Another autotest at Brands

Having enjoyed the last autotest at Brands, despite it being closely run, it was time to head back south of the Thames for another event. Having recently passed my towing test it was also my first chance to tow to an event – two hours on the M25 in rush hour is as good a real life test as any!

This time the weather remained dry, which was good, but the class was a little bigger. I couldn’t manage quite as good a result as last time, finishing 3rd in class, but I did at least manage to get all my runs in like the last time which was something.


Thunderbolts and lightening

After spending Friday at Formula E, I managed to get to Kent, have quality time with friends and then get to North Weald on Sunday ready for the sprint.

For this event we had entered Muriel and I was looking forward to driving her, but it was only during and after driving her that I remembered how much she makes me smile, but can also be hard work!

Our class was small, but it didn’t mean we didn’t want to be competitive with each other. On my way to practice I heard a slight knocking noise. Everything felt ok so I carried on, but told Matt when I came in. He hadn’t noticed anything and thought the car was ok but just “making rally car noises” whereas I can be a little sensitive to these things, and was adamant something was wrong. After a little investigation we found excess play in the driveshaft, but decided to carry on.

The day started off dry and we were trading times with another car in our class and getting quicker as it went on. After the first timed run I was leading the class, by six hundredths from Matt. On the second run, motivated I’m sure by not leading (!) he found time and took the class win leaving me in third.

The event was abandoned due to heavy rain, significant standing water in the paddock and on the course and thunder and lightening. Next time!

On course photo thanks to Nick Cook.

Time to give something back – F1 and Formula E

Two FIA events in a week was a little unexpected, but it was the way it panned out.

I started with four days at Silverstone, having been asked to help with signing on (Thursday), radio handout and collection to Incident Officers bookending each of Friday, Saturday and Sunday and running the P2 marshal welfare team filling the main hours of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

They were four hot, tiring but rewarding days at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix which included making sure all P2 marshals had what they needed – lots of water deliveries!

I got to meet some great people, had plenty of challenges and so many funny moments amongst the physical work and problem solving. From a hello and wave from Ricciardo, trying to jump start golf buggies, nearly being driven in to by VIPs, seeing (TRH) Edward and Sophie close up, headset bingo and many more – the “little moments” kept us going. Seeing some friends and familiar faces was brilliant too. I’m not sure any photos can do justice to what the team did over the weekend or how hot it was!

Our team of six were kept on our toes and hard work it was, but I was grateful to be involved and it was a pleasure to be asked to look after and co-ordinate the P2 marshal welfare team.

Whilst at Silverstone, I had a message asking if I could be at the Formula E event at the London Excel Centre the following Friday. With work, I wasn’t sure it was possible but work were supportive and so off I headed to London. This event was slightly different; F1 had meant a daily lateral flow test and not PCRs (as I was not in the main paddock area) but for Formula E, I had to head down the night before, have a PCR test, isolate awaiting the result (in a local hotel) and then head to the venue on Friday morning.

Motorsport UK were running their Girls on Track programme, showcasing the different opportunities in motorsport to 120 young women aged from 7 to 18. I was asked to speak to them about volunteering and officiating opportunities, whilst the girls rotated through different activities during the day, including watching track activity. They all had a variety of interests with some keen to compete and volunteer in the future.