This weekend’s race meeting has been interesting to say the least… I had everything from sexing flies and almost being run over by a nightmare of a sidecar driver to wanting to dropkick a whiney teenage rider and looking after bikers who hurt their willies. Yep, I was in the middle of the action.
I’ve gotta be honest form the start here, I’ve always dreaded being put on Druids because the double apex bend is pretty much the site of most of the crashes that take place at Oulton, and the number of accidents usually increase threefold with a wet track, and guess what, it was raining.
So, we had rain pretty much all day (meaning my hair looked crap) and I had no excuse to wear my sunglasses (meaning my panda eyes were on show to everyone) so I was rather grumpy. Not only that, but we had such a quiet morning that I was becoming rather agitated that I was stuck under some trees with all manner of flying creatures zooming in my eyes, nose and mouth. The only action we were getting at Druids were the wasps that kept falling out of the tress whilst having sex with each other. Yes, they were actually bonking above my head (and at one point in my Post Office jacket hood)… why oh why were they having more fun than me?
What did perk me up though was the lovely Mark Compton from the Powerbikes who made me chuckle with his number 69 bike which was emblazoned with the logo “Vagisil Thrush Rush.” What a hero. I made a special trip into the paddock at lunch to snap a photo of the mean machine especially for your eyes. Love it?
After a 25 minute lunch (what on earth is that about – we’re stood on our feet from 8am-12.30pm and we get 25 minutes break?!) and a horrendous downpour it was time for the afternoons racing and the inevitable influx of fallers on our patch.
First up was the Metzeler lot who were lovely enough to send us three visitors in three laps – I don’t know if you’ve ever tried running though that gravel three times in under five minutes, but it’s bloody hard work! First up we had the adorable Shaun Wynne who scratched his shiny new bike all along our pebbles but was nice enough to chat to us after being checked out by the doctors.
Then we had my favourite faller of the day, Peter Carr, who bust up his family jewels as he slammed into the gravel and rather comically informed me that his “willy hurt” when I asked if he was alright…. Ooh, the potential responses to such a statement were endless, but I managed to keep my trap shut just long enough before I was distracted by Greg Roberts hurtling towards us – who had visited us on the warm up lap – and complaining that there were potholes in the track. Right, potholes in a racing track. Sure.
After we’d sent them on their way in the recovery van, it was time for the sidecars, or should that be ‘slidecars’ (oh, I’m such a comedian) and time for me to almost die at the hands of the rudest man on the planet as more vehicles checked into the Druids car park. Once again we had three visitors during this race, this first being the dramatic entrance of Marc and Rik Vannieuwenhuyse who arrived on their roof with the rider still in the ‘cockpit’. He dramatically kicked the machine off him whilst the passenger flipped it the right way up and they were back on their way. As I headed back to the side of the track, the little monsters in cart number 70 ploughed in and almost broke my legs. Despite having to leg it out of their path, I still went back and offered to push Rupert Archer and Jason Grimes out of the gravel, only to be met by the stare of death.
I know I’m a girl, I wear red lipstick and my hair isn’t in a lesbian style, but I’m not a total moron and despite not being Mrs Muscle 2010 (although the hideous waterproofs do make me look like the Michelin Man) I am pretty capable of giving a good push out of the gravel. Anyway, this pair clearly didn’t think I was any use and decided to ignore me until one of the male marshals came along and pushed them out. Fair game to them, but they probably lost another handful of places because of their blatant sexism, oh well, at least I got to save my strength for the arrival of Peter Townson and Glyn Jones who ended up screaming at each other before realising they too could rejoin the race if they wanted. Oh I love how tits and ass make people think I’m a rubbish marshal.
Moving on and it was time for the children to play out on their 125s that mummy and daddy had probably bought them for Christmas. Oh my, I have a distinct lack of patience when it comes to anyone under 18, and the visit of young Lee Jackson really tested my patience to the max.
Before I get to him, I have to give kudos to Josh Corner who crashed quite near the start of the race and was nothing but nice to us as we ushered him into the Red Cross ambulance and kept him company until the race ended, if it wasn’t for his accident, I would probably have launched a single-handed protest against ever having to look after kids who crash again. The problem was this Lee Jackson’s bad attitude… I know it’s crap when you crash, and I know Papa Jackson might stop your allowance for a month and you’ll have to stay inside and play your X Box on your plasma TV, but seriously, have some respect for the marshals.
The thing is boys and girls, without the little orange beacons, you wouldn’t be able to race, so thinking that you’re better than us because you have leathers on whilst we have our probans is a pretty moronic attitude to adopt. I love motorsport just as much as the next man, but I don’t have to run onto live racetrack if you come off, so a bit of appreciation wouldn’t go amiss. Why am I ranting? Well, after number 144 came into the gravel on his arse, all we could hear were screams and explicative’s, first we though he must have broken something, until we realised he was just having a tantrum after letting himself down by not keeping his butt in on the seat.
We dragged his bike out of the track and put it somewhere safe whilst the medics gave him the once over, only to have him stomp up to us a few moments later yelling; “What have you done with my bike?” as though we’d loaded it into a white van and put it on eBay whilst his back was turned! Yes, we volunteer as marshals in the hope that we can steal from racing drivers. Please, get a grip on reality kid.
I don’t mean to rant, but it is rather annoying when a child doesn’t have respect for his elders (my fellow marshals) and is so full of egotistical bullshit that he thinks he can talk to us like dirt. I know from experience that there is one BTCC driver who treats marshals in much the same way, and I can tell you now, people are reluctant to help him when he ploughs into a tyre wall at Oulton, so kids, don’t let a bad reputation get the better of you, or you might find yourself pushing your own bike out of the gravel.
Anyway, I don’t want to let one adolescent ruin the vibe of the weekend as Saturday was the most enjoyable weekend I’ve had this season, Nino Pezzini is one of the most lovely men we have in the world of motorsport and it was a honour to work with him once again. I just wish we didn’t have to wait a whole year before the North Glos lot came to visit us again…