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Tim Goodchild

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Rule Britannia!

Posted: 12/06/2012 01:00

In all the blogs I've done so far I have tried to remain impartial and not show any strong allegiances. However, having nearly lost my voice on Sunday evening watching Lewis Hamilton take his first win of 2012 and become the 7th of seven drivers in seven races to win the Canadian Grand Prix, and to take the lead in the World Championship, I cannot hold back the impartiality any longer: get in there, Lewis! Fantastic drive!

It is great to see British talent succeed in any sport, and in a year where for two weeks we will as a nation become huge fans of rifle-shooting, archery and diving, amongst others at the Olympics I find it deeply frustrating that all sport where British success is made is not always celebrated - just because it is not seen as being popular to the mainstream audience.

Back in the world of motorsport, I'm sure that even the non-motorsport fan will have heard of races such as the Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours. These three events are probably the three race victories any motor racing driver wants to have on their CV, as they are the crown jewel events in their respective disciplines: Formula 1, IndyCar and Sportscar.

Why am I bringing this up though? It is very easy to find out about what is going on in F1 - it originated in Europe, so it will naturally be followed more. Specifically on the Monaco Grand Prix, more people will watch that race than any other, because it is Monaco. IndyCar is harder to find out about as the championship is based largely in the USA, and Sportscar - you are either into it or not it seems. However, the Indianapolis 500 is the crown jewel event for IndyCar, and even used to be on the F1 calendar between 1950 and 1960. 500 miles, 200 laps of oval racing where concentration and endurance is tested - only the best drivers in the world succeed. It is also a race that has been dominated by British drivers in the past eight years: Dan Wheldon (2005 and 2011) and Dario Franchitti (2007, 2010 and 2012). The latest winner, Dario Franchitti won the race on 27 May 2012 and not one mention of it on UK news channels and only stated in the small columns of the following days sports pages. It is a similar story to Dan Wheldon who, sadly, only came to the attention of a lot of the British public when he was killed last year a former champion of the IndyCar Series and a two-time winner of the Indy 500.

This coming weekend is perhaps one of the most famous races in all of motorsport: Le Mans 24 Hours. This year there is a hearty British representation and in the past the likes of Allan McNish, Johnny Herbert and Martin Brundle have all climbed the top step of the podium. Twenty-four hours of racing as a team is the ultimate challenge, so I implore you to check those results and if there is a British winner, we recognise it - just as much as winning a gold medal at London 2012 for hitting a round target with a bow and arrow will be.

My passion will always lie with F1, but success in motorsport is great at all levels. It should be recognised more, by any driver's home country.

Stop Press: Just heard that Justin Wilson, yes another Brit, won the latest round of the IndyCar Series on Sunday too. Well done Justin!

 

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