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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mr. Motorsport

By Simon

I love commentators. They are the custodians of the sport. Competitors, teams, coaches and owners can come and go, but commentators are a constant. For they're the trusted voices. They reflect our love of the sport and they keep that love burning. Motorsport is lucky enough to have a number of great people to voice the game, but for me I have one standout.

As far as I’m concerned, Murray Walker is Mr. Motorsport. He’s been commentating on motorsport in the UK, since the end of the 40’s. from 1978 – 2001, he commentated on Formula One, traveling to every venue the Grand Prix circus traveled to. Not only that he voiced the commentary for everything that the BBC aired whether it be rally-cross, touring cars or Formula Three. He knew the sport and the drivers. His trademark was his excitability. His voice would climb into a high-pitched wail when the action reached a crescendo. It was fantastic because it was something that matched the excitement of the viewer. He was always respectful to the drivers, which endeared him to them. The other trademark that endeared him to the public was his ability to get something wrong or jinx a driver whenever he endorsed their success. He’d say something like, “With two laps to go, nothing can stop so and so from winning.” A lap later, that driver’s car would be at the side of the track after being struck by lightning or something. He is a character like no other. I thought it was very cool that when he retired from F1 broadcasting, the owners of Indianapolis Speedway gave him a brick from the original track. I believe he's one of the few non drivers to be given one.
And while there are some very knowledgeable voices out there right now, no one inspires the kind of excitement in me like Murray did.

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