I wanted to go to the last race of the 2007-8 A1GP season in Brands Hatch last month, but wasn’t able to since I had exams coming up and also the lack of available money to buy tickets over there and tickets for the track itself. However, this evening what had started out as a simple, annoying shopping trip certainly became very interesting!
It started out as another annoying shopping trip to fetch more stuff that we didn’t really need, only my mother wanted. While Aoife and I were about to start heading back, I noticed that there was a lot of commotion going on in the field across the road from the shop. I noticed that there was another display from Dunboyne Motor Club, of different forms of racing cars either from Ireland, or driven by Irish drivers. I persuaded Aoife to come with and have a little look from afar, when I noticed that at the very end of the little park area... was the A1 Team Ireland car 😀
After dumping the little one and the shopping back at home, and picking up my camera, I headed back down to the centre of the village, mainly to get a better look at the car and to get some good pics! Niall Quinn, A1 Team Ireland’s rookie/test/reserve driver was there, along with his family, as part of the event. The A1 car certainly seemed to be very popular – a good portion of the adult male population of Dunboyne were out in force to show their support. It turned out that it was actually a season two car rebuilt into a show car, which Michael Devaney had driven for real. It’s probably why it was missing the Celtic Tiger logo from the nose 😉
A1 Team Ireland wasn’t the only attraction, there were plenty of rally cars, classic cars, and even a car from Formula Libre at the event. Not to mention all the buses that were at the terminus right behind the green space 😉
Sadly, the A1 car didn’t hang around for all that long after I came back – it was being packed up quite early, perhaps around half seven or so (I really wasn’t sure of the time, I was too busy paying attention to cooler things 😛 ). Packing it up, however, was another sport in itself. Although it wasn’t a whole team of mechanics and race engineers putting it away, it was quite exciting to see them getting the car up on the jacks, onto the trolleys and then packing it away in the trailer 🙂
I managed to get a little chat with Niall near the end. It was fun talking to him, especially as he is sort-of an expert in the subject of A1 😉 – he mentioned that the new A1 car looked a lot nicer than the current iteration, and is probably going to be around 8 seconds a lap quicker! Faster-paced racing is always a good thing! One more thing that he did mention to me, and this is a bit of exclusive insider info (or at least until Monday morning) – is that next season, 2008/9, there won’t be another trip back to Durban in South Africa. Instead, there will be a return to Beijing in China. When I heard that, I was very astounded especially after the disaster that was the previous race in Beijing in Season Two. However, he assured me that it would be taking place in a different part of the city, so with any luck this time there won’t be a very tight 180° corner that even when made wider, still can’t be traversed by a car even on full opposite lock!
All in all, it was very enjoyable hour (yes, it was only an hour from the time I arrived with my camera to the time I got back home) and I got plenty of pictures and videos, which I’ve uploaded as well into my Gallery. Hope you enjoy them!