A Farewell to a Fantastic 2017

Whilst thinking about what to talk about in this blog, one of the most terrifying and gut-churning thoughts crossed my mind, and wiped the smile clean off my face. Without making it too dramatic, the reason that my mood had change was because I’d realised that November was drawing to a close meaning I had no more races left to marshal in 2017.

The Last Race

It shouldn’t really have come as a surprise to me that the end of the season was imminent with the Winter Meeting at Anglesey Circuit, rounding off the Race Season in the North West of England. I still found it hard to believe, that my 2017 season was over.

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Sat down on the job: Circulating to the back of the grid between sessions. [Photo: Paul Williams]
The last race meeting in itself was a slightly different day to one that I am used to as I didn’t find myself on the bank, in the pits or assembly, but instead I was the observer in the Safety Car. Sadly, as it is only the second time that I have done that role, I can’t put together a full blog on it as I don’t have the experience that other Safety Car observers have, maybe there is someone out there who does? That’s an opening right there!

The Winter Meeting was also the first BRSCC North West event at Anglesey since the passing of the gentleman that was Tom Dooley; a great man of Motorsport who helped build a club and support it throughout his career within our favourite sport, that lasted nearly 70 years. Of course I do it no justice and the full obituary can be read here.

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The perfectly observed minutes silence for Tom Dooley at Anglesey Circuit. [Photo: Paul Williams]

What made 2017?

This is specifically what events throughout the year have been up there as the best ones. There will be five separate blogs again for that like there was last year. What I will be looking at is if there were moments throughout the year that made it stand out for what it was.

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Smiles all round with a crazy bunch at Carfest North. 

The old cliche of ‘making friends is the true joy to life’ is something that I want to disagree with, just because it is a cliche, but on this occasion I just can’t bring myself to do that. There have been times this year, like the World Endurance Championship and Carfest North, where I have made new friends, shared memories and even had a laugh with old friends too. An important part to marshalling is always the social side, and knowing more people means that the 2018 season just can’t get here quick enough.

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Being an I/O for the day was a huge learning curve. [Photo: Paul Williams]
Opportunities to do more have also been a factor to making 2017 a fantastic season. I may have missed out on the British Grand Prix due to graduation, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the season for what I was given. Like I mentioned before, I have been given the opportunity to try new things such as Safety Car Observing, Startline marshalling and even a meeting as an Incident Officer, all things that 12 months ago I didn’t really consider.

The Tracks, The Scenery

Silverstone was a new track for me to marshal this year, although it feels like last year as the event I marshalled was the World Endurance Championship on Easter Weekend. It did however, remind me of the benefits of going to different tracks. Not only is it a change of scenery, but you get to experience the different ways and techniques of marshalling. Going to a new track gave Richard McNeil and myself an idea of something that we will try in 2018 and maybe a few years afterwards, but that will stay under wraps for now.

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A view in Motorsport that I won’t see now until April 2018. [Photo: Paul Williams]
The scenery will be something I will miss about marshalling; it will be nearly six months until I get to see the rising tarmac of the track, the Irish Sea and Snowdonia National Park in one line of sight as I won’t be going to Anglesey Circuit monthly, a circuit that every year becomes a home form home.

After reflecting on all of this, the smile has returned to my face and got me thinking about what I can do for the 2018 season, and well that is a blog all in itself.

Written By – Robert Lee (@RobLee559 – Twitter/Instagram)

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