Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My ‘Splash and Dash’ in Barcelona

A ‘splash and dash’ pit-stop is when a driver comes into the pits for just a ‘splash’ of fuel and perhaps a change of tires before a charged ‘dash’ to the end of a race. It is normally used in an extremely aggressive race strategy, such as the one employed by Ross Brawn for Michael Schumacher’s superb four-stop victory in the French GP 2004. It certainly felt the same for me as I arrived in Barcelona at 2pm, 24/4 (a very special date) for the ‘splash’, a three-pronged launch event (GP2 Asia prize ceremony cum GP2 series’ 2008 season launch cum Bridgestone e-reporter finalists unveiling, quite a mouthful indeed). Unfortunately, due to academic obligations, I had to ‘dash’ for a 6am flight the next morning so that I could make it back to Germany at 10am where I had to do a presentation. But then again, I would not have it any other way in celebrating my 28th birthday!

I believe the launch event was a dream-come-true for all the e-reporter finalists. You really have to be a petrolhead to be able to appreciate the importance of being part of this special event. The chance to share the excitement of the GP2 Asia’s successful debut and to witness the launch of the new GP2 season and its brand-new Bridgestone-Dallara-Renault racecar. Of course, not failing to mention the honour of being unveiled as finalists of the very successful Bridgestone e-reporter competition and the opportunity to get up close and personal (well, almost) with the GP2 drivers and F1 superstars such as Mark Webber, Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton.

All nine finalists were unveiled much like a beauty-pageant at the end of the event. As the host of the event called out our names one by one, we walked on to centre stage to stand proudly, posing together with the exciting-looking GP2 car. We were also requested to pose around a white GP2 car in front of a professional photographer. Bear in mind as well that this isn’t just any GP2 car but a car that has been “embellished” with the names of each and every Bridgestone e-reporter, past and present. Therefore, strutting around this 590-bhp machine took on a different significance.

However, for me personally, above all the glamour and attention, the most poignant moment came when it struck me just how great it is to be in the company of those who live and breath motorsports. Based on the enthusiastic conversations we were having all evening, it was definitely a night to remember. That was when I realized that the Bridgestone e-reporter competition is not just about searching for those who are talented in stringing a few words together. More than that, it is about the opportunity to congregate young, aspiring men and women across the globe who share the same “PASSION for EXCELLENCE”. And that for me is more than just any ‘Splash and Dash’. It is something that will be cherished for life. And the best part is, this is just the beginning…

No comments: