Whistlin' Jack Smith >> Blog >> SW2014 >> A better Spedeweekend


Ways to make the Spedeweekend better

Rolling lap music. Now this website would have a different name if Whistling Jack Smith didnít exist and I like the idea of a traditional song from the 1970ís still being used with the sport, itís probably the only thing from that era that has lasted till today but the sport has evolved massively and so should the music. Now Iím not saying ditch the song completely just play it at an appropriate time, for me play it as the cars are first getting onto the track not when the race is about to begin. Now itís quite easy to find footage of recent World Finals to see the build-up; upbeat songs are played, the anticipation amongst the crowd is building, the bass is pumping out about 130 beats per minute and as the cars start their rolling laps for the most important race of the day, the most important race for the class, the biggest Hot Rod race of the season yet the balloon is popped and atmosphere de-flats as the old song begins. It is so easy to eliminate this issue by keeping the dance music going until the green flag drops.

Terracing. I know this is impossible to change before the event but Spedeworth really cocked up the terracing on turn 4. For those that havenít had the chance to visit Ipswich in the last 12 months, each step has been turned into two (half as deep, half as high). This means anyone with a foldable chair canít sit there and the fans that are happy to sit on their bums stretch their legs out and use 3 steps to be comfortable, they take up more space now and ultimately fewer fans can sit there. It does make me think that I should be a Stock Car business consultant as the promoters arenít the ones sitting in the stands trying to enjoy show.

Tickets. Last year was appalling the way the fans that had purchased upfront yet had to wait to be let in after those buying on the gate. Several people have told me this has been addressed I guess Iíll have to see on the day

Get rid of Bangers. Now I am a massive Hot Rod fan and it might surprise some of you to know I actually like Stock Cars and Bangers yet I do not think there is a place for Bangers at the Spedeweekend. Every other formula seems to have to go through a qualifying process and drivers are desperate to race at the Spedeweekend yet it seems anyone can race a Banger during the weekend, just a few weeks leading up to the event and Spedeworth are still looking for drivers. Plus Bangers are lame now (compared to years ago), drivers canít even be bothered to paint a number on the side of their car.

Suncream. When I first visited Rockingham they have the very clever of suncream in the toilets which is so important when sitting out in the sun for 2 days (I am expecting sunshine). Iíve noticed Aldershot has this but I think Ipswich needs to do the same thing or even sell the stuff at the track. Imagine how exciting it would be if the Hawaiian Tropic Girls were there.

Radio. When the majority of formulas are racing the PA system becomes redundant yet I feel this would easy to combat by sending out the commentary also via radio. Now most mobile phones have this facility, even those without a smart phone would have one. I used to think this wouldnít been done because of broadcasting costs and laws for what frequencies could be used but that isnít an issue for the driver headsets and fans are able to listen into those, so yet again I should be a Stock Car business consultant as the promoters arenít the ones sitting in the stands trying to enjoy show.

Now Iíve tried to keep this list to six points but I could have harked on about different foods they should do or just making ice available but Iíve tried to be brief. Please I do love the Spedeweekend, it is the highlight of my year it is the greatest show on the planet, I feel immensely privileged that Iíve seen so many and insanely jealous that Iím not old enough to have witnessed all of them but on the flip-side it isnít perfect but with a few minor tweaks it would be in my eyes perfect.

Production team Text: Paul Ballard (26.06.14)
Spedeweekend images: Peter Ballard
Layout: Paul Ballard

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