British GP: The Greatest Drivers In The World
or; "Move along lady, there'll be no excitement here. This is a golf match!"
Article is written by and copyright (c) 1999 Jeff Rose,
humour by Inky Black
Looking down towards Britain from outer space, you will see all the grand prix teams clustered around a place called Silverstone. If you look around a bit you'll also find a busy golf course. This is home to the British Open. Next to the golf course is a clubhouse, inside of which is a little pub. If you listen carefully, you can hear the television commentary from the pub...
"We're here with four of the greatest drivers in the world," spoke the announcer from the television set, "Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Colin Montgomery and... Liz Hurley, what are you doing here?"
"Someone mentioned a foursome and it sounded exciting!" chimed the actress.
"Well you can move along lady, there'll be no excitement here. This is a golf match!"
Elizabeth Hurley wasn't the only one who made a mistake. So did the brewery in Hopbottom. We're talking the brewery that sponsors the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew. Hopbottom is an old Indian name which means pretty much the same thing in English. It also describes the beer pretty well.
People working in a brewery can be "out of touch." And people in Hopbottom can be way out of touch. Instead of British Open-Wheel Racing at Silverstone, travel arrangements were made for the British Open. But still, the brewery wanted results. They expected the pit crew to race neck-and-neck with the greatest drivers in the world.
The BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew were busy watching the golfers on the pub television. The golfers were a smiling picture of dignity and confidence. Resplendent in their national colors, the golfers said they "looked forward to a dramatic and well-fought match."
Yet these same golfers were also in the pub. Faldo at the bar trying to chat up his caddie. Montgomery, the old sourpuss, sitting half-bagged in the corner. Woosnam had the waitress in a headlock, encouraging her to get him another drink.
The attention of the pit crew shifted back to the television as the voice of the announcer became hushed. " ...a most dangerous position, perched precariously in the hazard. Fate has dealt a deathly hand."
On the big-screen was a close-up of a golf ball setting in some grass that appeared to need clipping. The camera was in close, and you could count the blades of grass on either side of the ball. And this is what the announcer spent the next few minutes doing.
The girls ordered drinks, reserved twenty-two golf carts, and sized up the task in front of them. The good news was the two guys named Faldo and Montgomery. With Nick Faldo, a few more drinks, a quick bleach-job, a pair of sunglasses, and voila... He'll look just like Mika Hakkinen!
His plump buddy, the sour-faced Colin Montgomery, would be even easier. A little mousse to make his hair stand on end and he can pass for Michael Schumacher.
And Ian Woosnam? He's short enough to pass for almost any race driver. This may work yet.
"Let's get some drinks into these golfers, and get these golfers into some golf carts. Then we'll get the camera out and get this over with." ordered BayWatch driver Cha Cha Chitwood.
Ian Woosnam wobbled a bit and stumbled out the door, as four veteran Grand Prix drivers walked in.
"That man's woozy!" said Johnny Herbert as he headed straight for the loo.
"You're right, that was Ian, wasn't it," replied David Coulthard, "and his date looked like the waitress."
"Hey guys, what are you doing here?"
"If I'm going to retire, I thought I'd stop by and get a feel for the game." said Damon Hill.
"I stopped by for a feel, too!" said Fast Eddie Irvine.
That was the cue for Jackie Stewart to arrive, water bucket in hand. He made a great show of aiming towards the wildly-smashed Montgomery sitting there bug-eyed in the corner. But he hooked badly, and hit the whole BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew squarely in the tee-shirts.
The television announcer continued... "... and yes, the wind will have great effect on this shot."
"Blimey, what a day!" sighed Cha Cha Chitwood.
And "Blimey, what a day!" sighed Murray Walker as he stepped in and drew himself a pint at the bar. "Best balls I hit were when I stepped on a rake in the sand trap."
" ...there it is, he's done it! A delicate shot, and he's down in two..." chirped the television guy.
"And Martin..." continued Murray, "...he fell off the ball-washer!"
"Remember folks, these men are professionals, don't try this at home." cautioned the announcer.
Cha Cha Chitwood passed out keys to the golf carts and the stage was set. Monty got through the pre-race interview with honors, "It's me bug-eyes that help me find the exact braking zone..." During his turn, Faldo merely belched. Murray covered elegantly, explaining that it was a message in Swedish to Mika's fans back home in Oslo.
Eddie Jordan showed up and showed off his cart. It was painted Buzzing Hornets yellow, featured a complete aerodynamic package, and a holder for Jackie's water bucket.
Everyone readied for the LeMans start, the beer company would be suspicious if racing in Europe didn't include a LeMans start. The race began after a few red-flag starts due to Ian being "stalled on the grid," or "Schumacher" crashing before he got to the golf cart. They almost started the race under the pace cart.
Now they were racing. Faldo was doing well and "Bug-eyes" was hanging tough. Well, hanging anyway. He looked more like a side-car racer, except instead of leaning into the corner, he was falling out the other side of the cart. About the time he gathered himself back in he'd hit the next corner, and oops...
Damon was motoring easily up front, but he would not win. Having neglected to remove his golf clubs he would have to be edited from the film.
Cha Cha stayed back with Faldo to make it look like a challenge. They went neck and neck as they dropped down the hill towards the finish of the race, and probably her career.
It was old "Bug-Eyes" who saved the day. Going off-course on the final hill, Monty's cart lurched over a bunker and launched onto the roof of the caddie shack. Monty veered down the length of the roof and pitched off to the finish line.
But through the lens of the video camera, the drunken foray appeared to be a spectacular stunt... It looked like a ramp-to-ramp jump that cleared the dozen golf carts parked in front of the shack. And Monty's wild flailing in the drivers seat looked like courage winning a thriller against all the airborne odds.
"Bugeye" Knievel's Wembley, make that wobbly jump, saved the film. Billed as F1 racers having fun, the stunt was the highlight of the success. Although it helps any film that brewery workers are a little out of touch. A little out touch, like golfers.
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