My Grand Prix "Adventure"

  • My Grand Prix "Adventure"

    The Australian Grand Prix is being run this weekend in Melbourne, Australia and it reminded me of my favourite Grand Prix “experience”.

    Many years ago, when the Australian Grand Prix was held in Adelaide, John and I were invited as guests of the South Australian Government.

    As we were doing some work for them at the time John was keen to go as he always had a great interest in cars and used to race a Porsche at Winton (just a country track).

    I really knew nothing about cars, racing or otherwise.

    We flew over from Melbourne for the weekend .....and Adelaide was just great. The whole town was abuzz with excitement.

    On the Sunday the Government had a smorgasbord lunch organised for their guests.

    We were quite late getting in for lunch as there was a parade of other cars on before the race, just ordinary cars like Lamborghinis, Porches etc not racing cars but John was keen to watch them.

    It was a sit “anywhere” situation and all the tables were full and there were still a quite a few people queuing for food ahead of us.

    I looked around to see if there was anywhere we could sit and spotted two guys at a table in a far corner. I said to John “look there’s a couple of seats I think I’ll go and ask them if they’ll keep them for us”.

    He said “where"? I pointed them out and he gave me a funny look and said “OK off you go”.
    I was a bit annoyed with him that he didn’t say he’d go but as the race was due to start before long I thought either that or we don’t get to eat.

    Over I went and very politely asked if they were expecting other people and if not would they mind holding the seats for us.
    They were lovely and said no please come back when we have our food.

    Eventually we had our food and went over; one helped me with my seat and then continued on with their discussion about the intricacies of the race.

    I was fascinated...... they knew everything.

    Talked about how the humidity would affect the speed, how the temp of the track would decide what tyres should be used, how wind speed would govern how much fuel they should be carrying to the 1st pit stop etc etc etc.

    I couldn’t help myself and started asking some questions.....they knew absolutely everything and seemed very happy to extrapolate on things for me.

    John hardly said anything.......sooooooooo boring.

    Anyway eventually one of them looked at their watch and said they’d better rush as they’d be late.

    After they left I said to John weren’t they terrific......they knew absolutely everything.

    He said "don’t you know who that was".......NO.

    Stirling Moss..... and someone else that was commentating on the race.

    .......loved the Grand Prix ever since........such a “tart”.

    Soon realised why they had 2 spare seats at the table....everyone else to intimidated to ask.

    .....being a “kid from the country” has its advantages sometimes....or is it “ignorance is bliss”.

    Although we lived in Melbourne I was sorry to see Adelaide lose the race to Melbourne as I thought they did a fantastic job of organising it.

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     ...... those were the days .......