View Full Version : Race of Remembrance. Volunteers perspective

Dave B
14-11-2016, 12:23 PM
As one of the few who doesn’t do facebook and twitter etc….thought I’d be best show willing and do a report of the Race of Remembrance from the weekend just gone. A bit pic heavy but they are phone or cheap camera pics !

Wow, what a superb weekend.
I went along as a ‘volunteer’...main role being assisting for Supercar Saturday and beyond that ? general dogsbody.
I had a choice of transport on Friday morning for the 150 mile journey but as I needed to be back on The Saturday evening for a mates 50th I chose 2 wheels that I figured could get me past congestion if there was a closure of a road etc.

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Steady ride across with just a bit of traffic round Manchester. First part from home has some nice roads and scenic bits.

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I timed arrival perfectly, they’d done all the hard graft and set up the truck/awning etc so it was case of park up, get my bike kit off and see what I could do.
Herding cats describes it well...getting folk out onto the track on foot for some photos.

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You can see why it’s called ‘Coastal’...doesn’t get much more scenic, Snowdonia in the background.

Dave B
14-11-2016, 12:23 PM
Mongo is like me, doesn’t like having her photo taken so when I caught her discussing timings of interviews etc, with 2 Olympians, I couldn’t resist an ambush. Fake smile. She was cross….she might now be a bit crosser as all her workmates now call her Mongo. Ooops

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Bumped into Chris Slator and had a bit of a catch up. Good to see the mix of cars in his RAF team including an awesome sounding 1050cc Singer….looked like a Hillman Imp to me.

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Lunch in the huge, posh marquee over, we cracked on with odds and sods of jobs.
Chris Hoy really is as nice a bloke as he seems to be on the idiot lantern. He had a bit of time for every one of the 100s of folk who ‘popped in’ for a minute to say hello, shake his hand and get a selfie or autograph.
A local school turned up mid afternoon in 3 waves of noise and questions with the inevitable and direct ‘You’ve got a hook, cool’ statement to JonAllen Butterworth. (They all thought he was cool and like Mr Hoy, a proper nice guy with time for everyone)

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Qualifying took place in the afternoon and night qualifying took place...erm, when it got dark.

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Dave B
14-11-2016, 12:24 PM
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The weather was picking up and we had to use a ratchet strap and lots of zip-ties to secure the front of the half of the marquee that the Caterham teams were using. I’m pretty sure we just caught it in time before it ripped the front and no doubt half the roof off. Lucky!

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A fancy dress dinner followed by DJDazzer on the decks in the evening. Did anyone actually get up to dance Darren ? (We left at about 9.30 for the 45 minute drive to the digs as we had an early start the next day) A hardy few got into the swing of the evening but certainly looked incongruous as 95% were in race suits/scruffs/overall etc...so a queue for dinner with 37 ‘normal’ folk and then a ghostbuster and two oompa loompas looks comical. I must say that Chris, dressed as some sort of star wars Jedi knight played the part too well and I suspect, like the oompa loompas, wears it quite a lot when he’s at home….
Steph, one of the MM team was dressed as Freddie Mercury, or a colourful Charlie Chaplin or a 1970s porn star...or Ron Burgundy. I’d never seen the movie so didn’t know. She thought I was taking the pi$$ so likened my hair to Rons mullet. (my head got shaved 24 hours later!)
Earlyish night and very early start. Sharing a very posh static caravan with Simon W and Tony C from MM and Chris Pate, a navy bloke who is also a volunteer, I thought I’d show willing and get up when I heard the first person up and about. Why the f### do ex military have to get up before 6m FFS. 5 to bast### 6 and then an hour supping coffee and putting the world to rights ! Right up my street.
At the circuit for 0745 and after a quick breakfast and briefing, it was up to the top part of the track to help Darren with whatever he needed help with.
Good to see the Pinder clan again, smiles on everyone faces despite a 5am departure from West Yorkshire. Nice to meet young Oakie later in the day and I caught a glimpse of the mighty Almera in my rear view mirror too.

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It was great to finally put a face to Trevor and Fitz (who has the most bonkers car in the making!) As there just a few cars in his ‘paying’ section, he was fine with his brother (Adam from memory?) and sent me back down to help in the pit lane. I was pleased (sorry D)...this is where I get genuine pleasure from helping out. Putting guys and girls in cars and then watching their faces a few minutes later and getting the chance to chat to them.
Possibly unlike any other ‘trackday’ the marshalls are included and were given pax laps first thing. Some very happy people.

