- Pastor's difficult summer - although, to be honest with you, I didn't know how to express my feelings over that one. I was so disappointed that I had to take a step back from him for a while, and in turn that meant I stepped back from here because I didn't really know how I felt, so I couldn't put it into words. I have a post saved in my drafts still, but I couldn't bring myself to post it until I knew what he was going to do next, in case he just kept making things worse. So it wasn't a fun few months to be a Pastor fan. When even *I* lose my patience with him, that really says something. He slowly gained my trust back at the end of the season though. It's a clean slate for us in 2013. Let's see what happens. I can't bear to be let down again.
- My brilliant trip to the Hungarian Grand Prix
- Marshalling at Donington for the first (and second) time
- The WEC weekend (and the bright orange builder hats we had to wear in the pitlane)
- Almost being runover by a McLaren MP4-12C in the pitlane. I had to physically leap out of the way. It wasn't even my fault, I promise.
- Alvaro Parente - I remember him driving his socks off at Spa in 2010, but I saw him at a few races this year and that boy is speeeeeeeedy. He also smiles at marshals, which puts him in the top few percent of racing drivers. (We're real people too, and we've gone out of our way to give up our time for you, Mr Racing Driver. Stop looking through us like we're not there.)
- Alonso vs Vettel. I was on Alonso's side, but Vettel earned it in the end
- That last F1 race (wow. Still wow.)
- 750MC Birkett - you might not have heard of it, but it's pretty cool. I'll talk at you about it whenever you want.
- I finally took my trainee badge off - I got my signature so I can upgrade to being a Specialist Marshal!
That's just off the top of my head. There's probably a thousand other things too. I haven't even mentioned Jenson... and I always mention Jenson.
In 2013 I've already missed my first blog opportunities. But seeming as I'm here now, I'll quickly try to catch up...
The Johnny Herbert Karting Challenge took place back in January for the first time in a couple of years. It was so good to be back. We always used to be based in London, but this time we were at the Birmingham NEC during the Autosport Show. It was very different to what the 'old guard' were used to, but it was a brilliant evening and we raised a lot of money for the Alzheimer's Society, in memory of Dan Wheldon. A lot of Dan's family were there and it clearly meant a lot to them. I ended up with three racing drivers on my team - Declan Jones, Ramon Pineiro and Dillon Battistini. They were great - very fast, very friendly and very good humoured about being stuck on a team with a few very slow drivers (e.g. me). They did an amazing job dragging us up the order and we ended up only one place behind Team McLaren! That can't be bad in any racing situation, surely? We also finished one place ahead of How2's Gareth Jones, which is always my personal goal for every JHKC. (A victory dance may have taken place).
My other main 2013 racing excitement comes courtesy of two of my 'one-to-watch' young British drivers. First off, Jack Harvey is in GP3 this year. This puts him back in an F1 support race for the first time in a couple of years, so he'll have a better chance to hopefully catch the eye of an F1 boss or two. One rung up, the infamous (in my social circle, anyway) Adrian Quaife-Hobbes has a GP2 seat for 2013. He too is back amongst the F1 circus, and after winning the AutoGP championship last year (go Quaifey!) I've got a really good feeling about him. I am so proud of these boys, I've supported them for a couple of years and they're both really going from strength-to-strength.
I've not booked F1 tickets yet this year, but I'm sure I'll end up at a race somewhere or other. I don't think I can pass up the opportunity to cheer on Jack and Quaifey as well as all my F1 favourites. Just need to work out the logistics of it.
I've got quite a lot of marshalling booked this year (luckily my new bloke is very happy to accompany me to Silverstone at the weekend so I didn't have to compromise too much!), including all my usual favourites: WEC*, Blancpain Endurance Series, Silverstone Classic, BTCC. I'm really looking forward to getting back onto the pitwall.
There are also plans afoot for my first trip to the Goodwood Revival in September. I just have to figure out what to wear!
Meanwhile, my next bit of fun is at Silverstone later this month, when Dad and I are taking the little MGB out for a spin on the GP circuit. It's been a year or two since I've driven Silverstone so it'll be good to be back on track. I'll try not to take the phrase 'out for a spin' too literally. I'll report back on that one.
No really, I will report back this time.
Over and out. x
*Oh my, I just love WEC. Being surrounded by Le Mans cars for a whole weekend is one of life's little highlights.