Updated: Jul 25, 2018
As we are still in the middle of a midsummer break for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, I thought it would be a good idea to rewind the clock back to the Donington Park weekend, where I went behind the scenes with the guys and girls at one of the most popular teams in the paddock, Team HARD.
The tour took place after the qualifying session on the Saturday and started in the hospitality awning. I was shown the layout and how things are run on race day when the hospitality team are looking after the many guests that attend. Its a side you don’t often get to see in the world of BTCC and it has to be said that the level of hospitality put on for the guests on a race weekend is superb.
It takes the fan interaction to another level with many opportunities to take part in Q&A sessions with the drivers, grid walks before the races and garage tours.
The tour then moved on and into the garages where the four VW Passat CC’s were being prepped for race day.
My first impressions were amazing, I could tell straight away that the team had made improvements in every way possible during the winter and everyone was on the same page with regards to what they want to achieve in the long run. During the tour I chatted about sponsors and how much it can cost for brands to put their logo’s on the side of these tin top beasts to be shown in front of millions on TV and thousands trackside and also what it means for the team to have so many sponsors on board. I also chatted about the drivers and what the team has to go through from the shakedowns right through to the races on Sunday.
I don’t think you can truly appreciate these cars and the people who work on them until you get up close and see it all for yourself. The amount of hours the team put in before the racing even begins is astonishing and the entire tour was a real eye opener into the real world of the British Touring Car Championship.
Words: Matt Gough
Pictures: Ian Cutting Photography