Matt Greenop on motoring

Matt Greenop is editor of Driven magazine

Matt Greenop: Loss of one of our own

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One person died after the Ferrari they were driving crashed at Taupo Motorsport Park this week. Photo/ Ben Fraser
One person died after the Ferrari they were driving crashed at Taupo Motorsport Park this week. Photo/ Ben Fraser

As we prepare to take a fistful of brave pills and head off on Targa North Island, it's deeply saddening to reflect on the tragic death of a true motoring enthusiast this week.

Napier Ferrari fan Andrew Bass died in hospital from injuries that he sustained after crashing his Ferrari 360 Spider at Taupo Motorsport Park on Monday.

Accidents in motorsport are, thankfully, very rare - but history dictates that nobody is immune. Senna, Brockie and our very own Possum Bourne and Mark Porter were all victims of forces far beyond their control - and were part of the elite at the top end of the sport.

Fortunately for those of us who like to turn a wheel in anger there are legions of people working tirelessly, often unpaid, to ensure that everyone who heads out on track is as safe as they can be. The automotive fraternity here thrives despite the gradual erosion by legislation of what we love. Political rhetoric and whinging wowsers have demonised sports-focused vehicles to the point they are, to some, becoming thoroughly antisocial.

Clubs and the tracks that willingly host them are doing an amazing job to give us an outlet - far from the madding crowd - to safely enjoy driving at pace.

Bass was a member of the Aussie Ferrari club, and like many of us had a serious automotive addiction.

To do the right thing and keep the racing off the road, his club and others round the world do a great job of planning motorsport events and track days for all levels of talent and budget.

Hearing the incredibly bad news while testing today's cover car at a circuit in Portugal was a sobering bolt from the blue. I never met Andrew, but by all accounts he was a top bloke who lived for his wife Lyndy, four children and his toys, which included two Ferraris, a classic Benz and a Harley.

Tragic accidents like his are an unfortunate reality - motorsport isn't completely safe, and let's be frank: a good game's a fast game. For all of us who derive genuine joy from motoring, it doesn't matter if we know the unfortunate victims or not, it's like losing one of our own.

Our sincere condolences to the Bass family from the team at Driven.

For more car news go to nzherald.co.nz/driven

Driven also have one copy of the limited edition BMW Car Art book to give away. For how to win head to our Facebook page DrivenNZ.

- NZ Herald

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