Friday night was a strange feeling. I really didn’t want to finish making my packup, I didn’t want to pack my stuff up and I certainly didn’t want to set my alarm for 6.30am on a Saturday morning. I didn’t want to go marshalling.
I don’t know what caused this – I hadn’t had a particularly busy week; I wasn’t over tired needing a day in bed. I had been feeling ill for a couple of days but at that precise moment I was feeling ok. I hadn’t been marshalling since mid May and had been looking forward to getting back on the bank for ages. I was also looking forward to going to the World Series by Renault event.
Thankfully, whatever caused me to feel so negative was wiped away by 8am on Saturday morning. Despite the early morning wake up call, despite parking outside Copse and walking through to the Paddock Bar for sign -on, only to walk back to the car to get my stuff and back again to my post! The sun was shining and I was back at Silverstone so all felt right with the world.
I was put on the inside of Brooklands, just in front of the hospitality suites. The other marshals were a great bunch of guys and we had a great day. They imparted their knowledge and gave me some great tips, whilst telling some interesting and scary stories about their escapades over the years of marshalling.
I spent two sessions during the day on flags, firstly on the yellow flag during Clios , but they all managed to behave themselves so I didn’t have to wave my flag once. I then flagged for the last session of the day, Formula Renault 2.0 UK qualifying and they were all well behaved too, so apart from the green flag lap, I didn’t have anything to do! I really enjoyed flagging so will it give a go another time, I just hope I don’t get a long safety car period!
The rest of the time I was primed and ready to jump into action if anyone stopped for whatever reason on our corner. Unfortunately barring a couple of spins it was really quiet down at Brooklands and so there weren’t any incidents to take care of. It feels really strange thinking and typing that; of course its good for the racing and competitors that there weren’t any incidents. I would just have liked a car to bump start or push or something. Especially as I’d been repeating in my head all day how to get the Formula Renaults into neutral!
Still aside from being quiet on the marshalling side as a spectator right up close to the track there was some great action; the bigger Formula Renault 3.5 were very well behaved and very little action near us, but the smaller 2.0’s were full of life & the Clios…well, they were a fiesty bunch (just not in the session I was flagging)! We were able to relax during the demos so it was great to see a Renault 5 doing hot laps & a few donuts as well as Grosjean in an old Renault. Sadly by the end of the day I didn’t have the energy to stand and watch the demos and took every available opportunity to sit down during sessions so I missed Charouz doing his run in the Renault (although I did notice the helmet looked different when I peered over the edge of the fence)… I’ll get used to standing up all day eventually 🙂