His comment piece in this paper headlined – ‘Is motorsport bad for mental health’ – certainly revved up the blood pressure of one of my colleagues here at the GP to the point he was close to blowing a gasket and, one would expect, had the island’s racing fraternity fuming with indignation.
In one way Dorey has a valid point in questioning the tourism value of most local motorsport events, but to suggest it operates behind ‘a self-serving facade of it being a popular sport’ displays an ignorance of how many islanders are involved across all the various racing disciplines.
Guernsey’s motor-racing scene has long been a triumph of commitment to a valid recreation that occupies the minds and lives of so many dedicated amateur sports folk.
Sure, there is a noisy downside to it all, but when the writer highlights environmental degradation in the island’s quieter parts, he should come and live around my way in the north if he wants to hear and witness how supposed economic advancement has ruined our peace and led to concerns as to how safe it is to walk pavements that regularly have lorries, buses and large vehicles mounting them.
It is not motorsport’s fault that youngsters want to race souped up cars or scooters that drive everyone nuts. That is for the authorities to deal with and racing can rightly contend that they can help in terms of youngsters operating more responsibly. In fact, I can recall high-ranking police officers stating such when speaking at motorsport presentation nights.
To my mind, a more valid question would be to ask whether there are too many motorsport events across the 12-month calendar?
For example, do entry numbers warrant sand racing being so regular these days?
This is not the 1950s and Thursday half-days anymore.
Are there are a couple too many hillclimbs when there is clear evidence that the frequency of racing events and the rising cost to enter, never mind maintain and improve a car, bike or kart, has led to reduced entry numbers?
As they say, sometimes ‘less is more’ and fewer events can often make them more special, more desirable for the competitor and watcher.
But, overall, motorsport is highly-organised, it cares about the public and its neighbours. It is responsible and, through its charity efforts on multiple fronts, shows it cares about others.