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Mechanic "no longer associated" with Jaguar TCS Racing after saying run over cyclists ignoring cycle lanes

Now-former No.1 mechanic Charlie Forkner's foul-mouthed social media rant also called for riders to be "dragged onto the path and p*ssed on by everyone!"...

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.

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.

Charlie Forkner Jaguar (screenshot YouTube)
Charlie Forkner Jaguar (screenshot YouTube)
Charlie Forkner Jaguar (screenshot YouTube)

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."

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.

Team Sky Jaguar F-Type rainbow bands (picture Teamsky.com)

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.

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49 comments

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OldRidgeback | 2 years ago
6 likes

I'm glad JLR sacked him. It's one way that people will learn that making unacceptable comments on social media is the same as actually saying them face to face. 

It also shows JLR to be a responsibly run firm to take this kind of action.

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Rendel Harris replied to OldRidgeback | 2 years ago
8 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

I'm glad JLR sacked him. It's one way that people will learn that making unacceptable comments on social media is the same as actually saying them face to face. 

Entirely agree – Facebook and Twitter are awash with comments saying it's so unfair, it's just a minor bit of banter…had he chosen virtually any other group and said they should be run over, dragged to the side of the road and urinated upon the condemnation would doubtless be universal. Total respect to Jaguar for treating this with the seriousness it deserves.

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TriTaxMan replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
6 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:
OldRidgeback wrote:

I'm glad JLR sacked him. It's one way that people will learn that making unacceptable comments on social media is the same as actually saying them face to face. 

Entirely agree – Facebook and Twitter are awash with comments saying it's so unfair, it's just a minor bit of banter…had he chosen virtually any other group and said they should be run over, dragged to the side of the road and urinated upon the condemnation would doubtless be universal. Total respect to Jaguar for treating this with the seriousness it deserves.

The other big line of argument on Social Media is all about Freedom of Speech.... but so many people can't quite understand that Freedom of Speech does not absolve the individual of the consequences of the speech.

I have no sympathy for him.  Most major firms have clauses in their contracts which state that comments on social media which can be connected to them and bring the company into disrepute are grounds for disciplinary action.

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Barraob1 replied to OldRidgeback | 2 years ago
0 likes

Absolutely, actions have consequences.

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ChrisB200SX | 2 years ago
3 likes

I'd really like to know how he broke his neck... would speak volumes if it was because he was driving like a complete tool.

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Rendel Harris replied to ChrisB200SX | 2 years ago
2 likes

That's what I thought - seemed odd to mention how he had a year off because he broke his neck in four places but not how he did it...

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 2 years ago
2 likes

Well at least he got sacked. He'll probably get another job in the same field but he'll feel bad for a while and hopefully regret his comments. 

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chrisonabike replied to BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 2 years ago
6 likes
Lukas wrote:

Well at least he got sacked. He'll probably get another job in the same field but he'll feel bad for a while and hopefully regret his comments. 

Or just hate cyclists / so-shall me d'ya harder.

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Simon E | 2 years ago
9 likes

He's such a 'hard man' on social media - shooting off his big mouth. Obviously very insecure about his very small penis (and probably an even smaller brain).

"I've seen many more bikes going through red lights etc than i have cars."

I know it's an individual's observation, and could even be factual, but it always suprises me because it's the other way around in my experience. While I have seen people cycle through a red light now and then but the sheer number of drivers doing 40, 50mph or more in 30 mph zones and through ped/toucan crossings etc where I live... I'd say at quieter times (i.e. when they're not stuck behind someone who gives a tiny shit about the law and keeps it at 30-35) it's between a third and half of all drivers.

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Rendel Harris replied to Simon E | 2 years ago
5 likes
Simon E wrote:

I'd say at quieter times (i.e. when they're not stuck behind someone who gives a tiny shit about the law and keeps it at 30-35) it's between a third and half of all drivers.

The most recent research I've seen found that 54% of drivers ignore 30mph limits and 82% ignore 20mph limits.

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NOtotheEU | 2 years ago
8 likes

I'm sad to see someone lose their job over a stupid online rant, however chilling it is to those of us who face dangerous behaviour on the road every day. If he has an other half and kids they'll lose out because of it and this won't make him a safer driver, he'll just resent every cyclist he now meets on the road even more. 

I'd rather JLR apologise and start an ongoing campaign about bad driving and cyclists safety to show their priorities and then make this idiot apologise and ride a bike to work for a month or two to make him see things from the other side.

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jh2727 replied to NOtotheEU | 2 years ago
0 likes
NOtotheEU wrote:

I'm sad to see someone lose their job over a stupid online rant, however chilling it is to those of us who face dangerous behaviour on the road every day. If he has an other half and kids they'll lose out because of it and this won't make him a safer driver, he'll just resent every cyclist he now meets on the road even more. 

I'd rather JLR apologise and start an ongoing campaign about bad driving and cyclists safety to show their priorities and then make this idiot apologise and ride a bike to work for a month or two to make him see things from the other side.

