View Full Version : Launching Mission Motorsport in Scotland

24-04-2015, 01:42 PM
I go on a bit for a start, sorry and bear with me.

Bit of background, about 8 months ago MM had picked up a driver, Mikey Courts, in Scotland. Mikey was already competing in the BMW compact cup and Jim couldn't understand his Fife accent. So, anyway, Jim called and blagged me into helping as a translator (and appointed me as the Scotland Area Representative for the charity as a sideline). Great. What next. Another phone call to Jim to ask him to set me an objective, the answer was simple... A launch event. Where else but the only circuit in Scotland to host mainstream motorsport events, Knockhill!

In my original chat with Knockhill we thought we could get 10-15 cars along and MAYBE (at a push) 30 "blokes". My contact at KH was a bit reserved at the numbers but I exuded confidence while quietly curling up my toes that the whole thing might be a damp squib. At the end of the day with there having only been a couple of people in Scotland with any real interest in MM to date, it, worryingly, stood the risk of under-delivering on my promises. I didn't want to disappoint the circuit, Jim, Rich (arnage) or any of the WIS and guests we hoped to have along.

So 8 months later and I've managed to blag use of Knockhill racing circuit (and facilities) for an entire afternoon, have over 20 drivers of various cars lined up, I've met Gordon Shedden, Dave Newsham, been exchanging emails with Jimmy McRae, John Cleland, Allan McNish, Marino Franchitti and BTCC newbie Kieran Gallacher. I've also managed to secure to the local MSP and MP for Dunfermline to come along an witness, first hand, Jim's hair.

Those 8 months, as I've already said elsewhere, and to all the Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) guys who were there on the day, taught me a huge amount about the human spirit and the generosity of others. People were falling over themselves to volunteer their time and their cars. I'm 100% sure that 3 hours of free lapping at Knockhill had nothing to do with me actually having to turn people away for PAX duties. Knowing the location of the circuit I was also very nervous about bringing open cockpit cars like Caterfields, 340Rs and Atoms along. (more on that later)

The format of the day was to be simple. We rock up, WIS appear, drivers & cars appear, we have a chat to the assembled masses Jim and Adam tell them what the proper MM guys do for the blokes. Everyone then joins a queue, grabs a lid and waits for a hurl round the circuit. At half 4, if there is anyone still left, we finish up and sod off in our own homeward directions. Bish, bash, bosh. Job's a good'un.

The week prior to the event I was on holiday with Gemma and the kids gradually getting more and more nervous as the days to the event counted down (I even woke up in a cold sweat after a nightmare about the day being a flop). The week of the event I was meant to be working but was flat-out with last minute arrangements for the event. I had somewhat underestimated what I was going to have to do.

So, the day of truth was upon me. Would it live up to everyone's expectations? Jim flew up and was met, at Edinburgh airport by Adam. They made brilliant time to arrive, IN THE GLORIOUS SUNSHINE, to the circuit and begin branding the place up with banners and pop-ups. I was still heading through Dundee when Jim called asking where the hell I was!

Half an hour later (I'm rounding down, honest, officer) and we're pulling into the paddock and I'm now buzzing. So much still to do before 12noon when we kick off and only and hour and a half to do it. Cars and drivers are starting to arrive. I can see the Ginetta G50, Seat Leon Supercopa, DAX rush, a Porche 911 Turbo S is sitting there too (I wasn't expecting that), an Evo X is being unloaded along with Elises, Scoobys and other stuff. In the WARM sunshine, it's utter heaven for a petrolhead.

LOVE the plate on the Pork



12 noon arrives and I've appointed myself with introducing Jim and Adam to everyone there. The room we're using has a seating capacity of 70, it's standing room only (and most of the drivers aren't even in here, they're away signing-on). Bloody hell it's busy. The count of WIS (not including the PRU officers and other guys who are with them) is 65. Sixty f*cking five. WOW. That's more than double on my promise and about treble what I actually expected to turn up. The MM team has pulled a blinder.


Jim gave a talk on the importance of quality powerpoint presentations :lol:

In the background we've asked KH is we can have all the cars and drivers on the grid. We're wanting to fly a drone over them for some still shots and KH won't let the drones fly after the circuit is live.

Bill from Fennel Media turned up early and managed to grab a few shots of an empty circuit.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/p180x540/11014633_1629225680643346_5315310775527644479_n.jp g?oh=eb8d4a9505f16728ca5edef8181f66a7&oe=559DF046&__gda__=1436474698_370dc15c5494e8e4b5d17c75c94a1ce e

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/s720x720/10407203_1629225660643348_4860574887724605829_n.jp g?oh=a99f2ca0bf4ec75c105f7847f6c3abf2&oe=55988DCF&__gda__=1440824003_135445d196850c63693c9418ad543fc c

Knockhill might not look like much on the TV or in photographs but, as Nige and Screacher can testify, you're kept busy every single yard of its 1.2 miles! The cameras always flatten the gradients!

Jim then collared me, I was still in the main building. I was to follow him. Here goes, time to get the lids handed out... Or so I thought.

(again) WOW. Look at THIS! We walked through the pits and out onto the circuit. My hair stood up on end. All the cars were still on the grind and the drones were buzzing about. Not all the cars are here (some of them are still swapping tyres/unloading) but this, THIS is amazing... Just look...

https://scontent-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/11152694_1628837187348862_9219509124516327121_n.jp g?oh=387c59294e6e842e8d354ef8889e986b&oe=559E0D22

https://scontent-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10406904_1628837184015529_4354968174191196204_n.jp g?oh=cc030c3783e3f11da61d57448f78edcd&oe=55D5FD0E

Hands up, at this point, I was a bit over-awed! Still managed a smile for my mate John (Flat Out Photography). Riley is staring at Mikey's compact and Gemma is in the background. Indee is just out of shot.


