Introduction to Silverstone Race Maker

I thought I would introduce you to one of my passions, as some of you know I am a massive fan of motorsports, mainly Formula 1 but also British Touring Car Championship and World Endurance Championship. Before 2014, I had never attended a motorsports championship at Silverstone, a circuit that I constantly drove past whenever I went to my uncle’s.

It wasn’t until I saw Silverstone advertising their Race Maker program that I thought, I should definitely apply for that! It would be a dream come true if I attended an event at Silverstone, I know I lived six hours away and couldn’t drive but I thought why not. You never know unless you apply. My mum threw all sorts of questions at me when I told her I wanted to apply, like how will you get there, where will you live?

I just replied saying, I might not even get it. When I received that email to say can I travel to Silverstone to have an interview, I was over the moon, straight away telling dad that he needs to take me to Silverstone. It also meant my first time visiting Silverstone would be with my dad, who also wanted to visit the circuit but never had free time with his job. Trying to drive from the main gate to the Wing took forever!

Silverstone Wing

It did feel that sooner or later we would just appear on the circuit, I kept asking dad if we were going the correct way. Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t pass the interview, something I thought would never happen, as I was only working part-time and still in full-time education! What skills did I have that would make me a good candidate, there must have been something.

I will never forget the joy I had when I received that good news, I know I made dad feel very jealous! The Silverstone Race Maker program was set up in 2013, it is a program made up of passionate volunteers who all come from different backgrounds and nationalities. Some of us have a passion for motorsports, whereas some of us just like volunteering.

You’re probably thinking what is a Race Maker, well the easy way to describe it would be we’re the friendly face of Silverstone. We need to be approachable people so visitors of Silverstone know they can approach us for anything. Currently, there are two job roles, Customer Services and Grandstand Steward, these are pretty self-explanatory really and I’m lucky enough to be able to do both roles.

Silverstone British GP

These past four years have been amazing and something I would treasure always. I can’t explain how lucky I am, especially now that my dad does it as well. Since I started I have attended four British Grand Prix, two British Touring Car Championship, the Moto GP, World Series by Renault and World Endurance Championship.

I would love to attend more events within the year but the timings have not been correct, but now I only live 45minutes away, I think I’m definitely going to be attending more. Throughout the four years, there are definitely a lot of memories I will always treasure, first up it will be all the drivers I have met who are all very friendly and even talkative.

My favourite driver I have met must be the most smiley man I know Daniel Ricciardo who currently races for Red Bull Racing in Formula 1. I support Daniel every single race weekend and if I could, I would talk for hours with him as he’s soo friendly. At the 2014 British Grand Prix, I met Jules Bianchi who sadly lost his life after an accident at the Japanese Grand Prix later that season.

Silverstone Bianchi

This is something I would treasure always as to this day, I still can not believe I met him! Another driver I was lucky to meet was Max Chilton during the World Endurance Championship, I managed to get access to Nissan’s hospitality after asking one of the team members if Max was inside. He just replied saying you won’t be able to grab anything from inside, I was only interested in meeting Max.

I was a little worried about approaching him but when he said yes to a photo and was really friendly, my nerves faded away! The reason I love being a Race Maker is that you are a part of a massive family, I have met some amazing people through this scheme, some I would even call good friends. A lot of people are quite surprised to hear that I don’t get paid to be a Race Maker.

We are all volunteers and we are there because we love it. This is the main reason I do it, you are always meeting new people and the visitors are really good fun, if you get along with them, then you’ll be fine! You’ve got to be a very good people person. I also love it that no day is the same, every day I’ve been a Race Maker it’s different from the previous.

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I know there’s a lot of you out there that love motorsports or even just love volunteering if this is something that appeals to you, you should definitely apply! I’m telling you in advance about this scheme, with the opening date not being until next year because you need to get in early and shine as the scheme is becoming more and more popular each year.

You can keep up to date over on their official website with more information or even on their Twitter and Facebook.

I hope you have enjoyed this post! I hope I’ve been able to describe the scheme well enough and I hope I haven’t made too many of you jealous. I know the people I speak about this would love to do it themselves.

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July Favourites

I’m not sure about you, but July has gone pretty quickly for me, it’s already the 2 August with only a couple more months to go until Christmas! I’ve really enjoyed writing these Favourites posts, as it’s a perfect way for me to remember what I’ve done, just like June I’ve been pretty busy this month. For the past couple of months, I have loved taking part in Neverland Blog Tours.

If you haven’t been following An Ocean Glimmer, Neverland Blog Tours were created by Jenny the blogger behind Jenny in Neverland. She hosts a range of different Blog Tours for all kinds of book genres, including Young Adult, Romance, Thriller and Mystery, I’ve been very fortunate to take part in a couple of her Blog Tours including this month’s Blood Bank by Zoe Markham.

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Infinity Crates May 2017

It’s that time of month again! Infinity Crates has been delivered and I can not wait to show you what I received.

