by Mallie Shuster
As I look forward to my journey I am excited to discover what makes the most impact on a race fan in the UK. I don’t know if feeling a connection to a driver away from the track will have the same influence in British culture as it does here in the US. I’m sure I will discover many cultural differences and similarities, but the opportunity to investigate an element of culture and find out something that is not immediately apparent will be a rewarding experience.
Making this video taught me as much about myself and what I am going to do in London as watching it can teach anyone who doesn’t know me. The reflection I had to do while deciding exactly what to talk about gave me a chance to look within myself and find answers that I didn’t even know I was looking for. I have been reminded of why I love the sport of racing and just how deeply rooted that love is. Now more than ever I look forward to meeting people half a world away who share the same love of growling motors and breakneck speeds. The opportunity to improve the sport that I love and help it to do more to benefit everyone involved with it is humbling.
I am thrilled to be able to learn about UK racing culture and to share with the friends I meet some of the elements of race culture from here in the US. I predict that I will find the BriSCA to be an exciting class of race car to watch and I find myself wondering what the relationship is between the stock cars, being the main event, and other support classes that may be part of a racing program. I know there are other classes of race car that compete at the same venues as the BriSCA stock cars, but I don’t know if they ever share the track on the same evening.
Here in the US, support divisions are an important part of most shows. They provide continued excitement between qualifying and consolation events for the headline class as the evening progresses towards the feature event. Support series also act as feeder programs that allow drivers to build their skills until they are ready to take on the challenges posed by headline classes. In central Pennsylvania, support classes enjoy popularity that often rivals the main event. It will be interesting to see if a system like this is an integral part of British racing programs as well, or if a race night typically consists of only a single class.
Other elements of a racing program, such as handicapping systems versus lining up races by qualifying times for each event, are also a mystery to me. There are countless things to discover about the experience of a race event in Britain. As our trip draws nearer by the day, I look forward more and more to finding the answers to all of my questions.