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PLOWMAN: Bahrain Debrief

Martin Plowman files his final Sportscar365 column of the season…

Photo: DPPI/OAK Racing

Photo: DPPI/OAK Racing

Last Sunday’s overnight flight from Bahrain to London Heathrow was the first time in a very long time that I had NO trouble falling asleep.

Twenty-four hours before, I, along with my co-drivers Bertrand Baguette and Ricardo Gonzalez, had just clinched the FIA LMP2 World Endurance Championship.

I had been carrying a lot of pressure and anxiety leading up to the final race, so my immediate emotions after we won were of relief and disbelief that it actually happened.

The post-race celebration with the team in the garage is something I’ll remember forever. This championship meant so much to so many people on the OAK team.

After an emphatic speech by team owner Jacques Nicolet, the whole team roared into life singing the French national anthem. It sent chills down my back; it was such a cool moment.

That’s saying a lot coming from a British kid, as the British and French famously love to dislike each other!

Soon after, the beer, champagne and customary celebration tequila shot from our resident Mexican Ricardo flowed.

Within minutes our chief engineers were soaked after receiving a champagne shower! An entire year of work and stress was coming out of the mechanics. They all deserved this as much as anybody.

Winning an important race gives you an incredible high, but words fail me to describe what winning this championship means right now.

Racing is an incredibly cruel sport; it’s been quite a dark year for motorsport, we’ve all lost too many friends this year.

People sometimes ask me, why do I do what I do and the answer is simple. It’s for moments like Saturday night. Sean, Jason, and Allan all lived for moments like I had Saturday night.

Happiness in this business is often short lived, so right now I’m just trying to live in the moment for a few more days before the reality of unemployment hits again!

I was joking with my Dad that it’s a really strange feeling to be celebrating unemployment!

I still don’t know what’s in store for next year – if I will get hired or if I have run my last race. I never take what I do for granted.

It’s a privilege to call racing a “job. All I can do is stick my nose to the grindstone, work my rear end off, and hope that I get to have another chance to live through the emotions that I have been lucky enough to have this year.

Martin Plowman (@Plowey) is the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 class winner and 2012 ALMS P2 championship runner-up, driving for OAK Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Scott Beuse

    December 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Congratulations to Plowey! He has become my favorite driver for many reasons. He’s obviously immensely talented but as you can see from his report, extremely humble.
    He has a wonderful charity organization called Snowball Express which provides a fun weekend of racing excitement and one on one access for the families of our soldiers who unfortunately did not come back from battle. The fact that this British lad has taken it upon himself to honor the memory of our fallen soldiers and do his part for their families is highly commendable and I tip my hat to him.
    I was fortunate to attend the race at COTA last September and as a small donor to the charity received a garage tour and some valuable time with Martin the champion. He was incredibly friendly and willing to give as much time to a fan as his schedule would allow. It was a special moment for a racing junkie as I was able to spend time with his lovely family (both of his parents are extremely down to earth and very happy to talk about their experiences) and spend quite a bit of time in the garage celebrating their pole position. That was a moment I will never forget. And then to be invited to watch the race from the pit box with his folks, truly special.
    I am sure that Martin will find a great drive for next year. I hope it is with Oak again.
    A true champion who is so easy to root for, I wish him nothing but success in his future, it will be very bright!

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