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Congratulations to Randy and a few facts on international trackchasing

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  • Vanden Eynde Roland
    Hello colleagues, A few years ago, our current list owner Guy Smith wrote on this forum that he considered my international track portfolio one of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2010
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      Hello colleagues,

      A few years ago, our current list owner Guy Smith wrote on this forum that he considered my international track portfolio one of trackchasing's major achievements. I utterly disagreed with that statement and I still do. Europe is a very small continent: Canada alone is a lot larger than the whole of Europe (bar the Ukraine and Russia). It is therefore without a hint of jealousy that I congratulate Randy on having seen races in most countries, now that El Salvador has become the 45th different country in which he has witnessed countable racing.

      In my mind, Randy and several other trackchasers have much more 'geographical merit' than me. If one compiles a list with not only countries, but one in which the states of the USA (including DC and Puerto Rico), the Canadian territories and provinces and the states and territories of Australia are each counted individually instead of the country in its entirety, my geographical spread is only average. A little illustration of the top 5 perhaps:

      1. Randy Lewis: 42 + 51 + 10 + 3 = 106
      2. Will White: 21 + 52 + 10 + 0 = 83
      3. Carol Lewis: 23 + 50 + 5 + 3 = 81
      4. Guy Smith: 9 + 52 + 12 + 5 = 78
      5. Roland Vanden Eynde: 41 + 31 + 2 + 3 = 77

      But my university professor of statistics always used to say: 'drawing up statistics is the most scientific way to tell a lie'. In line with those words of wisdom, I'd like to look at international trackchasing from a slightly different angle. First of all I very seldom trackchase in countries or regions which speak my mother tongue. In fact, they only add up to about 38% of my total number of tracks, whereas for almost all other trackchasers this number covers between 95 and 99% of their total number of tracks. Unlike most other chasers, who only rack up 1 track per far away country (or a few, but in one visit), I've also been to more than 100 races in three countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, USA) on two continents, I've a further two countries (France, Germany) in which I saw more than 50 different tracks, a further four (Canada, Italy, Sweden and Spain) in which I saw 10 or more different tracks and another five (Australia, Austria, Denmark, Luxemburg, Portugal) in which I saw 5 or more different tracks. Moreover, I have seen 10 or more tracks in 5 American states (Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania) and one Canadian province (Ontario).

      I've thus seen countable racing at more tracks on other continents than any other trackchaser. And that without airline facilities, almost without any help from others (it's no fun for me when others roll out the red carpet), and with very limited technology (I want to be able to continue to think independently from gizmos). Even if one counts any country south of Mexico as Latin America, no other trackchaser is anywhere near my total of tracks outside my own continent:

      1. Roland Vanden Eynde: 170
      2. Mark Kelly: 121
      3. Randy Lewis: 113
      4. Colin Casserley: 110
      5. Carol Lewis: 52

      I also had multiple visits to tracks on three continents:

      Nürburgring: 86 visits
      Hockenheim: 13
      Diepholz, Wunstorf: 4 each
      Oschersleben: 3

      Great Britain
      Brands Hatch: 45
      Silverstone: 19
      Thruxton: 18
      Donington: 13
      Lydden Hill: 6
      Snetterton: 5
      Birmingham Street Course, Mallory Park, Castle Combe, Kirkistown: 3 each
      Rockingham, Skegness: 2 each

      Zandvoort: 37
      Valkenswaard: 10
      Venray: 3
      Assen, Lelystad, De Polderputten,Terwolde: 2 each

      Croix-en-Ternois: 31
      Circuit Bugatti: 10
      Montlhéry, Magny-Cours: 8 each
      Pau: 5
      Dijon Prenois: 4
      Rouen les Essarts, Circuit de la Sarthe, Paul Ricard: 3 each
      Nogaro, Anneau du Rhin, Circuit Chemin aux Boeufs: 2 each

      Monza: 10
      Misano Adriatico: 4
      Vallelunga: 3
      Mugello, Binetto, Varano de Melegari, Imola, Magione; 2 each

      Colmarberg: 10

      Österreichring: 6
      Salzburgring: 3

      Circuit de Monte Carlo: 3

      Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic
      Masarykring: 3
      Most: 2

      Lignières: 3

      Autodromo Ricardo Tormo: 3

      United States
      Indianapolis Raceway Park: 5
      Tioga Speedway: 4
      Road America, Watkins Glen: 3 each
      Michigan International Raceway, Cayuga County Fairgrounds, Manzanita Speedway, Buttonwillow, Phoenix International Speedway, Trail-Way Speedway, Wisconsin International Speedway, Mid Ohio: 2 each

      Exhibition Grounds Toronto: 3
      Mosport Park: 2

      Circuito Oscar Galvez: 3

      I suppose I do have some merit as a true international trackchaser and motor racing lover. But if Randy wants to shout his 'victory' from any rooftop, he's fully entitled to do so.

      There are some new countries in the 2010 pipeline for me as well, so he can't rest on his laurels yet. However, he can be assured I'm not going to do silly things to add lots of countries to my list, for the only things that motivate me to see a race in a far away country are that country itself and its local racing scene. And in all honesty, I can't see that many that fit the bill and that I haven't visited yet. Anyway, like most of us, my objectives are purely personal and not ruled by competition. This is a hobby, not a power or an ego struggle.

      Let me conclude that, health and overbooked flights permitting, I hope to make a few more intercontinental trips in the years to come (and some might get me the occasional new non European country), before one day retiring to Aline's native Guadeloupe and become the first trackchaser with absolutely no countable racing in his territory of residence. Now that would be a record Randy would be hard pressed to beat, unless he moves to Afghanistan, were at last he could eventually (if he found a native speaker fluent in American English) learn the difference between a burka and a djellabah (which this distinguished number one world traveller didn't know at the time of his Moroccan reports).


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