Sound painful

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Last updated on August 5th, 2017 at 03:13 pm

Friend-of-a-reader Amanda visits the Monaco Grand Prix and reports: “The sound was extremely painful without earplugs.” Understandable, considering how close to the action she was:
Whoa! Any closer and Amanda would be incorporated into that front wing. Monaco might be the last place spectators are allowed such access; when I first went to a motor race in Australia, we watched from a shallow grass verge on the main straight as cars shot by.

No fence. Spectators were noticeably alert to the possibility of something careering into our midst.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/30/2007 at 10:03 AM
    1. Nice car.  Does it come in a two seat version?  Where can I get one?

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 05 30 at 10:10 AM • permalink


    1. Aw, man, the commute from work would be so much faster if I had one of those.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 05 30 at 10:16 AM • permalink


    1. But……is it a hybrid?

      Cuz, ya know, hafta be green an’ all…

      Posted by Tex Lovera on 2007 05 30 at 10:17 AM • permalink


    1. Plus, it would look greatin the HOV (High Output Velocity) lane….

      Posted by Tex Lovera on 2007 05 30 at 10:18 AM • permalink


    1. Tex, if they run on alcohol like the Indy cars do then they’re cutting edge green. Gaia *heart* Indy!

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2007 05 30 at 10:18 AM • permalink


    1. Awesome pic, by the way.

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2007 05 30 at 10:19 AM • permalink


    1. That’s excellent news, Mr. B!

      Mmmmm, alcohol & cars……

      Posted by Tex Lovera on 2007 05 30 at 10:20 AM • permalink


    1. Any Sydney Aussies still awake?

      In the olden days, there was a racing track called Amaroo Park, now a housing estate, and we used to go there to see the Minis and Toranas and Fords race around – in the days of Colin Bond and Allan Moffatt

      And we sat right by the track up a little slope – no fences – just bloody marvellous it was

      Even took the baby along

      Posted by aussiemagpie on 2007 05 30 at 10:31 AM • permalink


    1. Alcohol and cars? Is there any better combination?

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 05 30 at 10:34 AM • permalink


    1. Aussiemagpie, I’m a Melbourne Aussie, does that count?

      I’d actually heard of Amaroo Park, and several slightly older friends who had been there tell me that it was the best track in Australia.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 05 30 at 10:37 AM • permalink


    1. O/T, but more info on another, more environmentally friendly sport.

      Caution! Black humor alert! Sensitive souls should pass over.

      Percival Stuffington and Stanley Younghusband walked out upon the moor and looked around them with undisguised pleasure.

      “I say! Looks like a fine day for hippie shooting, Stanley.”

      “Indeed. A bit warm, mind you, Percy; unusually so, for this time of year. Still, a good, clear day.”

      “Well, Stanley, why don’t you go first?”

      “Thanks, old boy. Don’t mind if I do.” Stanley positioned his shotgun. “Pull!”

      A spindly hippie flew through the air, gesticulating wildly. *BLAM!*

      “Mm. Bad luck, old fellow. Looks like you just clipped him in the sandals.”

      Stanley grimaced. “Blighter was waving his arms about so wildly, it threw him off his arc. Er, I don’t suppose it would be considered sporting to bind them, what?”

      Percy looked at Stanley somewhat narrowly. “My dear fellow . . .”

      “I merely ask, Percy. It’s quite acceptable in Cornwall.”

      “Well, Cornwall isn’t Dorsetshire, is it? Here, let me have a go. Pull!”

      A portly hippie shot through the air, somersaulting. *BLAM*

      “Oh, I say! Splendid shot, Percy! That’s meat for the table, what?”

      Suddenly, a game warden emerged from behind a small hill. “Ho! Wot’s all this?”

      Percy’s tone reflected some asperity. “What the devil do you mean, sir, by intruding on our sport?”

      “Beggin’ your pardon, sir, but are you familiar with the local game laws?”

      Percy spluttered with indignation. “Aware of the local game laws? Look you, officer, I was born and raised in this neighborhood! Stuffingtons have been shooting hippies here since the time of Edward Longshanks.”

      “Sor’y, sir, but there’s a new ordinance. No ‘ippie shootin’ wifout a license, sir. I’m afraid I’ll have to cite you gentlemen.”

      “Death and Damnation! Well, you see how it is, Stanley. Bloody country hasn’t been the same since Maggie was sacked. ‘Demi-paradise’, indeed! How much is the fine, officer?”

      The game warden screwed up his eyes, straining to see what Stanley and Percy had bagged. “Well now, sir, it’s based on weight. That beanpole, there – the one ‘oppin’ about on one foot –  I’d say he’d come in at around two bob. On the other hand, the chubby bloke – the one runnin’ around wif ‘is ‘ands over ‘is arse – he’d run you nearer four.”

      Stanley burst out laughing. “Haw! Looks like mine was the lucky shot, Percy old man!”

