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Hungaroring 2011.

2011.06.09

Part No.1. „At the End of the World Everything is Nice and Good…”

 

It started as usual: with the chaos… Actually with my beloved chaos. The Friday afternoon chaos is the real reason, because I fall in love with the WTCC some years before. Not because I love the chaos itself. But because everywhere happen funny things with you, anyway to get the track is more than funny (I don’t want to use ugly words…)! And because you can see, as the teams build a whole city in the middle of the nowhere, and almost from the nothing. In the Formula-1 you never could see this…

So, I love this track, I know the way, I’m really telling you: if you have no car, this is at the End of the World… Well, as soon as I arrived to the End of the World, the funny things started. I was accredited by the Touring Car Times. It’s totally OK. BUT I was accredited as a SWEDISH photographer, instead a Hungarian one. And I was in the international media list, instead the Hungarian. And one more thing: I got a parking pass… Great! I just imagined as I turn into the media car park with the suburban train… Then I imagined that Neil Hudson will not laugh so much tomorrow, if they can’t leave the car in the media car park… Fortunately he had a year-long pass for it, so I could have used mine with the train…

Finally I got into the paddock… I needed a toilet, urgently… all of woman toilet was closed!!! ALL! OPEN A WOMAN TOILETT, PLEEEAAASEEE!!!

No way! The paddock is full of girls, because of the Lotus Ladies’ Cup… Interesting…

I coudn’t pick up my photo vest, as I had no deposit with me… No prob, tomorrow… I’m going to take pics. My task: to take pics about the everyday life in the paddock. I managed to take 10 photos at least about a ‘very interesting” Bamboo mechanic. Maybe he wasn’t so happy on it, anyway I don’t mind. And there is Bennani, who was really nice, and turned to me his back. Maybe he had a bad day, or I don’t know.

The chaos was continued by somebody, who forgot to print a sponsor’s name on the official program… “Who have made it?!” – asked a voice behind me. – “Do it again, the sponsor will get a heart attack!”

Life in the paddock on Friday, as usual: Trying to make order in the chaos, putting stickers onto cars and camions, changing things by mistake, building a city… I love it! I love you guys, smiling team owners, funny situations, kind or huffy pilots… This is my WTCC again. (Anyway, I’m missing so much my “old hero” and my “sunshine” from the paddock, but this is the life.)

We are at the End of the World, but I love to be here, because “At the End of the World everything is nice and good!”, as the Hungarian author has written…

 

(True: you have to get home as well, but that’s another story…)

 

Part No. 2. Tears of joy and disappointment in the same time

 

If I could suggest some things to the organizers, I would say: 1.) Organize a fan-bus, please! If not free, no prob! Everybody would be so happy and would pay the fee, instead walk 8-10km around the track, in the desert! 2.) If no fan-bus, open the back gates, what is free for everyone! Nobody wants to walk around the track, instead watching race inside! And if no way, my last idea: 3.) the now-building underground line should end under the track!

After 4.5 hours travel I arrived to the track again. Everything on it’s place, working well… start to remind me of a car race…

Finally I met personally with Neil Hudson, who was “my editor” for this weekend. Well, nice and professional person, out of question. And maybe a little bit closed.

But back to the track!

Do you know why was organized so many times ice hockey championship in Hungary? Simply: because the fans are fantastic… And now again: any time Norbi appears on the track, I can’t hear the voice of the engines… I’ve never seen so big crowd on the grands at other tracks.

And what about the qualifying? Well, Huff and the Chevy managed to get the 12th position. Lovely new rules: be quick in the Q1, but not too much, and you will have a good place on the grid of the R2 too… hmmm… Huffy pushed the brake to get the best position for the R2 too. A little bit too much… out of the Q2!

But nobody was interested, because everyone was crazy for Michelisz… He got the 5th and the 6th positions for the races, came into the media center, and talked about his feelings. About tears of joy, because of the fans, and about the disappointment, because he couldn’t reach better positions. No way to be disappointed, Norbi, it’s a really great result!

And who was the 3rd? The little, greenhorn Villa! What a happiness in the Proteam!

Yvan Muller made a great attraction again: He and Menu were in the first row for tomorrow R1, and as soon as Menu started to talk about his laps, Muller stared to move, and a bottle of water landed on the floor… Everyone was laughing… maybe except Alain… For poor Menu Yvan Muller will be shortly “Ivan, the terrible”…

 

As soon as I got my photo vest, nobody minded the photos… I’ve learnt something new again: this vest is terrible uncomfortable, hot, but opens every gate in the paddock and on the pitlane…

I was having fun! I was taking photos! What nice guys at the Proteam! They were really happy… Mille grazie, ragazzi!

Finally: going-home-time… With Neil, to the middle of the nowhere. His hotel was exactly there. Fortunately I could find the bus stop in 5-8 minutes.

 

Part No. 3. – The “nice madhouse”

 

“It’s a nice madhouse” – said Tom Coronel. But let’s start at the beginning!

