F1 Stockcars.com : Guest Writer Article Coventry Meeting Programme October 2011

Stephen Cording was asked to be Coventry’s October 2011 Meeting Programme’s Guest Writer. Here is a reproduction of the article in full.

From the computer monitor to the page! I was very surprised to open the email (as if it would be any other way) asking if I would like be this months guest writer for tonight’s programme. An offer and honour that is simply to good to turn down.

Stephen 'The Marketing Dude' Cording

So who am I? That’s a very good question. Stephen Cording or tagged on the internet as Waz. Why Waz? No hidden meaning or anything to hide behind. When I stumbled upon the very well known BriSCA Formula One fans forum STOXNET and decided to ‘sign up’ myself, being new to the internet and forums I saw that users all seemed to have nicknames. I attempted to sign up as Steve but that had been taken, as had Steve C. So after much time I looked at the keyboard and QAZ didn’t look right but WAZ did. I thought I’ll change that to something better when I think of it. That’s it, myth over.

I prefer to be called Stephen or Steve but these days more people just call me waz. Why didn’t I just think up a decent user name in 2005, like Stephen Cording? Anyway, fundamentally I am a F1 Stock Car fan. When I’m referred to as being a ‘Blinkered F1 Fan’ I don’t have a problem with that, really, that’s what I am after all. This does not mean however that I have no time or interest in supporting formulas. It is just that is how I see them, as supporting formulas. For me, F1 Stock Cars are the headlining act, the main billing, the reason I go to 30+ meetings a year.

You can probably see already that I have passion for this wonderful sport. For me, F1 Stock Car racing is the very essence of motorsport. Man and Machine versus Man and Machine. Don’t be fooled by the basic looking design or racing concept (just turn left, right?) these cars are very complex beasts, where the most subtle of set-up change can mean coming first or finishing last. And just because you have the perfect racing set up for the track and weather conditions, that does not guarantee you a race win or top ten finish. Not when you put contact into the mix. And not just the senseless taking out of an opponent (although as fans we do love it when pay-back is given) but the skilful contact used to move your opponent off the racing line without slowing your own momentum or unbalancing your own car. And if you’re really lucky you might even have made it to the front (or kept out front) right up to the very last lap. And even then you’re not guaranteed the win, not due to mechanical failure but the last bender! That’s when as race fans we hold our breath, shout out loud, stand up and jump around in anticipation. And if the ‘last bender’ is completed – well, that’s it. That feeling is Stock Car Racing.

Ok, so I’m a Formula One fan what else warrants me column space within this programme?

I hope those of you that have a computer, visit the fan run website I help out with, F1 Stockcars.com. In the off season of 2008 I was contacted by Ade, who had designed a website ‘F1 Stockcars.com’ and didn’t know where to go with it as no-one seemed interested. Before binning it Ade contacted me. He knew I had a passion for the sport as he had followed my online exploits in the way of the Fans Tyre Fund.

The Fans Tyre Fund – An online group of F1 fans that donated money and awarded a brand new Hoosier tyre to the unluckiest lower grade budget driver that month. A total of eighteen tyres were awarded through the Fans Tyre Fund between 2006 – 2008 to the following drivers; Steve Hattersley #69 – Phil Perkins #6 – Richard Bryan #238 – Dave Willis #337 – Nick Jagger #333 – Tim Warwick #307 – Simon Brooke #92 – Graham Wagstaff #330 – Geoff Nickolls #215 – Adam Slater #214 – Chris Cooke #460 – Mike Ashcroft #278 – Ian Brickley #246 – Rob Bradsell #265 – Chris Cooke #460 – Steve Jacklin #136 – Graham Wagstaff #330 and Richard Bryan #238. With an extra tyre being donated into the 2011 Under 25’s Championship prize fund last Sunday taking the total number of tyres donated by the fans to nineteen. I am very proud of this achievement, Sadly with the issues around tyres through 2009 and with my undertaking of the F1 Stockcars.com website, the Fans Tyre Fund is currently on a sabbatical and with the full agreement of the active members, the FTF will continue to support the sport through the annual Under 25’s Championship.

F1 Stockcars.com. It’s not just a hobby, it’s a way of life. Did I have any idea of just how much time and work is involved in running a website? NO. If I did would I have still said ‘yes’ when asked if I could do something with F1 Stockcars.com? Probably not! Before I go any further I am not F1 Stockcars.com, It is not MY website. I agreed to do something with it. And without the help, support and sheer hard work of my partner (and Ladies Race competitor 2007, 2008) Ailsa Haigh, F1Stockcars.com would have gone off line a long time ago. She is the brains of the outfit and the real ‘F1 Stockcars.com’ – Don’t kid yourself girl it’s mostly down to you. We should be Thanking you. Come to think of it why isn’t it you writing this?

Steve Botham, Paul Tully and Colin Casserley all panic when they see ‘the note book’ come out. Jesting apart, those three guys have all fully supported the website with their excellent photos and features and without their continued input, the website would be a lot duller place. Another major contributor is Nigel Anderson BSCDA Historian who provides our points and statistics along with Carl Hesketh and his Points Microsite Program – Wow! it’s so in-depth, you can lose hours when visiting. Andre Zang (ex402), Damian Noblett and Dave Goddard regularly submit meeting reports which help give the website a fresh, different approach. F1 Stockcars.com is a fan based website and welcomes contributions, be that meeting reports, photos, build diaries, workshop reports. Anything is considered so get in touch with us via formula1stockcars@gmail.com.

A few hours most week nights is probably spent working on the site. Why? Because those involved in the website have a love for the sport. We’re not in a rush to be ‘first to break the news’, but rather the most professional looking presentation of the news on the internet platform. A little like STOXWORLD and Stock Car Magazine are on the written platform. F1 Stockcars.com I believe shares very similar ethics with these publications, we strive to present the sport of F1 Stock Car Racing in the most professional format we can.

From the very start, the aim of F1 Stockcars.com was to take the sport of F1 Stock Cars to the younger ‘internet’ generation, to try and tempt them to log-off, go and attend this wonderful sport for real. How many of you reading this shake your head when you hear kids say ‘they have nothing to do’? How many of you look back with fond memories of F1 Stock Car racing from the past? It’s a great way to spend a Saturday night! With less tracks and less F1 meetings taking place ‘locally’ the internet we believe is the key to taking the sport forward. The youth of today still have cars and are willing to travel for entertainment. They just have to be informed of what’s going on and where it is.

F1 Stockcars.com have worked very closely with Coventry. Coventry are one of the few promotions that regularly supply information and it is my belief that F1 Stockcars.com played a small part in the bumper World Final crowd that was seen here in 2010. In the twenty four hours following a World Final Press Release on the website, the article would receive over 10,000 hits (individual views). I’m in no way saying F1 Stockcars.com did it all, Coventry’s promotion team worked very hard and there was also something called ‘Gears & Tears’. Again in the hour following transmission, F1 Stockcars.com would receive over two thousand visitors, many from Google and other search engines.

So what are the future plans of F1 Stockcars.com. Live Streaming? Live Results? No. We will continue to provide the best of the information we have, making it available to both new and established fans to keep them up-to-date with what’s happening. We would like to improve upon our working relationship with both the BSCDA and BriSCA Promoters to assist them in the continued promotion of THE greatest motorsport, Formula One Stock Car Racing. More pressing than that however, is that we all have a night of F1 stock car racing under lights to enjoy first, so thanks for coming and I hope everyone has a safe and pleasant evening here at Coventry.

Thanks for reading.

Stephen Cording

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