Anglesey, just off the northern coast of mainland Wales, can be a wonderful place, but as we found out recently when we went there to take photos of our fleet and film some footage, it can certainly be a cruel place too.
Planning had started months before, with many early mornings and late evenings culminating in this one day. Almost all the media team and drivers arrived at the circuit on Sunday to help get things ready for photography and filming on Monday, and I have no complaints about the work that got done. Everyone earned their meal and a few drinks in the hotel that evening!
The planning and chat continued into the night, but I slipped away before midnight to get some much needed shut-eye. I was hoping that by the time I opened my eyes again, I would see bright sunshine streaming through the windows, but alas, it wasn’t to be. It was a wet and windy Monday – not ideal for the kind of work we had in mind.
As we chomped on our eggs and bacon that morning, all we could talk about was the weather. Typical Brits! Some of our number took bets on the forecast with a few of us predicting sun – but boy, were they wrong.
However, even with rain coming down horizontally, everyone set about the day enthusiastically and professionally, and on the plus side, all the cars burst into life and made their way out onto the circuit. Though I felt pretty sorry for Phil Knibb who was driving the Radical with no roof!
Fortunately, there was a three-hour break in the weather during the morning which led to a mad scramble to get all the drone footage completed before the weather closed in again. A drowned drone is no good to anyone!
Lunch was the racecar driver’s staple diet: sausage and chips, pie and chips or burger and chips. But coming in from the cold and rain, a Michelin-starred banquet couldn’t have seemed more welcoming.
After lunch, it was the M3 and the Radical that went out for a little warm-up. However, shortly after hitting the track we picked up a radio announcement that a car was dropping fluid. There was nothing for it but to black flag both cars and give them the once over, and we established that the M3 was leaking fluid from the power steering pump.
That resulted in heavier than normal steering, but the hero that is Adam Morgan from the British Touring Car Championship was unperturbed.
“Just top up the fluid,” he said, “and I’ll just work harder in the car!”
It was noble of him, but of course, we had to find the problem, and eventually tracked it down to a loose connection. With that nipped up and checked for leaks, the car was once again back out on track with the rest of the fleet.
The next job was to have the racecars follow the film car so we could get some real on-track footage. The chosen pace vehicle was my own car, and once the photographer and film producer were strapped into the boot – it was tight! – we headed back out to the circuit.
After countless laps and multiple configurations, the media chaps decided they had enough footage, so we pulled back into the pits and called it a day. They both needed to dry out due to the spray, poor guys.
One of the biggest tasks of the day turned out to be packing up all the equipment, event branding material and cars. Everyone who helped was a hero, as if they hadn’t got stuck in, I’d have still been there a week later.
So that was that. We’d achieved what we needed to achieve and we’d faced down the weather and won. The journey home gave me some time to reflect on the organisation and planning we’d had to put into it, and I think it highlighted the value of the Because Racecar service. It takes so much time, money and planning just to get one of these vehicles to the circuit, and things don’t end when the event is over. The next step is to check the cars and make sure they’re ready for the next event.
All this hard work is something that we are happy to do so our members don’t have to!
If you’re interested in the Because Racecar service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.