch the marshalling bug! You won’t realise you have it until you try and spectate a race, and then you’ll want to get involved.
The months of November to February will feel like half a lifetime, just sitting and waiting for the marshalling season to start again. But why are we drawn back by it?
The start of a race is just metres away. [Paul Williams]
For racing drivers they are drawn back to the thrill, the adrenaline of racing a car and exploring the limits. The exploring of limits means that marshals are in for a treat; we get to see the best racing and get to stand close to it, so we get a similar buzz to what racing drivers feel.
Not only do we get to stand close we can also feel the racing when stood at certain points on a circuit you feel the racing. Deer Leap at Oulton Park is a great example; if you stand there as a grid of Formula 5000 or some GTs cars come barrelling past you, you will get a huge buzz and feel the racing shake and move your entire body.
Wanting Something More!
Marshalling gets me within inches of racing, gets me as close as physically, and financially, possible to what racing would actually feel like for so many people. Sometimes I go back wanting something, more thinking that one day I might pass over the barrier and get to race, but the ‘something more’ I want isn’t the racing.
It’s the marshalling! More marshalling means you go home wanting to do it again and again. So one week in four becomes, once every other week and then it becomes every weekend. Then when that doesn’t become enough, you want to know more about marshalling so you venture to different circuits. You want more speed so you start volunteering for the big race series starting with Touring Cars, then GTs, then World Endurance and F1.
You can’t help yourself, but you want to be at a racetrack more, simply because you have caught this marshalling bug and just want to keep going back. There have been points were I have wished away my week so then I can get back to the track.
Motorsport is Unrivalled
You can go to a lot of Football matches and see a game finish nil-nil. You can watch the same sport over and over again and whilst the winning team may change, the method they achieve it hardly varies.
Motorsport is different. The same driver could win week in week out, but I can guarantee you’ll see them win in numerous ways! Whether they have to slice through the field, battle with problem after problem, drive away from pole or stick out the changing weather, no two races are the same.
The variation in disciplines are huge as well; imagine Liverpool playing Everton in Football, but also playing Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday, whilst playing Wigan Athletic and Northampton town who are all against Blackpool and Accrington Stanley. All of these teams playing against their direct opponents and also the other teams and then imagine it being on the same pitch? Madness would ensue, but that is perfectly normal in the World Endurance Championship.
Honestly, think about it!
What makes you keep going back to marshalling or Motorsport?
We want to know!
Written By Robert Lee (@RobLee559 – Twitter/Instagram)