13 May BEHIND THE SCENES AT KILLARNEY – COMMENTATORS
In the first of a new series about the people who make racing at Killarney possible, we take you all the way to the top.
To the fifth floor of the control tower, where the commentators stand all day on race days, in a glass box (it has to have windows all round!) giving Killarney its voice and keeping you up to speed with what’s happening on the parts of the circuit you can’t see, as each race unfolds.
It’s a big ask: Not only do you need to watch the action all around the circuit, you have to keep an eye on the live timing monitor, while turning what you see into words – in real time! – speaking clearly and concisely all the time.
Turn the sound off and try it sometime while you’re watching motorsport online.
More than that, you need to be able to recognise the individual competitors’ cars or motorcycles at a glance from up to 600 metres away (bearing in mind that the bigger categories field up to 50 cars at a time) and you need to know a little about the leading drivers and their machines in each class – details that are not in the programme.
One member of the commentary crew sits all day with a radio glued to his ear, listening to race control and passing information on to the commentators.
So, it follows that the commentators are all deeply invested in motorsport, even though all of them have day jobs as well, and they spend a lot of off-duty time talking to the competitors about how they do what they do. They also do live crossings on air to the various radio stations that help us to promote motorsport at Killarney.
You can’t just pitch up on race day and do this job – you have to do your homework.
Killarney’s public address system suffers from the same problems as at all outdoor events; the sound from speakers further away reaches fans after that from speakers nearby, causing what sounds like an echo. There’s also a high level of ambient noise, often making the commentary difficult to follow.
The Killarney commentators have addressed these problems with a high-tech solution: their commentary is not only broadcast on the public address system but also on FM radio – tune your portable or car radio to 108 FM for crystal clear commentary.
We thank the Western Cape Motorsport Commentators; racing at Killarney – including Main Circuit, Short Circuit, Rallycross, Karting and Oval Track events – would be a lot less exciting for the spectators without them.
Follow the commentators on their own Facebook pages, Western Cape Motorsport Commentators and Tiny’s Pit Box, not to find out more about the guys behind the mike (they don’t post about themselves) but for a lot of motorsport info you won’t see anywhere else.