Many motorsport fans will be perplexed by my decision to go to Brands Hatch last Sunday for the BARC Championships race day, partly because the immense Silverstone Classic was available as an alternative, and partly because rain was coming down for much of the day, making life on a grassy bank pretty hard work.
But here’s the rub: I love Brands Hatch, and have done since I was first taken there by some friends 22 years or so ago, and I also love club racing, simply because you can watch it without a care in the world about who wins and who spins. Ultimately, it’s a bunch of men and women driving as hard as they can before heading home to get on with their lives. Success in the MGOC Championship isn’t going to get Toto Wolff on the phone. As far as I'm concerned, paying £14 (kids go free) for the privilege of watching a bunch of racers have fun for six hours is pretty good value, come rain or shine.
The first thing that struck me is the eternal truth that marshals deserve more thanks and praise than they get. I know it’s been said before, and I know it’s as true today as it was then, but it simply can't be said enough.
Sure, marshals are clearly in love with club motorsport even more than I am, but while I paid my entry fee and had the opportunity to wander where I wanted, leave when I wanted and to take shelter when I wanted, they were on duty throughout. Given the weather, and the fact that there were some pretty inexperienced racers cutting their teeth in treacherous conditions, they were kept pretty busy, too.