      Percy turned a vivid shade of heliotrope. “God . . . save the Queen!”

      Posted by paco on 2007 05 30 at 10:45 AM • permalink


    1. #8 aussiemagpie:
      There also used to be a Castlereagh Dragway just north of Penrith in Sydney.  I was invited twice to go as pit crew as a 15yo back in 1976 … it was loud.  My friend’s uncle put my age up to get in as crew.  I remember walking up to the Christmas Tree Lights several times, sans earplugs, when the Top Fuel Dragsters went off.  I have driven around the Monaco circuit in a slower Citroen, a nice drive.  I’ve driven around several of Europe’s public motor racing circuits, much to the annoyance of my then wife.

      Posted by Stevo on 2007 05 30 at 10:49 AM • permalink


    1. MORE PICTURES!!!  Please.

      Posted by Matt in Denver on 2007 05 30 at 10:53 AM • permalink


    1. #11, Danged Limey killjoys, won’t let you hunt anything any more!

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 05 30 at 10:55 AM • permalink


    1. Odd

      Whitewalls in the middle of the tire(tyre).
      Must be one of those quaint European things.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 05 30 at 10:58 AM • permalink


    1. One of the greatest “lost racetracks” was Riverside International Raceway in Southern California. From 1969 to 1975, I spent nearly every weekend there, as my parents were members of a sportscar club that served as volunteer course workers. To a car-crazy kid, it was a magical place.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 05 30 at 10:58 AM • permalink


    1. #10 ash_

      Yes it was the best track to be really close to the action

      And you can be forgiven to be a Melbourne Aussie – you can’t help it

      Seriously I love Melbourne – especially driving in the CBD with those hook turns – are they still there?

      My ex father-in-law, lives in Chelsea right near the beach

      Posted by aussiemagpie on 2007 05 30 at 11:00 AM • permalink


    1. #16 Spiny


      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 05 30 at 11:04 AM • permalink


    1. #15 yojimbo

      The white stripe indicates the “soft” tread compound version of the tire, no stripe is the “hard” tread compound.

      On that note, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that turn up sooner or later as a cosmetic feature on rice-rocket street tires.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 05 30 at 11:04 AM • permalink


    1. #12 stevo

      It’s wonderful driving around race circuits isn’t it

      We did the Mt Panorama drive but I would dearly love to go around some European tracks like you’ve done

      Posted by aussiemagpie on 2007 05 30 at 11:04 AM • permalink


    1. #18 yojimbo

      Oh yeah.

      When I was really young (my dad was stationed at NAS Los Alamitos), we lived near enough to hear them on Saturday nights. Went there several times when Dad wasn’t on duty. Great fun.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 05 30 at 11:08 AM • permalink


    1. #19 Spiny



      Lions was really the foundational racetrack for the funny cars.  People like Doug Thorley(Doug’s Headers) with his Chevy-2-Much.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 05 30 at 11:24 AM • permalink


    1. LOL. Aussiemagpie, I used to be a Torino Italian, so I consider myself to be pretty lucky to be a Melbourne Aussie.

      Driving in the CBD? Don’t bother even trying.
      I have a Lexus SC430 and even I can’t do it.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 05 30 at 11:25 AM • permalink


    1. #22

      Oh, I see. As you were. Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em…


      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 05 30 at 11:30 AM • permalink


    1. Spiny

      Of course, we are both missing some of the best tracks.

      Van Nuys Blvd
      Rosecrans Ave(or blvd, I forget)

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 05 30 at 11:36 AM • permalink


    1. #25 yojimbo

      And Mulholland Drive.

      Rosecrans was where my dad use to race his Model A flathead V8… I can’t remember if it’s “Ave” or “Blvd” either.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 05 30 at 12:00 PM • permalink


    1. #16:

      I actually went to see an IMSA race at Riverside back in the late Eighties (I was only about 10 at the time though, so I don’t remember a whole lot about it besides the fact that the cars were LOUD.  It was back in the time when the major competition was Porsche versus Nissan and Toyota.)  And actually just a couple of weekends ago I got a chance to go see a American Le Mans Series race down in Utah.  That one was a lot of fun, since we had tickets in the grandstand at the end of the long front straightaway, and the ALMS has a open paddock so you get to see all the cars up close (not to mention that there were a number of exotics parked in the garage area, including a Carrera GT, an Enzo and a Veyron.)  And yes, those things are still loud (with the curious exception of the Audi R10, which is so quiet all you hear as it passes by is turbo whine.)

      Posted by Vexorg on 2007 05 30 at 02:02 PM • permalink


    1. Rosecrans was where my dad use to race his Model A flathead V8… I can’t remember if it’s “Ave” or “Blvd” either.

      Boulevard. Not too far from Whittier Blvd., near where I grew up.