Infinity Crates is a United Kingdom based monthly subscription box that offers a new theme every month. There are four different crates on offer, Classic Crate for £16.99 plus p&p, Premium Crate for £23.99 plus p&p, Kids Crate for £16.99 plus p&p and T-Shirt Only Crate for £7.99 plus p&p. Every box is guaranteed a POP! Vinyl figure and a T-Shirt.

The exclusive theme for this month’s crate is Nemesis.

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March Favourites

I can not believe how fast 2017 is going! One minute it was 1 March and now March is finished and April is in full swing. That means a wrap up of my favourite things from March. For me, March was pretty busy as I traveled a lot during the month, first I went to London for an interview for a Magazine Training Course with Press Association.

I had a lovely time in London, I was only there for a day but as the interview was in the morning, I was able to spend the afternoon sightseeing! Which I loved as I haven’t had a stroll around London in a while, when I went for my Autosport interview for the Junior Programme I was busy all day. Press Association is based a ten minute walk from Buckingham Palace, so I jumped at the chance to visit there.

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The Liebster Award

I’ve got a very special announcement to make…

I found out that the lovely Steph from Juniper Daze nominated me for the Liebster Award!

This is the second nomination I have received for An Ocean Glimmer, after Abi Moss nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award last month. It is always lovely to be nominated for something like this, as you know there are people out there that are reading and enjoying your blog.

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2016 Highlights & Recap

Before you can move forward with the New Year, I think it’s always good to look back on the previous year to see your achievements. Looking at it, 2016 has been quite a successful year for me! A lot has happened and I am really proud of myself. I thought I would share with you today my highlights of 2016.

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2016 Christmas Presents Haul

I hope you’ve all had an amazing Christmas and had a great time with your nearest and dearest!

Before we head towards the New Year, I wanted to do a Christmas Presents Haul, now I will admit that this isn’t everything! Because I haven’t managed to see everyone yet to receive their presents. Along with receiving a lot of money that has gone towards my holiday next year.

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Blogmas Day 4 // The Versatile Blogger Award

I hope you’re having a great Sunday! This post is a little special, I will be posting twice today because I’ve got some exciting news to share with you.

Yesterday, I found out that the lovely Abi Moss had nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! This was super kind of her and I love sharing this news with you, this is the first nomination I have received for An Ocean Glimmer.

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VIP Experience with Team HARD

For those of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you will know that I was recently at Silverstone for Rounds 25, 26 & 27 of the British Touring Car Championship. It was a very interesting weekend as the Saturday I was a Silverstone Racemaker, a volunteer at the circuit and then Sunday I was with Team HARD on a VIP Experience.

I thought it would be interesting to give you an insight to my day with the team as this was my first time as a guest. Now these experiences can be pretty pricey, especially if you receive breakfast, lunch and dinner! I paid £99 for Sunday and I can say it was well worth it.

I have never met David Boor, the guy who I have been chatting to over the last couple of months to book the experience. So when I reached the main gate and saw a guy that looked familiar and was wearing team gear, I was very happy to see him. It was a nice welcoming before even reaching their hospitality.

Silverstone is a very large circuit, so it was nice to see a shuttle service from Team HARD to take us to the BTCC paddock. In my three years of going to Silverstone, I haven’t been on a buggy very often. My legs welcomed this as I know the distance it takes to get to the paddock.

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From the minute I arrived everyone was happy and friendly, it was even better once we got to their hospitality as I know someone there. They couldn’t of had a better person to welcome you once you arrived, Andrea Hurcombe, who my dad knows from school, was on the door checking everyone in and giving us lanyards.

As soon as I received the lanyard, it felt real, that I was actually with Team HARD for the day. Shortly after breakfast was served, I’m not really a breakfast fan but oh my, this smelt amazing so I was hungry. They had a full English on offer which I loved, minus the black pudding and tomatoes of course!

We had a welcome talk from Simon Hill who explained how they day would pan out, I was amazed at exactly what was included. Other things that I never imagined, how cool going on the grid before the race and being able to watch it from their garage! Before all this we were invited to a garage tour, having a look around their three different cars.

The drivers and mechanics were on hand if we had any questions. It was amazing looking at the cars and seeing the detail up close. I must have looked silly in the way I was taking my photos, trying to get snazzy angle on everything. It was cool looking at the cars, there’s actually not much to them!

After the garage tour, came the fun part, GRID WALK! I was super happy to find out about this. We were allowed to come on the grid before the first race, watching all the cars coming out of their garage to do an out lap so they can line up on the grid. As there were so many guests, they split everyone between the three drivers.

I had to look out for Tony Gilham‘s car, it was pretty easy as they all have grid girls with boards, so it was just trying to find her. Once all the cars were lined up, we were allowed to take photos of the cars and girls on the grid. This is a special moment as it’s literally moments before the start of the race.

