You may remember Jo from our interview last season when she was with Ebay Motors. Now back with AMD it’s over to Jo to tell you about the first weekend of the season;
It hadn’t seemed long since the 2013 BTCC season drew to a close but before my heels had touched the ground I was back at media day waiting for the 2014 season to kick off. I was looking forward to being back with the AmD boys for another season with the added excitement of working alongside Dave Newsham, whom i had worked with at STR (Special Tuning racing) back in 2011. I always like to join the team on the Saturday during the free practice sessions and Qualifying even though it is not a requirement for the Grid Girls. I like to support the team and enjoy the added bonus of seeing everything behind the scenes.
The first round of the season is always enjoyable, as it is great to be back out on the grid for the first time. Another reason why I really enjoy the first race of the season is being able to catch up with the other girls and the people you have built friendships with over the years whilst going racing.
Brands kicked off on Sunday with the autograph signing session at 9:10am so I had to be ready and waiting in the pit lane with my grid board. The pit lane was full of fans getting autographs of the drivers and during this period I am either holding Dave’s board next to him, having pictures with the fans or handing out goodies to the crowd. At Brands with it being a closed paddock, it is the only opportunity to really see everyone so I appreciated the regular followers coming over to say hello even if we didn’t get a chance to stop and chat for long.
The 3 races are scattered throughout the day with support races between. 20 minutes before each race, we head down to the end of the pit lane and line up in grid order. We then head out onto the grid and stand facing towards the oncoming cars. You hear the cars starting up in the pit lane and gradually the team and VIP guests start appearing. The cars then head out to join us on the grid. Once the car has lined up in front of me, I turn around and face towards the start line. Photographers are buzzing up and down the grid taking pictures whilst the VIP guests are soaking up the atmosphere and having pictures in front of the car. A 5 minute warning goes up where the VIP’s are asked to clear the grid and once the 3 minute warning sound goes off, that is our cue to vacate. Once back in the garage the team including myself gather to watch the action as a touring car race is always full of excitement and drama, especially this year with the line-up we have.
At the end of a long and hopefully successful weekend I try to help the team where possible by packing away the garage, pulling flooring up and pulling down the advertising boarding. Once the work is done the team say there goodbyes and look forward to the next time of meeting. by Marc Waller