I’m Pat and I watch too much racing.
Although I don’t watch as much as I did when I thought of this blog name which I really don’t like very much any more!
I still dedicate a lot of time to watching races, both live and old races on catchup. I read more articles and blog posts and tweets about motorsports than is healthy. I’ve got a stack of books to read but never seem to find the time because I’m watching races, listening to podcasts or reading the monthly magazines. People say I should stop and get a hobby. This is my hobby.
I was born in 1980 and live in a small town in the South West of England. As I’m hours away from most UK tracks I only make it to 2 or 3 events per year. I’ve been lucky enough to attend some F1 GPs abroad, usually have to pay it off over the next few years!
I’ve been watching racing since I was a kid in the late 80s, and like a typical British F1 fan in the late 1980s you can blame Nigel Mansell and Williams for that. I seriously got into the detail of F1 from about 1998 when I started getting the magazines.
One day I realised watching a lot of different series was more fun than knowing one series to a ridiculous level of detail. Since then I broadened my interests to MotoGP, IndyCar, sports cars, touring cars and a bit of rally.
It does mean I rarely remember any event that happens unless someone reminds me, on the upside you learn things that could be applied elsewhere.
I’ve been active in online motorsport fan groups since the end of 1998, blogging since mid-2008 and on Twitter since 2009. If Gen Z think they invented F1 memes – they are very wrong! I wish I’d kept stuff from that time, we thought it was hilarious.
From 1998 to the mid/late 2000s I was on F1NGers, which originally was a semi-hidden community on a newsgroup run by the then Formula1.com website, which at the time was an independently-owned site not affiliated with Formula 1 itself, until FOM purchased the domain in something like 2003.
The group then moved around different places and devolved into even worse trolling, slanging matches and hero-worshipping certain member/s. I got out of there in 2007/08.
I was a bit lost until another former member recommended Sidepodcast.com. This was a positive, open community encouraging new fans. It’s sadly a defunct website now, but was hugely popular for its podcast and community back in its heyday between 2008 and 2017. I even wrote posts for them and tried to encourage a bit of IndyCar-watching! The site and the people there inadvertently sucked up a huge chunk of time for nearly a decade because they were so easy to get along with that I felt it worth giving a lot of time back, and for some reason they tolerated me. I miss it still.
I set up this blog in 2008 to share enthusiasm about different types of racing to different people. At the time a lot of F1 fans, IndyCar fans, NASCAR fans, sportscar fans, they watch their own series and look down on everything else. They then have the temerity to refer to another group as snobs!
I also wanted to provide a haven for the few of us who like a lot of different things as, at the time, everything online had become so specialised.
I’ve noticed since about 2013/2014 people now watch all sorts of racing. Perhaps they were following Montoya around. And certainly a lot more since Alonso jumped to the Indy 500, the Dakar, and Le Mans and WEC. And I also think Formula E helped break the bubble of F1-exclusive fans. People pay a lot more attention outside F1 now.
The blog here dried up as ‘real life’ inevitably intervened. So many blogs have gone the same way. I’ve kept the site focused on the Google Calendars but I kept the blog just in case I restart it. It can take me ages to write a blog post and then by the time I’ve got all my thoughts out it turns out to be very long! I really like Tweeting. I’m cursed with fast typing fingers so I tweet a lot. I retweet even more. I’m on Twitter a lot.
In 2011 I started to make Google Calendars for the different race series I was interested in following. This grew rapidly and is now by far the most popular part of the site.
I try to keep them updated monthly. This isn’t always possible, it’s a hard job to keep on top of the changes, especially now there are many series listed that I don’t actually watch. I’m amazed how popular they are so I keep them going.
I used to get caught up in live-tweetalongs of races, where a bunch of us would do a sort of live Twitter commentary of the races, especially things like IndyCar races which not everyone could see.
It can be annoying though as the tendency is to describe what people can already see. The trick is to provide background not on the screen. I have consciously tried to steer away from live-tweeting recently, but still being present during races because it’s so much fun.
That said, I pay much better attention to a race when I’m not on Twitter.
My focus for live or as-live races is Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E. I used to watch a lot of MotoGP as well but lost BT Sport when I switched to Sky to keep my F1. I can’t afford both sets of sport channels.
I also thoroughly enjoy sportscar racing and attended FIA WEC and ELMS at Silverstone every year until they left, but endurance races are long, so it’s hard to keep up with the season. I’ve fallen behind. I really like touring cars as well but I’ve really struggled to keep up with that too.
Things have had to give during real life events!
Finally, an important point. I’m not a wannabe journalist, I’m not trying to get my name out there for exposure or a career. I’m not looking for content to be placed here, or to place content elsewhere.
If I know about you and you want a space to write about something, hit me up, it’s yours. But it’s a blog not a website, I’m not going to be able to pay.
This blog exists is for discussion among the community and for sharing of things I see and want to talk about.
It’s also, obviously, since 2012 been about e-calendars for Google and iCal!