The trip didnít get off to the best of starts on Wednesday when Simon, Spencer and I arrived at Stockholm Arlanda airport but for a short while it appeared that our luggage had not come with us. After some delay the situation was resolved and we hit the road for Tierp Arena where after some brief digging-in of heels on my part we were allowed in. I think the view of the guy behind the desk was that the media were not allowed in until Thursday but I put him straight. Acquaintances renewed with the timing and tech crew my front row seat in Race Control was secured and I was all set for the next four days.
timing system with which I work has its own features. For example, the
TSI Timers system at Santa Pod Raceway allows connection to the timing
database and if I wish I can copy qualifying lists and elimination
rounds, retrieve timing slips, and get all sorts of other information.
The very whizzy Time-Tree system devised by Lelle Olsson and used by
Tierp Arena has a couple of unique functions the most prominent of
which is its facility to post results, ladders and timing slips to the
web where they can routinely be found at nitroz.se and dragracing.eu
and, in the case of Sportsman qualifying last weekend, Eurodragster.com
with the kind approval of the Time-Tree guys. I always do Pro
qualifying and eliminations manually whichever timing system is in use
and I transcribe those figures from the timing system console.
insistence on reporting upon Pro classes manually means that I have to
get ETs, terminal speeds and incrementals off the screen and to do so
very quickly since the timing crew need to set up the next pairing. As
soon as the next-pair button is pushed all of the previous runís
incrementals clear. Because of the weather and, on Sunday, because we
were trying to run a whole dayís Pro racing in a few hours there was
tremendous pressure to get the pairs through quickly and I was acutely
conscious of the possibility of holding up the timekeepers. Of course
when you become conscious of holding things up you inevitably become
all fingers and thumbs and that makes things worse. There is also the
not insignificant fact that the timing crew arenít actually there for
my benefit, but that that their loyalty is to the Race Director.
probably sounds a lot more heavy than it actually was. Timekeeper Oscar
Lindgren and I established Ė or more accurately renewed - a tremendous
understanding through the weekend. After each Pro pair I sent a few
seconds furiously typing and then I threw Oscar a thumbs-up and the
next pair was set, usually before they were fired up. I would like to
think that I didnít hold anyone up; certainly if I caused any problems
then everyone was too nice to say so. I must say a huge Thank You to
Oscar and to all of the timekeepers and race officials whose help was
unending and cheerful throughout the weekend.
and eliminations were very well-run and there was a lot on which to
comment in our Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored coverage. Simon reset his own
record for the number of pit notes produced at an event (you can find
the pit notes elsewhere in this newsletter) and at the end of each day
on which racing was possible Roger presented a card containing hundreds
of pictures from which we selected reasonably-sized galleries: as I
said in a previous diary it would be very easy to produce huge and
unwieldy galleries. Spencer also took a turn behind the camera when his
marshalling and other commitments permitted and Thursdayís gallery in
particular included a sizeable contribution from him.