As we speed towards July and finally being able to get our probans back on (well if they still fit for some of us!), we caught up with BMMC Club Ambassador Max Coates to find out how he’d been coping with lockdown as a driver.
Judging from the posts on social media many marshals are clearly missing their fix of motorsport, has it been as frustrating for you as a driver and the teams too?
We miss it too for sure, although I’d say without the eSports I’d be missing it a whole lot more. It can’t replicate every part of the real thing but the competition and racing is just as fierce. The people and the magnitude of the events is what I miss the most. Knowing that racing is coming back sooner rather than later now is a good thing for our spirits.
E-racing has become everyone’s go to alternative, how beneficial is that for you as a driver to keep your eye in or is it just a bit of fun?
It’s certainly kept my race craft up to date and in some ways advanced it. I’d definitely like to keep some of it up after we start racing in the real world again. The race craft part is a fantastic comparison to real world events.
We now have a date for motorsport to recommence in July but clearly there are going to be some restrictions, do you think the new way of working will impact on the quality of racing?
I really don’t think it will change any part of the on track action if I’m honest. Off track things will be different, but on track I’m expecting the same things to continue.
Given the social distancing rules how as a driver do you see that working if you’re in need of assistance from marshals on track in the heat of battle? (Will you have your own hand sanitiser onboard!)
It’s clearly going to bring some changes and I think probably the hardest part of going back to racing to protect against. When someone needs help I think it’s only human nature to want to try and help. I’ve not seen the hand sanitiser as a must have, and clearly we wear gloves etc, which need to be kept clean. The ‘driver thumbs up’ if we’re okay definitely needs to be a message that is pushed out to all involved, for us drivers to do so and for Marshal’s to keep their distance when they see that signal. That in most cases should keep everyone safe. I think we’ll be learning a lot in the first few months and as long as we adapt and develop we’ve done what we can.
And finally many marshals may have to continue to self-isolate or be unable to return due to work commitments etc what message do you have for our members ahead of the recommencing of racing?
Motorsport is an important thing to all of us and I’m glad there is a community of people that love it as much as I do. But at the moment, and always, some things carry a larger importance. Health, family and friends are important things too, and at the moment they need to be respect more than ever. Racing is a big thing for all of us, but when the times right, it will come back. Stay safe everyone.