When referring to gentlemen's sports, people tend to nominate only the boring, white-collar , Versace-suit games like snooker , golf , curling or cricket. Which is true, if the gentleman miraculously happen to also be an accountant...or...ecologist...or...not a gentleman.
Truth is, the very first and genuine gentlemen's sport was rather dangerous and dirty. It was the designer suits' nightmare and it didn't involve any ball-hitting instruments. Instead, it involved plenty of grease and exploding petrol...and widows. Yes, we're talking about motor racing.
It appeared as a fetish for the really rich boys who got bored of racing their horses. They found out that going sideways in a car without seatbelt, roof or proper brakes was miles more interesting than trying to convince an animal to run. Add this to the fact that, back in the 20's, the girls were naturally attracted to cars, and you get the perfect formula for a great sport.
But why is it a gentlemen's sport? Because only gentlemen would spend a lot of money on cars which sooner or later would disappear in clouds of smoke. Actually, in motor-sport, spending money is not a problem, it's all about the spirit of competing and about the pursue of technical perfection. And this is what matters for a real gent...for him, money is just an instrument destined to be spent on what other people would consider stupid...just because some are wise and some are otherwise. It's in the mentality of the motorist to get past the shallow thinking of the majority and concentrate on the ultimate form of competition yet known to man. Because the racing driver is not a footballer...he's a gentleman...and an artist.
Driving as a form of art has always been associated to rally-racing. Rallying , is the only competition to excite all the senses , in a merge of petrol smell dissipated in clouds of dust and smoke...and noise. It's the perfect balance between man and machine, between madness and technique...maybe it's more artistic than figure-skating. Grouppe B rallying of the 80's stand as a proof of what a real man in a car can do:
Today, technology evolved and, as a result , racing ain't as spectacular as it used to be. However , the pilot remains the one to bring the car to life, he remains the beloved artist behind the wheel...and yet today, the pilot is a genuine Gentleman.