Twice over the years has there been word of a London Grand Prix. Park Lane, Oxford Street, pits in Hyde Park... Fabulous. Once, back in 2004, the then mayor Ken Livingstone allowed a showcase event with Formula 1 cars in the middle of the city during the build-up to the Silverstone race, but it was all for show; burnouts and engines on the limiter in order to please the crowds hanging off lamp posts to see over the acres of 'health and safety' barriers.
Closing the streets of downtown Anywheresville will get harder and harder as the state gets ever more cautious. California though; now that's a different matter altogether. Only two weeks ago the main Figueroa drag through the centre of Los Angelis was closed to allow rally cars to race around for three days with massive live TV action and more than 141,000 people coming to watch. Welcome to the X-Games.
If you've never heard of the X-Games, then think dudes on skateboards, 18 tattoos, big Oakleys and large amounts of bravery on skateboards, BMXs and Motocross bikes that defy belief when you see them close up. And I mean defy...
Most car people had probably not heard of it until Colin McRae rolled his gold Subaru in LA's Olympic Stadium during the rally final of 2006, but for extreme sports in the USA it is the place to show your tricks. You know, before McRae saddled up six years ago, most Americans thought he was a made up computer game character like Lara Croft but with more balls. The American crowd loved him. They had just discovered what we'd been enjoying since he got hold of a Group N Sierra in the British Open Championship in 1989.
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