The BTCC Weekend @ Oulton Park – Qualifying

Okay, so you’re going to have to bear with me here, the BTCC left me with heat exhaustion and I’ve only gotten back into the world of the living, so I’m trying my best to remember all the exciting things from the weekend. If I’m wrong, then don’t shoot me.

The BTCC was THE car racing event I’d been waiting for since I signed up to marshal last year – well that and finally getting to Silverstone for the Grand Prix, but that would be purely for Sebastian Vettel stalking – so when I threw my guts up after brushing my teeth, it wasn’t looking good. Not just in the bowl either.

The most annoying thing was, I’d only had half a glass of wine the night before (I should have known £2 Aldi wine would be no good for me) so it wasn’t self induced, and no, it’s not morning sickness either, I know I need to shift a few pounds, but a small child? Chance would be a fine thing.

Anyway, after my marshalling bud Andy picked me and my bag of food and medicines up, we were on our way to Oulton, ready to get ourselves signed on for Knickerbrook and ready to kick some racing ass. Obviously because we were on telly y’know. Luckily for us, we were on post with the legendary Ian Lewis, who made sure all the team on his post never ran out of sweets, bacon butties or a smile, which is a crucial part of being a marshal. Especially when you’re on TV. Did I mention this was on ITV4 yet? Oh yes, I did.

Photo by Matt Sayle Photography

The morning saw me on the inside of Knickerbrook, presiding over the Chicane like a big orange Tellytubby queen and getting rather annoyed by all the naughty cars that kept clipping the tyre bundles which marked the entrance into the Chicane. Okay, to be honest, the tyres were too far out anyway, and no matter how many times the cars whacked their wing mirrors on them they didn’t seem to learn their lesson. That was until a little Renault Clio ended up teetering on two wheels and crashing out midway through his qualifying session.

Then there was another little rascal who saw his suspension give up and tyre blow out when he got a little too cosy with my tyres, he ended up in the tyre wall too and needed us to tow him out at the end of the session. Tut, tut, when will they ever learn? I guess the main problem was, every time the tyres were rebound after a race, the Oulton Park muscle men just bound them where they were instead of moving them back, but then again, that would have made things boring. Wouldn’t it?

Photo by Matt Sayle Photography

Then it was lunch, and time to watch some blokes from the RAF jump out of a plane and twirl around for a bit with some coloured smoke attached to their bums. That was rather good, but to be totally honest with you, looking up at the sky made my neck hurt a bit -They don’t really make skydiving viewing easy do they? Then, as if the BTCC weren’t happy with the pain they’d forced on my neck with the smokey flying men, they then sent an old Spitfire flying around overhead, which was super nice to look at but IMPOSSIBLE to get a photo of. The old blokes seemed to like it though, I was just busy trying to cool off as I pranced around barefoot, at least the plane served as a distraction from my utterly vile untanned and somewhat stubbly legs.

After lunch I started to feel rather ill, I thought it was just from being sick this morning, that I’d got a bit of a bug and was feeling a little bit under the weather. I sat down and stuck some ice packs down my back, but still I felt like I wasn’t in control of my body. Now I know this was the onset of Heat Exhaustion and I should have gotten out of the sun and downed some water. But sadly, when you’re trackside for the BTCC, you don’t want to act like a little girl and run off to the marshals box saying; “I don’t feeeeeeeeel well, I need to go home.” Damn my stupid pride.

Photo by Matt Sayle Photography

Sadly though, it means I don’t really recall much of what happened that afternoon as it was spent sat out of the way with a bottle of water and my overalls down, much to the joy of the overweight, sunburnt, beer-guzzling topless monsters behind the fence, who kept leering over their sunglasses and shouting “Alright babe?”. Yeah fine thanks mate, and that whole’ eyebrows up sunglasses down’ look makes me want to just fall at your feet. Dreamy.

Oh, and I got bitten by an ant.

That was Saturday anyway, I was glad to get home to my little stubby lagers, Britain’s Got Talent and my bed. After I’d tracked down tom Onslow-Cole in the pits that is. I might be ill, but I never miss a chance to find a hottie.

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One comment

  1. Ruth, good blog. But if there’s one thing you need to know about marshaling, its be prepared for any weather. No-one will complain if you go and sit in the box to get out of the sun or even wind, rain or whatever else the weather can throw at you. At the end of the day, you can’t look after drivers and deal with incidents in the correct manner if you’re suffering yourself. The last thing we want to be doing trackside is dealing with one of our own. Always pack water proofs, suncream, hat, food and drinks.

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