From Thruxton to Paris

I’ve probably written this before, but I actually love my job. I’ve no idea how I managed to get to where I am, but I love it.

It’s been a weird month or so. The British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton and Formula E in Paris have, obviously, been the highlights, but this entire month has been a bit of a rush.

It’s probably a little late to be talking about Thruxton, with my memory. But there is one thing that will stand out to me. On Saturday evening I donated ten pound to walk the track. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many people in one place (other than on the TV…). Just turning around and seeing a sea of people walking for Billy Monger was insane…

Right from the first time I interviewed Billy, I found him inspiring and I think one of the best things that has come out of this is that he has inspired so many more people. When I heard he was attending the last BTCC race last weekend, I wasn’t surprised. I was proud, if that’s the right word.

Now, I can just about remember last weekend in Paris.

I headed out from London last Wednesday, arriving in a slightly damp French capital in the evening.

Paris was my first race as an accredited journalist, and so much has changed since then. So much has changed and I don’t really know where to start.

Friday saw the track walk, just like last year, but I remember feeling a lot more excited last year. Everything was a lot more surreal. I don’t want to suggest at all that I’ve become used to track walks in Paris with racing drivers, but it was a little less surreal this year.

Last year, I was focusing very much on the “fake it until you make it” image. “Just pretend that you’re supposed to be here and hope for the best”. Now… there’s a bit of a weird “I’ve actually convinced them”…

The race itself was fun. Covering practice and qualifying did involve a little bit of running around from the track to the media centre and back which wasn’t much fun. I was not made for running, though covering races seems to involve quite a bit of that.

Press pens are a bit mad. I don’t remember what my first impression of a press pen was, but I know I’m probably a bit more confident when diving in. Just as frustrating when you’re trying to get the one driver that’s stood at the back of the group chatting with his friends. But I still managed to get some good quotes, and some interesting stories from those quotes.

My highlight of the weekend had to be the post race press conference though. Somebody asked Sebastien Buemi, the race winner, about the clash between Formula E and WEC to which his reply began “the problem is we are leading both championships.” Nick Heidfeld, who finished third, commented: “That’s a problem for you? Poor, poor Sebastien”.

I now can’t wait until Berlin next month.

Next on my to do list will be a kart race near Daventry tomorrow. It’s probably not as glamourous as the Paris ePrix (though hopefully it will involve a little less interviewing Champaign drenched drivers – I still can’t stand the smell of Champaign…) but I’m sure it’ll still be a brilliant.

 

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