February and October are probably my two favourite months of the racing year. February I like because generally speaking I know my plans for the year, I don’t have the pangs of anxiety (like I do every January) that no-one will be in touch. October likewise is great, there are always lots of fun meetings and the season is winding down nicely.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the rest of the year, it’s more that I have worked every single day of June for the last three years (this year will be no different) and big events flash by in a blur. The mid-season months are often such a rush of activity that sometimes it can be hard to sit back and enjoy them.
So, here we are in February and time to think about what I’m looking forward to this season and what I’m not. Now this isn’t a time to talk about how excited I am about a specific championship, but rather some of the quirks of spending on the summer on the road.
What I’m looking forward to:
Big events at Brands Hatch – being my home track I love working at Brands, and nothing quite beats rolling out of bed on a big race day (at a relatively humane time), the 45 minute drive to the track with the adrenaline beginning to flow, then sitting in the commentary box watching the crowd arrive
Saturday Edition – probably my favourite show on Radio 5 Live, always a good listen on the way home from Oulton Park
Holiday Inn Carrow Road – a mega hotel for Snetterton weekends, large rooms, good restaurant, abundant parking & it overlooks the pitch
Movie time flying to the GT Open – ‘Me’ time is generally pretty low during the race season anyway (try coming home on a Sunday night having not seen Mrs E for the weekend and switching on the TV – it’s life limiting) and now that I’m a new Dad its non-existent. My three hours on the plane en-route to GT Open rounds are a great opportunity to catch up with a DVD or two
The last three miles to a track – Nothing quite beats the feeling arriving at a track ahead of a day’s work. Once I’m off the motorway, the volume goes up on the stereo and I start to get ready to go.
Great Racing – Ok, boring, but the best thing about this job is that occasionally you get to watch, and talk about, races that take your breath away.
What I’m not looking forward to:
Long Delays & Safety Cars – really, it is not much fun talking to an empty track for 45 minutes while an oil spill is cleaned up
The A11 at Thetford – it’s been a good weekend at Snetterton, some great racing, time to go home. Or at least it is until the A11 goes down to one lane at Thetford. Even if the world’s most endangered species only surviving habitat was that stretch of woods, I’d still cut them down to make a dual carriageway. The same also goes for the southbound M40 at 6:30 on a Sunday night
Robbie Savage – After a day’s racing I don’t want music and I don’t want silence, so the radio it is. Nothing quite takes the edge of a good day’s commentating like Robbie Savage’s moronic muttering’s on 606.
Average Speed Limits on Motorways – Twenty miles of 50mph with nobody working at 7 on a Sunday morning, when I’m the only car on the road – great
Late night drives – Commentating whether at the track or a voice over gets the adrenaline going, however once that fades a long, late drive home is utter purgatory. A particular favourite is junction closures meaning a nice long midnight detour.
M&S Simply Food – Yes M&S sandwiches are tasty, the fruit salads fresh, but after six weekends in a row of M&S lunches (hastily purchased at 6am on the way to Oulton Park) can get somewhat tedious. Most years it takes me about two months before I can face M&S again, this time around I still haven’t recovered from last season.