Saturday 21 July, Mini-Fest, Oulton Park. A particularly warm day if I remember correctly from what I wrote about in a previous blog. A day with very few incidents but a large amount of oil dressing!
Some 70 days have passed since my last time at Oulton Park, I have been a holiday to the Stelvio Pass, marshalled the Belgian F1, attended CarFest North, taken a trip to Anglesey circuit, a trip to Croft circuit, rocked out to a Liam Gallagher concert and witnessed a Red Bull Drift event in Liverpool.
70 days away from what I call my marshalling home and if I am honest I thought I wouldn’t have missed it as much as I did. However, rolling through the gates and over Warwick Bridge (Bailey Bridge if you are of an older generation) a feeling built up in me as if it was the first time I’d ever been to a racetrack.
There’s no place like home
There will never be another Oulton Park in my life, the place where it all began and where I learnt my trade of being a marshal, and to be back there was exciting, I had been out of touch with the racing scene there for a while so I found myself prepping before the race meeting. Looking at timetables, sign-on times and locations and what the entry lists were going to be like.
I was prepped and ready for the weekend. I even arrived early too, well before Chequers café had opened where the incident marshals sign-on in the morning. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait around long, and I had been assigned my post for the day. It seemed fate that the bridge I crossed to get into the circuit was where I was to marshal all day.
I mentioned before that it was formerly known as bailey bridge, due to its design and it had a huge amount of history with the circuit yet, for me I didn’t have many memories with it at all.
In fact, on the drive to post I was desperately searching through my memory to figure out the last time I had been there. It took me all morning to finally figure it out that I had spent one Gold Cup meeting there back in 2013 and never been allocated there since.
Five years on
Bringing it to the present day, being on post at the race meeting mixed with the excitement I had, I was ready for whatever the racing would through at me. Warwick Bridge may be a quiet post but, thankfully we could watch the last-ditch desperate attempt of overtakes from the drivers into the final corner of the circuit.
This provided some excellent amusement throughout the day as we could sit back and watch to see what was unfolding around us. When we did have something to do however, they were gentle pull offs that were easy to deal with.
The race meeting last weekend was also easier to remember than the one five years ago, so I can recall who was on my post and how they were. The team was great and the laughs and energy flowing through the post was so high that before I knew it, it was the last race of the day. It just goes to show, it doesn’t matter what happens on the track, that if you have a great team and a good laugh, the day flies by.
After the racing had finished and all the marshals disappeared off home I found myself realising that there really is no place like home and sometimes it’s nice to visit those forgotten places on my home circuit that are often dismissed.
See you on the 20 October Oulton Park.