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In and amongst the beneficiaries were a scattering of odds and sods, carers for some of the guys and girls, other ‘supporters’ and also a few members of the male voice choir who were to attend the next day. Also on the list were photographers. As folk who must spend inordinate amounts of time in all weather getting that perfect shot, this must have been a great break from the norm and a chance to sit in, looking out rather than constantly being the other way round. They ALL enjoyed themselves and were still saying thanks the next afternoon!

A guy and his family who have given great support to MM were back for the 2nd yr. His daughter does a blog and got some help this weekend apparently. https://en-gb.facebook.com/TheChasinRacers/

Dave B
14-11-2016, 12:25 PM
I’m not sure if that’s the blog or not...I’m a luddite remember so it’s a surprise i found that. Her young brothers had race overalls on all weekend and they managed to get a lap in the Cooper S course car. They were chuffed to bits. Dad had sessions in 1 or 2 things too.
At about this time a white 997 GT3 appeared to sneak past us from the car park onto the track. By the time the message had got to the end of the pit lane and track entry, it was too late. He’d made it on track. THE most glorious noise went past 20 seconds later and as the car came back towards passing the pit wall he did a 100+mph drift round the left hander. F### me he was either very lucky and JUST got away with it or was very talented. Anyhow, he did another lap and came in and pulled up. I spoke with him and he turns out to be Phil Morrison, a bit of a drifter.
Next in line was a lovely looking and speaking lady who was the choirs pianist. Imagine a very pleasant posh bird with a constant smile and you’ll be close. I beckoned her over and promised her a great few laps. She had no idea what sort of car it was, just a nice clean white one.
We heard it drift past a minute later. A marshall reported it to race control, race control told said marshall, ‘It’s OK today’. He came back in a few minutes later with a very, very happy lady climbing out. ‘ That was brilliant’. I had Phil M on for a minute about the complaint and what race control were going to do but it was great to see his beaming smile when I told him that actually they’d said he was fine Crack On. I understand that the next few laps had the GT3 in convoy with the McClaren and that the photographers SHOULD have managed to take some great drift pictures.
Trevor brought his 911 Turbo down and took some people out. They all loved their laps. (‘It didn’t have silly seats and strap things, just a nice normal, really fast car’)
Will ?? took his Megane Trophy out with lots of pax laps until he’d pretty much shredded his tyres.
We got everyone who wanted laps into a car(s). Very few actually only had 1 session. The picks of the day for me were a feller in his late 70s or early 80s who patiently waited for a session in Wills dad’s Ferrari FF (I think his name was Andy ?) He got the last session before worn tyres stopped play. He got out with a beaming grin and wouldn’t stop shaking my hand and saying how it had been a lifelong dream to go in a Ferrari and that to have a lap on a racetrack at speed in one...well…
I’ve no idea who the old gentleman was. Beneficiary from a conflict long ago, family of beneficiary or part of the choir ? It didn’t matter.

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Jaguar had brought an F type and a driver and he did sterling work alongside everyone else.
Many cars dropped off doing PAX laps as the day wore on. Left at the end was a lad from Manchester and his GTR who was in and out ALL day long. Chatting to him afterwards he’d got involved recently and loved it, it also felt right as his 17 yr old son starts in the Army next March. The cycle continues.
And...obviously Nige in the Golf. There was a general chatter all day long amongst the beneficiaries about getting a session in the Pinderwagon. News has travelled fast and most referred to it as ‘that porsche beater from the Nuremburg-ring. I spent a fair bit of time correcting it for fear of their lads trip turning into a satnav battle..thank God we didn’t have to do a spelling test including the Eiffel Mountains….
Nige’s last session ? Taking Paul out in the Pinderwagon and having a good natter with him afterwards.

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To the right of Nige; who was waiting for GTR Paul, are Steph and Ed Tilston. Ed works at JLR and is a fantastic supporter, bringing the F type to this event and his own TVR to Blyton.
What a great day. Lots of happy people. As said, everyone who wanted time on track got it. Not wishing to downgrade anyone but the important ones, the beneficiaries, got the cars they wanted, even if some had to wait a tad longer. An American and a Canadian were looked after with PAX laps, they aim to bring teams across for 2018 !

Shonky old Porker...with a 993 race engine apparently. Sounded amazing….apart from at what passed for tickover.

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I couldn’t slope off without taking part in the 22 push up challenge (Stated some time ago by Combat Stress). A group of photographers had to keep backing up to get everyone in shot as we lined up along the main start finish straight and got down to the 22.

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Apparently, the only new Civic Type R Estate in the world. Next to a Beetle.

