Lauren Taylor: A guide to securing a seat in the BTCC

December 11, 2012 by Lauren Taylor  

Despite the fact that it’s the middle of winter and I should probably be in hibernation to avoid the cold, I found myself wandering down to Mondello Park Racing School. After all who could say no to the new King of Mondello Marketing, Leo Nulty. I seem to spend most of my weekends being dragged around racing circuits throughout England by my wannabe racing driver boyfriend, Aron Smith. So yes, I was intrigued to see what all this hype was about and more importantly I thought it may help me to be able to give Aron some much needed pointers.

I think the best way to go through the day is a little step by step guide. One might even go as far as saying it’s your definitive guide to becoming a BTCC driver.

Step 1 – Show up
This step is important. Apparently you can’t race cars from the comfort of your own bed which was the first shock to my system. I believe in the winter months Mondello Park gets relocated to somewhere just north of the arctic circle but don’t let this turn you off. As I just said if you don’t turn up you’ll never become the next big thing.

Flashy phone cover - Check - Cute instructor - Check - Make up ok - Check - I'm ready to race!!

Step 2 – Look good
Put simply, if you look fast you will go fast, proven fact – Jenson Button is easy on the eye and he seems to do pretty well for himself. Obviously being a big shot model and whatnot this was one of my finer points, after all I frequently grace the screens of IrelandAM. While Aron goes for that nonchalant textbook racing driver ‘I wear a cap look’ I went for the full face Tranny make up look in my attempt to be the most glamorous thing to ever hit up Mondello Park. This obviously scared the life out of Sean Doyle, my brilliant instructor who we will get to later.

Step 3 – Find Leo Nulty
Apparently this man knows a thing or two when it comes to racing so it wouldn’t be the worst idea to get in touch with him. As a self proclaimed “anorak” of motorsport I would choose wisely what advice you take from him as before you know it he’ll have you signed up for the new Fiesta cup before you even have a road license.

My Instructor Sean, he's soooooooooooo cute!!

Step 4 – Choose your instructor wisely
Clearly this decision had nothing to do with driver talent. Instead it was solely based on the fact that Sean Doyle is as cute as a glittery pink button. Turns out he’s not half shabby in a car either but if all else fails he has his lovely little face to fall back on. IrelandAM wouldn’t know what hit them. So. Fricking. Cute.

Clearly my talents are best saved for the driving seat!

Step 5 – Learn from your mistakes
One thing I did learn from my outing in the Redstone BTCC car back in November was that hiding behind your knees while preparing for impeding death, was in fact counterproductive to one’s ability to negotiate the track. Sean did point out the fact that I’m a quick learner and listened very well to his tuition so I’d like to take this opportunity to say SCREW YOU ARON I’M NOT AS STUBBORN AS YOU THINK. Basically it all boils down to staying on the track and to be honest this was easy, don’t know why all you wasters crash your cars.

Step 6 – Hit every kerb in sight
It dawned on me from watching Aron that he seems to drive over and through anything in sight so I applied this logic by driving over all the coloured bumpy kerbs and cones. As he says; if all else fails he’ll get an epic new facebook profiler and let’s be honest that’s all that matters.

Step 7 – Follow the signs
Really simple point this one, when the sign says brake you brake. When it says turn, you guessed it, you turn. This racing malarkey is a doddle, you try wearing high heels on a night out and you’ll find out what’s challenging.

As mentioned earlier, its all about looking good!

Step 8 – Watch the offers flood in
You have no idea how annoying it is to be constantly hassled by teams to join their driver line up. NO OLY COLLINS, I WILL NOT TAKE ARON’S SEAT AT MOTORBASE. It’s obvious they do not understand I’m a big shot and this racing game is well and truly below me!

While we never compared my times to Aron’s, I think it was fairly obvious to everyone who was there on the day that I am a far superior driver. To think he has the cheek to tell me it’s all down to set up- it’s not at all. FOLLOW THE SIGNS my friend and there in lies the key to your success, forget this set up rubbish.

To end on a serious note I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Mondello for a great day and you’ve no idea how much I recommend going down and giving it a whirl. It really is a brilliant day and who knows if you follow my simple steps you may even get a BTCC drive out of it.


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