Well, it’s that time of the year again. The nights are getting a little longer and that exquisite whiff of spring is almost in the air, meaning a new motorsport season beckons. Down under, the dulcet tones of court cases, sorry F1 engines, signify that that the merry go round is off and running once more.
However, it needs to be remembered that the motorsport pyramid does not stop at the Gates of Bernie. Beneath that glittering pinnacle lies a plethora of racing categories, both professional and amateur, that form the external face of the motorsport world. Supporting that structure lives and breathes a complete industry, employing over 50,000 people and turning over approximately £9 billion a year, often operating at the most extreme ends of the technological spectrum.
And slowly but surely the UK is waking up to the phenomenal success of its motorsport sector. What was once a cottage industry, a wonderful world of eccentrics and dreamers, is now a vibrant, expanding agent of change for the wider world of UK manufacturing. Indeed, it is the solutions being offered by the motorsport sector that will drive many of the answers that will keep a lighter, more responsive, more sustainable automotive industry, firmly at home, here in the UK.
However it remains the case that some elements of the motorsport industry remain reluctant to shout about its capabilities. Time and again, we have conversations with chief executives of some of the most inspiring firms in the UK, about publicising their expertise, their capability and are met by a wall of reticence.
The argument goes that we don’t want to shout about things because customers won’t let us. However, an imaginative PR programme does not have to compromise relationships with clients. Or even mention them.
That reluctance lies in stark contrast to the world of emerging, clean and disruptive environmental technologies. Across the waste, recycling and clean energy worlds, organisations are for more aware of the need to get out into the shop window of the world. Whether they are looking to attract funding, or to market their capabilities to a certain sector, they are more aware of the need to bang the drum and seek complementary avenues for their commercial endeavour.
The slightly frustrating thing is that both sectors are at the cutting edge of innovation – and of creating a more sustainable, more efficient world. We’d just like to see a few more of the unique success stories in motorsport breaking the mould and telling the rest of the world of their capabilities and value.