miércoles, 3 de febrero de 2010

Don't Invade the Track

Some three or four years ago more or less Solo TC magazine made an advertising campaign in the races with this request. It was a campaign like those called Awareness Campaigns and the request was the advert's slogan that besides being communicated in the magazine promotions, it was also incorporated to flags and even t-shirts gave out between the drivers and the leaders of the hooligans "The 4", "The 7" and "The 15" of our motoring.

Since a couple of years I thank God I can work in the tracks of all the country and also I could travel the Argentine routes from Salta to Chubut. I have dazzle with the different landscapes, I have enjoyed regional products, I have amused with different music of each place and I have known several customs; but there's something that besides hospitality repeats everywhere and it's racing passion, especially for Turismo Carretera.

There's so much fervor to get close to the drivers, there's so much loving demonstration, dedication to follow all the actions, it's something that almost border madness. Are entire families sharing a weekend away from home, are sacrificed fans that travel kilometers to follow their idols, are friends that spend a weekend in a tent, and they don't go for anything in the world, but remain there always, with rain, with mud, with over 35º temperatures or with more than a meter floods... they remain there with the same enthusiasm and the same intact and tireless emotion.

They have given me to eat at the brink of the wire fence, they have given me presents and even I have known "boyfriends" that I can visit in the next race. And all simply because I work in racing because I work caring the drivers they love because I work making what they enjoy because we make the cars race. Many times we have ended tired, we have worked for free during many hours to managers that later love to appear in the screens next to some politics in campaign and the ones who have rewarded with sincere words thanking were the families, the fans and the friends, the people.

That same people such fervent that perhaps because of that passion they don't notice the danger they expose each time they get close to the track when the cars are still driving in the Honour Lap or when they do the Parade Lap to locate in the grid. I have seen in some circuits more than in others, but everywhere is the same danger.

Motorsport has that charm that seems to me very associated with surprise, with the unexpected, with what a driver no matter how good he is can't control. A driver can't prevent a motor to break, or a damage in his car leaving him walking, a driver can't know when a piece can come off and turn his car undriveable. In this two years I worked in the tracks I have seen come off little, medium and large pieces, flown from windows to complete noses and even I have seen tyres going away shoot off at very high speeds similar to the ones the cars drive.

It was precisely a detached tyre that two years ago hit and killed a spectator at San Luis. Despite this person being standing behind the wire fence as it's correct and safe... but that association of motorsport with surprise and unexpected make this a risk sport. And if we add the reckless of getting close to the track when the cars are driving, we transform the risk in an accurate danger chance.

I have seen people getting close to the track in the Parade Lap with baby carriage, with children in their arms or kids by the hand. I have seen people kneel down over the track before the way of the cars in the Honor Lap, standing in front of the cars to take pictures or trying to touch the hand of their favorite driver. This have happened in circuits where the surface isn't in the best conditions, with patches or adds of different materials, what makes the car's pass not to be equal or with climatic conditions of low visibility from inside the interior of the car. And the surprise, and the unexpected, and the risk along with these people tempting danger.

Many times I have frightened, I have to admit it. Many times I felt bugs that a father's passion puts in risk the life of his son. Many times I have angry and fought with people that doesn't understand that the request of not to invade the track is for their own good and not because we are selfish not to let them enjoy the show. Our job in the track is to take care of the drivers, but when families, fans and friends invade the track I feel it's mandatory to take care of them... although they don't want.

I said I have seen small, medium and larger pieces detach and that I have seen people with babies carriages getting close to the track. I said I have seen blowing off from windows to complete noses and that I have seen people on their knees over the track by the way of the cars. I said I have seen tyres going away shoot off at similar speeds as the cars drive and that I have seen parents with children in their arms. Thank God, I haven't seen these facts happen at the same time yet, and I ask God in all races that he kept on being Argentine and kept on taking care of all.

I understand and share passion and fervor, enthusiasm and lack of control, but please understand that life and health is more valuable than say "hello" to your brand's driver or a photo with your idol. Please, DON'T INVADE THE TRACK. We ask you to bear it always in mind when you kept on keeping company for the circuits of all the country. Please, DON'T INVADE THE TRACK. We ask you to tell it to your family, friends and fans camping at your side. Please, DON'T INVADE THE TRACK.
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