The game of speedway has been around for as long as dirt track racing. Its popularity has grown as motorsport has evolved, especially in the UK where local authority-sanctioned speedways draw big crowds and create massive opportunities for amateur and professional drivers alike. If you’re new to the game or are looking for a way to entertain yourself on a boring flight, then read on!
Why Is It Called ‘Speedway’?
The word ‘speedway’ is used to describe a variety of motorsport events, either individually or as a whole series, which are held on purpose-built tracks. The term was first used to describe the racing events that take place on regular country lanes and roundabouts, then the sport slowly evolved and spread to indoor arenas and eventually to outdoor ovals. Today the term ‘speedway’ is used to define all forms of motorsport that take place on tracks that are more than a mile in length!
The Difference In Opinion Between The United Kingdom And The United States
The main difference in opinion between the UK and the US when it comes to speedway can be found in the way the game is played. In the UK, the driver changes gear as often as possible, rarely taking the foot off the accelerator and regularly opening up the throttle to overtake other cars. In the US, drivers generally keep a steady pace throughout the race, rarely changing gear and relying more on aerodynamic grip and tire management to achieve race wins. While this may be a great way for experienced drivers to secure victories, it can completely change the dynamics of a race. Take a look at the below clip from the 2017 World Finals where Australia’s Kurt Jenkinson won the championship in the United Kingdom but was forced to settle for second place in the United States due to a lack of experience.
It’s fair to say that Kurt’s aggressive racing style didn’t sit well with the judges of the United States, who gave him the blame for the drop in speed that ultimately cost him the title. The difference in opinion between the UK and the US is highlighted in the below clip from the 2018 British Grand Prix, where James Foster (GB) overtook Danny Williams (US) in the final corner of the race but was harshly judged for his careless driving by the British Grand Prix Stewards for impeding other drivers.
While there is room for both approaches in the game, it’s important to understand the different opinions and rules that govern each country’s sanctioning body.
Ways To Keep Your Balance On The Edge Of Demoralization
The demands of being a professional driver are considerable. Not only do you need to focus intensively on your craft and constantly look for ways to improve, but you also need to find a way to maintain your emotional and physical well-being. If you’re lucky enough to secure a drive with a top-flight team, you’ll quickly find out that life as a professional driver isn’t always easy. The below clip from the 1988 San Marino Grand Prix demonstrates the demanding nature of professional driving, where a young Ayrton Senna is required to push himself beyond his limits and keep his cool in order to secure a hard-fought win.
Here’s a video of Ayrton Senna talking about the importance of staying grounded while also being the best:
The Role Of Technology In Keeping You Optimistic
Throughout the year, drivers are bombarded with news stories about other drivers and the sport they cover, which can easily knock the optimism out of even the most confident motorsport enthusiasts. One of the best things technology has done for motorsport is allow drivers and teams to stay connected, which in turn has helped keep everyone optimistic about the future of the sport.
In order to combat a drivers’ constant state of negativity, motorsport teams and drivers use a variety of techniques to keep their minds fresh. One way is to surround themselves with optimistic individuals and teams, which in turn keeps them driven and motivated to continue improving. Another great way to keep your optimism intact is to utilize proper technology, which connects everyone involved in the sport, regardless of where they are in the world.
Take a look at the role technology has played in the 2014 World Series by Renault:
The benefits of technology in keeping you connected and informed are countless, allowing you to follow the fortunes of your favorite teams and drivers as well as keep track of the latest news and developments, all from the comfort of your home. The next time you feel yourself becoming a little down, overwhelmed or discouraged about the future of the sport, take a moment and remember the many benefits technology has to offer. With the right applications and a fast enough internet connection, you’ll be able to follow everything from the comfort of your couch.
At the end of the day, we all need to find that right balance of work and play, which is why it’s important to take time out for yourself and recharge. As much as you need to focus on your driving, you also need to make sure that you’re taking care of your mental and physical health. If you find yourself struggling with this, then maybe its time to find a new job or change your career path altogether. But for now, go out there and have some fun!