After playing around with WordPress this weekend, I realised I could change the header image (that picture at the top of the page) to rotate randomly through a selection of suitable ones I uploaded.
Since I began EngageSportMode back in December 2011, I’ve always had one picture in the header. This:
If you don’t know, it’s a Lamborghini Murcielago SV. It’s very loud, very fast and very, VERY orange. When I was trying to come up with names and ideas for this website, the SVwas the one image I kept looking at and thinking about. The reason being that it, and the associated memories, encapsulate everything about why I love cars and what I want this site to be.
The backstory to the Murcielago SV picture involves ESM’s Other Half. As a Christmas present I had bought her a supercar driving experience day at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire. I’d done one similar for my 21st birthday, but the machinery on offer had moved on since the Ferrari 308 GTS was the top vehicle on offer. The format involves starting off with slower machinery, before working your way up to the main event, or something along those lines.
For ESM’s OH, this meant learning the circuit in a Mazda 3 MPS, then driving a Porsche Cayman, followed by a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. It would have been the Murcielago were it not for the fact it was hugely expensive in comparison. This was rounded off by a few laps in a track prepared Ginetta.
North Yorkshire in May is hardly renowned for its glorious weather, despite how much the locals call it “God’s own County.” In particular, race circuits seem to act like magnets for bad weather, which was exactly what happened whilst ESM’s OH was on track in the Ginetta. The rainfall which happened can probably be best described as biblical, and meant all track action was swiftly stopped. Much like a rain hit F1 practice session, this meant everyone cleared off into the pits or to the burger van to escape the downpour.
It was at that moment that I found myself leaning against the door of one of the pit garages, looking at this:
For a brief period of time, it felt like it was just the Murcielago SV and me in that rain-soaked pit lane. The violence of the ducts and intakes, the ridiculousness of that rear spoiler and the knowledge of the potent performance underneath it all were hugely emotive, as I watched the rain lash down onto it. Many have talked about the stupidity of ascribing emotion to mechanical objects, but in that moment it was clear the SV had a soul. It was not just another car built to travel from A-to-B; the craftsmanship and creation behind it had given it the potential for far more than that.
As car enthusiasts we look beyond automobiles as mere transportation. They bring us joy, happiness, frustration and heartbreak; human emotions caused by a collection of metal and plastic. The Murcielago SV represents the zenith of such enthusiasm and, whilst other images may rotate at the top of this page, only one truly symbolises the ethos beyond EngageSportMode. Deep, I know.