October 1, 2010

As exclusively revealed in near-real-time in a stop-press addendum to last week’s Bankstone News, Team Bankstone caused a sensation at the prestigious Insurance Endurance event last week with their triumphant performance in the challenging Pitstop Challenge event

After years of trying (six to be precise), the Bankstone boys finally pulled off this most coveted of motorsporting achievements by switching all four wheels on a decommissioned Jordan F1 car in less than 22 seconds, crucial milliseconds faster than any other team competing in last Friday’s event, and just 19 seconds slower than a real F1 crew!

After three brief moments in the F1 spotlight back in 2000 with Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen, the vehicle in question had seen itself reduced to a lifetime as the trackside plaything of assorted corporate lummoxes. What pleasure could their ham-fisted fumblings possibly bring? Imagine then the thrill that coursed through its grateful chassis as those expert Bankstone hands brought the pitstop proceedings swiftly but surely to a highly satisfactory conclusion.

Who were those expert exponents of the trackside arts? Why none other than Dickon “Ross Brawn” Tysoe, Andy “White Shoes” Jones, Simon “Black Flag” Toop, Peter “Pitstop” Cook, Clarke “HIAB required” Bailey, Tim “Front Jack” Kemp, Matt “Rolling Start” Collett, and Doug “Big Helmet” Phelan. What a weird coincidence that they all have nicknames!

Apparently the day also featured some kind of ancillary competition that involved driving round and round in go-karts for hours on end. In this sideshow event, Team Bankstone stunned all present with the consistency of their mediocrity, qualifying and finishing the race in almost the same mid-table position.

All pit stops, fuel stops and driver changes went without a hitch. All apart from the memorable occasion on which Pitstop Pete somehow contrived to enter the pits backwards in a vehicle which (like Tony “War Criminal” Blair) has no reverse gear.

Simon Toop managed to pick up not one, but two black flags for inadvertently racing under the yellows, but cunningly escaped censure by sneaking into the pits before being flagged in. A judicious change of driver thus enabled the new occupant of the Bankstone kart to declare righteously “Not me Guv!” when challenged by the men in Day Glo.

With the Pitstop Challenge trophy now squatting malevolently – like some dark idol of the Indies – amongst assorted golfing souvenirs back at HQ in the crowded (if very small) Bankstone trophy cabinet, a little etching should suffice to remind the world for years to come how Brighouse’s finest (with a little help from their friends) set new standards in the taking off and putting on again of motor vehicle wheels.


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