Take a showroom full of petrolheads who spend their days talking, driving and selling supercars and put them on a racetrack and things are going to get competitive. This Summer as a staff outing, Team Alexanders were taken up North to Stockton-on-Tees for an evening of indoor go-karting. The stage was set, a dual-level tight twisting circuit with up and down ramps between floors, a flat-out upper level to test your bravery and a worryingly slippery lower level with tight low speed corners and less grip than an icy car park. It didn’t matter if you were a salesman, business manager, aftersales manager, detailer, marketeer or even a managing director, once changed into your overalls and the helmet was on it was anyone’s guess as to who was going to come out on top.
Many had touted Andrew, our MD as the one to watch, but with a mix of ages and driving talent, and even one without a driving license, the stakes were high and racing was fiercely competitive as to who would be crowned Alexanders’ Best Driver of 2019. The pre-race briefing had been given, the rules and regulations laid out and the eagerness and competitiveness beginning to take shape as Team Alexanders headed out (or in) to the circuit.
Early ‘qualifying’ laps gave us a feel for the course, or lack of it on the slippery lower level, and at the mid point it was anyone’s race to be had. Fastest laps would determine the order for the secondary race and despite the sweltering heat both inside and out, the qualifying times began to split the Lewis Hamilton’s from the karting novices. A feisty few laps with wheel-to-wheel action, the odd scrape and some enthusiastic spins from those pushing that bit too hard and the starting order began to take shape.
After a brief drinks break to take on much needed fluids and stop for breath, as well as the chance to compare lap times and complain about the lack of grip in places, the main race was about to begin. Qualifying laps made up the starting grid and soon Alexanders very own Grand Prix was underway.
10 laps of intense racing later and the chequered flag arrived too soon for many, a relief for others who had just managed to avoid being lapped by those at the front. Frantic racing and a spread out field meant that a nervous wait ensued for the laps times and podium places to be read out by the organisers, all the while racing excuses were being passed around for gratification.
Places read out in reverse order meant that disappointment came early for some, for others confirmation of a performance that they already had accepted by this point, whilst others held on in the hope that they missed the few places they gained under intense concentration. The results came in; Dan topping the ever competitive group of Salesmen with a respectable third place, early favourite MD Andrew being pipped at the post into second place leaving Aftersales Advisor Dan to take the top spot on the podium and the gold helmet trophy for an impressive performance. A trophy which took pride of place on the aftersales desk for the following week as a reminder of his sterling performance on track.