Thrill of Knockhill chicanes is hard to forget – Hayley Matthews

A fraught Father's Day outing to Knockhill ended happily
A fraught Father's Day outing to Knockhill ended happily
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Mr Hayley drives like a district nurse so racing tips seemed like a good idea – but there was a speed bump to negotiate first ...

A few years ago when I was working at STV, I did some filming up at Knockhill with Gordon Shedden, the British auto racing driver. I was in safe hands as Gordon, who had competed in the British Touring Car Championship for the Honda Yuasa Racing Team, had driven the course a few times shall we say, and is kind of a big deal. After all, this is the guy who won the 2012 BTCC champion, joining John Cleland and Jim Clark as the only Scottish drivers to win the overall championship title.

That feeling of whizzing round Knockhill with him has never left me. Although I’m not a speed fiend, the thrill of surfing the chicanes of the race circuit with such an experienced driver left me high as a kite and I’ve been desperate to go back ever since.

Last Sunday they had their Super Lap Scotland and Japanese Car Show, so I decided we’d head up for some Father’s Day fast car action. It could be fun for our seven-year old, and my dad, along with my partner, could ogle the cars, enjoy the fun and get spoiled in the hospitality suite.

All was going to plan until we had a family fall-out and I flipped. I was feeling stretched, busy, tired, exhausted and then some – but, hey, I don’t like to moan because, well, ‘first world problems’ and all that.

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However, our timing for the family meltdown on Sunday – after a lovely Father’s Day morning, I should add – wasn’t the best and we all could have done without it. After everyone calmed down and I’d had a cry and a walk, we left for Knockhill. After some prodding I realised that my seven-year old kicked off because he was really scared to go over the new Queensferry crossing and I reacted. I should have realised that he’d been asking me about it all week and was clearly a bit apprehensive about it. I was the same when I was a kid, so after some reassurance and an apology from me (mums can be in the wrong too), all was well and peace was restored.

Two hours behind schedule, we arrived at the Super Lap Scotland and Japanese Car Show and it was just what we all needed. The fathers enjoyed a lunch and fantastic view in hospitality whilst our seven-year old enjoyed eating the macarons whilst racing the cars on the grass. He won of course!

He had a great day looking round all the cars, eating cakes and even getting a go inside one of the winning cars. He also bought himself a nice yellow Lamborghini. It’s too small for me to fit in it and runs off batteries but he’s happy.

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It was a great day and just what everyone needed after a stressful morning. There were lots of goosebumps from watching the cars go fast, making lots of noise and speeding past the finish marker. My dad really enjoyed himself and was nice to see him appreciating all the cars.

I chatted to Stuart Gray, the events director, who told me how he was pleased that the weather was holding up and mentioned that he hopes it’s nice for the British Super Bikes event which happens next weekend, June 28-30.

He says he doesn’t ask for much, just dry weather for his main events at Knockhill.

We talked about getting my partner Kenny round the course sometime as he drives like a district nurse who’s killing time in between appointments.

Stuart had plenty of suggestions on ideas for Kenny and what he could do on the race circuit, but we’ll do that another day and get him driving like Stirling Moss!