My space reserved on the couch
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Sky TV, and more specifically MySky, has a lot to answer for.
Without it I might have time to indulge in mountain climbing. I would certainly spend a lot more time out fishing.
Instead, I will be glued to the TV, watching live and recorded motorsport (and a bit of rugby) as this weekend is one of those marathons of motorsport.
We have the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, with Scott Dixon starting from pole position. We also have the 75th running of the Monaco Grand Prix; a comparative youngster with a race first run in 1929.
With Dixon starting as the fastest qualifying driver and Fernando Alonso not far behind him on the second row, the Indy 500 will be compulsive viewing.
In a working capacity and as a fan, the Indy experience comes out on top, by a distance.
For me Monaco was always a Jekyll and Hyde event.
Perhaps my opinion is tainted by my early years when the paddock area was far from the pits.
That meant most of each day was spent lugging equipment from one place to the other as the pit lane had nowhere stuff needed to run the cars overnight.
The area became public property as soon as the practice sessions, qualifying and race were over. Chaos ensued almost with the drop of the chequered flag.
The haughty Monegasque gendarmerie added nothing to any good experience.
That was the Jekyll, but the Hyde part ... a heck of a place to have fun.
Ostentatious in the extreme and expensive beyond the normal budget.
Except, strangely enough the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo where anyone can play the tables as long as they pay the €10 entry. (Anyone who is not a Monegasque that is, they are banned from gambling.)
There is a glamour at Monaco that the small mid-west city of Indianapolis could never match.
Monaco is the millionaires playground, with the “haves” and the brash “corporates” — white shoes and gold neck-chains glinting as they escort their long-legged “lovelies” on to the huge overpriced yachts — and the “have nots” being the tourists flooding in from the comparatively cheap hotels and campsites in Italy and France on a daily basis.
As a Grand Prix destination it is an event that every F1 fan really should visit, if only once.
Business is done at Monaco, racing is done at Indy.
In the true American way, there is little in the way of a class divide with the drivers often mingling with fans — and awareness that it is those fans that make the sport what it is.
There is also a danger at the Speedway, amply illustrated by the accident that befell French driver Sebastien Bourdais in the qualifying runs.
For some, it was a surprise that two-time World Champion and McLaren Formula 1 driver Alonso chose to drive at the 500 over the Monaco GP.
Alonso has proved that he is a true “racer” so it should be no surprise that he chose to attend a race where he could do just that, over what may well turn into a glamorous parade.
And he has demonstrated just how good he is consistently in all his track runs.
Dixon is rated as being one of the best IndyCar drivers (apart from being a Kiwi and a nice guy) so a Dixon first, Alonso second result would be another tradition that I would be happy to see established come Monday morning.
Perhaps even the Alonso “stand-in” at the Grand Prix de Monaco, in the form of Jenson Button, could get on the podium.
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