The stage is set. Scheduled meetings for the competitors, event staff and media begin the mornings of all race weekends. To successfully present the programmed events of the day, pre-planning is key. As day dawns the teams and other working staff arrive at the track. The early weekend work, setting up the competitors’ temporary facilities is in place. Many are involved with the logistics that allow the drivers to find comfort and concentrate on their maximum on track performance.
By now, the machines are in race trim, the all or nothing set up for qualifying toned down to withstand the rigors of the race ahead. The feeling in the paddock is an intoxicating mood of exciting energy as all anticipate the imminent arrival of the start. As the sun climbs and the heat rises, the aroma of exotic race fluids fill the air. The camaraderie of the competitors fades as the minutes grow closer to green. All of the past conflicts and on track aggression come to the forefront on race day, but are forgotten by the beginning of the next race weekend.
The crowd arrives early also, coming from various backgrounds, hometowns and different political, cultural and ethnic persuasions. The beckoning of adrenaline, universally appealing to the passionate legions of speed fanatics, triggers this race meeting migration. From all over, this divergent gathering are single minded in their pursuit. The commonality is the congregation of race day and its binding euphoria. If the thrilling expectations of those pre-green flag feelings could be captured and retrieved at will, it would make the waiting for the next round or next race season less torturous.
To quote Steve McQueen’s character, Michael Delaney in the movie Le Mans,
“Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.”
Copyright 2001-2011 Greg Sarni, USA