Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Paddock Club

One of the features at Marussia Virgin Racing was life at the blunt end of the pit lane. Sometimes you'd be the first pit to be reached in the pit lane, like at Silverstone, and others you'd be the last, as in Hungary. This usually depended on the position of the important facilities, such as the podium and media centre but it did also mean that quite often there was a more or less empty garage next to us, usually occupied by a group of marshals.

Nowadays, one comes to think of the Paddock Club as referring to the well-heeled guests and sponsors of the teams, receiving fantastic hospitality and exclusive access to drivers and garages in return for a four-figure sum. At MVR we were occasionally able to give away Friday tickets to lucky fans, but sadly that's the exception rather than the rule.

But I prefer to think of the volunteers that give up their time to allow any motorsport event to take place as the real Paddock Club, so here's a shot of the glamorous conditions just one storey down from its more opulent namesake. Trestle tables and cool-boxes are the name of the day, rather than linen and champagne buckets, but I suspect the guys are perfectly happy with their lot. You don't get to be a marshal at an F1 race without giving up time to go through a great deal of training, and there's usually a lot of officiating at club events (and in the UK that means putting up with very cold conditions) before moving up to the big stuff.

To all the marshals out there, thanks. Our sport couldn't function without you.


  1. That's about the size of it Geoff, I've only started marshalling some 6 months ago so I've yet to do the cold n wet stuff but I suspect that may be on the way when I marshal at the Britcar24hr at the end of sept. Great piece Geoff , keep your eye on my marshalling career diary at jimmyb_84 on twitter.

  2. Thumbs up to them! I'm gonna try my luck to volunteer when i graduate from school :) Veronica

  3. Thanks for the comments, marsgalling is vital so thanks to all that get involved!