Here we go, another Guest Writer spot on the blog. Not so long ago Ian Harper shared his diary of a trip to Rhodes. This time round he is back in the saddle of the little Renault Midlum heading off to a posh date with the Lotus F1 Team in Monaco. Nice work if you can get it! As it goes if you do fancy it, get yourself on Ian Harper’s books at Manchester PDS. Ian’s company specialise in supplying drivers to these teams and the concert trucking companies. Over to Ian;
On a rather warm sunny May 19th 2011 the phone rings;
“Fancy a trip to the South of France mate?”
“OK what when where?”
“Can you load some promo gear for the Lotus Renault F1 team and get it to Monaco for Monday morning?”
20th May the little Renault fires up and down to Heathrow to pick up some promo gear including clothing, caps, etc etc and a full size replica of the Grand Prix car (which I did not know what it was as it was in a big wooden box).
Loaded, strapped up, stop bars in and away we go as there was no big rush across on the train and then Belgium, Luxembourg, fuel up and into France. It was a gorgeous day, roads were lovely and quiet so the French motorways were replaced by some more scenic routes. A bit of shopping on the way and eventually pulled into Macon Truck Stop , I know this is not the greatest of places to stop but it was somewhere to park grab my bike out the back and ride into town and meet up with and old mate that lives there.
Parked up I sorted everything out made a call and couple of hours later, sat alongside the river having my tea and a few beers with my owd pal Dave. As I had half expected those few beers ended up as a lot of beers and on coming round on Sunday morning with the sun shining through on my face, dry gob and a mahoosive headache. I knew Sunday afternoon was going to be one of sleeping. Back at the Truck Stop there were a few usual Brits there, S&K from Wales, Stobarts (running to Monaco with the catering) and next to me a little DAF 7.5 ton of Kentvale Transport. His cab is the same as our Renault but has the Hatcher cab conversion on it and it makes the cab 3 times bigger, we had a natter brew and I was fading so to bed I went.
3am that morning up and away. The Stobart lads were just pulling out at the same time. I was away, the little truck plodding away on the quiet roads, sun coming up it was a rather pleasant morning. Breaks taken and on to the coast, the roads were busier but flowing but the amount of tolls along the way start to get on your nerves. My Instructions were to pull off and head towards Monaco and pull into the holding area aptly called the “Dust Bowl” which with all the trucks it definitely was!
I tucked myself into a corner in the shade and made a call I had 2 drops one at a hotel and one the day after in the paddock. I was on the phone as one of the Lotus trucks pulls in and the man on the phone asked if I would bring him down, as he needed a lift and he knew I was going to the hotel anyway.
All the promo gear was taken off and I was kindly given a press pack with a few goodies in it. Back to the dust bowl for me tonight with some of the other drivers. I tried taking some pics but they are not to happy if your snapping away so didn’t get to many.