BTCC, a small boy and a suit !

This story revolves around a young boy, a racing suit and his love affair with the BTCC !

Late last year, we planned to follow the BTCC to Rockingham as we attended the previous year and loved how good the viewing was and is reasonably local to us.  We had also been speaking to a good friend of mine who works for Bentley up in Crewe who had also got my youngest son, Craig, a ‘pretend’ racing suit (albeit somewhat oversized !) and we thought about trying to get some of the racing drivers to sign it !

The proceeding week to the race weekend, we also were extremely lucky enough to have won one of the Yuasa Honda racing competitions, which got us VIP tickets to the venue and Honda Hospitality suite !

We planned to travel to the circuit on both the Saturday & Sunday and so began the task of searching out the drivers when they were not busy for a signature & picture.


What followed were the results of this task :)

The Saturday was the most rewarding as the pit area was a lot quieter so the drivers easier to spot and, theoretically, less hectic.  I have to say nearly all of the drivers we found, we more than happy to sign his suit and pose for a picture.  I must also say a special thanks to Rob Austin and Dave Bartrum who openly waved us into the garage to have a nose about chatting and posing for pictures.

The Sunday not only led for more people but for torrential downpours which led to chaos on and off the track.  The open pitlane signing session proved particularly fruitful seeing many drivers there who openly took to pictures.

The day went on and Craig was getting more agitated due to not managing to find his favorite driver – Matt Neal – to sign his suit and have a pic.

Thankfully, as Race 2 had finished, we saw Matt lurking in the back of the garage.  We approached him and asked is he would mind signing his suit and posing for a picture.  This became problematic for 2 reasons.  The main one was Craig (at the time 4 and possibly Matt’s youngest but biggest fan) is 3 feet tall and Matt is closer to 7, also Matt was sporting a bandage on his hand as it was damaged and giving him quite some pain.  Needless to say, my son was over the moon to have Matt bend down, sign his suit and have his picture taken, I am truly grateful for the time and effort you and a lot of other drivers are prepared to take with the public.

The day ended with a rather soggy son & suit but also a happy one !

It does seem this trend has now been set which has now continued when we attended Donington Park and tracked down more drivers including Colin Turkington.

Craig did want to say Hi again at the podium after race 3, but had gone shy as he watched Colin get interviewed by Alan Hyde and watched as Matt and Flash did post race interviews, content he had seen his favorite drivers once more !

My son now has a lasting memento of his love of cars, BTCC (and Matt Neal) ! Thank you to anyone who spared him time to say hi !