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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

BTCC season opener: Cars, crashes and crowds

BTCC kicked off last weekend at Brands Hatch with the Indy circuit. I wasn't originally planning on going until I noticed I had the day off. After that the tickets were booked! 

Arriving at the track I was beyond excited. Hearing car's roar and fans cheering was something I have dearly missed. That feeling when you're at a race track is unlike no other. And for any of the races I had the pleasure of watching the adrenaline rush as the drivers are all gearing up for lights out was immense every single race. Reminded me even more why I love racing. But a track feels like home. My happy place.

Me and Lisa (who luckily likes motorsport too) managed to plonk our bums by the fence along the pit straight opposite Jake Hill's garage. I could also very clearly see both Eurotech garages, Aiden Moffat and Dan Lloyd and a few others. Unfortunately I couldn't see Andrew Jordan's, which is quite funny when I was kitted out with a Pirtek coat and hat. It was such a good spot to watch all the races. Could see important corners and watched how well cars got off the start line. For the first race Senna Proctor was directly in front of me. After the warm up laps I noticed Proctor did not start on the line, he was behind it by a fair bit. This is to be expected for a rookie in his first race, this is just something that comes down to experience.

For me and the teams  I support it was not the best BTCC wise. However, they always came out fighting. I admire Jeff Smith immensely. I watched him get out of his car after retiring during race 1, it was clear to see he was angry and upset. However, that did not stop him from going out there in the last two races and giving it his all. Must also say well done to Laser Tools for getting Aiden Moffat out for race 3 after seeing  the damage sustained in race 2. Although saying that Andrew Jordan won race 3  and that was a highlight of the day for me. I was a proud girl wearing my Pirtek/AJ  merchandise. That proud-ness was already fulfilled by Jamie Caroline winning his F4 race. I have followed him for a few years now and its amazing to see him doing so well and watching him go out there and win. Watch out for the up and coming Jamie Caroline. Near the end of the day it was time for Ginetta GT and I was supporting Jack Mitchell and Ben Green. Both names I have been aware of for a long time. It was a mixed race. Started off with both drivers doing extremely well. Jacks leading and Ben is coming up and over taking. The commentators are talking about Ben saying how well he is doing and to watch out for him throughout the season when Ben gets unlucky and is caught up in a crash and goes into the tyre barrier in front of me. It was heartbreaking to see, both cars involved were smashed up at the front and sides. I know all these drivers will only get better. Its the first race weekend of the season, there is lots of time to improve and win.

It was lovely weather, races were action packed, not as crowded as I anticipated. My one regret is that we did not leave early enough and get there in time for the pit walk. I wasn't that bothered at the time but I do regret that, even if it would have meant I got up a lot earlier. It was such a cracking day and I am so glad I had the opportunity to go and I took it. Sadly I am unable to go now until Snetterton. I am looking forward to that though, camping again with a better tent, with Lisa, Gemma and Hannah, the four of us back together once again! Who knows, maybe on the saturday night we will go on the track again. However, until then I shall be supporting from the comfort of my sofa. There was no screens that I could see which was disappointing but its a small track so we didn't miss much. Plus I get a tad more information at home than at the track.

I am so grateful and feel so lucky I went and have plans to go to more. I love BTCC and the other races, the prices, the sounds, the people, not only the crowd but teams and drivers as well. If you ever have the chance to go, do! You will not regret it  I promise.




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