This is how the prepping is going for the Brean Stages Rally this weekend.
Viv is at the cinema and I have just finished watching the qualifying for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
That’s how the prepping is going.
To be honest, there is not much I can prepare for, apart from making sure the equipment is ready and our clothes are packed. Okay, so neither of those two things have been done yet but they will be.
You can’t actually fully prepare for a weekend like this. It has been a while since I did a feature race weekend due to other commitments, but I still haven’t forgotten a piece of advice I was given a long time ago when I worked as a press officer. “Be prepared to not be prepared.”
Our plan is to drive down early tomorrow morning to our digs in Weston-Super-Mare and get ready for the weekend ahead. After that, well you just have to go with the flow. We would like to get there in time for the scrutineering, see the cars in full bloom, possibly meet up with Chris and Kirsty for a little chat and an intro to the article but nothing is set in stone.
I have just watched the Ford’s blitz the other GTLM cars in qualifying and take all three top spots and the Cadillac’s in the Prototype class look as if they still have more to deliver in the big race at the weekend, the Rolex 24. It may seem like a strange decision to some people, not staying at home to watch one of the biggest endurance races of the season, to instead visit a local rally on the other side of England.
The truth is, it was a very easy decision to make.
One of my big plans this year was to develop the “Weekend With…..” feature and spend time with racers, their teams, friends and family so that I can experience what it’s like to be right in there at the deep end surrounded by the smell of fuel, feeling the heat coming off the cars and soaking up the electric atmosphere. That was a very easy decision to make once Chris agreed we could come along and be a guest with his team.
As a motor racing fan and writer it is an absolute honour to be invited into the garage of a team to sample this experience, whatever level of racing it is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The fact that my good lady is going to be there with me (as my photographer) to share the moment also makes it very special. There is something so exciting about the whole thing. The buzz, the not-knowing what is going to happen and having to think on your feet because as we all know motor racing can throw a few curve balls at us.
That is what is exciting me for this weekend, the unknown. I have no idea how the rally is going to pan out, how the weekend will develop and whether it will end in champagne or tears. All I know is that I am prepared to not be prepared and will be keeping a very open mind as to what can and can’t happen. I have a few set in stone ideas that I will develop over the weekend, but these will be worked around what actually happens to Chris over the event. I have a my “Quick 10” interview feature ready for him, I am planning on talking to everybody involved with Chris to get their emotions and thoughts down on paper and I will also be documenting the comeback from a very serious crash.
It’s exciting. It is mysterious. It is racing.
So, while Viv stares at the big screen putting her hand into a box of popcorn and I sit here typing up this blog entry whilst digesting what I just witnessed in the qualifying for the Rolex 24, my mind now casts to the weekend ahead and what will occur.
I am very much looking forward to the racing, the experience of being with Chris and his team but I am also looking forward to being away from the hum-drum of normal life and sharing my passion of writing about motor racing with my good lady.
It’s going to be a great weekend, best I start packing.
My next blog entry will be once we arrive in the West Country. I have a feeling it is going to be an amazing adventure.
Now, where’s the suitcase?
See you at the chequred flag.
Neil Simmons Twitter: @world_racing
Viv Gillings Twitter: @viv_simmons