Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Loud or Quiet?

by Tammy

If you're in Dubai, the racing season has already begun. For us in the States, however, we're just two short weeks away from our season's kickoff, the 24 Hours of Daytona (you'll hear a lot more about that from me soon).

Out of the pre-season testing that's been going on, an article popped up that intrigued me. Oliver Gavin, one of the Corvette factory drivers, urged rulemakers and manufacturers not to make cars too quiet (Gavin Fears Quiet Cars a Fan Turn-Off), arguing that the noise is part of what fans like races for.

Now, I'll admit to being amazed and awed (and even startled) by the super-quiet Audi R-10, whose diesel technology made the car almost undetectable from five feet away, at least with the rest of the racing noise going on. And I'm well aware of the beating that one's body and eardrums take over hours and hours of race noise. Noise is exhausting. And probably less environmentally friendly overall.

But I have to agree with Ollie. I think the occasional quiet machine is fun and all, but racing wouldn't be the same without the high-strung whine of the Porsches and Ferraris. Without the base rumbly growl of the Corvette's V-8. Even without the grating roar of the Mazda rotary sometimes. Part of the racing experience is the overdose on noise and power and speed and drama.

And I don't think you can take that away from us! What do the rest of you think? Noise at the expense of environmental benefit? Can we have both?

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