Saturday, December 08, 2007
Just relax and watch the crowd
Will, my son who was also our crew chief for the La Carrera, had a lot of responsibility on his shoulders each day as Jon and I raced all over Mexico's countryside. Very early in the morning he would drag himself out of a warm and comfy five star hotel room so that he could begin getting Lucky ready for whatever Mexico had waiting for us. Without ever being told he would install correct tires, clean windows, perform car maintenance which included whatever the service truck and trailer needed, fuel the car and truck and the list seems endless. Then without being able to hang around and enjoy all the amazing fanfare that comes with the start of each day he had to leave very early usually by himself in order to get ahead of the traffic so he could be ready when we arrived at the next service stop which many times was hundreds of miles away. Think about it.. he had to do all this in a country he was unfamiliar with, all the while having to read directions from a book he had never seen before.
You have no idea what a pleasure it was every time Jon and I would arrive to see and hear Will on the crew chief's headset with the trailer and canopy already set in in what was always the prime parking spot. He had everything already laid out for whatever was needed... cold drinks and something to eat, chairs to relax in under the canopy, tables set up to make needed carburetor jet changes and so on. I don't remember how many times people complimented us on how professional we looked each time we arrived as Will guided us back under the shade of the canopy. While Jon and I relaxed and took in some much needed hydration and food Will never once took a break while he fueled Lucky and asked if there was any changes we needed. When you get right down to it, it's amazing some other team didn't kidnap him. I can't begin to tel you how blessed I am to have Will for my son let alone how lucky we were to have him as a crew chief. In fact he put so much effort into his performance that he was so spent on the final evening that he couldn't make it to the final awards banquet. Now that's dedication.
It was a rare event but there were a couple of times my son Will would be waiting for us as we came thru the finish arch at the end of the day. One day Will and our cameraman Steffan were well ahead of the race which gave them the opportunity to enjoy watching the hundreds of thousands of fans who lined the streets waiting for the La Carrera race cars to enter their beautiful city. There is so much going on at these places you simply can't absorb it all but Will and Steffan got a good chuckle as they watched one of the big sponsors tie their banner up above the street for traffic to pass under. However it seems they didn't gauge the height all too well as a special tour bus can along that couldn't quite fit under the banner. As the banner carefully pulled ahead each of the passengers on the top section of the bus had to lift the sign and duck underneath as the thousands of fans cheered and laughed. But things didn't go as well when a cement truck came along. Not only was it much harder to lift the sign overhead but the hot exhaust stacks burnt a hole thru the sign. Of course the story was a lot funnier and animated when Will tells it. I have no idea where he gets his story telling ability from.