At the beginning of December, a DriveTribe mail announced "It's competition time and drinking with the three of them is the prize. Sorry about that. Win a few drinks with Clarkson, Hammond and May. Order them a Pina Colada. See what happens." The idea behind this was "pimp your Tribe out to the world."
Almost a month later, I found a mail in my inbox saying "Get ready to sip some cocktails." This email looked kind of suspicious and my first thought is that it was junk mail. Because me winning? Could that really be? As it turned out: yes it could!
In July 2012 I was lucky to be "The Chosen One" for BMW and become their fan reporter for the DTM race weekend at Norising (Nuremberg, Germany). [I am not lying: www.press.bmwgroup.com/global/article/detail/T0128103EN/bmw-allows-%E2%80%9Cthe-chosen-one%E2%80%9D-a-glimpse-behind-the-scenes:-in-depth-facebook-reporting-from-the-norisring?language=en]
And now I could tick another spectacular box of my bucket list. 49 other Tribe Leaders and me were asked to keep everything secret. And after the event happened on the 8th of February 2017, I can finally reveal how it felt!
The location was crowded and it felt really cuddly. It soon turned out that "49 other Tribe Leaders and me" changed to a lot exceptions and +1s. And I have to honestly admit that this has indeed left a bitter aftertaste... But that is another topic and should be discussed some other time.
Anyway, We were welcomed by DriveTribe Community Managers Liam and Sofia, along with DriveTribe CEO Ernesto Schmitt. The free drink option helped you to look over any claustrophobic thoughts. I quickly managed to make some contact and would like to give a shout out to my partner in crime Louise at this point! After some talking time, we were able to catch some seats in the first row, so as to listen to the Q&A session with Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson.
After the first questions were posed, I was crazy enough to also ask a question and bring the German ADAC Formula 4 series into play. To keep a long story short – there is still some work to be done! Or as James May nicely stated: "There are four Formulas in Germany? It is impossible to have more than three Formulas isn't it?" Yes there are and ADAC Formula 4 is a truly great series, even if it is not the only national Formula 4 one.
Junior categories, as well as their drivers, still have a hard job in being recognised. I hope the ADAC Formula 4 Tribe will be a small change. Even for now, with only 65 members, it feels more like the illustrious drop in the well. But I am not giving up yet!
Coming back to the event, the most touching moment of the whole Q&A session was when a question about Top Gear came up. You could hear and see three broken hearts on the stage. Those usually funny three "twelve year old boys" suddenly looked liked someone stole their ice cream. They were struggling to keep themselves together. There were no dry eyes left. And Clarkson brought it to the point: "Top Gear was all our baby."
Even with the new show, I think they can still consider themselves lucky, as they are not only living their passion but they also make their career from it. Even if Hammond stated "We don't have any other skills" and Clarkson added: "We were all born to do what we are doing. As a director of ours said the other day when he was asked what his job was, he said ‘I organise holidays for three 12-year-old men.’ I think this is what we are, but it's the truth we have no real skills at all."
Which proves how far passion can get you. I experienced the same being a press speaker of a racing driver for the last two years! It's living the dream! And I also hope that I can get back there. But for now, we can at least share our passion through DriveTribe.
By the way, there was a Facebook livestream of the evening. But in case you missed it, and want to check it out again, go to youtu.be/CQCo0psaQgk.
Oh and here's a good piece of advice: If London is f*cking cold, don't do any sightseeing! Even if it is your first time to the UK, like it was for me. Running outside in the freezing cold of London will leave you with a flu that knocks you out!
Recommendations for other Tribes to follow:
Carspotter Central: drivetribe.com/t/NE1O5LE7S9GxebcMD4_Y3w?iid=X20t_JvMSaGs_2gAHG1fnw
Living the Dream: drivetribe.com/t/KZSAZII1QuKpdUIYisIjlw?iid=ITEnbVUQS96ID2G36XjpHw
Maximum Attack!: drivetribe.com/t/S7cJSEryRbCc2Tma0Is-kg?iid=UCD83rn2SqO3X2iYN-cGdg
Ze Bloody Germans: drivetribe.com/t/MY3TsxHzQDOvvW9d2SG4zg?iid=aZIkUVXgQBG7w3Q3QORLCw