Brands Hatch; a Kent staple. This place offers just about anything and everything when it comes to Motorsports. Whether you’re a simple spectator or a professional racer; Brands Hatch is a great day out. On Saturday the 29th of March I was offered the chance to go to Brands Hatch with a colleague, watch some of the races and even interview the participants.
As with any sport, publication and press is a key part of the business and this was evident in Brands Hatch’s media tower. In the tower; press, bloggers, sponsors and racing enthusiasts gathered to Blog and Tweet about the races and various events that would be taking place that very day. In that building your ears are never far from the frantic clicking of keyboards and mice. At the top of the tower was the broadcasting studio for the popular “Brands Hatch Radio” which provided excellent commentary for both the listeners and the spectators at the park.
After exploring the Media Tower we had the chance to walk down to the paddocks and interview some of the racers who would later be competing against each other. Our first victim was 17 year-old Charlie Robertson, who would be competing in the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup which was set to take place later that day. Our conversation with Charlie gave us some insight into what makes a racer.
Charlie told us that he’d wanted to be a racer since the age of 8 and that his biggest aspiration was to make racing his career. We spoke to him just after the qualifying round for the SuperCup. Robertson currently held the 5th position at a time of 47.920 seconds (a mere 0.176 seconds behind the holder of the coveted pole position: Andrew Watson). His vehicle had suffered a component failure during the race which may have cost him a higher place.
Regardless, we were very grateful that Charlie gave us a moment of his time and wish him luck in his future races. As we continued through the paddock we managed to grab some time with the holder of the pole position. Mr Andrew Watson, a 19 year old racer managed to snag 1st the qualifiers with a time of 47.744. We asked Watson many of the same questions we asked Robertson. Watson told us that he’d been interested in quads and cars since the age of 6. When we asked him about his aspirations about his future in racing he stated:
“I’m not sure; I haven’t won a race in the SuperCup yet. If I can do that this afternoon then you can come back and ask me”
Our next encounter with Charlie and Andrew would have to wait until the conclusion of the SuperCup. In the meantime we were able to observe some of the races, including one from the top of Hatch’s media tower.
Near the middle of the afternoon we returned to the Media Tower to watch the long awaited Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup. Within the first few laps Andrew had sailed into first place over taking 18 year old Pepe Massot who had sadly lost his place in the race by midpoint due to a black flag. The race continued with Andrew claiming his Maiden Win in the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup.
Charlie Robertson, keen on claiming a place in the top 3 snagged a solid 3rd place. At the race’s conclusion we made our way down to the podium where we saw both Watson and Robertson being awarded their respective trophies and celebratory champagne.
In summary; the day gave us a lot of insight into what goes one behind the fast cars. Being able to see the press and bloggers in action showed how dedicated the organisers and followers of racing are. Being able to interview and socialise with the racers showed us how respectable the racers are and that they have real aspirations besides the fame that comes with the job. In conclusion, it was a brilliant experience and I can definitely say that I have learned something during my short time at Brands Hatch.
(This article is part of a series of articles from students of the Junior Academy of Media powered by Michelin and Ginetta in cooperation with GTspirit.)
Author: Jacob Sarsan from Northfleet Technology College