Motorsport, money and crashes – it ain’t always fair

(or; Euan Duncan likely to miss the Speyside Stages)

Motor sport can be tough at times, especially if you’re doing it on a tight budget. If I was to break my tennis racket or burst a football while taking part for enjoyment and personal satisfaction, I could nip down to JJB Sports and be fully furnished with new gear within the hour. However, if I was to break a rally car by, say, wrapping it round a tree, then at grassroots level there’s very little chance I’d be able to have it ready for the next weekend.

In fact, as Euan Duncan is demonstrating at the moment, if you have a serious accident then it could be months before your car is back in one piece. Euan put his Honda Civic on its roof in the closing stages of the Scottish Rally, and it’s now looking like the car’s not going to be ready for the upcoming Speyside Stages. The Scottish was in June, and it’s now August. That’s nearly six weeks and three rallies on the sidelines – and yet if a Formula One driver sends their car into the barriers, then he or she can be back out on track within fifteen minutes. Dig a little deeper than what you see on television and you’ll find motorsport isn’t quite as glamorous as Bernie Ecclestone would like us to believe.

“I’m basically running out of time,” admits Euan, who by day works as a service engineer. “My main men in the service crew are away and it’s too much for me to do by myself at weekends and evenings. I mean, I could get it done if I had all day, but I’ve got to go out and work for a living.”

One of the most talented rally drivers in Scotland is having to sit out event after event because he can’t get the time to put his car back together. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world someone is repeatedly stumping up large sums of cash to put Sakon Yamamoto out in a Hispania Racing Team F1 car, a man so slow he was lapped by his own teammate in this afternoon’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Sadly, it seems, money really does talk in motorsport.

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