- BRSCC Caterham Weekend at Donington Park (August 17th & 18th)

A commentator's viewpoint

As Rocky Balboa once said: “It ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” In layman's terms, what looks to be perfect, is far from it underneath the surface.

Research, is a key requirement of this job, when it comes to various subject matters, including previous results, circuits that we visit, competitors that we know, along with helping to promote relevant events that you're involved with.

Logistics can be a proverbial nightmare, but it is about finding the easiest solution of whether you're travelling by rail, sea or air to the country you're in.

Such things include early morning meet-ups before going through the Euro Tunnel, jumping on an early flight and then picking up a hire car to drive to the circuit.

Being an official series or championship commentator has that very esteemed privilege of both honour and prestige, as it is very much a feeling of achievement to get to that point where people respect your work as a professional, but like you from a personal perspective.

But with this comes the very real responsibility of helping to promote the race weekends on a regular basis through social media and sometimes bespoke content, when it comes to add that little bit of extra awareness for those that may be interested in watching or actually entering.

Is it a case that I'm non-stop? Pretty much, with every weekend providing its own set of varied challenges. Any curveball can through anyone off course, and that even includes us commentators at times.

This means that so many different factors have to be catered for, such as clothing, equipment, travel documentation and so much more.

There are certain ways in which I work, as every commentator has their own respective ways of preparation towards a weekend, but I won't give any of my tricks away here!

But there are just a handful of key areas, four in fact, that any commentator needs, as part of their base foundation, to help deliver the best performance that they can.

1) Hydration - your voice is your "raison d'être," your calling card. The audience hangs on to your every word, whether it is a livestream, edited highlights or a voice-over.

Every commentator has their own style. Most days, I'm drinking between 2-3 litres of fluid, but at a weekend, it can be double that.

2) Notebooks, pens and paper - technology doesn't always want to co-operate for instance, such as if a tablet or laptop decides to throw a hissy fit halfway through a race or a broadcast, you'll still have what you'll need.

Having notes on a pad, printed timetables, regulations and entry lists do also assist, but it pays to be organised on this, as no one likes a messy desk.

3) Pre-weekend research - Use as much research material as you can, so for example, if you've never been to a track before, have a look on the circuit website and use YouTube videos to get reference points for overtaking spots and the lie of the asphalt itself.

4) Pack accordingly, whatever the weather - so many of us really do depend on these weather apps, which have actually caught me out at times. So even though it may be hot and sunny where I'm going, you never know what might happen.

There are some wonderful places we go to, but there are times when I wish I had that additional day to spend some small amount of time to look around and soak in the local culture.

But the travel is simply what it is - going from point A to point B and back again. It's a necessity and it's not always plain sailing...... delays being one of the main bugbears.

But the people you meet, such as the team that you end up working with, along with those in the respective paddocks, is one of the best things about my work as a commentator. It puts a smile on my face when it's been weeks or even months since I saw them.....

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