The Ten Greatest Announcer Calls In Racing History

Illustration for article titled The Ten Greatest Announcer Calls In Racing History

As much as we focus on what's happening on track, a good race commenter can be a valuable guide and informant; a great one can take it all to another emotional level. These are Jalopnik readers' picks for the best racing broadcast highlights captured on video.

Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


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10.) 1993 Daytona 500

Suggested By: $kaycog

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: Race announcers are supposed to be impartial reporters of the events at hand, but most announcers don't have a son who is about to make his career and win the biggest stock car race of the year.

9.) 1993 European Grand Prix At Donington Park

Suggested By: Gto62

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: Race announcers are supposed to be impartial reporters of the events at hand, but most announcers aren't Brazilians calling the borderline-insane first lap of the greatest drive of Ayrton Senna's career.

8.) 2011 World Downhill Mountain Biking Championships

Suggested By: lalahsghost

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: There's more to racing that F1 and stock cars, of course. Some of the best racing doesn't even involve engines. And some of the best commenting goes hand-in-hand with the lunacy of sliding a mountain bike down a trail covered with mud that gives as much grip as gear lube. (Be sure to wait for the announcer-related payoff at the end of the video.)

7.) Completely Random Japanese Formula Car Race

Suggested By: Jackie

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: (Turn this one down a bit first.) Not to perpetuate a sometimes unfair stereotype, but no one really does excitement like Japanese commentators. The instant switches from mellow to hyper and the blizzard of sharp syllables that get shot out at peak moments are unrivaled in global sports broadcasting.

6.) 2011 ALMS at Road America

Suggested By: yosoyelchris

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: Job qualifications for a good announcer are something like this: be well-informed and knowledgeable, be able to describe what you're seeing in relatable terms, be able to convey excitement without sounding like a fool. These guys get a great opportunity and do it right.

5.) Formula Vee at Phoenix Park 2007

Suggested By: godfathercorvette

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: Even if an announcer is supposed to be well-informed and knowledgeable, sometimes you just have to call it as you see it until your brain catches up. Improvisation is a useful skill in many parts of life. Serious unintentional laughs are just a side effect.

4.) 1973 British Grand Prix

Suggested By: MechaScroggzilla

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: For most of the English-speaking world, Murray Walker OBE is the voice of Formula 1. He may be justly famous for having a particular way with words (twisted, ill-timed, wonderfully obvious) but when he was on his game — especially with Raymond Baxter — the sharp diction and expert knowledge are a perfect vehicle for the on-track action.

3.) 2009 Catalan MotoGP

Suggested By: BtheD19, ATL Supercross

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: From the nation that gave us both Dr. Fabio Taglioni and Giuseppe Verdi comes announcers that really get the drama and glory of a great motorcycle race. As Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo go back and forth in the closing minutes of an epic battle, the guys in the booth can barely believe what they're seeing.

2.) 2011 Barcelona GP2

Suggested By: HopkinsonF1

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: Nobody likes listening to a robot. If you're going to be doing play-by-play at a sporting event of any kind, have some heart. And if someone does something stupid-amazing, make sure everyone understands that it's worth serious respect.

1.) 1979 French Grand Prix

Suggested By: Baber K. Khan (The true expression of freedom is 4x4)

Why it's brilliant broadcasting: The best commentary accompanies the best racing, and there may be no more thrilling few minutes of on-track battle in the last forty years than this fabled near-MMA match between Rene Arnoux and the incomparable Gilles Villeneuve. The level of absolute amazement in these voices is a perfect reflection of what's happening on track. You don't even really need the video to fully grasp what's going on — and in a situation like this, that's a fantastic feat.

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Wow, Nibbles is working overtime today. I can't even look at the top 10.