Le Mans

The BTCC is, of course, the British Touring Car Championship. But before I get into this, some history...

Years ago, I joined Compuserve, and became an active member of the Motorsports forum - essentially, a talking shop for like-minded petrolheads. After a while, I was asked if I wanted to join the staff of the forum, as a reporter. I said Yes, and started reporting on the BTCC.

That was a while ago, maybe around 1994. Iíve been going to six or seven meetings a year since then - there are twelve or thirteen meetings per season, spanning April to September. Until this year, Iíve been limiting myself to the Ďlocalí circuits - Silverstone, Donington Park and Oulton park - plus Croft, in North Yorkshire, because nobody else goes there.

Two years ago, Autosport magazine set up their website and, after an abortive start, they asked me to arrange their coverage of BTCC weekends. Since there was money involved, I agreed. It didnít make a difference to the races I attended, since my two colleagues, Jon Baker and Jacquie Groom, went to the rest, with occasional help from Carl Woodrow.

Well, that worked fine for a couple of seasons - but then Autosport decided they didnít want to pay me, as well as the guy writing the magazine article. Personally I think this was a mistake, and not just because it meant they werenít paying me, but also because the coverage on the site has gone significantly downhill.

However, the good news is that for the 2000 season, I have a contract with the series sponsors of the BTCC, Auto Trader, to provide coverage for their website. The better news is that itís providing enough to make it worthwhile for me to go to all the rounds. Well, I think itís good news - Jenny isnít convinced.

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