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GTi Trackshow - AKA - The best event nobody went to.
All singing, all dancing, full colour, multi format, blanket coverage print campaign with added web presence… the public stayed away in droves.
Saturday arrived, Donnington is 10 miles away from our house, so I looked out of the window… it was drizzling nicely, and slightly foggy. Typical October weather, except it was July. I had stuff to do, and as it was a two day show, I decided to fanny about with the car, and an iPod, then go to the show on Sunday.
Another two hours in bed would have been lovely, but it wasn’t to be. Where ever I go I seem to have vast amounts of ’stuff’ with me, so it takes 14 trips from house to car before I’m satisfied I haven’t forgotten anything. This is then followed by pulling off the drive, then pulling back on, as i realise I forgot to bring any money. This is why I am always half an hour late, guaranteed. I have no short term memory.
The three of us who made the effort to amble 10 miles up the road, arrived at a deserted Donnington to meet up with the 8Ball Racing crew, who had made the effort to drive the 303 miles from Glasgow. I felt slightly ashamed of myself.
For my entrance fee I received an event guide, and a wristband with a hologram on it, the wristband said ’sunday visitor number 6732′ . There were 14 cars in the car park, so where the other 6000 people were, I don’t know, mabey they all arrived in a big helicopter.
Last year every show was chok-full of over accesorised Mk1’s, and retro flakeyness, but this year they seem to be a bit thin on the ground. Flavour of the moment is bigness. Big and low. Big, low and smooth. Big, low, smooth, shiney and wide. Girth is where it’s at.
Inside, was a bit nonspecific. A Rocco with a top class bodykit, and one of those chaps with hundreds of plastic boxes full of new random VAG parts. All of which are either Golf Match badges, or nearside rear mudflaps for a Polo saloon. We went outside feeling rather non-plussed. As I paid for three cups of bright orange tea with dust floating in it, I was briefly distracted from the miserable girl serving me, (as she frantically hurried about doing absolutely fanny all) that steve ‘the brain’ cresswell was spooning several tons of sugar into his beverage. I did wonder if I should ask him why he hadn’t put my steering wheel back on straight after he’d finished fiddling with my tracking… but couldn’t be bothered with the overly technical, and possibly slightly wrong answer he would have given me.
The spoons were cool, proper little wooden spoons with a curved bowl. I put one in my tea, for no reason, and one in my back pocket, for posterity.
This is the point at which things started to pick up. Lee spent an hour quizzing awtracksport about stuff he doesn’t understand, then gave them a brief but informative lecture on his approval of there aesthetic sensibility in use of pure function. Then sat in the red car and wanted to have a go.
All fired up on expensive fast things, we went and had a look at some people precariously lumbering around the tyre testing circuit. Dave got a lift home to take the spare engine, back seat, spare wheel and sub out of the boot of his car so he could come back and have a go himself. Three hours later Lee and Dave had successfully monopolised the track for the afternoon, taken another lump out of the life span of a Golf, and entertained some bored showgoers. Lap after lap they did, tearing round the course in plumes of tyre smoke, and burnt oil. Thats what VW made Mk2’s for, you have to ragg the arse off them, it’s the law. An onlooker shouted ‘are you trying to kill that car?’ ‘yes’ came the reply. ‘Wayheeeeey’ shouted a small boy, before adding ’set it on fire mister, set it on fire’.
I took exactly a million photographs that day. It was the only show I have been to where I had a clear view of the cars without having to wait for people to move, or shoo children/dogs out of the way.
Even though the the day had started out a little bit shit, we went home with smiles on our faces - Life is what you make it.