Friday, Dec 14 09:26am
AUTHOR: Richard Gee

Column: An Open Letter to Dan Ticktum

Dear Dan,

We trust you are keeping well after a busy season and enjoying basking in the success of a dominant and impressive Macau Grand Prix victory.

We hope you don’t mind us dropping you a line like this, but we have obviously become aware of your eye-catching comments in some recent interviews about potentially coming down to the Land of the Long White Cloud.

We hear you want to come here next year to take part in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series as a way to increase your Super Licence points tally.

Being just a small country at the end of the world, it obviously grabbed our attention when a young gun such as yourself flags up a potential visit, so if you'll forgive us, we wanted to lay out a few reasons why we think it would be a really great idea to come down and be a part of our season.

So, here we go. We've got seven reason and that's a special number as we'll explain just happens to be the same number as the number of Super Licence points which you could get from winning our championship.

1. Win the other Grand Prix that's not Formula 1. Check out the list of names behind yours that have won the Macau Grand Prix (and well done on that by the way). It's a fabulous list. But I tell you what. I'd wager if you check the list of previous winners of the New Zealand Grand Prix that even you'd agree it's the equal, if not slightly better than the Macau trophy with names like Amon, Stewart, McLaren, Moss, Brabham and Surtees on it. Ticktum would look pretty good on it too eh? And by the way, you'd join Roberto Moreno as the only guy to win both the New Zealand and Macau Grand Prix. Just saying.

2. Bring a little bit of controversy to us. Please. We love that you're not run of the mill. Motorsport needs a bit of that and our little part of the world of motorsport is no different. We see the creeping tentacles of political correctness slowly creeping into this far flung art of the world too and many of us in motorsport wish it were a bit different. You'd be a shot in the arm for us young fella. And we mean that.

3. We do fun stuff too. Bungee jumping, flying foxes, street luge, white water rafting, jet boating, sky swings, abseiling. You name it, we do it. Are you hard enough Dan? Round one is in Queenstown… it’s basically a holiday y’know.

4. It's not winter here. Yes, it is of course our summer down here in January and February. Yep, really. We have great summers and they're predicting a particularly blistering one this time around thanks to all that El Nino and global warming stuff. Drizzle, cold, fog, frost, snow, endless hours watching repeats on the BBC and ITV...forget all that. Enjoy the warmth, the rays, the warm sea. Get a tan, Dan.

5. You whipped the opposition at Macau, but can you do it for five weeks straight? It won’t be a walkover, I guarantee it, but it’ll be a challenge. A needed one, perhaps. And if you liked Macau, most of our circuits are like that too. Narrow, fast, flowing and with walls not far away to keep you on your toes. There’s not a 50 metre wide straight in sight. Maybe you’ll learn to pass a few of your future Formula 1 rivals?

6. But hey, if you think you’re that good, look at it like a warm up. You’ll no doubt be racing in Japan this year alongside our own Nick Cassidy who, might we add, nearly won it this year. Nick’s no slouch either with three Grand Prix wins and a couple of Toyota Racing Series titles to his name too. Nab those crucial seven Super Licence points and it’ll make Japan a little less stressful too huh?

7. Seven. It's an interesting number and reason number seven is the Super Licence points a series win would give you. Seven, in fact Dan. And even if you only come second in the championship by some long stretch of the imagination, you'll still get five. Either or will get you up to 40 points and we're absolutely positive that you'll also have already done the maths and figured out that by the middle of February you could have enough points on your licence to go into F1.