A Day at the Races

A Day at the Races - Frank Ries

I love me a little bit of motorsport so I was delighted when I won a pair of tickets to see a race nearby a couple of weeks ago. Who’d have thought that a radio phone-in show would actually work out?

Anyway, the big day was yesterday and I had a whale of a time. There’s something about the speed of a vehicle being taken to its limits that gets me every time and I was going out of my mind towards the end of the race, as cars jostle for position near the vehicle restraint systems that are there to make sure they don’t end up in a fireball should they end up crashing.

As odd as it sounds, the vehicle restraint systems are actually rather interesting to me. A lot of care and effort must go into building them to make sure that they can absorb as much of the impact of a crash as possible and, in some cases at least, they really must have been the difference between life and death for some of the unfortunate racers that have had to see them up close over the years.

Seeing the cars up close and personal really made me appreciate the effort that goes into protecting the drivers and trying to ensure their safety while they push cars to the limit. The vehicle restraint systems are just one part of the equation, as all of the cars are fully decked out with protective equipment, like roll cages and the like, to keep the driver securely fastened in. I can’t say I’d be able to do it myself, as I’d still be more than a little bit nervous if I was getting behind the wheel of a car that must be at least twice as fast as the one I’ve got back home, but it’s good to see nonetheless.

I’m still buzzing from the race a week later. We were positioned at one of the corners, right by one of the vehicle restraint systems, so we would have gotten a first-hand view if someone had crashed out. Luckily that didn’t happen and the race was contested really well without the slightest incident or injury. Sure, a couple of cars did end up spinning out, but none of them collided with anything and it was just a case of them being outmanoeuvred in the majority of cases. What a great day.