It’s finally the weekend, and I enjoyed my favourite luxury this morning: a lie in! Of course, my lie ins only last until about seven o’clock but, seeing as I collapsed with exhaustion at about seven o’clock last night, I got a solid twelve hours sleep and I now feel sort of human again.
It has been a manic couple of days, as you may have noticed, but it’s almost over now! Almost all of my university work is done and I can relax a little now. And try to get my sleeping pattern back to normal before I have to pull another all-nighter next weekend…
So, as you may have noticed, Wednesday was the Clio Cup and MSA Formula media day! My first media day, so I was a tiny bit excited. It did require getting up at half four in the morning, though, which is less exciting.
Winchester is basically the most inaccessible city in England, I’m pretty sure. The only places you can get to seem to be Southampton or London, and even then you might have to get a rail replacement bus service.
So the journey to Rockingham in the midlands meant catching a half five train to London Waterloo, going on the tube to St Pancreas, then from there to Corby, and a cab ride to Rockingham. Yay!
What’s most annoying is that, when I’m not at uni, I live in the midlands, so it is a great deal less stress.
But never mind.
I arrived at the track at about half nine, catching the end of the introduction. Then it was time for passenger laps in the Clios.
Maybe I should have mentioned at this point that I get car sick…
The first stint I had the great pleasure of joining was on cold tyres, so not too fast. Still after about three laps I was dizzy and just a tiny bit too hot. It probably didn’t help that I hadn’t eaten much at all that day and was still half asleep.
Still, didn’t stop me getting in again, this time with warm tyres which meant much more speed.
I think it’s the same problem I have with flying. I am not scared of flying, the same as I wasn’t really scared of being in the car. Because the people driving are damn good at their jobs and the safety checks the planes and cars have to go through are insane.
But my stomach just does not like it.
Once that was done and I had drunk my weight in tea to try to make myself feel a little better (never give me free tea, I will take advantage of it), it was off to take photos and, more importantly, interviews.
I’d set up a couple of interviews but was hoping to grab a couple of other drivers between their track time and briefings. Not always easy when drivers have about a million and one things to do. Standing in the garages waiting for a driver to finish going over their telemetry or eating a sandwich can be a little nerve racking when everyone is extremely busy and you’re going your best not to get in anyone’s way.
But, at the end of the day, you’re doing your job, just like their doing theirs, and they’re really expecting to be disturbed at some point.
At the junior formulae level, I think the drivers are much more enthusiastic about doing interviews and such. Whilst, yes, they do have a lot of learning to do and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind just doing lap after lap after lap trying to get better and work out their own problems, they need the publicity. Motor racing is an expensive career and, at this stage, every interview helps.
Grabbing drivers for a short two minute interview wasn’t that difficult most of the time. It was mostly building up the courage to do so. As my lecturer is quite good at pointing out, being polite has to come second to getting the interview or photo or whatever else it is you need.
I was quite proud of the interviews I got. It was only my fourth time out with the Marantz, which is a sound recording device, and only the third time out when it was actually working. Radio training came in useful! One of the hardest parts I found was trying to keep the levels in check when drivers like to move around a lot to explain their points. They don’t make it easy.
The journey home was even more exciting than the journey to Rockingham: Cab to Corby, train to London, tube to London Waterloo, buy a ridiculously priced sandwich because it’s nine o’clock at night and you haven’t eaten since eleven, train to Basingstoke, rail replacement bus service to Winchester! I arrived home at quarter to midnight and pretty sure I was about to die…
This would have all been fine if it wasn’t for one very important thing: I had a philosophy exam yesterday morning.
I did a little revision on the train home on Wednesday but it probably wasn’t enough.
The exam was an hour long but, being dyslexic, I got an extra fifteen minutes. It wasn’t that I didn’t need the fifteen minutes, it was simply that, after forty five minutes, I had completely run out of things to say on these philosophers.
Once that was done, I got started on editing the interviews from the day before, very proud that I’d managed to keep the levels in check all the way through most of the interviews. Editing didn’t mean changing what the driver was saying, but taking out most of the “um”s and “yeah”s and when I decided to stutter through my sentences. The only problem I had was the sound of the cars. It was pretty much impossible to find anywhere at the track where you couldn’t hear a race car somewhere, so I had to be careful to make sure you couldn’t hear the sounds of the cars jumping about as I took out the “um”s.
I got that all done yesterday and posted some of the interviews on YouTube, doing the rest of them this morning.
Then it was time for a well deserved sleep…