We love our motorsport.
We enjoy the camaraderie of racing door to door with our friends, we enjoy the scream of the engine on the red line, we enjoy finding another tenth of a second on our fastest lap, and we enjoy getting past that driver who has always been that fraction quicker.
Between races there is talk and laughter in the pits – a new young driver who is showing potential, a great overtaking move, or the swapping of the lead at the front of the field. We are amazed when competitors pit crews drop everything to find parts to get our own car back onto the track after an unexpected breakdown.
Our wallets appreciate that the costs of the series are achievable, that our cars are relatively inexpensive to build and run, and that there are few breakdowns and damage on the track.
At the end of the day we all enjoy sausages on the BBQ, tall stories and cold beer.
This is who we are.
There are other drivers at higher levels of motorsport who race on a different plane. They must win at all costs, will give a push where a push is required, who talk the talk of politics, and have a budget that makes damage affordable. If you are one of these drivers, then you may not be a driver for us.
Our series may be lower in terms of budget, but we aspire to a higher level in terms of our driver behaviour, respect for our fellow competitors, camaraderie and enjoyment of our sport. By racing in our series you have the benefit of knowing that your fellow competitors will treat you well, and that you in turn, will do the same.
The race committee is fully committed to and strongly endorses this culture and will do whatever is required to maintain it. Some drivers may not fully understand its importance and act in ways not consistent with our values, and the committee will act to ensure that change will occur.
Our culture rises above the rules. The rules are set and enforced by Motorsport New Zealand and represent the minimum standard expected of a driver, but our culture expects more. Motorsport New Zealand are solely responsible for enforcing the rules, and beyond this, the race committee will enforce the culture.
Above all, enjoy yourself and provide an environment for others to do the same.
Be fast, be safe, and be respectful.
To develop and maintain our series culture, your fellow competitors have set out the following principles to apply to both you and them. They are not exhaustive, they are not a set of rules, and they are not always specific, but the message is clear. Do this, and in return your fellow competitors will do the same for you.
Communicate with your competitors with wisdom, consideration and even temper. Encourage others when they need encouragement, be friendly, and communicate in a way that would serve as a shining example to your peers.
Take pride in your car. Present it in a way that you can be proud of as it reflects you. Fix the things that need to be fixed, and enjoy the admiration of fellow competitors and public alike.
If you cause an incident, talk to those involved. If you are the subject of an incident, listen before you talk. Remember, if you race, in time you will inevitably find yourself on both sides of these discussions.
Respect the series rules. Win with a clear conscience that your car complied with all of the series requirements. Relying on a technical advantage is an acknowledgement that your driving is inferior to your competitors. Spend the money on driving lessons instead.
Drive hard but drive fair. Avoid being in the wrong, but equally avoid being in the right and in an accident. Letting a position go and talking about it with your competitor is better than winning the place and talking about it with your panel beater.
The series prize is a trophy, glory, and the respect of your fellow competitors. Not having the last of these three robs you of the most important prize of all.
Give new drivers room to make mistakes. Everyone who is old and wise was first young and inexperienced. Be a role model.
Adhere to the Motorsport New Zealand rules. They are designed to improve your, and everyone else’s chance of survival.
The race committee are volunteers and have your, and the series best interests at heart. Treat them as such.
Your actions reflect on you as a person, the entire BMW Race Driver series, and Motorsport in New Zealand. We strive for you to represent us well.
We understand that there are some who drive in our series who want to race harder and rougher, who place winning above respect for their fellow competitors and their equipment, who communicate in an angry or derogatory manner, and consider they are above Motorsport New Zealand rules and our race series culture. These drivers actually fit into another race series and are only driving temporarily with us. The race committee will assist these drivers to move to a series where all drivers have their values.
At times things occur that are regrettable and we understand this. The race committee has implemented a three stage system to help drivers who need encouragement to better understand our culture. All three stages may be applicable to a single incident.
Stage 1: Motorsport New Zealand and their delegated representatives are responsible for and will enforce the rules of racing. Where a breach of Motorsport rules also breaches our cultural values, the race committee may also take action as described in stages 2 and 3.
Stage 2: The race committee invokes a point’s deduction.
Stage 3: A public record of ‘incidents’ will be created and published on our website. Each time contact occurs, a car unexpectedly leaves the track, something dangerous happens, communication is inappropriate, or behaviour is inconsistent with our culture, a single mark will appear against that driver’s name. A few marks may just be part of racing. Having the most marks on public display may be laughed off by some drivers, but everyone knows what this means. Those drivers identifying themselves by having the most marks will always be spoken to by a committee member.
The committee is simply a group of people making the best decisions they can. We will not pour over race footage from every angle into the early hours of the morning. Just like a referee call in a rugby game, there will be some variability in our decision making. The best way to ensure you are not subject to this slightly variable process is to stick to the culture, enjoy yourself and race fast and clean. That way we will never need to make a decision about you, and therefore can’t possibly get it wrong.