If I’m honest things have been pretty quiet since Spedeweekend, we obviously have a car that needs repairing but with a month to do it we’ve been a bit unenthusiastic. I’m still sort of buzzing off the feeling from Spedeweekend and a month without racing feels like an age.
We did get the car unloaded and all the panels taken off the night after we got back. It’s not really that bad. The damage was all on the front of the car so it has avoided the wheels and suspension parts (there must be a first time for everything as normally it would guarantee to bend a wheel!) The only mechanical damage to the car is the radiator and fan, and as much as it breaks my heart seeing the mangled rad. in our skip at work it really could have been a lot worse. The only really depressing part is looking at the pile of smashed panels thrown into the corner of the garage and knowing that they have only done 17 laps! But that’s racing and you can’t moan about it. Taking the rough with the smooth and all that!
Seeing as the National Weekend is the one weekend of the year we use the lorry to sleep in, it’s usually a bit of a rush getting everything sorted so it’s all working and ready to go. Even though we take it to every meeting it’s a bit different using it for a day than turning it into ‘home’ for three days, especially when there’s no electric to plug into and you have to rely on generators, gas and batteries to power everything. It isn’t the nicest or most reliable truck in the pits but it does have a shower and at National Weekend when you’re either filthy dirty or soaking wet it suddenly becomes worth its weight in gold!
I’ve always said I enjoy the social side to racing as much as anything and this weekend has been no exception. With not much happening here it was decided that a weekend in
Ipswich was in order to catch up with everyone and enjoy a beer or two.... Jay and Sarah invited Ross and me to stay with them at ‘Hotel Austin’ for the night; we could catch the racing at Foxhall before heading off into town for a much needed night out then off to meet Steph for the day Sunday.
As soon as we arrived at the track it became apparent the drinking was more favoured than the racing, and this was certainly true - in all honesty I don’t think I watched more than ten laps all night. It was just one of those good evenings with a really sociable feel and lots of people to chat to. The rain held off as well, adding to the enjoyment. From the track it was straight to the pub for the fun to really begin. Steph’s perfectly timed arrival saved me from the most evil of drinks - Sambuca. From the pub it was off to the night club. We finally crawled into bed about . It was a really great night out and long overdue. I’ve said it before but I really have met some wonderful people through racing over the years and have had some really brilliant times with them all.
The best laughs came from looking at the pictures over breakfast the next morning, I can’t decide what’s worse; the pictures themselves or the fact no one remembers them being taken ... good memories of an epic night though - get them on face book please Rosco! We spent the rest of Sunday just around
Ipswich popping to the cash-and-carry to get some essential National Weekend supplies ...... consisting mainly of vodka, Haribo sweets and Pringles! I won’t be drinking but according to the shopping trolley it looks like the rest of the team are planning a very good time!
I was a bit shocked the other morning when I read about Angie and Graham’s retirement from the sport and the sad fact that Brian will be going too. They have all been involved with the sport since long before my time and although I’m sure their replacements will be as capable and committed to the sport as they have been, it just feels a little bit strange knowing such a big change has taken place. The hours they must have put in was incredible and the dedication to do what they did for such little reward is really something we should all be thankful for. So on that note from both myself and I’m sure all of the other drivers both past and present, thanks to the three of you for playing such a massive part in making National Hot Rod racing everything it is today. On the other hand maybe you can enjoy watching some racing now safe in the knowledge you’re not going to have drivers ringing up and moaning for the next two weeks afterwards!
I’m sure that whatever happens now the sport will continue to move forward and grow, there is a huge number booked in for National Weekend already so another great weekend no doubt. We’ve got quite a lot to do before then though so I’ll be back next week and bring you all right up to date.
Thanks as ever for reading
Until next time