Monday, June 4, 2012

An awesome atmosphere

This could easily be one of those blogs that resembles a small book.   I don’t know where to start and after almost a week I’m still looking back at last weekend and laughing.   Ages ago Ben Newman and I decided we would head up to Scotland for the weekend to visit John and watch the Saloon National and the F2 British Championships.   Somehow though we both overlooked the fact that John’s house is indeed 400 miles away and leaving after work on a Friday is not really the best time to undertake such a trip.

After a relatively smooth run where we laughed most of the way, together with the world’s slowest McDonalds, we got to John’s house and did what any group of guys would do . . . we went out, so it was straight back in the car and off to Dunfermline, obviously I was driving so no drink for me but it was light by the time we got back to John’s and the others were merry to say the least!

Saturday morning saw breakfast delivered to us by our awesome friend Mel followed by a rather surreal trip to the track in an ambulance full of bouncy castles!   It’s best if we don’t go into all the details here.   The weather was absolutely perfect and it was the first time I have ever had to use sun cream in Scotland!    Most of my friends were at the track and I spent all afternoon just chatting to everyone.

 I enjoyed every race I watched over the weekend, the highlights being a win for George Macmillan in his F2 and main man Kyle Hegg picking up a win in the second heat after we had cured a misfire.  As well as being a brilliant track Cowdenbeath also has a very good bar, a place I found myself spending a fair amount of time!  Mix all this up with a bottle of port with Siobhan Martin and it turned into a good night at the Stock Cars.

Whilst everything else was going on I managed to acquire my new favourite possession - a smashed George Macmillan fin plate that he signed for me and which now has pride of place in the front of my workshop!

From the track it was straight to John’s for a quick shower and then back out again for another night on the town.   Everyone was out, including the Racewall’s very own trophy girls so it was always guaranteed to be a good one, although my liver probably wouldn’t agree!

The following day was gloriously hot again and the plan was to watch the big races and try to get back on the road for about 4 o’clock.   Plans never work out as intended though and we were still at the track at 6pm.   With George on the outside of row two for the British Championship we all had our hopes up for him.   It wasn’t to be though and after a very good race he ended up second, a bit gutting but I guess that’s racing after all.   He was certainly very capable of winning it but things just didn’t quite go his way.

I did my first ever lap of Cowdenbeath on the parade lap of the Saloon National Championship with Hegg sitting on his bonnet dressed as Tigger!   Unfortunately it wasn’t to be his race either and a broken rotor arm after a coming together with the wall left him out of it.

I have commented on the atmosphere at Cowdie before but nothing comes close to the atmosphere at the start of the Raymond Gunn Memorial race.   It was absolutely electric and the whole stadium just seemed to come together as one, in 13 years of going racing I have never felt anything like it, for me a truly moving moment.

After the race was over we began our long journey home, at one point whilst stuck in traffic the sat-nav informed us we had eight and a half hours to go but we managed to cut it down a fair bit.   We clocked up 1300 miles in little over 48 hours, saw some of the best people out there and had an absolutely brilliant time - I’m lucky enough to have the best friends going and I wouldn’t change them for the world.

Back to the present and the car is ready for Bank Holiday Monday at Northampton and even though my chances of making it to the World Final are now very slim I’m still going to give it my best shot.  John is heading down to stay with me for the weekend too so I’m sure next week’s entry will be on a similar theme to this!

Thanks as ever to everyone for reading and “No Ronnie, I won’t be adding a Mac to my name anytime soon!”

Until next time.


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