IMSA Spotlight: Jeremy Shaw
Auto Racing Writer and Broadcaster
What is a typical weekend at the race track like for you?
“There probably isn’t a typical weekend because I do different things for different race events. For an IMSA weekend, I typically get in the day before the start of practice, and because the IMSA weekends are so busy I have breakfast at Marion’s and go to the booth then stay there all day!
“Hopefully I have a chance to go walk around the paddock and talk to some people and find out what’s going on behind the scenes a little bit.”
“It’s not always as in depth and I would perhaps like, but I’ve been around this business a long, long time so I know many of the people, and it’s just a question of finding out what’s new and meeting new people. Weekends are hectic but they’re tremendous fun, and I’m honored an privileged to do what I do.”
Do you have a business card, and if so, what’s your title?
“I sort of have a business card. I think it says auto racing writing and broadcaster. I don’t consider myself a journalist because I was never properly trained, I just happen to write about motor racing and I’ve been doing it for 40 years now.
“Having said that, yes I do have some business cards but I keep forgetting to print them out and I ran out quite a long time ago!”
What drew you to the US racing scene?
“I started off in school very close to Silverstone in the UK, so I spent a lot of time at the race track. By hook and crook I was lucky enough to get involved in the sport. I worked on the staff or as a freelancer for Autosport magazine for a long time in the UK.
“In 1980 there was a magazine in the US called On Track, and I was invited to be a European correspondent for On Track and I did that for four or five years before I was offered a job at the magazine in 1984. I came here, had a look around, and ultimately the timing wasn’t right. The year later it was, and I was offered the editorial director job.
“I ran that magazine for several years and then went back to be a freelancer. At the time in 1985, I thought it would be quite nice to come over here for two or three years, and here we are 32 years later and I’m still here! I’m very lucky.”
You’ve done some racing of your own. How beneficial do you thing that perspective of having been in the cockpit yourself is for what you do covering the sport?
“I think it’s hugely important. The funny thing is, when I started out writing about the sport I had no inclination to be a race car driver myself. That’s not why I got involved. In fact, I didn’t even have a road car license when I started writing about it. I used to hitchhike to the races to cover them, as often as not!
“It was only when I started working for some magazines that people offered me to have spin in their car, and I did. I did some racing as a hobby, and what it did do is give me some insights into how drivers ticked and what made cars work. All of that helped enormously.”
How would you assess the state of US sports car racing in the US today?
“Sports car racing in the US is on the verge of greatness. The racing right now is fantastic and a lot of really good decisions have been made over the last few years. [IMSA is] in rude health right now and on the brink of breaking through to become the best series in the world, and arguably is right now.
“Obviously the DPi concept is fantastic. It just makes sense for all sorts of reasons.
“I think IMSA has done their homework, they’ve come up with a really good package with the prototypes, the GT Le Mans, and GT Daytona. The cars are different enough to be interesting but not dangerously out of whack with each other in terms of pace.
“I think the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is absolutely superb. The racing this year has been tremendous and the DPi concept has moved it to another level, and interest is sky-high for next year. I’m really, really, excited about the future.””