The No.1 mechanic of Formula E outfit Jaguar TCS Racing is "no longer associated" with the team after screenshots emerged of a rant posted on social media about cyclists ignoring cycle lanes.
Charlie Forkner's comment, believed to be written in reply to a Thames Valley Police Facebook post about a close pass operation, said cyclists not using cycle lanes should be "ran over [...] dragged onto the path and p*ssed on by everyone!"
Screenshots were soon shared on social media of the rant, which appears to have been deleted, prompting widespread criticism and Jaguar TCS Racing to release a statement saying the mechanic is no longer part of the team.
— That Bloody Cyclist (@_BloodyCyclist) April 4, 2022
As well as calling for cyclists not using infrastructure to be ran over, the comment from Forkner's account said there is "no excuse" for riding in the road when there are cycle paths.
"If you don't like the fact you have to sometimes stop at path crossings etc. don't take your bike. If your bike isn't capable of going up and down dropped curbs [sic] without damage, you are using the wrong bike," it continued before turning attention to red light jumping.
"I've seen many more bikes going through red lights etc than i have cars. In fact no cars for months possibly years. But I see bikes do it weekly! Not an issue with people riding bikes to work etc. great, good for you. But use a cycle path if one's there. Or if on a dangerous road, and there is a path, just use it as it keeps everyone much safer and less families missing loved ones."
Following the backlash, Jaguar TCS Racing shared a statement saying:
Jaguar TCS Racing is aware of a recent social media post. We take breaches of our social media policy very seriously. We do not tolerate this behaviour in our team. The individual involved is no longer associated with Jaguar TCS Racing. We will not be making any further comment.
As recently as last March, Forkner appeared in a 'Meet The Team' video [screenshots below, video has now been removed] shared with Jaguar's 259,000 YouTube subscribers, in which he talks of his No.1 mechanic role building the team's ABB FIA Formula E World Championship race cars.
The comments were widely criticised with one person tagging the race team's Twitter account (prior to their statement), saying: "@JaguarRacing... you have a responsibility to cut ties with anyone like Charlie Forkner."
Hate speech, inciting violence. I am so sick of reading this stuff and then it popping back into my head when I'm on my bike.
— Sarah Watmore (@SarahsCycling) April 5, 2022
Another added: "Wow this guy really has issues that he needs to deal with. I really do think he needs help. And it would obviously be safer for him and everybody around him if he wasn’t driving or operating in a safety critical industry."
Jaguar had a partnership with Team Sky between 2010 and 2015, providing the team's support cars for three Tour de France victories, including Sir Bradley Wiggins' in 2012. The brand's logo appeared on Team Sky's Rapha kits during 2014 and 2015.
We've had a very good relationship with @JLR_News over the years doing lots of partnership work to prevent #Roaddanger, which is why this is so dissapointing 😒 They have given us use of team cars, trucks and drivers for shows & events, that's @SirWiggo a bike on top 👍 🚴 pic.twitter.com/2F8CwVsAhI
— Mark Hodson (@markandcharlie) April 5, 2022
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.