Message from Peter Nelson, Bahrain
The following passage was in a letter I received from Fayez (Clerk of Course in Bahrain). It reflects what we felt as well, and I thought well worth passing on to you.
You can not imagine what this trip has achieved as far as feeling between the two cultures. Bahrain has not stopped talking about how nice and how friendly Australian people were and how helpful and respectful to us they were. Truly at a time that politics governments and media drives the two cultures away with pictures of hate and violence a small bunch of people managed to convert the wrong misconceptions and the ill feelings into truly a love and admiration for the other. I was amazed at how many of the Marshals told me that they want to go to Australia to visit as they were so happy with how kind and gentle the people were.
This is truly the benefit from these kinds of trips between our two nations. CAMS and CAMS personnel should be very proud for being true good ambassadors for their country.
Australia is remembered here for helping with great love our small nation and people do something good rather than being seen as a country that helped invade a neighbouring nation This kind of PR no money and no government could have bought. It only comes from the heart
Message from Roger, A Letter from Europe
To tell any story one has to start at the beginning. Darwin V8s were once again very enjoyable with the support categories putting on some great racing, especially the Lotus Elises. This weekend was also a good opportunity to catch up with friends and gauge progress made by the Darwin marshals, as well as enjoying the local hospitality, food and weather etc.
The day after the race we settled back for the long flight to London via Singapore. A day spent in the UK then off to Pau for the Formula 3 Grand Prix. Pau is a delightful city of approximately 100,000 people situated close to the snow capped Pyrenees on the Fench/Spanish border. The track has to be seen to be believed – a 2.7km street circuit which is very narrow and tight, a number of blind corners and hairpins makes for extremely exciting racing (comment from Joy – especially in the wet!!), which of course means that at the end of every race a large clean up takes place – wheels, wings, body panels of all sorts that get ripped off keep everybody busy. The system of marshalling in France is one of rotation within your sector, one race on flags, and one on recovery. recovery consists of jumping down off barriers during racing to hook up cars (or what is left of them) to the cranes to be swung up over catch fencing. This activity certainly redefines the rule of watch your back
Categories for the meeting included Formula 3s, Porsche Carrera Cup, Formula Renault 2000, Formula France, Super Tourers which were BMW M3s and V6 Peugeot 406s – coupes on steroids – very fast and very loud! A curious group of 406 Peugeot 2.2 diesels quiet and undramatic. Peugeot 206 CCs (we think Formula Vees are close) and Renault Elf Campus open heelers which is a formula for apprentice drivers. The casual reader may ask why so many Peugeots? Well we are after all in France. The spectator arrangements are grandstands that you pay for and all the rest is free. Steep grassy slopes and every vantage point jammed full of spectators just like a massive Geelong Speed Trial and every spectator stays until the end. The event is held over 3 days Sat/Sun and Monday which is a public holiday, and plenty is packed into each day, especially Sunday when racing was from 8.00am until 9.15pm!
On Monday morning after listening intently to our sector marshal’s briefing all in French, of which I didn’t understand a word, the BMW course car stopped at our post – the driver asking for the ‘australie marshal’. I was summoned to the car and taken for a quick lap of the circuit. In view of the fact that this same driver had parked said BMW rather heavily against the armco the day before, this promised to be an interesting lap! After some near misses I arrived back at the post ready for anything. Rides with Skip Taylor will be very tame for ever more. After a few days break back in England it is off to Le Mans and a whole new adventure, flagging and recovery at Tertre Rouge will no doubt be very exciting. More about this in the next letter.
Roger – your roving correspondent
6th June, 2004