Don't feel to sad about it - I'm sure he's already had offers from the Daily Mail and W. Chump & Sons Ltd

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shaftdrive | 2 years ago
0 likes

Correct me if I am wrong but did Brads hour record bike not contain the Jaguar livery? Loud mouthed tossed 

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IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
8 likes

It is quite clear that people on soshall meedya struggle with the concept that they are casually talking about murdering and maiming human beings. However, it is not limited to soshall meedya, I've had motorists say "I'll run you off the road if they f***ing like." when I've politely suggested at 12" is not suitable passing distance.

However, I can report that motorists seem to continue to be improving their passing. I'm guessing it is a social thing - motorists see other people doing it properly, and take their lead from that - a small hint of a virtuous circle. There are still the 1% though.

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mdavidford | 2 years ago
4 likes
Quote:

"I've seen many more bikes going through red lights etc than i have cars. In fact no cars for months possibly years."

I'm guessing because he's usually inside looking out...

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
6 likes

Was going to state that he isn't looking at that, or doesn't associate a car "hurrying through amber but being a few seconds too slow" as driving through a red light. 

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kil0ran | 2 years ago
11 likes

Oh dear, there goes his company motor, best get a bike as he won't be getting a job any time soon.

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wtjs replied to kil0ran | 2 years ago
3 likes

Oh dear, there goes his company motor, best get a bike as he won't be getting a job any time soon

Not convinced. There are large sections of the 'motoring industry' where his history would be viewed very sympathetically

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Secret_squirrel replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
6 likes

Not at the level he was playing.  He'll be looking for a job in Quikfit now.

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dodgy | 2 years ago
11 likes

I hear Kwik Fit are hiring.

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bloodylazylayabout | 2 years ago
7 likes

What a tit

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open_roads | 2 years ago
8 likes

Gross Misconduct / bringing the firm into disrepute. Good luck finding your next role Charlie.

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Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
21 likes

If a person in a professional sphere who is responsible (as drivers are) for safeguarding the lives of others – say an airline pilot or a surgeon – started spewing out comments about how they think certain people should be killed (let alone killed and then urinated on) they would swiftly be suspended and subjected to psychiatric evaluation. Isn't about time that drivers who say they would like to kill or injure cyclists should have their licenses withdrawn and only returned after a thorough psychiatric evaluation and whatever therapy is deemed necessary (at their  own expense, naturally) to make sure they are not taking their psychopathic urges out onto the roads with them?

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nosferatu1001 replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
14 likes

It does feel like this should be some form of reportable matter.  Those comments were chilling. 

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Secret_squirrel replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
3 likes

Really? Lets get off of our high horses for a second.  Threats to kill are made daily in life be they on social media or down the pub.   Rarely do they have any consequences because there is no intent behind them.

99% certain that there was no intent by this muppet either.

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dodgy replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
6 likes

A urophiliac offered violence upon a member of the pubic whilst wearing the uniform of his high profile employer in his avatar.

If that isn't gross misconduct, well, I'm a bit stuck.

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Rendel Harris replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
11 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Really? Lets get off of our high horses for a second.  Threats to kill are made daily in life be they on social media or down the pub.   Rarely do they have any consequences because there is no intent behind them.

99% certain that there was no intent by this muppet either.

Of course I don't believe that he actually intends to run people over then urinate on their dead bodies, but the fact that he could say that - in cold blood, mind, making a point on social media, this isn't shouting at someone who's squared up to him down the pub - shows a worryingly aggressive attitude that I would be 99% certain is carried on into his driving. If you hear someone down the pub saying "I think bloody cyclists should be run over" you can be fairly sure they will drive aggressively around cyclists, can't you?

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jh2727 replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
0 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

Of course I don't believe that he actually intends to run people over then urinate on their dead bodies...

I doubt it too, I can't imagine he'd want to get out of his nice warm car - reverse back and empty a bottle he filled earlier, that sounds more likely.

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chrisonabike replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
2 likes

Maybe, but... although I'm sure everyone appreciates that text online isn't an oath in blood repeatedly saying something can be a step on the path towards taking action.  I doubt this chap will really set cyclists on fire and fail to wee on them (was that right).  You start to believe yourself though if you listen / read your own ranting to often.  Again, the fact that we're all publishing all the time doesn't mean we all carry the moral authority of the Mail.  But even if you're followed by six men and two dogs that sets a mental environment for them does it not ("yeah bloody cyclist I'm not giving you any space...")?

What am I saying?  As Matthew Parris, Rod Lidl  43 etc. remind us "it's just jolly bants, you self-important uptight losers!"

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IanMSpencer replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
0 likes

The trouble is that soshall meedya gives people ideas, and being nasty to cyclists as being part of an "in group" does lead to a mindset. What I found most troubling is that friends of mine, who even cycle on an occasional basis are quite prone to repeating "Cyclists do..." and seem a little put out when I suggest that they are characterising me and my behaviour.

Yes, the reality is that coming across a group of cyclists is going to annoy plenty of people, waking them from their semi-automatic journey into requiring thought when they've got better things to do with their time than worrying about other road users, but I think the relative rarity of inconvenience seems to make it disproportionately annoying to some people, especially less competent drivers who are not necessarily aggressive, just stressed by the experience of having to cope.

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