An extract from Steve’s updates – 2016 Season | 1
Wow, what a year this is turning out to be!
Firstly, I want to thank the club for inviting me to speak at the dinner following your AGM, and then to invite me to become your Ambassador|16. It is indeed a pleasure and an honour to accept this position.
So, following the events mentioned, what else have I been doing this season? Well, so far there has been a little bit of a ring of consistency to everything: –
- Goodwood Members Meeting – Cold
- Silverstone Hankook 24hrs – Cold, Wet
- Silverstone WEC/ELMS – Cold, Wet, Snow (!)
- Anglesey “Ty-Croes Sprints” – Cold, Wet, Windy
And given that I do this for my pleasure, you can see a life in orange isn’t always the fun some people think we have. Whilst the conditions haven’t been favorable, the racing and camaraderie most definitely has been. Marshals are said to be a bit of a strange breed, and it is a hobby that not everyone takes to well, but if you can put up with the inconveniences, the pleasures far outweigh things.
But now my attention is solely focused in one direction – and the month of June for me means only one thing – Le Mans and the ‘Vingt Quatre Heures du Mans’.
I first attended the event as a young spectator back in 1983 and instantly fell in love with the race, attending 2 more times before other aspects of life took over. After I started circuit marshalling, I had plans to marshal there but then the Goodwood accident happened, and I thought my dream had gone.
But then a twist of fate intervened. Bernard Nirrengarten was a ‘chef de poste’ at Le Mans, had worked with Andy Carpenter (the marshal killed in the same accident at Goodwood that I was injured in), and invited me to visit his poste if I ever got to Le Mans, and so in 2003 I attended the event principally as a spectator but sat on a poste. This fired up the imagination, and discussions between Bernard, race director Daniel Poissenot, and myself led to my being accepted as a ‘commissaire’ in 2004. And I have been there every year since, with the except of 2005 when I was briefly in hospital sorting out a leg infection, steadily increasing the duties I could undertake.
I remained as a secondary flag marshal / observer through to last year, when I elected to change roles and become a ‘commissaire de stands”, doing paddock safety duties. And while I am not actually trackside, I have the privilege of being able to visit all of the garages to view the TV and timing screens and keep up to speed with events on track. And talking to my many driver and team friends on how the event is going.
So ciao for now, I will let you know how things go when I write next. Steve