Meet The BaT Team - Amanda Black

Back in August 2010 I started putting plans in place to complete a lifelong dream of competing in a full motor racing championship. Having completed only 3 races and 2 track days previously, the bug had got me and was eating me alive inside, I had to do something and it was now or never. At this stage I never thought that a year later someone would be inviting me to work at Spa and Zandvoort - how amazing!

I had an incredible first year Classic Caterham Graduate racing. A fastest lap in my first race at Silverstone, a Pole position in my 3rd qualifying session at Brands Hatch and a podium at Castle Combe in my 8th race. If you are interested in my motor racing journey over the last 18 months you can read more in my blog.

My BaT journey actually started from an unfortunate situation. I had been involved in my first racing accident at Brands Hatch, the car had been badly damaged, repaired and delivered to Donington Park at a BaT track day for a shake down and preparation for the next round at Donny. My financial budget is very tight and the accident had severely eaten into my racing budget for the year. I am a full time teacher at Skegness Grammar School with a very supportive headmaster, Mr Ward. Motor Racing has taken over my financial spending, all foreign holidays and luxuries have flown out of the window.

Whilst trying to think of ways to decrease my school holiday boredom I approached Jonny for a job. Luckily for me, Jo was pregnant and there was an opening for a new team member. I started on pit lane at Donington Park, a week before the Summer Spa trip last year, with no plans for the school holidays. A day later Jonny asked if I would like to go to Spa five days later. Oh yes!

So five days later I was sat at East Midlands airport waiting for two other BaT team members I had never met before to share my journey to Amsterdam and then onto Spa. I could still not quite believe it - Spa-Francorchamps - the amazing F1 circuit. Anybody that is a petrol head must have/put this on their list of things to do before they die.

We had two days of sunshine, in fact standing on pit lane I nearly got sun stroke. We had amazing weather, which goes against the norm for the circuit. A day off and we travelled to Zandvoort in the Netherlands. Zandvoort was an interesting experience for me, I hadn’t realised that is was an ex-formula one circuit. The Caterham Graduate club had been racing there the month before but unfortunately I was unable to make it. I didn’t think it was good for a newly appointed Head of PE to be asking for a day off to go racing on Sports Day! A month too late, but I finally got a drive round Zandvoort. A shame no championship points could be awarded!

I’ve now completed a year as a part-timer with BaT and what an amazing year it has been. I’ve potentially saved a few lives, with drivers and passengers trying to get out on circuit with their helmets undone. One of the biggest highlights was Anglesey at Easter. Tequila with mini egg chasers – yes you heard it from the BaT team first! I hear that Anglesey in October will be a Halloween special – Tequila with Screme Egg chaser. I would book now if I was you! It’s worth the trip to North Wales just for those.

In case you haven't already guessed, I just love being at a racing circuit. I can’t afford to be racing and driving all the time, so the next best thing is working for I plan to get my instructors license and get involved as much as I can. I have been to some amazing circuits and met some great people. I aim to be the smile and the wave you see as you exit the pits but in reality most people probably just see me as the annoying person that asks you to stop and show your wrist bands. Hope to see you soon :-)

In Pictures

A trophy from the Classic Caterham Graduates. Racing my 1.6 Caterham Graduate and working at Spa-Francorchamps last year for BaT.

Click thumbnail to view image.

Amanda Black
BaT Team
04 July 2012

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