      Posted by steveH on 2007 05 30 at 02:37 PM • permalink


    1. In a similar vein, heavyweight drifting.


      Posted by J.M. Heinrichs on 2007 05 30 at 02:43 PM • permalink


    1. It’s not the last place for close up viewing.  A couple of weeks ago I worked spectator control at the Olympus Rally.  We ran some red tape that said stand back race in progress or some such thing and had people stand behind it.

      The spectator area was on the end and left side of a right hand hairpin turn.  There’s something interesting about a car flying down a dirt road in the rain and trying to make a sharp turn.

      Almost every car showered one section of the spectator area with rocks and mud.  Just before the second heat I had to tell one young mother that sitting her 3 year old daughter in a chair in that area might not be the best idea.

      She moved but someone else moved in with their son who later took a rock in the chest.

      Posted by Keith on 2007 05 30 at 04:51 PM • permalink


    1. Oops lost the link.  Olympus Rally

      Posted by Keith on 2007 05 30 at 04:54 PM • permalink


    1. Actually at Miller Motorsports Park (where I saw the race I mentioned a couple of posts up) there’s one particular viewing area where the fence is only about 2-3 feet from the guardrail, right at the pt lane exit (since cars probably aren’t going to be coming that fast out of the pit lane.)  All in all, it’s a pretty nice place they have there, although it’s rather hard to follow too much of a race on a 4.5 mile circuit.

      Posted by Vexorg on 2007 05 30 at 05:10 PM • permalink


    1. Vexorg.

      Yeah, but those are more professional teams.  At the risk of putting words in Spiny Norman’s mouth I think he was alluding to a far simpler time when you had car clubs where with very little money you could get our there where the big boys usually played.  Back in the day, you could get a used “bug eye” sprite for very little money rework the engine yourself, put a rollbar in that sucker and go out there and have at it.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 05 30 at 06:30 PM • permalink


    1. #8
      Yes, aussiemagpie, I was at Amaroo Park in 1986, when a spectator was killed.
      That same year I was at Bathurst when Mike Burgmann was killed.

      Wiki – Mount Panorama, Bathurst, Australia

      []Amaroo Park spectator death.[/url] There’s not much on the web about Amaroo Park.

      Posted by kae on 2007 05 30 at 06:34 PM • permalink


    1. #34
      I stay away from live motor racing these days, but I still love it.

      Posted by kae on 2007 05 30 at 06:34 PM • permalink


    1. #34 oops, sorry about the link, Oh Bearer of the Large Paddle.

      Posted by kae on 2007 05 30 at 06:35 PM • permalink


    1. #11

      Those who purport to produce televisual humour these days could find enough material on this site to fill a series.

      Rowan Atkinson please note

      Posted by Pickles on 2007 05 30 at 06:50 PM • permalink


    1. And there was Brickies at Homebush.


      Posted by kae on 2007 05 30 at 06:51 PM • permalink


    1. #33:  As far as I know, there’s still plenty of opportunitiies for amateurs to get track time at the big tracks (I just happened to be there for one of the major events the track hosts annually.)  These days the Mazda Miata (AKA MX-5) is the de facto “cheap track car” out there, and theSCCA (Sports Car Club of America) organizes everything from local club races and autocross all the way up to professional touring car races.  If you want to go even cheaper than that, a lot of local oval tracks have series (usually referred to as hornet racing) that basically let you take an old beater, make a few safety modifications, paint it yellow and race it on Saturday nights.  There’s no shortage of opportunities to get out on the track.

      Posted by Vexorg on 2007 05 30 at 07:01 PM • permalink


    1. I went to few races at Riverside as a kid, where I would cheer on this guy. I didn’t know him, he ‘s just the only guy who would run one of those beautiful T-birds.

      Posted by dean martin on 2007 05 30 at 07:09 PM • permalink


    1. #3 But……is it a hybrid?

      Yep. Burns fuel and rubber.

      Posted by triticale on 2007 05 30 at 07:21 PM • permalink


    1. #39

      All quite true and fair enough.  I wasn’t woofing at you just pointing out what was a waaay simpler time that the two of us grew up in.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 05 30 at 08:23 PM • permalink


    1. I was at the Melbourne GP where Villnerve (spelling) ran up the back of Ralph Schumacher. The result was a wheel to fly out and take out a marshall.

      Since that race they have had those huge steel fences up.

      Posted by Anthony_ on 2007 05 30 at 09:42 PM • permalink


    1. Ash—well, there’s alcohol and guns.  We gotta get Tim over here for End of Trail.  Did you know there was an Australian connection to the Wild West?  Tim’s SASS handle is ready to go for him…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 05 31 at 01:08 AM • permalink


    1. There’s that word again: careering.

      Is that the Aussie version of careening?

      Posted by Texas Bob on 2007 05 31 at 06:12 AM • permalink


    1. Nah, Richard, alcohol and guns = Jesse getting shot in the ass.

      He doesn’t go for alcohol and guns these days. Dunno why.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 05 31 at 06:18 AM • permalink


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