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I then rode home, shaved my head, went to a party and had a shandy, went back home, slept fitfully for 5 hours then wiped frost off the van and drove back to Anglesey. I’m too old for these shenanigans !
The cars were lining up for a restart at 9am. Then we started to prep for the 11am service of remembrance. Chaps sorting out the sound, platform for the Padre, service booklet etc. The choir arrived at about 10 and we intended putting them in the marquee with a hot drink but after the 70 odd yr old leader alighted the bus and told us he had to set up the piano, talk to the padre etc...it all went a bit awry. He shouted up onto the coach ‘Alright lads, off you get’. Now the youngest ‘lad’ was 66 and sadly there aren’t the younger fellers coming through so make voice choirs are yet another part of recent history to slowly disappear. See and listen to them while you can ! They got the piano out, it was a 6ft x 2ft x 1ft wooden box. Head choirman said, quick as a flash. There’s only 18 of us today so we brought him along, pointing at the ‘coffin’, he died last week but would have wanted to be here. I do like British humour. No one could find the padlock key. Air grinder will do. Note the goggle replacement device….made hitting the right spot challenging….

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I can’t think of anywhere else where there’d be a race going on and in amongst pitted cars are a Padre doing a 1.2 1.2 soundcheck, a pianist belting out some hymn and a few old boys practicing their tunes. Amazing.

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One of Jims racing buddies told me “I bet jim shouts ‘Let’s go racing’ immediately after the service.” I’m glad I didn’t take the bet
Racing stopped, crowds gathered, Service Sheets were distributed, more cats were herded etc.

Dave B
14-11-2016, 12:25 PM
Then began the most moving 15 minutes I have ever experienced. More so than my fathers funeral service where I struggled through a 10 minute eulogy.
I’ll say no more than that memories are obviously still very, very raw for many of these young men and women.

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It didn’t seem right taking photos of the service.

And then Jim shouted…??? Let’s go racing. So they did…
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Dave B
14-11-2016, 12:30 PM
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After lunch we gathered as many folk as we could and tidied the race truck, dropping the awning and packing stuff away. Even with 8 or 10 of us, it was a few hours work….and then Brian, the rather direct and sweary Scots MM workshop manager bollocked us all for one thing or another…..

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Great coffee over the weekend.

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The closing stages of the race took place with many of us on the pit wall. The Jazz had tyre R running gear and the aforementioned MM Workshop chappie, Brian, had been given a seat. They treated him like a king and he had a superb race...finishing with what sounded like the whole exhaust incl manifold off the engine...it finished though.
The MM C1 was at deaths door with an oil leak. The folically challenged chap to the left about to push the car out, Dave Monks from Rolls Royce Development Dept is a real make it happen chap. I presume he wears a suit in his day job, not this weekend, he grafted for the team, took folk on pax laps on Saturday (not in the C1) and ensured that the car went out for the last lap at 3.29pm….with a unique oil trap in the form of a McVities biscuit tin hung underneath...it worked tho !

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As was the skuzzle racing MX5. They’d blown up their turbo MX5 on Friday, sourced a full car locally on ebay, gone and bought it and done an engine transplant...incl turbo..bad move...then blown this. So, it finished...of a fashion.

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Tea and medals afterwards, speeches and awards (Blimey Jim C doesn’t half witter on…)

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The trophies were WW1 shells, beautifully engraved. Fitting.
Final packing, tea and then the homebound journey for me.
A brilliant weekend for me. I’m struggling to put the highlights into any sort of order.
The beneficiaries are what this is all about but there’s an awful lot of hard work that goes into running any event let alone a long weekend one. I haven’t spoken to any of them about it and it’s obviously not my place to, but the carers and close family members of many of the beneficiaries must have some tough times. They get the ups and downs pretty much 24/7 and I take my hat off to their resolve, compassion and love that keeps them sticking at it. This may seem an odd thing to type but I’ve got to know a few beneficiaries quite well now and whether it’s because I’m a stranger or that I’m old enough to be their dad, they have opened up a bit and they have all been in dark places. Very dark places. They know the debt of gratitude they owe their loved ones. The real issue with these young people isn’t the loss of a limb or disfigurement. It is the mental side of the injury. The thoughts and feelings they get on a daily basis. Ups and downs. Highs and Lows. Days like these are highs, the lead up to them are highs. They are a very positive part of the progress these guys and gals make.
Perhaps oddly, while the 11am service was ongoing I kept an eye out for GTR Paul (who’d taken off his beanie hat) His young son and family are part of the future of our armed forces and of our country’s ongoing security. I can only imagine what was going through his mind when he listened to the padres prayers. To the short speeches and to the Last Post. I take my hat off to you Paul, for your support of MM and of course to your son. I wish him well in his career and sincerely hope it brings him all he wants.
Right, that’s the soppy stuff done with
I really do advocate you getting involved in some small way. Apart from being conned into the pax seat of the McClaren and being ragged round Anglesey Coastal in it, I have no real desire for pax laps and I doubt they’d let me take beneficiaries round in the transit...but I’ll continue to drive to windswept race tracks to spend the day strapping lads and lasses into the seats of a variety of cars and take immense pleasure in hearing them tell me what they wish to tell me.

