Debutant. Chapter 4. Cold shower. Part 2

Debutant.  Chapter 4. Cold shower.  Part 2

This novel is fictional; there is no need to look for intersections with historical events. This is a continuation of “Debutant” by Nikita Savelyev, the first readers of which were readers of F1News.ru…

Chapter 4. Cold shower. Part two

On a small improvised terrace, all tables were occupied. Henry looked around: several grimy and roaring groups—mechanics, of course; agile gentlemen in hats are undoubtedly journalists; a group of rumpled, unrepresentative people – employees. In the end, Henry chose a young man dressed in a racing suit who was sitting alone at the table. It probably won’t go without a fight. In addition, there is a thick magazine rolled up in a tube in his pocket – since he likes to read even on race days, he is probably a cultured and polite person.

My instinct was right – the neighbor turned out to be very friendly, he easily pushed aside his tray and looked at Henry’s simple dishes:

– Try the local sausages and cabbage – simply excellent.

– Thanks, I haven’t been able to eat sausages lately.

– Michael Stanton.

– Henry.

English is without a doubt his mother tongue, only there is something subtly strange in the accent, one hundred percent not Albionian.

-Are you a pilot, Michael?

Surprise flashed in the neighbor’s eyes. Sorry, I have no idea who you are. If it turns out to be an illustrious champion, he wouldn’t propose shaking the rods.

– And the pilot, and the designer, and the owner of the team. “All in one,” Michael laughed. – New here, Henry?

After listening to the memorized and already polished legend, Stanton nodded happily:

“We have a lot of Yankees now.” It just so happens that you come to us and vice versa. We try to beat each other on a foreign field. I also race in your ‘body’ sometimes, but sorry, I don’t remember you.

Henry forgave gracefully. It would be surprising if I remembered.

“I’m actually from Australia,” Stanton said. – I got an engineering degree, made cars myself and took part in the local championship, but I got bored and rushed to Europe in 1956. I have changed several stables, everything has happened over the years, it is a shame that the title never came into my hands. And a few years ago I decided, as much as possible, to put together my own team,” smiled Michael.

– Is it really boring in Australia? – Henry complained. – All kangaroos and rabbits.

“Everything is upside down and the boomerang keeps trying to come back,” Michael replied in the same tone.

Henry took a closer look at his interlocutor and paid attention to his strange facial expressions – the left half of his face hardly moved and one corner of his mouth was always turned down.

-Where did you live? – Michael asked.

– Nowhere yet, I live in a trailer and save money.

“I started that way myself,” Michael nodded happily. “First in a truck, then we rented a room for pennies that we shared with a partner, and then a small apartment. It’s even more fun together. Lack of money is the scourge of aspiring racers. And not alone.

Henry smiled dutifully in response. What would you ask to keep the conversation going?

– Are Australians such fans of reading? – he pointed to the magazine.

– Oh, this? – Michael replied a little embarrassed. “The guys put it in, there’s an article about me.” It turns out that I am the most successful pilot of those who created my own team.

“Great,” Henry took a closer look at the magazine. – Is this all about racing? So fat.

– And in the United States there are only comics? – Michael chuckled. – This is an English magazine, published since 1950, at the same time as the beginning of our competitions. By the way, a useful thing. It’s not just for fans, but there are plenty of serious articles about technology, and sometimes I like to read something. I also want to design not only ‘open’ cars, but also sports prototypes. And on the last pages there are advertisements for jobs in the motorsport world – many are looking for mechanics or engineers, but for me there is nothing better than a personal recommendation.

“You’re a serious guy,” Henry drawled.

It seems that his interlocutor realized that his lecture on printing did not make much of an impression on the American, and changed the subject:

– How’s the training going, Henry?

“In the tail,” he shrugged. – Georges says there is not enough speed.

“Georges is without a doubt an accomplished racer,” Stanton drawled with faint intonation. – Are your seconds enough? Twenty-one pilots showed up for the race; most likely eighteen pilots will be allowed to start; the three with the worst times are eliminated.

“We’ll work,” Henry sighed purposefully.

They won’t allow it – and it doesn’t matter, let Baker and Georges grieve. Soon we will go to the base in England, and there we will say goodbye. Converted to British money, Henry has a thousand pounds in his pocket, just to figure out how to put it to good use. If you go on the road for a few months, you will be without pants. I would like to invest in a valuable company. Maybe he will stay in the Netherlands? At first glance it is a pleasant country: everywhere there are endless meadows, fragrant tulips and funny windmills, beautiful landscapes, and that also applies to the girls you meet. Even though they communicate in such a difficult language, you get tired of learning.

“The first year I competed, I often didn’t make it to the starting line – it was very disappointing,” Stanton said. “And it is even more unfortunate that you are left without prize money; Those who don’t start don’t get a cent.”

Henry perked up his ears: How come they’re not getting paid? At this rate the new mechanic will be hired here. I’ve managed to have some losers.

“What if you at least have an advantage over other private traders,” Michael comforted smugly.

– Do you think there is a chance? – Henry cringed. – You understand, for me this is the first race in Europe. How do we look at the general background?

It seems that the guy is not averse to chatting, why not get more useful information from him? Everything will come in handy.

– In the 1950s, a number of major car companies – German and Italian – took part in the races. Each team fielded an entire armada, five or six vehicles per stage. But all this is a thing of the past. Only Monetti remained; for the rest, it is not financially profitable to perform, there are many costs and little profit. And Monetti is generally not a concern, but a small company that produces racing and top sports cars. But at least they make the engine themselves; other teams simply buy a ready-made one from engine companies. Several other British companies are building their own cars for various racing series under Crocus’ leadership. Recently these were small companies with a dozen employees, located in small garages and workshops. The old Mario looked down on them, but now that they have developed rapidly, they must be taken into account. It is these stables – there are five in total – that compete at the front. Behind that, teams like mine are very small; We also build the chassis ourselves, but in separate copies. Then there are “private traders”, such as your baker, who simply buy old cars, and then there are some pilots, who register independently for the start using the purchased equipment. In recent years there have been fewer and fewer ‘private traders’ – the cost of participation is steadily rising.

– I assume we are also at the bottom of the list in terms of speed? – Henry smiled wryly.

“More recently, around the turn of the century, such stables achieved serious success and almost won titles, but now everything is changing,” says Michael. – Technology is constantly advancing, you can’t just buy a good chassis, put a powerful engine on it and win straight away; the design must be constantly updated. And this requires human resources and production capacity… Are you looking at my face that closely? Birth trauma, the midwife unsuccessfully grabbed it with tweezers and since childhood, half of the face has been paralyzed. They thought I would remain a fool, but somehow I got through it.

“I see you’re just a unique guy.”

– Yes that’s me. Big problem. Everyone here has a great personality. You don’t know everyone yet. For example, Sam Murphy is an incredibly careful racer – he never has any accidents or collisions, Peter Bridge is the most energetic of anyone I know, he races on both sides of the Atlantic, only sleeps on planes, and also…

– Listen, will you let me read a magazine? I must join your world too.

== To be continued…

Source: F1 News

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