In previous blogs, I’ve discussed various things including singing songs about the weather. The summer is here and for most of us it feels like summer and therefore with summer, comes holidays and breaks.
The last British Touring Cars meeting was in North Yorkshire at Croft over the weekend of June 22nd & 23rd. When most of us had finished at Croft on the Sunday evening there were lots of bags being grabbed, power cables being gathered, checks and double checks that USB cables were bagged and looks of determination to get on the road and head home. Amongst the looks of concentration and intent to beat the queues and the traffic, colleagues and other Honda Yuasa team members passed me with “Have a good break, Rory! See you at Snetterton!”, “Cheers, see yah, enjoy the break!”, “See you in six weeks!” etc. You get the picture.
However, on arriving at Snetterton for the next round of the BTCC on Saturday morning, (3rdAugust) I asked around the team if they’d “enjoyed the break?” some didn’t answer, they merely dipped their chins, raised their eyebrows and looked at me as if to say “What break?”. I laughed. I must admit, I’d hardly ‘had a break’ myself. Sure, I’d been away to the sunny climates of Weymouth for a week, but I’d hardly been kicking back on a hammock with a straw hat and shades on for the last six weeks thumbing through a lad mag. We all just seemed to be carrying on as normal.
Now, just to say, if I’ve lost you already, my role at the BTCC meetings is to gather interviews for radio stations and compile a podcast for iTunes based on the activities of the Honda Yuasa Racing team. It’s a varied role despite a fairly simple remit and I get to work with most members of the team. Alongside me others gather videos for YouTube, twitters tweet and pictures are snapped on iPads, phones and cameras. If you’ve ever looked at the British Touring Cars on the telly and seen the activity in the pit lanes and the garages and thought “Look at all those people, dressed in the same gear all working like clockwork in such a small area like poultry couped up in a pen” – well, imagine that on the other side of the track, too, except that we get to do the ‘fluffy’ side. There’s no oil and tyres and lumping canisters about the place here. We keep our hands clean but we also work extremely hard. It’s one big circle.
The cars and the racing is the top priority, the engineers and the garage technicians keep it all going. On my side, we look at keeping the ball rolling with the fans, the ones who pay to support touring cars. I don’t think I’ve ever worked in an area with so much activity.Constantly, there are things going on, everyone playing their part, coffees being poured in hospitality, pictures uploaded, tyres being carried and radio signals checked. The effort for any team to perform well in the British Touring Cars, no matter what team you are, is huge. It takes hours to construct the hospitality area, the trade stands, drive the trucks to the track with the parts and tyres needed for the cars with meticulous detail. It’s a colossal effort, long hours and very tiring – so a break may have been deserved? But nobody got one. We all just carried on throughout July and over the weekend at Snetterton. It was business as usual even though I wasn’t covered in oil or carrying tyres, instead surrounded by USB cables and half-empty paper coffee cups. This is the world I’m used to! I don’t need a break! Pah!
Here’s to Knockhill in Scotland over the August Bank Holiday. I’m told it will be an effort getting there. Thinking about it, perhaps I should get a break booked?
Rory ‘Podcast’ McAllister