Sorry it’s been a bit long. I am still a bit emotional from the 1059-1115 period of yesterday.

Lest we forget.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g205/boristhebold/Copy%20of%20P1000663_zpsrubvxyfn.jpg (http://s57.photobucket.com/user/boristhebold/media/Copy%20of%20P1000663_zpsrubvxyfn.jpg.html)

A bit dog-eared, I had to stuff it in my pocket whilst handing the other 499 out..or I’d end up without one.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g205/boristhebold/20161114_114434_zpsg6e4twfv.jpg (http://s57.photobucket.com/user/boristhebold/media/20161114_114434_zpsg6e4twfv.jpg.html)

Neil Mac
14-11-2016, 01:40 PM
Great work, Dave :thumb:

14-11-2016, 02:21 PM
What Neil said & cheers for posting the report up to read :veryhappy:

Jim Cameron
14-11-2016, 02:23 PM
Thanks mate. I'm a bit spent. :thumb:

14-11-2016, 02:34 PM
Good read thanks.
You could grow a head of hair in the time I bet it took to write this up !:thumb:

Dave B
14-11-2016, 02:41 PM
Great work, Dave :thumb:

Thanks, sitting with several coffees typing and copy pasting is a piece of cake...

What Neil said & cheers for posting the report up to read :veryhappy:

Cheers Simon

Thanks mate. I'm a bit spent. :thumb:

Me too and I did half what you did. Emailed you mate.

Good read thanks.
You could grow a head of hair in the time I bet it took to write this up !:thumb:

Not far off....i'll grow it back until someone abuses me by calling it a mullet....or worse...a Donald Trump


Darren Langeveld
14-11-2016, 03:51 PM
Really great to see you :thumb::thumb::thumb:

14-11-2016, 04:03 PM
Great write up and it really does capture what the weekend was about. :thumb:

Fair play for the travelling you put in to make it there and back, when you were leaving Saturday afternoon to go to a 50th and then back first thing Sunday. It`s not as if it`s an hour drive to Anglesey and back !!!

Dave B
14-11-2016, 04:22 PM
...It`s not as if it`s an hour drive to Anglesey and back !!!

You're not kidding, if anywhere in the UK has an edge of the world feel to it, it's Anglesey Coastal !

14-11-2016, 06:10 PM
Thanks for the write up and pics Dave, I must take a look at this event sometime.

14-11-2016, 06:18 PM
Well done Dave. Great write up and amazing effort to drive there twice!

My journey there took ages. Way back was a lot quicker, but still took nearly 3 hours. Adding in the Evo triangle might not have helped, but when we saw a group of Porsches coming off it we simply had to, didn't we?

Half way round Richard said that he didn't think we would see the boys in blue today, it being cold and mid November. Next corner, yes, a jam sandwich approaching mid corned at full speed. Glad I was actually doing well less than the speed limit. Always strikes me as daft to go to such a well know 'speed trap' on a weekend and not expect 'company'.

(Yes, I do know what Dave does for a living!)

14-11-2016, 06:51 PM
What a brilliant read :thumb: Thanks so much for writing it up.

Everything you write about the beneficiaries enjoying the laps is spot on. But as Nige mentioned in his Blyton park [I think!] I also really enjoy taking them out and seeing the joy they get.

I am going to make every effort to do this next year!

15-11-2016, 12:39 AM
Brilliant read thanks for sharing

15-11-2016, 08:34 AM
Excellent report and sounds like a very special event. :thumb:


15-11-2016, 12:23 PM
Great read for a great great cause!

15-11-2016, 06:04 PM
Thanks for sharing :thumb:

15-11-2016, 08:53 PM
Brilliant Write up!

I'll be making an effort to make one of the MM days next year for sure!

16-11-2016, 06:19 AM
Thanks for sharing, great pics :D. Going to race next year?

Dave B
16-11-2016, 07:11 AM
Going to race next year?

