Marshal’s Tricks for the Everyday Race Fan

I was at the Goodwood 74th Members’ Meeting at the weekend – not in orange (or, technically, white), rather a sort of a working holiday – but that didn’t stop me applying some of my experience.

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Knowing how races are rungives you a bit ofaheadstart when planning things.  At the beginning of the 2.5l F1 race, there was a major incident (nothing life-threatening, thankfully). The minute you see ambulances on track, you know you’ve got an hour’s stoppage.  Rather than dwell on grim possibilities, I decided to keep busy.  So I nipped down to the miniature autosolo for a crack in a Pocket Classics Lotus 25 and bumped into Dario Franchitti.  I’m not saying I beat his time, but, you know, cream rises…

Another example:  whilst working, I overheard some fans trying to position themselves at Parc Fermé to snap the winner.  Customer service mode: activated.

“I think Dickie will be over here, they line them up and he should be at the front.”

“Excuse me, are you looking for the winner?”

“Yes.”

“The top three are often stopped separately beforehand, where they do the TV interviews and presentations.  Try further up-stream and you should see them.”

Most rewarding is knowing when to go home.  Which is after everyone else has.  A lot of people rush to be first out of the car park, but I learned at Donington last year that if you really love the cars, you’ll hang around in the pits and paddock for that extra chance.  And so it was at Goodwood, when I saw a lone mechanic struggling to push his Ferrari 512M over to its trailer.

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“Need a hand?”

“Would you?”

€15m worth of Ferrari, he told me.  That’s a bit special.  Next?  Porsche 917K.  The battery on their winch was dead.  And finally, a Steve McQueen Ford Mustang GT Fastback.

When you know, you know.  You know?

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