Monday, September 28, 2009

A trip to the Pod

Over the weekend, we were invited by our lovely friends Abi and Andrew to take up some of their valuable racers tickets in order to go and chill with them, and to introduce the bump to the tickle of a V8 on idle and a Fuel Altered on full song. I had put up with several jokes about the noise making the baby come early but frankly, this being our son, I was expecting a “HELL YEAH!!” kick at most.

I haven’t been to the Pod in a while, but it was like coming home as soon as we drove through the gates. Even the weather was keeping us guessing as always although we had been promised 20o and sunny, clearly by a weather girl on happy pills.

The VWDRC (my old race club) were in the fire up lane when we arrived, so we parked up and picking up a much needed cuppa en route made our way down the pit lane.

Can I just say at this juncture, I know it’s been there a while, but a coffee bar at the Pod, selling latte, WRONG. When I go to the Pod I want teeth curling tea, ideally with a nice hairy cup to add to the manliness, not a latte with a light dusting of cocoa.

Anyway, tea in one hand, camera in the other, Keefy finally made it past the stalls and to the viewing area. Not that I’m saying he’s a magpie.We tried to blag our way into the grandstand on our way, but they were charging for tickets and clearly the grandstand gnome wasn't in the mood to be flexible. I'm sure they made all of a tenner from ticket sales so I can see why it was a resource worth protecting.

The idea was just to watch the ‘DRC and then go back to spend some time with our friends. That was at 10am, we made it back to the pits in time to wave them off for their next run at 1pm.The good news for all you crazy kids though is that Keith spent the intervening hours taking some outstanding shots all of which are now uploaded here

One of the best reasons to stay away from the Pod, and racing generally, is that when you next visit there are some knee trembling ‘new’ cars for you to drool over. This Pop in particular is an absolute work of freaking art, seriously, if I thought I could get more than the price of a pint, I’d sell the dogs and the old man to get my grubby little mitts on it. Only joking darling, dogs, I’m serious about you.

There were some awesome burnouts, and a brilliant range of classes represented this weekend, which is a real testament to the hairy mug tea drinking nature of racers, because if you were the betting type you really wouldn’t have put money on this being a total dream of a weekend weather wise.

One of the best aspects of the pits was the return of the ‘show and tell’ table. Way back when I first started going to the Pod, the top teams often put up pasting tables at the front of the pit when they were stripping down the engine between runs. I remember staring wide eyed at pistons the size of my head, and spark plugs that had done one run and looked like they had been used as a chew toy, plugs you could buy if you had a few quid to spare.

I’m not sure quite when, but that tradition seemed to fall slightly by the wayside and it wasn’t until yesterday that I saw the return of the pasting table and once again stood their goggle eyed – well just about eyed actually, but I blame an unnecessarily large amount of nitric acid that seemed to get funnelled right into my eyes while we were watching the quals.

And for all of that, the best bit for me was the chance to sit in the pits with some excellent friends for a few hours and shoot the breeze. Especially since Abi qualified first in VW Sportsman AND it turns out nobody has taken my old race number while I’ve been away …

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