Sometimes when freelancers write articles, they don’t always get published, and the words get left to linger off-line in the depths of the computer. So with the last FIA WEC race meeting just completed in Bahrain this weekend, I thought I would reminisce on a race I visited in the summer, where my real article did not get published, I have decided to recall the account….it goes a bit like this:
My conversation so far has not been totally forthcoming. I must explain, conversation where I am concerned is usually very fluid, well from my side at least. It is in fact, from the side of Fred, who is lacking somewhat in the verse. I suppose that is only to be expected seeing as he is shrouded in eighteen stripey blue and white hotel towels, whilst being strapped in under two dining room table cloths along with some foam padding from my suitcase. Fred would have no chance of talking underneath all of that lot.
It is actually probably because Fred is a large glass vase trophy (delicate but indeed heavy), inscribed with many important names and dates, won by the Falken Tyres race team who, came third in the race – of which after careful consideration I had been chosen to bring this precious vessel back to England from the Forest of Hell. Selected to deliver this monument of greatness to the only tyre company who have their own race team, to the UK was my new mission.
Well, all I can say is thank heavens I had the new Porsche Boxster to chauffeur this considering I was told just the night before travel and with a tight driving schedule to catch the train (remember at this time, the trains were running quite to target), I knew that it would be a smooth ride.
I rather like the design of the new generation Boxster. The rear has been brought in tune with the rear of the family, curves that define the range, that allows you to feast your eyes on-line after line and work your way round to the front of the car. It looks good both static and on the move. I spent plenty of useful minutes watching other new Boxsters glide along the road. At the Ring I parked next to a few and enjoyed the minimal exterior lighting, the simplicity of the hip lines with the etiquette of the new dynamic feel to this car.
It is all very well knowing this car can take Fred the Falken trophy, home speedily and smoothly, it is also gratifying to hear that the braking system is equally as proficient with all Boxster models being equipped with ‘four-piston aluminium monobloc fixed caliper brakes. This design means that, not only are the brakes extremely resistant to deformation, they are lightweight for a particularly fast and sensitive braking response. Even during continuous use.’ To be honest, this information that I read and have quoted about the brakes is quite a conundrum to me, all I know is that the brakes were effortless, perfectly sympathetic and I felt totally secure travelling at speed knowing I would stop when I asked it to. In addition, the foot pedals were suitably aligned for my feet so movement for gears and pedals were effortless.
For this was my journey home, but what of my journey there to my second visit to this iconic race to witness the Falken tyres race team do a marvel out on the circuit? Well seeing as last year I drove straight there and back with tears at the end, I realised that I deserved a little more of the pleasures of driving the Porsche and made a small road trip. I visited my family at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar along with stopping off in some small country villages sniffing whatever I might find with my camera, car and a holiday hat on.
By the time I reached the race weekend, luckily I was well rested ready for my night-time photography shift with the Falken team, for when the race completed on the Sunday afternoon, I was unable to stand, let alone comprehend my special duty of chaperoning the trophy home.
When I reached the Eurotunnel in Calais, the passport control chap looked at my bundle of towels and asked to see what it was. Now I know they might have been looking for a child sneaking in with me trying to get to the ‘land of the free’ on my passenger seat, alas, it was Fred my silent companion.
Please enjoy the slide show of my road trip (above) and the slide show of the race (below).