For the author, Formula One in the early ’70s represented a Golden Era, when nearly half of the grid had the capability to win. Here, Niki Lauda, in a Ferrari, leads the pack away from the start of the 1974 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
Photo: Pete Lyons
While indulging one of my secret vices the other day – watching motorcycle racing on TV – I started thinking about something a commentator mentioned. This is the last year of 2-stroke engines in the Grand Prix bikes. Next season they start using 4-strokes.
Not that anyone asked me, but it’s a move I applaud. It’s a matter of aural aesthetics: something in me has never liked listening to “ring-dings.” I just love the eerie howl that comes out of a proper big, complicated, finely-machined amalgamation of cams and valves. So I’ll tune in to the bike GPs even more eagerly next year.
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