Northwest 200. One of the most exciting races in the world. And I see nothing. Well, I see something, but only three seconds of "niijaaam, niijaam, WRRrrrooaaarr!", if a racing machine comes past. The actual race event is told by the man on the radio. It’s that one recurring tradeoff at races: You’re in the middle of it, but you don’t hear anything because you’re in the middle of it.
Memory of … when was it? 2008? Superbike race at the Nurburgring, GP track. Pirelli remembered that sponsorship is supposed to reach people and loved to finally accompany a racing team, that of Suzuki with Max Neukirchner and Pepe as the main decor sponsor, that was a telecom provider with red dots and a clown as a trademark. Sometimes the clown ran through the pits with his points. But the biggest clown was me. The team leader put me in a corner with the two Pirelli press people under death threats and forbade all three of them to talk to anybody. Luckily I was still employed, so flat rate paid and could laugh about this fate. I just enjoy the Suzuki part of the race. But nothing. To this day I don’t know if there was a race five meters away from the track.
The most tragic is always the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man. When something happens, no matter if it is exciting or tragic, not even the man on the radio, who is in everybody’s ears, knows it. The race organizers are immediately worried when a transponder does not arrive at the next sector in the expected time window. But what happened then, whether it was a defect or even a fall, that will be collected then muhsam by telephone connection with the marshals and the spectators. I have never actually seen even one per thousand of a TT race, and that deeply depresses me. For the future every machine with cameras should send a video feed to the control room, in addition there should be eaves shots from camera turrets and drone swarms. I was paid quite a bit for such a presentation.
Of course, the TT with its length is a difficult project from a filming point of view, but I would also like to say that the annual 24h race at the Nordschleife also manages a live stream, despite similar conditions. There is not that much quantitative difference when you compare how much money racing tourists leave in the region in each case. The advantage of an island is that every guest has to pay something, mostly quite a lot (average 2013: almost 670 GBP per guest, I had to read over 1800 EUR minus on the bank statement after the Century-TT in 2007, without the long before booked rides). Several times I had tickets to the TT for the rough Tribune on Start. Every time I fell asleep up there. Of course, this could be purely my fault, but after seeing other secret sleepers there every time, I claim a problem broader than one person.
Motocross offers the best conditions for on-site spectators: small track, spectacular action at nevertheless low high speeds, so the spectators can come closer. The MX track at Teutschenthal is ideally located: in a basin and also in the east, where the noise disturbs fewer people for several reasons. There I watched Ken Roczen and Toni Cairoli bag another world championship title. And despite all the advantages of the track, where you can stand or walk underneath it and have Ken’s rear wheel throw dirt at you live: When it got really exciting at the end with Toni, we all watched it including the team in the sponsor truck, because there were loud TVs with live video feeds from the many cameras with monster logo on it. One had seen the Fight surely in ant-grobe from somewhere above, with some luck. We saw it formatfull and with replay. The choice is not difficult.