ROLLER: Le Mans Adventures 2013
LE MANS, France — I began my broadcasting career as a teenager working in local radio in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Because of that fact, radio as a medium has always interested me despite a career covering sports on television. The concept of radio as “theater of the mind” is a great professional challenge and when you can get it right it is a hell of a lot of fun.
That was why in 2000 when I was invited to work on the English language radio service operated by Autosport and hosted by John Hindhaugh, I was so excited and intrigued. The opportunity came about when the ALMS Director of Broadcasting Joe Weidensall figured out John and I are a pretty good match.
Joe arranged for Charles Dressing (my chief spotter and left lobe of my brain when I produce ALMS TV) and I to travel to Le Mans and join the Radio Le Mans team. For a guy that started in radio and has covered sports car racing on TV for more than 30 year this was a chance to return to my roots.
It was lots of fun, but more importantly it was a spectacular career move. It allowed me to rekindle the passion for sports car racing that was born of a boy sneaking into the paddock at Watkins Glen in the early 1970s to get a closer look at his heroes.
During the intervening years, I have on many occasions tapped into that creative force that was reborn in 2000. I have also discovered and made some dear friends from the small troop that is “The Radio Le Mans Team.”
None more so than Hindhaugh, the lead voice for Radio Le Mans since 1989, and a kindred spirit whom my wife calls “my brother from another mother.” We now get to work together on the TV productions of the ALMS as well because we were able to add John to our ESPN announcer team this season.
John is so passionate about Le Mans that he and his lovely bride Eve Hewitt took over running the service in 2006 and they have become a driving force in the advancement and the promotion of sports car racing around the world. I am privileged to know them and consider them dear friends. They are a big part of the reason why during the intervening 13 years since my first Radio Le Mans appearance, working on the broadcast is the highlight of my year.
Who says you can’t go home? Home is where the heart is.
You can follow me on twitter @jrollerLM24 and listen to all the action from the 8 a.m. ET on radiolemans.com