Diagonal Diary: Hail stones, hidden shoes, and lots of interviews

Mon 15 April: It’s season launch day for Diagonal Comms client the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Donington Park, where hail stones are beating down one minute and sunshine the next. The drivers are here in their new race suits for a merry-go-round of photographs, videos, and media interviews, all carefully managed and captured by our team, including videographers and content creators. During an ‘In the Hot Seat’ video interview which we recorded with Alan Gow and release today, the BTCC’s CEO speaks about what’s new for 2024 and his excitement for the year ahead. At launch day, it is clear that the drivers have the 

same sense of eager anticipation, and many are talking up their chances of having a strong season. It makes for a great atmosphere. Drivers warmly greet, laugh with, and play jokes on each other (Ash Sutton is champion shoe-hider as well as racing driver, it turns out!) and the media room is buzzing! It is a day which sums up the championship – accessible, unpredictable, fast, fun, and fiercely competitive!

Tue 16 April: The BTCC’s drivers are back in their cars at Donington Park for the third and final pre-season test day. The NAPA Racing UK team claims a one-two on the timesheets as reigning champion Ash Sutton edges out team-mate Dan Cammish. A big crowd is in attendance and, alongside the six hours of testing, fans flock to the lunchtime pitlane walkabout to get autographs and photos of the BTCC’s cars and stars. Attention now turns to the opening race weekend of the 2024 campaign – which is also at Donington – on the 27-28 April.

Further south, Diagonal client Pat Heuzenroeder is also in the car today. The 18-year-old Australian racing driver completes 53 laps of Brands Hatch during a GB3 Championship test day.

Diagonal MD Matt Bishop’s latest column for MotorSport is published. This one’s subject is Sir Frank Williams on what would have been the legendary Formula 1 team boss’s 82nd birthday.

Wed 17 April: Pat Heuzenroeder and his compatriot and mentor, David Brabham – the former Formula 1 driver and multiple 24 Hours of Le Mans winner – are in Diagonal’s City of London offices for a media and filming day. A morning briefing is followed by a virtual press conference and a series of face-to-face interviews with leading motorsport and Australian media outlets. The afternoon begins with a photoshoot and ends with several video interviews. Keep your eyes peeled…

Thu 18 April: Breakfast is enjoyed while listening to a brand-new episode of ‘And Colossally That’s History’, the podcast co-hosted by Diagonal MD, Matt Bishop. This week, Matt and Richard Williams analyse how the Nazis weaponised Grand Prix racing in the late 1930s.

There’s an afternoon meeting with our client EventR – the app designed by former Formula 1 team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, to simplify team travel – to finalise plans for an upcoming media event we are hosting. More on that next week…

Fri 19 April: A busy end to the week as we write interview briefings and produce a media monitoring report for our client Prodrive. We are also finalising this season’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) media kit, which includes entry list, race calendar, driver bios, circuit information, history, photography, facts, figures, and lots more!

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