A new car competition will pass through the Czech Republic on Thursday and Friday. Central European Rally. It sounds noble. But it’s nothing to cheer about.
In my native north of Bohemia, we have long experience with Rallye Bohemia. While I somewhat understand the ecstasy of fans of whizzing discs, I understand more the annoyance of people living along the tracks.
They protest in vain for years. That the competition locks them into house arrest. That they can’t open the window without risking their nasal septum being crushed by the rearview mirror of a chasing “wéercé” triumphantly. That the roads are closed in a wide area. That alert police antonys are flashing around. And along the borders are scattered iridescent lemonade straws, fermenting beer cups, skewers with the remains of smoldering cotton candy, horseradish-greased burrito trays. Mess.
And that the already barely slicked-up districts in the Czech Paradise are even more torn up by special asymmetric tires after the sports weekend. There is no need to talk about the harmfulness of emissions from run-of-the-mill turbocharged machines.
The race often leads through roads lined with dense forests. Extreme noise is not good for the well-being of animals and the entire ecosystem. Which is generally contrary to the planetary effort not to trouble nature with the tried and tested climate crisis.
Last but not least, people sometimes die in rallies. Competitors and spectators. Let’s pray it doesn’t happen now.
Official information says that the Central European Rally takes place from October 26 to 29 in the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. It is the penultimate race of the World Championship in automobile competitions. The first crews are said to be sent to the track by President Petr Pavel, and Prime Minister Petr Fiala is also expected to be present. At the finish line, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder will award the best.
Classy action, one would say.
It is stupid, for example, that one of the stages goes through Šumavské Hoštice. The village lies at the upper edge of the Šumava foothills, six and a half kilometers from the forested Boubín. It is crossed by the border of the Šumava PLA.
Indeed, the ideal place for the whine of tour engines.
Similar to the Bohemia Rally, the Central European Rally is accompanied by arbitrary, several-day-long recklessness. The organizers dictate to the local people where they can and cannot go. Where their children can play. And where not. Where he can and cannot walk the dogs.
Unpleasantly. But still the smallest.
Rallies also have fatal consequences. For drivers and navigators in cars, but also for spectators. For fans who want to “warm up” the experience with the best possible view. They don’t respect the guardrails, they turn their cars on their phones in confusing corners and beyond unpredictable horizons.
It should be underlined with a bold affirmative tilde that the organizers of the Central European Rally pay respectable attention to security on the Internet. They navigate viewers to photographically appealing, yet safe locations. There are phone applications that can be downloaded that show the way to attractive but risk-free “instaspots”, as they say today. There are maps for online download, QR codes, online navigation. Top job. The question is whether people will follow it.
I don’t mean to offend anyone, but we live in a revolutionary era. Not only due to the influence of technology, but also due to the changing priorities of the population in relation to the planet. Despite the efforts of the organizers, car races – outside closed and specially designated circuits – are unsustainable, indefensible.
The fate of a sport that destroys public property, restricts people’s freedom and harms nature is sealed in the twenty-first century.
Just as medieval knightly duels to the death have been replaced by more elegant races, ball games and gentlemanly swordsmanship, rallying will probably be replaced in the foreseeable future by… Well, it’s hard to guess. Something more civilized.