Please excuse my vagueness in this blog with regard to motorsport, Andy and the boys are the real fans, myself and the girls just enjoy it.
Robbie spends most of his time racing toy cars around the carpet and running around the garden making car noises, just like his big brother Aiden did at 4years old. The boys love fast cars so you can imagine their delight when we received an invite from Martin Plowman of UltraTek racing to come to the Silverstone 500 meeting.
Martin had heard our story through a lovely lady called Emma, who’s niece goes to the same school as our children. Emma told me that Martin wanted to help raise awareness and he did a video on his facebook page on Batten Disease Awareness day, the 9th june.
The invitation was for us to visit the teams garage, meet Martin and the other drivers, to see the car and then to enjoy the race from the garage. Wow, of course we accepted, the boys jumped with joy and Annabelle was very pleased that she could actually experience a race.
We arrived at Silverstone on Sunday, first port of call was to admire the super cars, they were all lined up looking perfect with their paintwork glistening in the sun. Robbie was amazed, got a little to excited and was then told off for touching a Lamborghini, oops.
Ben from UltraTek met us with a box of goodies, there was a Team tshirt for each child, and a set of ear defenders. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get a Tshirt, but the kids looked better in them than I would have so it was ok.
Silverstone is a lovely track, it is the heart of British racing after all. Great circuit for spectating either in the grandstands or the grass banks. The weather was great so we enjoyed a bit of racing.
We went to the garage and met Martin, he greeted us with a huge smile and a hug, that hug said a lot about the man, it was a tight hug, a hug that showed he cared. He was very polite, he lead Annabelle around the car, allowing her to touch it and then he let the children sit in the car. Annabelle said afterwards how much she enjoyed this experience because she has never seen inside a racing car before and has no memory of one and being allowed to touch the steering wheel with all the buttons gave her a good understanding of what one looks like.
Martin introduced us to his parents, who attend every race and we met his beautiful wife, Nicole. Everybody made us feel welcome.
We were introduced to the other drivers that were present at the time, Kelvin Fletcher and Tim Eakin. Kelvin came across quite quiet, but made pleasant conversation and Tim was a hit with the kids. Martin drives car number 53 and Kelvin and Tim drive in car 54, after a bit of banter between the children and the drivers about which car to support we left the garage for lunch.
At lunch Robbie recognised the Ginetta cars from Thruxton. At Thruxton The boys met a young racing driver called Ollie Wilkinson. We could not find Ollie at that point so we arranged to try and meet him later.
We watched the start of the British GT and sat at Copse corner. Annabelle loved the it, she could smell and hear the cars different engine tones.
We went back to the garage to experienced the garage during the race. Kelvin did an amazing job on his sprint in car 54. Martin Plowman took over car 53 and things did not go well, The car had problems and needed repair in the garage and we were asked to leave as it was about to get hectic.
Ideal time for us to head to the Ginetta cars to meet Ollie. Robbie straight away recognised him and greeted him with a cheeky smile. I did not go to Thruxton so it was a pleasure to meet the young man that Robbie has been imitating with his cars for the pass few weeks. I think Ollie has his first number one fan.
We watched the rest of the British GT race from the grandstands and soaked up the atmosphere.
Afterwards we went back to the garage to say thank you and goodbye. Martin gave us another hug, and thanked us for coming. Tim Eakin made Aidens day by giving him his race worn cap, complete with the sweat and smell, Tim said “wash it mum”, there is no way Aiden will let me wash it.
Martin helped us to raise awareness and he made precious memories with our family, and we will be forever grateful and hopefully we made some more BFF’s that day.