Budding racing driver: blog 2

Ash Miller is a budding racing driver hoping to make a mark in the UK. evo tracks his progress

Ever since I jumped the pit lane fence on the Thursday of the 2005 Australian GP, I’d always thought that topping that chance to get a genuine first look at the new cars wouldn’t happen. Standing in the pit lane, as Toyota’s talented gunmen practiced rattling wheels onto what would be one of their most successful cars was a memory I cherished evermore. Add that I was the first person outside of the Ferrari team that year to touch Michael Schumacher’s steering wheel - I could have died happy then.

If I’d been told about what would happen come the first week of February 2013, however, I would have been kicking myself at the pearly gates.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

I was buzzing enough to be blessed with a chance to hang out with my dad and sister as they visited from Australia for two weeks. With my own plans rolling along nicely on my side of the racing scene, dad and I decided a few days away to enjoy the sights of Spain sounded like just the way to do something different, and so a ticket to Jerez was booked. The same Jerez that, with a stroke of luck, meant that a visit would coincide with the annual pre-season Formula One testing.

No matter how much racing you do, or how far you travel along the road of motorsport, F1 cars are always impressive. Everything from their slippery and effective aero to the monumental stopping power, is always mind blowing when seen in the flesh. What’s more, the slick and meticulous world of the teams when viewed from the outside is surprising when you set foot behind the mysterious roller doors and security blinds.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Watching the Marussia boys do their thing from within their slice of the Jerez pitlane was an honour and a privilege - and as eye opening as it comes, with the team swarming around Tom Chilton’s chariot in a way that was... well, normal.

It felt like every other race team that I’d been around, save for the reams of data, monitors, and the distinct lack of anything dirty. The camaraderie, the banter, and the organisation aren’t too far removed from any of the teams I’ve driven for. Even Chilton was accessible, and blatantly human, as he chilled out at the back of the garage.

The whole experience went far too quickly, but it rekindled that fire that reminds me every day of why I’m in motorsport, and gave me a fresh view with experienced eyes on a world that, for most, is only as close as the zoom through their televisions allows.

For my father as well, who for years was the spearhead of my own racing in Australia, it was an experience that felt as much at home as it did a dream.

With my father back home and sis still enjoying a whirlwind tour of Europe, it was soon back to the daily tasks of getting prepared for 2013’s racing. There’s still so much left to do, and the opening race is fast approaching.

With the sun of Spain still filling my mind, gleaming off the world’s fastest race cars, I go about my days with a familiar bounce in my step that used to spring me across to the TV whenever Formula One was showing. But now, my footprints were left in the F1 pits for real. Let’s see how long it takes to get there again - this time, as a driver.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Ash Miller's first blog is here



Renault Clio

All-electric Renault Zoe RS to replace Clio RS?

11 Oct 2019
Renault Clio hatchback

All-new 2019 Renault Clio revealed

29 Jan 2019

Most Popular

Toyota Yaris

Toyota GR Yaris revealed in full – return of the homologation special

One of most sought after hot hatchbacks of 2020 has finally been revealed: the Toyota GR Yaris
10 Jan 2020
Honda Civic Type-R

New 2020 Honda Civic Type R makes debut at Tokyo Auto Salon

Honda has released the first images of the revised Civic Type R that’s being shown for the first time in Tokyo
10 Jan 2020

BMW X3 M 2020 review – the right ingredients in a very wrong package

The first BMW X3 M previews the next BMW M3’s all-new powertrain, let's hope it doesn’t preview anything else
8 Jan 2020
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019