I’d probably say the one main thing I collect more than anything when it comes to motorsport, are programmes and race guides, in particular on real road racing!
I’ve amassed to date well over 70 race guides/programmes from events across the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man.
Over recent years there’s been some interesting designs for front covers of the products. A few of the most striking, dividing of opinion designs have included ones relating to TT 2011 and TT 2013.
The front cover for the TT 2011 official programme, featured John McGuinness, Ian Hutchinson, Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop in an almost music shoot pose.
Whilst the theme for the TT 2013 race guide featured competitors in an almost anime guise, which was fresh, different but there was also the words ‘Gunning for McGuinness’ adding in. This left me thinking was there any need to add this text in? It felt a touch sensationalist.
Same thoughts arose from me when viewing at first the TT 2018 Programme, which had the term H-Bomb showcased in referral to Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison.
Now I may be being pedantic but doesn’t H-Bomb have an alternative historic meaning. I know it’s perhaps a minor detail but it stood out to me back in 2018.
Outside of TT programmes/race guides, one of the biggest changes in terms of the look, feel, shape, design I’ve seen with regards an official event program turns attentions to North Yorkshire shores.
When Oliver’s Mount finally returned to the road race calendar in July of 2019, the Barry Sheene Classic programme felt so different.
Previous Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough programmes were essentially pocket size, very old school understated products.
The most recent Barry Sheene Classic programme though was magazine size, featuring a more glossy front cover.
This format continued for last September’s Gold Cup meeting, with eventual Gold Cup winner Lee Johnston gracing the front cover.
Although the designs change, the layouts change, the text inside alters in style, one aspect remains the same for race guides/programmes, writing the race results in!
Every time I spectate at Oliver’s Mount I notice people left, right, centre jotting the race results down in their programme.
Long live road racing race guides, programmes and spectator guides, there great momentos for fans, are pieces of history and are invaluable for us reporters like yours truly.
Words by Stevie Rial