Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sick Girls and Racing Champions

I've been nursing a sick little girl today, who woke up with a raging temperature in the night and a sore throat and a cough. Apparently 7 children in the other Primary 6 class are off with the same sort of thing, including the one she spent most of the weekend with.

She eventually managed to come downstairs this morning and was ensconced on the sofa in her My Little Pony sleeping bag drinking hot chocolate. She may have outgrown My Little Pony, but the sleeping bag is so lovely and comfy. Bless her, though - she did try to mount a weak protest at me putting the heating on - which I only very rarely do during the day - because it was bad for the environment.

You can tell she's ill because she's not uttered a word of dissent about me watching the Race of Champions. I might be the thickest person in the entire world, but I hadn't heard of it before - and I could kick myself because apparently Michael Schumacher competes in it every year.

This year he is there alongside, among others, new F1 champion Jenson Button,Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, former Scottish F1 driver and BBC commentator David Coulthard. Today is the Nations Cup event and to be honest, it was clear from the start that Germany had the advantage, whitewashing their way through the opposition in the early stages of the competition.

Their only defeat before the final came when, surprisingly, Michael Schumacher lost narrowly to his American opponent, Tanner Foust.

It's probably just as well this event doesn't get huge tabloid attention because it was obvious from the start that the final would be contested between Britain and Germany - and we all know how they go into jingoistic overdrive when that happens.

The confrontation we wanted to see was the race between Jenson and Schumi. Would the newly crowned F1 champion get the better of this legendary opponent. Well, he almost did. He didn't disgrace himself and it was very close.

After that race it was down to Sebastian Vettel and Andy Priaulx to decide the winner and, somewhat predictably, the German team emerged victorious for the third year in succession.

What I found most amazing was the venue - the Birds' Nest Stadium in Beijing where the Olympics were held last year. If you don't remember there being a racing track for cars in there when you watched the marvellous exploits of Team GB, you'd be right - they've brought in 8000 tons of bamboo (laid over to protect the athletics track and field) and then laid gravel and asphalt over the top to create this parallel circuit for the event.

It must have been quite a shock for Vettel, Coulthard and Button to jet in to the freezing, snowy Beijing from the scorching heat of Abu Dhabi. Jenson certainly seemed a bit disorientated when he was interviewed - very tired after a long flight.

It will be interesting to see how the individual event tomorrow pans out.


BellgroveBelle said...

My brother and my dad went to it before when it was in the Stade de France, it looked amazing! They had pit passes, got autographs and the chance to mingle.

Keith Legg said...

It's been at Wembley the past couple of years, and I think DC has competed in almost every event. Something tells me tradition means that the F1 and WRC champions always compete, as I remember Colin McRae also competed a couple of times.

I haven't seen the races though, so I presume they're much slower than normal F1 otherwise how could Schumacher compete?

Caron said...

Belle, that must have been an amazing experience for them. The atmosphere at this event seems very relaxed and informal.

Keith, apparently his neck is ok now but, yes, they are a lot slower. A weird assortment of vehicles too, from buggies to open wheel to rally cars. Schumi just made mincemeat of DC, who, to my mind, is the only guy allowed to beat him. DC did really well, though.


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