“Yeah! Suck on that Fittzy ya wanker!” Danny called out.
He was in the pits with the rest of the team watching the footage of Fittzy trying to beat the lap record and put his car in pole position but despite a good lap it didn’t happen. It had taken a few moments for the actual time to register in Danny’s head because five out of the six numbers in Fittzy’s lap time were the same as Danny’s but it was that all important last number that made the difference.
One thousandth of a second was all that separated Danny and Fittzy on the grid and while that minuscule amount of time gave Danny and the team a ten thousand dollar bonus and bragging rights for a second race in the row it was only a small part of the total sum.
Starting from pole gave Danny the fast lane into the first corner, although that by itself on the Sands track wasn’t a huge advantage given that the pit straight was so long and an overtaking manoeuvrer or bad start could easily happen to anyone in the heat of the first lap. There was also the matter of more than a hundred laps, three mandatory pit stops, two for fuel and one for brakes, and the battle between thirty six other cars all hoping to be first over the line set for the following day that were bigger issues than getting pole position. Pole position was just the icing on a large cake.
But they were all issues for the following day, at that moment the entire pit crew were cheering, hugging and patting each other on the back. There was no doubt that being in pole position was great for the sponsors but it was also great for team morale.
The team were still celebrating and cheering when a microphone was shoved in Danny’s face. The microphone was connected to a camera and the feed was going out live to the national TV audience. The interviewer belonged to the TV station that televised the race meetings and was known for asking the stupidest of stupid questions and laughing at his own jokes but such interviews were par for the course with race weekend. Danny knew it was easier to stand still, act polite, answer questions without creating controversy and breath deeply until the interview was over than to argue about doing such interviews while he was still cooling down.
“Well done Danny!” The voice belonged Tracey. “Great driving!”
Danny was headed out to the team transporter where his immediate plan was to get changed and relax for half an hour before sitting down with Rick and several of the other technicians to look at where they could make improvements to the car. Even with such a good run there would be tell tale signs recorded by the computers that could indicate areas they could improve upon.
“Thanks!” Danny said turning to his wife. “I was lucky, but thanks it’s good to be on pole.”
When Danny stepped into the transporter to get changed and relax Tracey followed, although the look on Dave’s face was one of disapproval Danny had no argument and if his manager did then Danny expected him to man up and admit it not just expect something to happen.
“You okay mate?” Dave asked.
Danny knew immediately why he was asking the question, Dave disliked all females, married or not, getting too close to anyone in the team on race weekend. Forget the good luck charm of sex that some drivers claimed helped them win races, Dave believed all outside distractions should be stopped until the chequered flag came down.
“Fine mate, just going to change and grab a coffee. I’ll be back for the debrief in about thirty minutes.” Danny replied.
Tracey followed Danny into the small room at the front of the transporter that was used for his change room and any quiet time he wanted. Again Danny didn’t argue with her presence, it was easier to have her with him than leave her in Dave’s company.
When Danny came out of the changing area Tracey was sitting on the couch watching the large flat screen TV. Danny was dressed casually in a pair of jeans and his sponsors t-shirt but hadn’t bothered with shoes.
“Coffee’s hot, would you like me to make you one?” Tracey asked him as soon as she saw him.
“Yes, thank you. That would be great.” Danny replied. “What are you watching?”
“Nothing important, just one of those travel shows. The news will be on soon if you want something to watch.” Tracey said as she got up from the couch and headed to the little kitchenette.
By the time Tracey’s stepped up to the couch with Danny’s coffee the news service had started. She had her own coffee in her left hand and asked Danny if he minded her sitting down next to him on the couch. Danny invited her to sit with him.
Twenty minutes into the half hour news service, just before Danny was about to get up and head back into the pit garage, the sport segment started. Danny had to wait for them to show news about football, rugby, netball, basketball, even lawn bowls before they showed anything about the car racing and when he did see it he could do little more than laugh. Not only did the reporter doing the voice over for the segment pronounce Danny’s name wrong but the entire time he talked about the record breaking lap they showed Fittzy’s car.
Both Danny and Tracey laughed together heartedly, it was hilarious to hear the news service make such a botched job of something. When the segment was over the both mimicked the reporter’s voice and what had been said which sent them in to louder laughter and bigger smiles.
Knowing he had to get back to the rest of the team Danny stood up from the couch, picked up the two empty coffee cups and took them over to the kitchenette. He then turned around, looked at Tracey still sitting on the couch and knew that if he was forced to admit what he was feeling at that time he’d have to say that he was enjoying his life and the way it was going.
Previous Racing story here.