Motor Racing UK have released to YouTube the DocuVlog: ‘Racers – The Story of Ukrainian Touring Cars.’
The 25 minute film – produced in conjunction with Bitlook, the streaming partner of the Ukrainian Touring Championship – examines how the series developed after the dissolution of the USSR, and where it was heading when the Russian offensive of February 2022 was launched.
Presented by Motor Racing UK editor Mick Palmer, the DocuVlog looks at how the level of racing, and the facilities available in Ukraine, has not kept pace with other former Soviet influenced countries who have been able to benefit from fossil fuel profits, individual benefactors, and in some cases Government led Sports Washing campaigns.
The top level of national racing in Ukraine would be considered as being a club level competition in some countries, but is as relevant to the fans and participants as the BTCC is to their UK counterparts, or the DTM to German fans.
In the aftermath of the initial invasion Motor Racing UK magazine printed a special charity issue of the magazine to raise money for humanitarian causes. Copies were sent to Ukrainian Touring Car racers with messages of support from many of the racers in the British Touring Car Championship field. Individual messages from team bosses also added to support of the drivers (current and former) who backed the initiative.
The championship is based around the only permanent circuit in the country – Chaika Ring – which was attacked and damaged very early in the campaign to take Kyiv. Post-war there is hope that the facility can be repaired and upgraded.
Mick Palmer said: “At the beginning of the invasion by Russian forces I reached out to Igor Skuz, a five-time UTC champion, race winner in European Touring Cars and former competitor in International TCR racing. The story he told in those early days was heart-wrenching as he described how the lives of Ukrainians were being torn apart. Over the last year we have been in contact on a regular basis and the information he has shared about how the country has adapted has been inspiring, but the tales of how motor racing knowledge has been utilised in mechanical support for the armed forces and emergency services has been nothing short of flabbergasting.
”Over the last year more tales from people involved in the sport in the country have made their way to me, and what I came to realise was that the fortitude of the Ukrainian people could be compared to the UTC. The championship and the odds stacked against it, the way that the organisers and competitors could make something from seemingly nothing – it is an allegory of how the country has been able to resist and push back aggressors who appeared to have a massive technological advantage. Looking at Ukraine through the eyes of its motor racing gives a clear picture of why, after more than a year, the nation defies the odds.”
As part of the project Motor Racing UK supports United 24: https://u24.gov.ua/