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Few moments before the start, we had to go back to the garage as we are not allowed on the grid at the start of the race nor in the pit lane. It was super tense in the garage especially when we found out Gilham was coming into the pits! All the mechanics sprang into life and was getting ready for his arrival.

Turns out he had an accident so had to come in for some emergency repairs so he can continue the race. It was amazing watching them rush around the garage picking up spare parts and tools to fix the car. After he returned to the pits it was quiet racing, very enjoyable, even better than watching it from the grandstands.

Once the race was over, it was nice seeing the drivers and their family/friends congratulating them. With the rush over it was time to unwind and continue watching other racing. I did some exploring of the track, checking out the different trade stands. Before I had even realised, it was time for lunch.

The hospitality smelt amazing when we walked it, strong smell of food. Of course with it being a Sunday they had a roast on offer, I jumped at the chances as I just love my roast dinners. It was amazing and exactly what a roast should be, it felt like I was at my Grandparents.

With dinner over we decided to watch the racing from Luffield as this is normally an interesting place, especially with them speeding down from Wellington Straight. It was action packed from the moment they started, with tyres exploding and scary overtakes. Before we even realised it was time for the Driver Q&A.

Now this was comically with drivers explaining their performance, especially if they had an incident with a fellow driver. It was nice listening to them speaking and the enjoyment they receive from racing. After the Q&A, the drivers were signing and taking photos, which I loved as signatures are always nice to have. Pictures more so.

I was planning what to do next when David came over and asked if I wanted to go back on the grid for the last race. Of course I said yes! I wouldn’t let an opportunity like that go to waste. It’s cool being on the grid once, let alone twice. So for the last race we were back on the grid and watching the race from the garage.

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Thanks to David Boor for this amazing photo!

Of course there was even more excitement with our drivers and watching them climb up the grid. After the race it was celebration time, with the podium presentation being on the start finish line. It was a special moment for Team HARD here as Mike Epps was presented the Jack Sears Trophy.

With a podium position comes the champagne the fun part, it was nice sharing the enjoyment with the team. Once this was all over it was time to go home and just relax. It was such a lovely weekend with the team and I would like to just say a massive thank-you to everyone there.

Woow, I didn’t realise the post would be that long! Thanks for sticking with me and hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments if you have attended any motorsports events and your thoughts on them. I know there will be plenty more in the future for me, you can keep up to date on my Twitter HERE and Instagram HERE.

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Britcar Dunlop Endurance: My Media Experience

One day, I hope to be an motorsports journalist, I understand though that the industry is very tough and now a days you need a lot of experience under your belt. For my dissertation for University, I decided to do Long-Form Journalist. Which is basically where you cover photography, writing and broadcast media.

Most of you will probably know that I have a massive love for motorsports so I thought why not attend an Grand Prix weekend. This would be a perfect opportunity to gain experience and use that work for my dissertation. I got in contact with Chris Valentine who is the Media Representative for Britcar Dunlop Endurance.

Last weekend, my dream became a reliability when I became a photographer at Silverstone for Britcar Endurance! This was the perfect opportunity and I looked very professional in my purple media bib. I was super excited but very nervous at the same time. I was quite lucky as I met up with Eric Barnes from Barneshaw Images.

I’m glad I did met up with Eric as there was someone to show me the ropes. Seeing as I haven’t done motorsport photography professionally before. I am massively glad he was there as I made just a few rookie photographer moves that I have now learnt from. First of all, when a camera tells you it’s charged don’t believe it!

After not even an hour of taking photographs my camera decided to give up and start flashing red. Which was a big disappointment as I didn’t even have the charger unit to charge it. Next time, I know what I shall be bringing, a spare battery and the charger! It shows you need to be prepared as I was able to borrow a camera from Eric.

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Century Motorsport – Ginetta G5 – #43

The whole day was a massive learning curve for me as every moment I seemed to be learning something. Throughout the day, my confidence seemed to be growing, I was trying to be more adventurous in the photos I was taking. Even watching the teams perform their amazing pitstops.

It was amazing to have the freedom of pretty much anywhere on the track, I was able to get to places I have been dreaming on for months. Walking around a live pit, the paddock, just walking through different teams garages. The places where some people dream of being. Even trackside behind tyre barriers!

I am very happy with the images that I managed to take, they might not be the best from the weekend but I am proud of them. As I can say they are mine, that I took them trackside as media. If you would like to see them head over HERE to view them in my gallery. I hope you like them as much as I do.

I would like to just say a massive thank-you to Eric as without him I wouldn’t of been able to take any of these photographs. I was able to learn a lot from him and the experience that I will take with me into further motorsports weekends. If you fancy taking a look at his photographs, ahead over to his site HERE.

I hope you have liked this post! Let me know in the comments any advice you would give regarding photography, everyone can learn from one another! Hopefully you’ll be seeing more posts like this as I really enjoyed this experience at Silverstone.

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