Well, I have to confess that I was a little harsh on the ITV team and particularly on Paul O’Neill. Despite all previous signs to the contrary (the weekend when the W-Series was a support race for the BTCC being exhibit A), they did not make a meal out of Jade Edwards being behind the wheel of a car.
All told, she did okay for a first time out, and fair play to her for that. I’ll come back to this matter though, momentarily.
Rory Butcher’s crash in race 3 was a monster. Utterly heart-stopping. Thankfully he walked away, and with any luck tests will reveal no long-term damage to him.
I was gutted for Tom Ingram. After winning race 1, he picked up a puncture in race 2 and was punted off early in race 3 (I still haven’t figured out who punted him off, the only thing I can be sure of is it wasn’t Andy Neate. Looking at the DNFs who didn’t complete a lap, my money is on Crees). I’ll have another look when the footage gets uploaded to YouTube (there’s a Russian guy who posts all 3 races up, usually on a Monday, giving you a few hours to download them before YouTube catches up and removes them).
I really want Ingram to be in the title running come the last meeting of the season.
I’ve decided, for no rational reason whatsoever, that I don’t like Dan Cammish. No idea why. I was gutted for him when the title slipped from his grasp at Brands Hatch in the last meeting of 2019, but I’m afraid when he’s put alongside cheeky chappy Tom Ingram, and class 1 scrapper Ash Sutton, he’s not getting a look in from me. I’m not a massive fan of the idea of Turkington winning it again, either, but that’s just because want to see a bit of change.
That said, I’m very disappointed with what Alan Gow has done to the RWD cars with the boost limit. RWD cars are a mixed blessing. All things being equal, they are quicker off the line than FWD cars – that’s just physics – but they are much more challenging to drive and to get the best out of than FWD.
FWD was always about packaging and manufacture for consumer vehicles. It was never about going fast, having good balance of weight across axles and giving control to the driver. Put simply, FWD is for women. RWD just better. It takes understanding, technique and bravery to get the best out of. It’s for men.
The problem is that while RWD has an advantage in getting the power down, they are a handful: a little too much welly coming out of a turn, or putting a wheel on the grass, and the car will turn round on you… the only way you can combat that is to come off the power (and a dab of oppo, obvs), whereas in an FWD, the answer to the rear stepping out is to bury the throttle and – ping, easy – car straightens up, and the worst that happens is you understeer wide. So Gow has taken away one advantage the RWD has naturally, while leaving the FWD cars with their advantage. It’s creating a totally false level of competition.
There were plenty of successful FWD cars (e.g Cammish’s Honda, Ingram’s Toyota, Butcher’s Ford) that did well last season without this meddling, and I hope Gow and his team think again before next season because – and this is the problem with all kinds of market rigging such as affirmative action – whoever wins the season in an FWD car will forever live with the knowledge that he had an artificial leg up over the likes of Turkington and Sutton. And we’ll all know it too.
Now, we come back to the hot topic du jour – Andy Neate and Jade Edwards.
Andy Neate is a fucking hazard. His track record is appalling. He should not be in the series. It baffles me how he even has an MSA licence to compete at this level.
However, if he’d come together with Carl Boardley or Sam Osborne in all three races, no-one would be discussing it at all. There’d be no hue and cry on Twitter, just a smattering of piss-taking from the hardcore.
But there is a hue and cry on Twitter. Because Andy Neate bullied up a girl. Yes, really.
This is the fundamental problem with women coming into male spaces. It only takes one or two women to completely change the dynamic. In the current madness, we’re not getting an insight into what happens in the pit-lane but do you doubt that after race 1, Edwards was sat in her motorhome ‘literally shaking’ while her race engineer had to be restrained from going and battering Andy Neate?
Some (most) men are inclined to defend the damsel’s honour, irrespective of the fact that she’s entered into the fray based on an assertion of equality. They have the same right to compete as the men blah blah blah. But men do naturally have an instinct to protect and avenge those women they care about, doubly so if they have responsibility for that woman’s wellbeing (or wish to be considered for the position). This instinct is trampled upon by the equality scam – as if it can just be dismissed from our evolutionary package.
So in the women come – as ostensibly equal competitors – and immediately they are treated differently by men who think they will curry favour for this behaviour. The phenomenon is well documented in the manosphere.
I do think Neate should be kicked out of the BTCC as a culmination of his behaviour at Thruxton and Silverstone (particularly race 3), but it doesn’t matter that yesterday’s fun and games was with Edwards. I’d be of the same view whoever he’d fucked over yesterday.
A big part of racing as a novice is not just getting to the front and staying there, it’s identifying and avoiding those you’re sharing the track with who are going to be a problem because they’re useless or reckless or revenge-driven or just in a difficult car to drive. Sometimes it’s just better to let the idiot past, because within a couple of laps, he’ll have put it in the barrier and you can breeze right past.
If Jade Edwards has learned a lesson in that respect, the day won’t have been wasted for her. She acquitted herself better than Davros ever has.
Sadly, so long as women are crowbarred into male-centric environments, the problems will not go away. But if Jade Edwards gets a full time drive next year, I won’t mind so long as it means Esmee Hawkey doesn’t get a drive. She can stick to making YouTube videos about makeovers and yoga.