I am writing this Editor's Diary from our office in Race Control at Santa Pod Raceway. It's the Peak Performance Day the weekend before the FIA European Finals and we are on an enforced early lunch break because the local farmer has decided that today is the day upon which he will harvest the field next to the shutdown area - as a consequence of which Ian's pristine shudown area is currently full of hay, dust and assorted crap. The safety crews have been stood down and the sweepers are doing their thing at the top end.
This time last week I was strapped in to my seat in the front row of Race Control at Tierp Arena, in between the
track announcers and the timing crew and typing so fast for our Alamo
rent A Car-sponsored Event Coverage that my fingers were pink blurs
from where I was sitting - from the side I would imagine that the speed
distorted the vision. It was a privilege to report upon the
Scandinavian Internationals which I think everyone is agreed was one of
the best races ever held in the long history of European drag racing.
It seemed at times that every run on the Sunday was a record of some
type - certainly the records page in my notebook was crammed with notes
of ETs, speeds, back-ups and little ticks or crosses. Keeping track of
records on top of everything else added a dimension to the race report
especially as my usual auditor Andy Marrs was not available for a lot
of the weekend. As usual, though, my job was made a lot easier by the
help and patience Oscar, Joachim, Bjorn and Petteri of the timing crew
to whom many thanks. Petterssons Kjell and Tomas were also mines of
information and assistance throughout the weekend which helped to
inform our race reports even more.
You will be pleased
to hear that, as has become traditional, I managed to make Christer
laugh whilst he was speaking on the PA. Every so often during the event
Christer and fellow announcer Bjorn Sundkvist would launch into paeans
about Eurodragster.com, about Kirstie's and Patrik Jacobsson's
photography, or about my race reports. Each time they did so I handed
over one Swedish Kroner and by Sunday quite a pile had built up. On
Sunday Christer made some more nice comments about Eurodragster.com but
I found that I didn't have any one Kroner pieces left so I handed him a
five Kroner piece and said "Can you make change?". It is levity such as
this which stops us all going bloody mad under pressure.
and Patrik, as ever, worked very hard indeed and delivered galleries
which drew a lot of praise. Believe me those galleries could have been
twice or three times the size. Kirstie gets extra credit against being
fired (Eurodragster.com in-joke) as she did all the driving whilst we
were in Sweden. It wasn't until we got into the rental car at Arlanda
airport that Kirstie vouchsafed the information that she had never
actually driven on the right, i.e. wrong, side of the road before but
she did a great job and only tried to drive on the left twice. The
first time was for about for about ten miles, and... no, I'm joking
about that bit.