Yes, it was a nice madhouse for me too to get the track again! All the 75.000 spectators wanted open the back gates! (It could have helped to avoid the huge traffic jam around the track, and missing the first race for many fans!) And the chaos came back to the track, to the spectators’ area! And this full chaos was leaded by the security staff! Incredibly great, I can tell it only! The photo shuttle managed to find the way between the spectators in 5 minutes! Fortunately I wasn’t in hurry… I was sitting in the perfect corner just before the start… Yes, this photo machine is not the best for the track shot. I should have worked in the paddock with this. But I wanted to take some track shots as well. Hmm… I’m afraid, many times I managed to take photos about too many or too less car(s). Too less, I mean: 0-0.9 car in the photo. So, after 100 great, totally unusable photos I changed the corner. It worked! Incredible!

 

About the first race shortly: Michelisz got the great 2nd position after the start, he was battling a little with Menu, but came in as 2nd. Menu won, and little Villa, after a big fight with Tarquini and the 2 other Chevies, stood up to the podium! What a happiness at the Zengő and at the Proteam! And one more additional information: Rob Huff, came in as 4th! From the 12th place, at the Hungaroring! Don’t tell me one more time, that impossible to overtake on this track! Chevy is good, but no wings on those, so, overtaking is really possible!

And Norbi got a nice trophy and a huge hug on the podium. Alain Menu saw it and wanted his own hug beside his trophy… Well, Alain, Norbi got it, because he got his trophy from a very good friend, and everyone was happy on the Hungarian podium place… Anyway, you got the hug too, are you pleased then? Funny guy…

 

Well, the cars went out to the grid again, and some cloud arrived to watch the race… In that moment, when the red lights went out Tom Coronel’s nice madhouse started… In the Q1 Bennani got the 10th place, what means: he started from the pole in the R2. Hmmm… we could bet with the colleagues in the media center, how big crash will be caused by him… Actually we all lost… The big crash was caused by Michelisz. Bennani started to break earlier than Norbert expeced, and Norbi was too close to the edge of the track. He run down to the grass, lost the control, and damaged his own and 2 other cars. He tried to get back to the paddock with the badly damaged car, while some rain drops landed on the track…

In 30 seconds the track was a complete swimming pool, perfect to play the other Hungarian national sport, the waterpolo… But, as the cars can’t swim, in the second lap the race was suspended with red flag. Cars stopped on the grid, and we were waiting for the restart. At the Zengő Team, the mechanics tried to fix Norbi’s car… They had to change some inside and outside parts, and the new aero pack (what actually stayed from the front of the car) never could have got a Nobel prize, but Michelisz managed to go back to the track, and managed to run the fastest lap with that car!! The fans were really crazy for him, and he was so tired… I’ve never seen him in this status ever before! But all the 75.000 Hugarian spectators were very happy!!!

About the second race shortly: Alain Menu landed in the barrier as soon as the safety car left the track, and Pepe Oriola had some dance productions beside the track, before he parked on the wall… vertically! We know he has fantastic skills, as he is here, despite he is only 16 year old, but if you want to put down the car next time, enough, if you park horizontally…

Some other cars became a nice puzzle for the mechanics for the end of the race. Only 12 cars run all the 14 laps of the race.

Yvan Muller won the R2, before his team-mate, Rob Huff! Really: if one more time somebody complains: impossible to overtake on this track, I’ll ask Huffy to make a lesson for him! Gabriele Tarquini got the 3rd place, and Engstler the 4th, and he won same time the private trophy as well.

And in the media center: Yvan Muller managed to send down the water bottle again… Maybe a little glue could help…

 

This is the end of the weekend… I left my wonderful, comfortable photo vest at the reception, teams started to pack the city into their trucks (I always was interested: why much quicker to break down something, than build it up?), Neil worked on the last stories, spectators started to go home… My lovely WTCC will leave the track in 10 hours.

 

Really late evening Neil and me left the media center, and walked to his car… We were talking and he mentioned that the Hungarian fans were really good but interesting, because nowhere any flag or banner for the popular drivers… Not even for Menu or Huff… I explained: for Hungarian fans had been only one popular driver… actually only one driver in the field: Norbert Michelisz, nobody else!

 

We arrived to the car park, and saw a nice exit, what was created by the stuff for the spectators… Or I guess that… You can see also below. We stopped and started to laugh in the totally empty car park…

 

EXIT! 

 

dscf8867.jpg

 

THE END!

See you in the next year, WTCC!

 

Special thanks to:

 

Neil Hudson, Pietro Casillo and the TouringCarTimes.com for let me to work with them in this weekend, for the taxi, and for the very professional working method. (I’ve learnt something new again!)

 

Norbert Michelisz, the Zengő Dension Team and all the 75.000 fans for making a fantastic atmosphere at the track.

 

The Proteam for let me to work there, and they didn’t mind that I have taken a lot of strange photos…

 

Rob Huff, for show us: how to overtake on the Hungaroring.

 

Those unknown, nice guys who took me down to the track on Sunday by their car.  

 

 

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