Easter Weekend, Oulton Park and the British GT and F3 Championship rolled in and promised to be a huge event. It didn’t disappoint; Flick Haigh became the first female driver to take and outright pole position and race win in the British GT Championship and the #33 Lamborghini Hurican of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen provided some good chase down racing in the first half of the race, but sadly they had to settle for fourth after the pit stop.
Elsewhere in the racing Billy Monger made his debut in the F3 Championship but, more importantly it was a return to racing for the 18-year-old, just one year on from his horror crash. Amongst the wet and rainy weather conditions, he kept himself out of trouble to grab a third place in race one.
It wasn’t just the racing that was the talking point of the weekend, the weather was a big factor, cold and damp conditions on Saturday had turned to cold and heavy rain by Monday. There was also mud, a lot of mud.
From the relative comfort of Knickerbrook I watched on as teams pushed cars clear of the mud on other corners, the Lakeside marshals got covered head to toe by an F3 car, a service that most celebs would pay hundreds of pounds for. Whilst I had the initial feeling of “I’m glad that’s not me” I couldn’t help but be impressed. Given the circumstances, the conditions and the weather they just got on with the job in hand.
In fact, I wouldn’t just stop at the team on Lakeside, every marshal who stood out in the elements were a huge testament to the marshalling community. Even when the racing was up for debate as to whether it could continue we were all in good spirits and ready for whatever action was sent our way. Sadly, the racing wasn’t to be, as part way through race two of the GT’s it was deemed too wet by race control for them to continue and too wet for the meeting to be completed. After all they had been in the position before when the cars were out in heavy rain at Oulton Park.
As I sat in Chequers café, considerably earlier than expected, it got me thinking about things that had happened to me on rare occasions at the race track. In my eight-year time as a marshal, this was the first meeting I had been to which had been abandoned for whatever reason. Saturday provided me with only my fourth fire in the same amount of time, however as it was on the other side of the track, I wasn’t in a suitable position to deal with it.
A still shorter blog, for a slightly shorter meeting, if you told me that next year was going to be exactly the same, would I be put off? Not in the slightest, I’ll just have to remember to pack more waterproofs. Everyone over the weekend should give themselves a huge pat on the back because in the adverse conditions they made the most of it and that’s how you leave marshalling happy.