Thank you Pit Crew

Back in February 2020, I saw a tweet by ThePitCrewOnline looking to take on contributors. At that point, I had just been writing aimlessly on my personal blog, since us narcissists always need an outlet of announcing when they have an opinion, and Twitter only gives us a small amount of space to express it.

I remember very vividly, I was waiting to get my hair done by my friend and had been for some food beforehand. I saw that tweet on my phone and was like “Heck, why not? I doubt they’d just take anyone on, I probably don’t have a hope in hell!”. Well, I was wrong. I spoke with the crew chief himself, Simon Tassie, and he asked to see some of my work and I forwarded him an article about Igor Fraga, the Gran Turismo champion who raced in Formula 3.

Before I knew it, I was in! I was immediately added to the group chats and introduced to everyone, I was welcomed in by all the immensely lovely people who were part of the Pit Crew and I got to work. I wrote a piece about Igor Fraga again, and wrote way more than could ever be digested.

Poor Jenny – who was tasked with finalising my article and preparing it for release. She likely pulled her hair out when telling me to part with a lot of information or nobody would read all the words I had written. We eventually settled on making it a two parter. I can only apologise for having to deal with me being wedged into the ground like an ancient tree, Jenny!

If by saying Igor Fraga and referencing him as a Gran Turismo champion wasn’t enough of an indicator, I am very into virtual racing. I’ve written many articles on Esports for ThePitCrewOnline and wrote enthusiastically about it. I was keen to share my passion for it, which is amazingly timed considering what was happening around the time I joined.

The motorsport world was rocked to a standstill by the COVID-19 pandemic, race after race cancelled with racing on track not returning until mid-summer.

The weekend of what would have been the Australian Grand Prix, sim racing came to the rescue with many real world pros and sim racers entered into two incredible events. The All-Star Esports Battle by The Race saw Max Verstappen enter, and the Not The Aus GP by Veloce Esports had Lando Norris compete and stream it to Twitch, being one of the most viewed concurrently watched broadcasts on the site at the time.

The sim racing boom had begun, and with the success of those events, we saw many Esports racing events take place. You had not only independent organisations starting up their own championships and events but also pre-existing motorsport series including but not limited to F1, MotoGP, IndyCar and Formula E all had their own Esports racing throughout that time.

My point is, there was no better time for an Esports fan to join a motorsport site to share enthusiasm for this amazing way to go racing. The peak of it all was the Le Mans 24 Virtual, of which I was very proud to live-tweet about it over the PitCrew account, tweeting two stints one late Saturday night and then the final three hours of the race.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a real world racing fan of course and I have written about things beyond Esports. Whether it be my opinion that that the Finnish fans deserve an F1 Grand Prix at the KymiRing where MotoGP will eventually race or the piece I wrote about drivers who are disabled for International Day of People with Disabilities such as Nathalie McGloin and Caleb MacDuff.

The piece of which I’m most proud is the article discussing Max Verstappen’s problematic comments in the wake of his clash with Lance Stroll in practice for last year’s Portuguese Grand Prix. It got an immense reaction but it was and is a conversation that had to be had.

I have so much to be grateful for, Pit Crew have given me a platform to allow me to express my passion for racing both real and virtual, and afforded me opportunities that I could never have gotten otherwise. I’ve made contacts in the industry and gained credibility and notoriety, and I am forever indebted to my crewmates.

The reason I’m saying this is because this is my farewell piece. I haven’t posted since March because I’ve been busy with uni work but even before I finished, I applied off to work for a sim racing reporting website called OverTake GG, and I’m delighted to say that application was successful. I am immensely privileged to be in the position I am, and I cannot thank Pit Crew enough for it.

The note I want to end on is that if you are wanting to build your portfolio in the hopes of getting gainful employment in the racing reporting industry, or just to wax lyrical with a bunch of incredibly lovely, likeminded people, the Pit Crew is the place for you!

I cannot recommend becoming a crewmate enough. This site will allow you to write about whatever you like (as long as it’s relevant of course) in your own time, and allow you to build a portfolio of work to then send off to other publications to make the next step into full-time employment.

You don’t have to join this site just in the hopes of gaining employment. You come here if racing is something that you are enthusiastic about and want to discuss it.

When Murray Walker passed away recently, all of us wrote about what he meant to all of us and I said that he blazed a trail. It was he who said “Those who can will do, and those who can’t will talk about it” and every single last one of us can have something to say about anything, we should celebrate it.

If anyone had told me back in early 2020 that I’d find my dream job as a result of contributing to Pit Crew and making contacts with so many people within this world, I’d have found it immensely difficult to believe. I cannot express enough just how much gratitude I have for ThePitCrewOnline. Thank you Pit Crew.

To my crewmates and to all readers here, I’ll see you out on track.

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