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Monday, 9 July 2012

Gentlemen drivers (?)

Gassman on his Aurelia in "The Easy Life"
It was brought to my attention a very sad story. A story about politeness and manners, strictly linked to the oldtimers world. In a recent regularity, TSD rallying event held in Italy, some friends of mine, members of the crew in charge for the event management, complained about the general attitude of the participants. These guys, most of them being just students working on Saturdays and Sundays to finance their studies, were badly insulted by allegedly gentlemen drivers while giving them directions about the race, its rules and the way they had to behave during the event. 

This brought me back to an event I attended a couple of years ago, with my dad's sweet Fiat 600 Multipla. OK, the car was not a street monster, it was quite slow, but, man, we were supposed to be there to have fun. I have spent two days being brutalized by other participants as I was apparently preventing them to run fast and win over others. I assisted more than once to exhausting complaint sessions driven by participants who did not want to park where they should have theoretically had to, to move their car to facilitate car circulation, to eat in compliance of the dinner or lunch schedule, to drive according to the street rules, and so on and so forth. 

I am closer and closer to define the average regularity rally driver as selfish, rude and over competitive guy. I am actually astonished when I hear that 20-years old ladies were apostrophized as b####es after having kindly been asked a driver to follow the participants' starting order rather than illegally passing them over generating uncontrollable danger. 

That's sad, that's unbelievable and unacceptable especially in a classic car event, where the right spirit should be dominating over the final ranking. 

As manners cannot be taught to adults, I am wondering why the race leaders, including the organizing car club's executives, do not take action upfront, within the race regulation, as well in real time, i.e. during the race, simply disqualifying those gentle(?)men from the competition. Right away. 

Is that something happening so regularly only in Italy, as an unfortunate cultural aspect? Have you experienced or reported any similar circumstance, and how do you take action against that?

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