Steve Tarrant - Roadshow Memories

Steve Tarrant is an experienced marshal and commissaire. His memories are linked to two specific Roadshows separated by 10 years, which he says showed him how far he has come since his disablement.

The first was in 2002, as part of the ‘Mega Motors’ display at the show held at Donington Park race track. Obviously with my motorsport background, I had been at the circuit numerous times as a marshal, but this was the first return after my involvement in the fatal crash at the June 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed. And to top everything I’d only just got back behind the wheel of a car in the February of that year, learning how to drive with hand controls for the first time. Yet, here I was, driving a 10 minute display on the circuit in my ‘Colin McRae liveried’ Ford Focus alongside Ferrari’s, Jaguars and other hot vehicles! And having to keep out of their way, as the speed differential was quite high. It was noted to me to not embarrass myself out on the track, because I should know my way around the track, and that I would never have lived it down if I had driven into one of the gravel traps around the circuit!

And then I roll forward to 2012, the year of the drought (where?), and the 24 hour mobility scooter distance challenge. Being mid summer’s day, the team expected the speedway track at Peterborough to be hard and firm, perfect conditions for attempting to break the distance record. But with the rain the night before, the shale had become sticky, and the mobility scooter challenge started with a very scary track. But after that first hour, we had cleared a dry line from the top surface around the track allowing us to run flat out at full speed for the next 5 hours, leaving us to start feeling confident in our performance. But then the drizzle came, and the shale went back to sticky, then slimy and then utterly treacherous all through the night as we pounded round and around. I must admit I didn’t even notice the night coming and going as my TGA Breeze kept going without missing a beat, and then with 2.5 hours remaining, we matched the existing record. But instead of stopping then we continued to run flat out, stopping only for pitstops of battery changes for the scooter and a drink for me. Even these were done at racing speeds, with the first one timed at 10 minutes and with practice, my team had them down to a 3 minute routine. We did even wash the scooter at one point to return it to its silver livery, but the wet slimy shale again clung to everything, returning the scooter to a muddy brown colour, as were my hi-viz orange waterproofs at the end.

I wonder what I will be doing in 2022?

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