What's Wrong With This Picture: The Deepest Sand… In The World
“Former Stig Ben Collins endured a difficult debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship during the final rounds of the 2010 season at Brands Hatch.”
What have we learned from this?
Well, the recap indicates what all race car drivers know but most Top Gear viewers don’t, namely that there’s no magic to the business and that you have to work hard to win races.
One championship-winning Grand-Am owner summed it up very well on his Facebook page:
A very sad, if not unexpected, end to The Unmasked Stig’s first weekend in British Touring Car (at Brand’s Hatch). Proof positive that he should have stayed where he was rather than proving he’s not really the mythical man in the white suit we all hoped he would be.
For the record, in my professional touring-car debut I was three seconds a lap off Randy Pobst’s pace in a fairly similar car but at least I drove it for 45 minutes without crashing! Unfortunately, my co-driver Jamie had a missed shift on the back straight four laps after kicking my slow ass out of the car.
WHOA! 3s off the pace? That puts you firmly in the 'gentleman drivers' category then... But yeah...stiggy qualified at the back of the grid and says a bad shift caused him to run off the track. Even for people who knew not to expect any 'magic' that's still somewhat disappointing. Also, (former?) fifth gear presenter Jason Plato took the title on the same day...Ouch.
I found the "Stig" character to be nothing more than entertainment. But man does he entice some serious jealously amongst other racing/car types. I guess in part because he has a pretty cool gig going.
And now, it's time to hand the BMW 320si over to TTAC's tame racing driver. Some say...that his interpretation of the Pobst Position is to bend over and touch the place where his toes should be. And that he used his very own hand as the model for the "thumbs-down" portion of the TTAC logo. All we know is, he's called the Jack.
People don't have a good idea how difficult it is to go quickly in a race car. Even some so-called fans think it's a matter of getting in a car and driving fast - which is just as absurd as the people who think that NASCAR is no different from a freeway drive. To give an idea what a warped perspective of motorsport people have (at least in the US), an ESPN (IIRC) article listing 200 sports in order of 'physical difficulty' ranked auto racing between badminton and shuffleboard. You've got to wonder if the guys writing that article had ever even bothered to watch a race...