To be honest, I couldnt really think of a good title. But what I really want to ask is, has anyone ever met any motor racing drivers who weren’t at their race weekend?
At Thruxton for the BTCC last year I was walking casually around the paddock looking for BTCC drivers to get their signatures, (while my dad tracked Lewis Hamilton’s movements so I could get his signature when he moved from the pitwall) when I realised I recognised the man walking in front of me. I racked my brain quick as I realised he was just about to duck through the garage and into the pitlane, somewhere I wasnt allowed, and also noted the ‘iSport’ logo on the back of his shirt and called out, ‘Sam?’
Sam Bird spun round and went, ‘Yes, me?’ I asked if he was Sam Bird (just to be totally sure I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself) and he confirmed he was. I then asked for a signature which he gladly gave and we had a short conversation. I asked what had brought him to Thruxton and he said he enjoyed watching the young British talent as well as other series. He asked what the large group was for down the pitlane and I informed him they were waiting for Lewis Hamilton. He asked if Lewis was actually there and I told him where. He then said ‘Cheers, it was nice meeting you’ and he dissapeared through the Garages to go and see Lewis.
Later in the day I also got Hamilton’s signature, but there were so many people he only managed to sign about 8 signatures and his bodyguard was proper pushy about getting him in the car and away from all the fans (something we were all quite put out about as lewis said he’d never be like that).
I was really happy and probably more excited that I’d met Sam Bird than Hamilton because I knew Hamilton would be there but the fact that Bird was there was a surprise.
It’s quite interesting meeting drivers when they’re not at a race weekend where they are participating, has anyone else had similar experiences?