Am I bollox. Not my thing, I doubt I'd say yes if I was offered an all expenses paid seat to be honest. Thankfully it's horses for courses and I'm quite happy being a dogsbody for the weekend. :thumb:

16-11-2016, 03:02 PM
I was there, and took one or two photos:


Dave B
16-11-2016, 03:36 PM
Some brilliant photos there Marty. :thumb:

Neil Mac
16-11-2016, 03:38 PM
Marty works for Motorsport Magazine now, so I heard. :wink:

Chris Ratcliff was also there too :thumb:

Dave B
16-11-2016, 03:43 PM
I had a badge with my name on....you should have come said Hello Marty.
I'll get a big badge with MONGOS DAD on it for Donny next month. :thumb: She won't be happy....:lol:

Jim Cameron
16-11-2016, 09:29 PM
Nor will I unless you get an apostrophe in there.

Marty... great work mate. Love it.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z305/SpinInstructor/ED49F455-26F9-4F66-827D-0C378B56BC18.jpg (http://s188.photobucket.com/user/SpinInstructor/media/ED49F455-26F9-4F66-827D-0C378B56BC18.jpg.html)

Dave B
16-11-2016, 09:33 PM
Here you go, an apostrophe in there.....they're :thumb:

17-11-2016, 11:08 AM
Fantastic Dave, thank you. :thumb:

17-11-2016, 11:36 AM
What a great report, thank you Dave :thumb:

17-11-2016, 12:15 PM
[QUOTE=Marty;994619]I was there, and took one or two photos:

Crikey that's some camera you have.
Thanks (Imp).

17-11-2016, 12:24 PM
I was there, and took one or two photos:


Great photos,

Whats going on here?

https://c5.staticflickr.com/6/5553/30719508420_71c3edc13b_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NNzvAU)RoR-2016-MS-0759 (https://flic.kr/p/NNzvAU) by Martin Spain (https://www.flickr.com/photos/martyspain/), on Flickr

Neil Mac
17-11-2016, 01:13 PM
I was there, and took one or two photos.

Crikey that's some camera you have.
Thanks (Imp).

One for the living room/garage wall, surely?


17-11-2016, 02:31 PM
[QUOTE=Marty;994619]I was there, and took one or two photos:

Crikey that's some camera you have.
Thanks (Imp).

You're most welcome. It's the camera/lens combo that does it. I hired a Canon 400mm f2.8 L lens for the event - same one I shot the Invitational with earlier this year - because its ability to capture detail is unmatched, so you get these fantastic pics where you can see the drivers as well as the cars. £250 a time, but it's worth it for the results, and cheaper than the £8,000 that Canon want for a new one...

17-11-2016, 02:33 PM
Great photos,

Whats going on here?

https://c5.staticflickr.com/6/5553/30719508420_71c3edc13b_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NNzvAU)RoR-2016-MS-0759 (https://flic.kr/p/NNzvAU) by Martin Spain (https://www.flickr.com/photos/martyspain/), on Flickr

It's an understeer drift, I think. He was following the white GT3 and where that was pulling outrageous angles of oversteer, the Honda driver appeared to be deliberately inducing massive understeer instead, just for a laugh.

17-11-2016, 04:50 PM
[QUOTE=Neil Mac;994727]One for the living room/garage wall, surely?

Thanks, maybe but probably no because I can see that the front needs much more camber.

My favourites are when it really squats down at the back :whistle:

Jim Cameron
17-11-2016, 04:54 PM
It's an understeer drift, I think. He was following the white GT3 and where that was pulling outrageous angles of oversteer, the Honda driver appeared to be deliberately inducing massive understeer instead, just for a laugh.

Yes. Alyn, following Phil.

17-11-2016, 06:54 PM
Some superb pics there. Real quality.
Any pics of a blue 996 turbo crawling round?


17-11-2016, 08:12 PM
Some great photos Marty :veryhappy:

Trevor, I think Lou grabbed a couple, let me have a look

17-11-2016, 08:47 PM
Some superb pics there. Real quality.
Any pics of a blue 996 turbo crawling round?


Yes, I'm sure I took a few. I'll have a look tomorrow and post some up here.

18-11-2016, 03:28 AM
Great read, really summed up the event!

21-11-2016, 04:10 PM
Terrific read, Dave :thumb:Thanks for posting :karl:

Dave B
21-11-2016, 04:41 PM
It was a privilege to have been there Graham and Chris...and a genuine 'labour of love' typing a few words and posting a few pics....

30-11-2016, 03:00 PM
Brilliant report Dave, thoroughly enjoyed it! :thumb:

You really conveyed the impact and importance of such an event...
would love to have been a part of it, but well done to all involved. :thumb: