Douglas signs Aussie Randle for BRDC F4 WANT THE LATEST UPDATES? FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
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Australian star Thomas Randle will drive for Douglas Motorsport in BRDC Formula 4 this year.
The 19-year-old finished second in the Australian F4 series last season, but has previously raced in Britain when he competed in the British Super One karting series. He also took part in the final round of the Toyota Racing Series this winter.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be teaming up with Douglas Motorsport,” said Randle. “The new Tatuus car with Cosworth engine for 2016 looks very quick and, having seen Douglas’ results in the Autumn Trophy, I have the confidence that we can be quite strong in our championship assault.”
Team principal Wayne Douglas added: “We have been keeping an eye on him for a couple of years. I think he will be a good little pedaller and he has been competitive out in Australia and he did well in TRS – he was only a couple of tenths off Lando Norris. We’re delighted to have him.”
In the modern world of motorsport, a social media presence is essential. It is not only a means for a driver to connect with their fans and supporters, it is also a vital tool when it comes to showing potential sponsors how popular you are.
But there is a darker side to it, and that has recently been highlighted by the sport’s national governing body, the Motor Sports Association. It has issued a statement saying that it will take any cases of abuse on social media very seriously.
This has come about because of a case regarding an eight-year-old karter, who was involved in a controversial clash during a race.
The incident was dealt with by the officials at the track, but there was subsequently a sustained campaign, started by the parent of another racer, on social media which vilified the karter in question. It was a very ugly situation and one that has led the governing body to intervene.
Common sense would dictate that these spats should not be played out in public, and certainly not when they involve younger racers. But some people simply cannot help themselves, which is why the MSA guidance has been put in place.
Facebook and Twitter are useful tools to check out what a driver or team is up to. But they are dangerous places as a sounding board, and some people don’t seem to be totally aware of the damage they can do.
They are public forums and the messages sent are published to a large number of people. Messages aren’t only sent to the person concerned, but they are seen by all of those people’s followers. Those thoughts are, in the eyes of the law, published and that is what people need to be aware of.
Even some very famous drivers, those who you would think know better, are able to fall in to this trap. Several British Touring Car Championship drivers have Twitter accounts that beggar belief when you read some of the comments put on them after a race weekend.
It is hardly a tool for good when all it does is allow spur of the moment rants about other competitors. They are certainly not the messages that fans or backers want to see made public and do nothing to enhance the image of the people involved.
The fact that the MSA has taken this issue so seriously should make all those who use social media think twice.
Yes, it can be a power for good, but it can also be extremely damaging if used incorrectly.