Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Saturday @ Goodwood FOS 2007 // The supercar paddock and a Toyota driver sighting or two

Published by Christine

Saturday dawned, and we felt a lot more prepared than the previous day. The Sidepodcast crew had a plan. We left home earlier, went through absolutely no traffic and got to park closer to the gate. Excellent stuff.

This time, the first thing we came across was the supercars. Mercedes, Aston Martin and Porsche were all represented well, but come on, this is the one you want:

Bugatti Veyron

So many people are in love with this car - and who can blame them? It's absolutely sublime. We watched the Bugatti take to the track, and cross the start line. You couldn't hear it - it was so smooth and silent.

When we saw it again at the top of the hill, the driver/owner rounded the corner and slowed right down. He knew that everyone wanted to take pictures. We all knew we wanted to ogle it.

Having seen the Toyota centrepiece yesterday, we figured it was about time we took some pictures of it. Mr C set up his video camera and I started snapping away. It wasn't until we had been staring at it for about ten minutes, that "me" realised you could walk right underneath.

Toyota centrepiece

Cue more geekiness. There was talk of boards and trays and all kinds of things. I was more interested in how they got them up there. Following the theme of Toyota, we went straight to their stand. I say stand, it was more like half a building. We had already spotted that they advertised when the drivers were going to be there, but on Friday it was two people that I'd never heard of and can't actually remember. Saturday was the day of Ralf Schumacher.

The Toyota pit stand had an entire car in, so that they could do the pit stop challenge. We saw this at Autosport earlier this year, and it's genius. A team of three people take to each wheel, and they're shown what to do with the wheel guns. The clock is set. The man with the mike shouts "Go!" and the people struggle. Mostly it's embarrassing. They struggle to get the wheel off, they struggle to lift the wheel out the way, they struggle to put the other wheel back on. Of course, you know I would be able to do it so much better, but there's only two of us. That's such a shame!!

Actually, some of the people were very good. Interestingly, it was always the front left wheel that won. We were there for half an hour, waiting for Ralf, and I think the front left only lost out once. Is the front left easier to change than any others? Interesting.

Anyway...

Ralf Schumacher

Eventually, the man with the mike had finished saying: "Ralf will be here in twenty minutes. Ralf will be here in fifteen minutes. Ralf will be here in thirty minutes time. Ralf will be here in ten minutes. Ralf will be here... oh... here he is!" And Mr R Schumacher arrived. Along with six other people. Some rally people, some motorbike people. I honestly don't know who they were. Franck Montagny was there as well, so it's fair to say that I only had eyes for him. Although, in some ways, I could blame Ralf for that, because he chose to do his autographs over the other side of the stand. If he had chosen our side, my newest crush could... actually... no... that wouldn't happen.

Ralf didn't stay very long - a man with places to go and cars to drive. He was escorted from the Toyota stand towards the track. I sent Mr C running after him because stalking people is what we do best. I was left looking after the stuff, because someone has to keep a hold of the tripod and the bottled water.

When he returned, with only a couple of decent pictures, I demanded answers. Apparently he'd got stuck between a Toyota and a McLaren (a rock and a hard place, if you ask me), and picture taking had been a bit difficult when everyone was glaring at him for ruining their photo opportunities.

To shake the memory from his mind, he decided it was time to go up in a helicopter. Uh, what????

We're all about getting good footage for Sidepodcast TV, and apparently this makes good television.

View from helicopter

He wanted to capture me screaming in fear. I can't say that I obliged, but I definitely did not enjoy it. I don't like to fly. Still, it's worth doing, because for a reasonable price you get a ten minute flight above the grounds of Goodwood. Could almost be a one in a lifetime experience. Unless he convinces me to do it again next year.

We then decided to go to the top paddock. I was almost tempted to get back in the helicopter and ask him to drop us off at the top, because it meant climbing that hill again. We did it though, and bumped into Ollie along the way. We chatted briefly, until we started brandishing the video camera, and he ran off down the hill. Didn't even have time to give him a business card.

Do you know what our reward was for making it to the top of the hill?

Rain.

Serious rain.

It took about 0.5 seconds for the sun to disappear and big, fat drops of rain to fall. It took almost the same amount for everyone's umbrella's to go up and waterproof mac's to come out. Brilliant stuff - almost like military operation.

Motorbikes came up. Chris Pfeiffer on his stunt bike could not do any stunts because the hill was not just wet, but oily and slippery as well. He still came up the hill though, and managed a couple of mild tricks, but nothing like we know he is capable of. The bikes I was really interested though, was the Organic Milk Bike Race. I'll be honest, I don't know much about the history of this event, but apparently it's something that used to happen, and they brought it back to celebrate Goodwood's organic produce. Jenson Button and Mark Webber, plus a couple of other motorsport folks took to the hill, accompanied by professional cyclists.

It was wet and it was difficult to see who was who.

Mutley

Hang on a minute, no. That's Mutley. The bicycle race was not as interesting as I'd thought it would be. The lack of television screens at the top of the hill meant we didn't know what had happened throughout the race. By the time they got to the top, they were puffed out and cycling slowly. It was wet and cold and we couldn't see properly. They circled round and faced away from us to do their interviews with paddock reporter Bruce Jones. Then they retired to the vans to go back down the hill. I was not that impressed with their lack of autograph skills. Considering the grudge I held against Martin Brundle for ignoring fans, I suppose I have to give that lot the same treatment. Even if it is Jenson.

So, what was Mutley doing there? Some kind of Wacky Races thing for the kids. I only really know of Mutley. But I did think it was funny when they all had to leap out of their weird cars and run into the tent. Very surreal moment watching Penelope Pitstop and Dick Dastardly huddling together out of the elements.

After we, and the entire cast of Wacky Races, dried off a little, it was time for the F1 cars to come up the hill. We hurried down to a different position to capture some pictures like this.

Chris Goodwin in a McLaren 2006

I think I'm gonna have to be honest and tell you that I missed pretty much every shot of the cars going up the hill. So I had to get them on the way down instead. I'd blame the camera, but you won't believe me.

After that, there was just time to enjoy the world's most expensive fish and chips (£11 for 2 portions - let me know if you've ever paid more), and check the programme. Spyker were supposedly going to be represented in the F1 class, but there was not a single sign of anything orange. Except the marshals.

Sloped off home to dry out our trainers and recharge our batteries.