Wow is all I can say. I am more in love with the wonderful world of BTCC then I ever was before. It’s been a long time since I have watched touring car live and being there just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up!
Before I go on too much, I was a very grateful guest of the Team Shredded Wheat at the BTCC Touring Car Championships recently at Snetterton who invited my dad, daughter and I to enjoy a family day out and to excitingly, go behind the scenes – we even had garage and grid access!
These chaps were truly amazing and made our visit a brilliant experience and I wholeheartedly recommend it as a day out for the family to enjoy.
We were given a garage tour by the two drivers for the day Mat Jackson and Martin Depper and you wouldn’t know that a) they were due to drive in under half an hour as they were so chilled and b) they were the drivers as they were just such relaxed cool blokes…… Okay so you might be getting a little man crush vibe there but they were genuinely awesome. The team itself was probably 30 strong and everyone made us feel very welcome.
I was in attendance with Etta and my dad so we were a proper generational day out. My dad has passed on a love of all things motorsport to me and Etta just loves everything cars. Sundays are always motor racing day in our house, I chill in front of the TV with the kids whilst I force Alice into a bath for two hours. Top parent tip, if your little one won’t sleep, then whack up the noise from a touring car commentary, the white noise effect will have them asleep in no time!
In case you wondered who was taller, a three-year-old or a motorhome tyre, you now know! Etta was properly in love with everything and for once she wasn’t shy – she was ready! This was what we had boarded a plane for two weeks previously and 7,400 miles ago to come home and see. She hasn’t stopped talking about the day since and keeps referring to them as “my little yellow racing cars”
Talking of the Shredded Wheat race cars, aren’t they damn pretty? I could crack some rear end joke but I won’t, although in the sunshine these beauties look amazing and totally unbiased probably the best looking cars on the grid.
Sometime between the cars leaving the pit to head out to the grid for race one and the start of the first race, our enamoured little fan turned into a three-nanger, threw a tantrum and I had to find some kind of naughty step. Trying to stay on theme what better than a time out on a stack of used tyres. (Note mousey tucked under her right arm at all times, would be happy to advise on dealing with three-nanger tantrums!)
Race one and Etta tried out her new stopwatch 😉 she had our drivers winning and running the fastest laps. Who are we to argue with that 😉
Nearly time for race number two and we had another cheeky look around the pits, garage and the motorhomes. We were given the most unbelievable access and it was brilliant to see behind the scenes and get up close and personal with all the goings on behind the scenes!
Before race two I was given the chance to go on a bonafide grid walk amongst all the burnt rubber and petrol as well as have my piccie taken with the grid girls of Team Shredded Wheat. Quick fact for everyone that is a bit of a racing nerd, with the cars being front wheel drive the warm up lap enables the front wheels to get plenty warm enough and on the grid they swap the front and back to make sure that there is an even distribution of grip from the start.
Race two was an absolute corker! Mat was up to fifth in no time and a retirement in front meant we were bumped up to fourth and managed to get an independent win.
For those of you that don’t know, a team is independent if it doesn’t have the backing of a car manufacturer. Team Shredded Wheat are the sponsor and the team is actually called Motorbase and there is no car manufacturer in the equation so that makes them an independent team.
I had a great chat with Vandu in the marketing team of Shredded Wheat and asked about why they got involved with touring cars, quite simply if you are a similar age to me you remember Ian Botham promoting Shredded Wheat. Sponsoring the Motorbase Team in the BTCC promotes Shredded Wheat in a dynamic environment and brings the brands positioning to life.
So, with an independent win on race 2 we dashed over to the podium to catch the presentation of awards.
Have you ever tried explaining to a three year old why a man who won a race in a car get a big metal cup for his achievements. Anyways we were all there with the team cheering Mat for his amazing efforts and moments later he took aim with his oversized bottle of champagne at everyone dressed in the team yellow. We took quite the soaking, Etta lost the plot in all the wrong ways as her mousey was wet and that concluded our amazing day out.
Even though she was upset at the time she recounts the time the man got her with the bubbles to anyone and everyone who will listen. We have a super fan in the making.
Now before we go I need to mention this chap, Luke Davenport. He is the perfect representation of the team, what they stand for and the day that they gave us and potentially you. The race previous (about 6 weeks before) Luke who is the teams third driver had a horror accident. He suffered multiple chest injuries, lung damage, a broken right leg, a broken pelvis, broken right arm, a broken collarbone and concussion. He was placed into a medically induced coma for a little over two weeks.
Now this chap was buzzing around the garage, talking to any fan that looked his way and I caught him making tea and biscuits for the engineers on more than one occasion, with such an unbelievable attitude and spirit you can see why the guys at Shredded Wheat decided to partner up with Motorbase.
This post was in association with Shredded Wheat and The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and my dad, Etta and I were guests of Team Shredded Wheat.