Okay, well maybe the title is a little bit of a lie because when the Fun Cup was at Anglesey last weekend, the weather was certainly what I could describe as very British. A six hour race split into two halves, with the second three hour race run in the darkness, meant the racing was close and was picked up where it left off after the break.
Even though the weather was ever changing, the old Icelandic quote “If you think the weather’s bad now, wait five minutes,” sprung to mind, but our job in orange remained the same. Fortunately for my gang on School we didn’t have much to do at all, meaning we could stay nice and dry in the box.
The night race does provide a good challenge for the marshals as the cars have the added hindrance of limited light so they can easily tangle with another car, but unlike longer endurance races, like the 24 hours of 2CV’s I’ve written about, they are driving a lot faster because there isn’t a lull in the race.
Even though the long races can be daunting and maybe even boring in the eyes of someone who is looking in on marshalling from the outside, they are the perfect types of races for getting to know your fellow enthusiast. The only tough bit about long races is being alert and with the night race, trying to note the numbers of the cars that have offs, which is even more difficult when one of your incident marshal shines a torch in your eyes by mistake!
As we had a lot of time on the Saturday due to the lack of incidents, we had time to think of which driver we should vote for in the BRSCC Ford driver of the day. We eventually settled on Chase Owen in the #0 car, but only after we had changed the Texan’s name to Chase River-Rock the third, to give it a more NASCAR feel! Our real reason for voting for him though was the fact he put together a faultless race as he drive pole to flag with little drama.
Sunday brought a complete contrast in everything; the sun was out and the track was dry meaning we were in for a good day of racing. No Fun Cup on the Sunday so we had 13, 20-minute races to cover and it turned out to be, what I’d like to call, an ideal day of marshalling; the kind of day where you want something to do.
Ewean had the best seat in the house for the day.
Most of the incidents that we had to deal with had a quick fix, apart from one which had me running from Post 1 to almost the ‘in’ flag point at Banking when a car had gone into the barrier. Normally this wouldn’t have been necessary, but as the driver was still reported to be in the car, it was better to get there pronto. We were fortunate as I got to all the incidents as we had an extra bit of help; I was joined on post by the world famous Ewean the sheep! Whilst he was mainly there to watch the racing, he quickly jumped into action to help with recoveries and even dress some oil on the circuit, which was more of challenge than first expected as the wind was blowing the sawdust away faster than we could sweep it into the track.
Post One did provide another interesting challenge, something I have experienced whilst being Post Chief on Post 15. That’s looking after the pit lane. Unlike pit-entry, pit-exit has the added challenge of keeping your eye out to see if anyone has jumped the red lights and if so reporting that to Race Control. It also involves talking to the drivers who are pit lane starters for the race; some of them will ask for you to tell them when the 30 second board has been shown at the start so they can fire their engines up. This is purely to stop them over-heating as their fellow competitors cruise round on their green flag lap.
If you are interested in marshalling, wonder how you can give it a go and meet the celebrity that is Ewean the sheep, then click here and you can book a a taster day at your closest track.
Written By – Robert Lee (@RobLee559 – Twitter/Instagram)