The Scotland Launch Team (L-R: Kes Bradley, a beneficiary and a lovely lass, Me, John Cleland, Mikey Courts and Jim - dunno where Adam disappeared to but, according to Indee, he was wearing pink leggings, anyway)



We had a strong social media presence. This is Lee from Tartan Tarmac and his filming rig.


The Leven motor company sent two drivers with a V12 Vantage S Roadster and a Wraith specifically to take the WIS out on 15min runs round the countryside. The Vantage made a gorgeous noise.


Iain Fitz took along his Imp. Well, it was an Imp. It's awesome.


On with the track action! Mikey took up smoking. So did the Noble, for that matter. It was burning off spilt oil from a service.


Salvo drove 340 miles that morning. He spun twice on this, his first, lap. He got banned for the rest of the day. :shame:


Salvo is madly well connected in the motoring media circles. He's, from what I can work out, a stunt driver to trade having worked on programmes including TG. Today wasn't his crowing moment.

Gav Souter in his lovely Cayman R. Want (the car, that is. Sorry Gav).


My dad lost his best friend a couple of years ago but his son has just treated himself to this lovely thing!



Screacher was having a whale of a time slithering around.





This was a bit rough round the edges and broke its exhaust during the afternoon. Still mega, though.


The blokes seemed to be loving it (this is one of many with varying degrees of elated thumbs up :lol: )


The Imp was spoken about a LOT in the pits.


We wrapped up bang on time with 10 cars still out lapping, said our goodbyes and headed home.

At home I sat down with a beer and tried to compute the day. I'd made a point of speaking to as many of the blokes as I could. To a man they'd all been delighted. Here's some of their comments:
a) Didnít want to go however, had a fab day and would definitely do this again.
b) Best day of any of the courses Iíve been on and the people were so friendly.
c) I havenít been out of the house for some time however, the Mission Motorsport day has made me think that itís worth getting up and getting out there.
d) Thank you for a really enjoyable day at Knockhill.
e) What a cracking day out with people who wanted to be there with you.
f) Epic day and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Well done Mission Motorsport.
g) A fantastic day and Iím glad I came on the course.
h) I have never seen so many amazing cars. Had an amazing day with really nice people.

I was a bit of an emotional wreck. Some of the stories these guys have are incredible. I was feeling really proud of them by deeply sympathetic to their problems at the same time. We saw some of the blokes struggle to cope with the crowd at the start of the day, they wanted to go and hide back in the minibus. Come mid-afternoon they were jumping in and out of cars, chatting to drivers and grinning like Cheshire cats. We'd done it, launched the charity up here but, most importantly, actually made a difference to a handful of blokes on the day. We even made it onto TV!

It took me a full 24hours for my emotions to settle back down again. Real lump in the throat stuff. Felt odd all day Friday.

I genuinely can't thank everyone enough. Drivers, the circuit, the blokes, the photographers and media guys. Everyone was brilliant. Apparently I also said I'd do it again although I plead total ignorance to this comment. :lol:

24-04-2015, 01:51 PM
Looks to be a credit to you all up there.

Why did you make jim stand on a box though ?


24-04-2015, 02:08 PM
Very steep camber on that bit of the track.

24-04-2015, 05:25 PM
Epic. Just epic. Bloody well done Wee man :veryhappy:

24-04-2015, 07:17 PM
I enjoyed reading that, well done to all involved.

24-04-2015, 10:22 PM
Bloody well done Findlay, It looked to be a roaring success! Still properly gutted i couldn't make it on the day, Was looking forward to it even more than any other TD or event i have done.

Another one would be good :fishing:

25-04-2015, 06:31 AM
What a cracking report and great result for the MM guys and you for organising this :veryhappy:

Salvo drove 340 miles in an Atom, spun twice on the first lap and got banned ? Wow, I bet he was a happy bunny after that...

I totally agree about the circuit, I think it`s Awesome. Where you have a bit of time at Brands Indy, KH just seems `busier` yet they are about the same length. Just such a shame you are so fekking far away :lol:

Jim Cameron
25-04-2015, 06:56 AM
Cracking day, great work mate :thumb:

Mike Courts, the MM bloke running our Compact this season in SMRC is a great lad, if anyone up there fancies supporting

25-04-2015, 07:44 AM
Cracking day, great work mate :thumb:

Mike Courts, the MM bloke running our Compact this season in SMRC is a great lad, if anyone up there fancies supporting

Working on some stuff again there, too. Including Flash's main personal sponsor!

25-04-2015, 09:34 AM
Cracking report Findlay, thoroughly enjoyed it, and well done on the M.M. day. :veryhappy:

Also nice to see Screacher out on track again in the E30. :thumb:

25-04-2015, 10:33 AM
Great write up Findlay!
The passengers all seemed to have an enjoyable experience.
Thanks so much for including me in the event was really nice and fun to help out.

Great weather, quiet track, nice folks, good feedback about the cars ( particularly Ian's Imp, they loved it!)

Neil Mac
27-04-2015, 07:32 AM
Only saw this thread this morning.

Top work, Findlay :thumb:

I think this was Jim in Edinburgh before he got his make-up on:

http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Godzilla+Gets+Final+Touch+up+Ahead+MIDTOWN+Gy4swDm gBNKl.jpg

01-05-2015, 07:42 AM
Northloop Exclusive!


01-05-2015, 10:17 AM
All that can be said is cracking job you are all doing keep it up :thumb: