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Old 7 Oct 2011, 07:48 (Ref:2966979)   #1
simon drabble
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Tony Dron's article on historic drivers and BRDC in Octane

Tony Dron's column this month is asking whether drivers in historic series should be eligible for BRDC. Its an interesting point - whilst I know several cars sport BRDC badges as a form of homage to the revered club without the driver actually being a memebr the actual members who race in historics have earned their stripes in modern series (albeit possibly back in the 60's!).
There is apparently a debate within the members as to whether they should allow historic drivers to join. The obvious answer is clearly no as it is easy to shine amongst weekend warriors yet disappear against modern siblings (Edwin Jowsey is a good example).
However I wonder if the debate is more to do with the calibre of new members coming up through the ranks and more to the point the lack of attachment of these drivers. Even at the highest level the Buttons and Hamiltons of this world do not display their membership in the way that drivers as recently as Mansell and Hill did on their car or overalls.
As a club with an ever increasing average age they need to think about the future and how they ensure it still enjoys the patronage it currently has - so do they sell out and allow wealthy historic drivers in now or stick to their principles?
Personally I think they need to stick to their principle to retain credibility. Tony Dron seems unable to make a decision, interesting dilemma and certainly the last time they opened their doors to buy in member it all ended in tears when the paying incomers did not realize they only bought access to the clubhouse not the badge!
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Old 7 Oct 2011, 08:20 (Ref:2967001)   #2
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I'm a member of the HRDC, far superior, we can fearlessly take the **** at will.
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Old 7 Oct 2011, 09:09 (Ref:2967018)   #3
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Don't see what the problem is,plenty of non racer types already enrolled,so what difference would it make. Especially if said historic drivers are wealthy enough to buy their way in,as indeed some already have.
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Old 7 Oct 2011, 09:22 (Ref:2967021)   #4
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I think members might disagree with your view Terry! For a youngster to come up through the ranks by the time he has done a season of F3 at international level (and be at a position where he is eligible for membership)
it is fair to say he (or more realistically bank of Dad) has invested £1 million in the sport as well as a lot of blood sweat and tears so to see a historic do a few races against weekend warriors and effectively get in the back door must be pretty galling.
To be fair to "non racers" like Marcus Pye and Murray Walker they have contributed a lot to the sport in other ways
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Old 7 Oct 2011, 14:39 (Ref:2967169)   #5
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Originally Posted by simon drabble View Post
Tony Dron's column this month is asking whether drivers in historic series should be eligible for BRDC. Its an interesting point - whilst I know several cars sport BRDC badges as a form of homage to the revered club without the driver actually being a memebr the actual members who race in historics have earned their stripes in modern series (albeit possibly back in the 60's!).
There is apparently a debate within the members as to whether they should allow historic drivers to join. The obvious answer is clearly no as it is easy to shine amongst weekend warriors yet disappear against modern siblings (Edwin Jowsey is a good example).
However I wonder if the debate is more to do with the calibre of new members coming up through the ranks and more to the point the lack of attachment of these drivers. Even at the highest level the Buttons and Hamiltons of this world do not display their membership in the way that drivers as recently as Mansell and Hill did on their car or overalls.
As a club with an ever increasing average age they need to think about the future and how they ensure it still enjoys the patronage it currently has - so do they sell out and allow wealthy historic drivers in now or stick to their principles?
Personally I think they need to stick to their principle to retain credibility. Tony Dron seems unable to make a decision, interesting dilemma and certainly the last time they opened their doors to buy in member it all ended in tears when the paying incomers did not realize they only bought access to the clubhouse not the badge!
==========================

Amongst others, are not "historic" regulars, and highly successful drivers in their own right - Gary Pearson, Martin Stretton, Peter Hardman and Michael Schryver all BRDC members?

Ed
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Old 7 Oct 2011, 14:44 (Ref:2967172)   #6
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I think you will find that those in historics who are BRDC members did so in a modern series (albeit that it might have been some time ago) the article was discussing whether they change the rules to allow drivers to qualify for membership through their historic racing results alone.
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Old 8 Oct 2011, 09:10 (Ref:2967484)   #7
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Simon, I have absolutely no problem with the above 4 drivers being BRDC members; all worthy in my opinion, but what exactly did they achieve in contemporary racing? I ask because I genuinely don't know but is finishing a few races, say midfield in a contemporary series any more worthy than winning some of the top historic races, often against stiff opposition. And the catch all 'Weekend Warriors' term is one I struggle with - define it - who fits the bill - you, James Wiseman, Mike Bell, Roger Wills, Stuart Tilley, Leo Voyazides, Jon Minshaw? Just a random selection but a big range in both ability, achievement and regularity of turnout! I think that there are just a few in historic racing who merit consideration for their racing achievements, contribution to motorsport and its history whether or not they have been successful elsewhere. Afterall historic racing is widespread and successful. And I'll also bet you that if you looked down the list of BRDC members you might just be asking 'who'? or 'why'? and maybe with good reason. Finally, I suggest that as a group BRDC is an aging one, so needs new blood, ideas and enthusiasm. I'm sure a few of our more illustrious historic racers can provide that.
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Old 8 Oct 2011, 10:20 (Ref:2967521)   #8
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John your last comment is exactly the dilemma I think they face. Do they stick to the original ethos of the club (and its entry criteria) and risk a club that becomes so exclusive that it disappears or do they open its doors to generally "good blokes" who dabble in the sport with varying degrees of success.

Weekend warrior is a very generic term and taking Jon Minshaw out of the list as I believe he earned his spurs in modern racing (and correct me if I am wrong but is a member) I would say we are all weekend warriors with the probable exception of Roger who has taken it to another level and is currently more focused on modern GT3.

As I singled out Edwin Jowsey earlier I will use him as the example (and this is no disrespect to him as I am certain he is more talented than I would ever be) but whilst he dominated FJ a few years ago he is a very much also ran in modern single seaters. That is the point, it is broadly easier to shine in historics when much of the field are old duffers like me having a bit of fun rather than against others trying to carve a career asyou would find in any modern series.

If you take this to a logical conclusion you could well find youngsters starting to use historics as an alternative career path and as has been seen in FJ it can change the dynamics - and not in a good way. Let the genuinely enthusiastic race historic carrs but dont let them kid themselves that they are truly gifted if they win.

This is possibly why BRDC members become so incensed when people pass themselves off as members by putting the badge on their cars. Membership should be a recognition that you have excelled in the sport.
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Old 8 Oct 2011, 10:47 (Ref:2967527)   #9
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Originally Posted by simon drabble View Post
John your last comment is exactly the dilemma I think they face. Do they stick to the original ethos of the club (and its entry criteria) and risk a club that becomes so exclusive that it disappears or do they open its doors to generally "good blokes" who dabble in the sport with varying degrees of success.
Well, I think that the time for that has past, as I suggest the true 'exclusivity' disappeared from the club some time ago. On the other hand, I agree that it should not create an open door policy for 'good blokes'. I just believe that each case should be dealt with on individual merits and I'd have thought that there were a few in historic racing that have won their spurs enough to gain entry.

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This is possibly why BRDC members become so incensed when people pass themselves off as members by putting the badge on their cars. Membership should be a recognition that you have excelled in the sport.
This is a different issue though isn't it? It's misrepresentation. Mind you if the owner of the car is member but occasionally puts in a driver who isn't, would we expect the badge to be constantly taken off and then replaced each time? How important is it in the affairs of the World?
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Old 8 Oct 2011, 13:04 (Ref:2967561)   #10
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Seems to me that unfortunately for organizations like BRDC that the principles which it was founded on scarcely exist in modern motorsport.

With the current generation of drivers they can only really claim "promotion of the sport" solely based on birth records and his/her achievements.

With corporate allegiance (i.e. the enormous budget required to be a winning team) being the name of the game these days, I'd think you'd be hard pressed to find a young pro hotshot who would drive for say, Red Bull Racing based on patriotic principles the way drivers did for say BRM back in the old days.

Even if they did, anyway the company is actually Austrian!

Probably why they're forced to reassess who they consider to be promoters of "British racing heritage".

Otherwise they'd need to be content with soon becoming a club exclusively of retired drivers and circuit management. That's no small thing in and of itself however.
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Old 8 Oct 2011, 15:21 (Ref:2967594)   #11
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It makes more sense financially for the club to include anyone who has been successful in any form of today's motorsport irrespective of it's level and importance.

The well healed lot do Historics and they would like a badge that would frank their lives as race drivers.

Looking at that latest list of newcomers and those who are on the waiting(begging) list it has already opened its door to the Historic Weekend Warrior class .

Best of luck to them.

No different from the bloke I met the other week who announced he was a member having done a few foreign races in a Lotus Eleven in 50's and hasn't been to a race meeting since.Thought it a good thing to be a member.

If this does happen perhaps they could take the Festival back,take Fitz on as a consultant(if he's not playing golf)and we could have two Top Historic Race Meetings a year.

Dreaming!
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Old 8 Oct 2011, 15:36 (Ref:2967596)   #12
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on a bit of a tangent one member (now sadly deceased) once told me there was a inverse correlation between the size of the members BRDC badge and his qualification for joining - clearly complete rubbish but it always amuses me when I see a race car with an oversized members badge.
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Old 8 Oct 2011, 16:56 (Ref:2967619)   #13
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It makes more sense financially for the club to include anyone who has been successful in any form of today's motorsport irrespective of it's level and importance.

The well healed lot do Historics and they would like a badge that would frank their lives as race drivers.

Looking at that latest list of newcomers and those who are on the waiting(begging) list it has already opened its door to the Historic Weekend Warrior class .

Best of luck to them.

No different from the bloke I met the other week who announced he was a member having done a few foreign races in a Lotus Eleven in 50's and hasn't been to a race meeting since.Thought it a good thing to be a member.

If this does happen perhaps they could take the Festival back,take Fitz on as a consultant(if he's not playing golf)and we could have two Top Historic Race Meetings a year.

Dreaming!
Nothing wrong in that John,perhaps the second one would ban the specials? Like you said,dreaming again!
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Old 8 Oct 2011, 17:35 (Ref:2967636)   #14
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on a bit of a tangent one member (now sadly deceased) once told me there was a inverse correlation between the size of the members BRDC badge and his qualification for joining - clearly complete rubbish but it always amuses me when I see a race car with an oversized members badge.
This sounds very much like a Don Trumanism, but then I could be wrong. There's no need to confirm or deny Simon, I'm just speculating (and putting 2 & 2 together and probably making 18...)
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Old 8 Oct 2011, 17:45 (Ref:2967641)   #15
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Either way, it remains quite a challenge to get yourself a full membership of the club as you need to be both proposed and seconded by full members, and then be able to demonstrate to the committee that you have a respectable record of achievement in competition.
As far as associate membership goes, the club only elects one new member a year. I know one lapsed member who used to sponsor & run the new Chairman of the club during his competition career and is trying to renew his membership. It really all depends how long he or the others in the 20 strong waiting list live as to whether he manages to achieve his objective.
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