2020 was a strange year for everyone. The outbreak of the Coronavirus around March time shook the world and forced us to co-operate and go about our lives in ways that we thought unthinkable before.
Shedding a positive light on the changes we've had to face - it's shown that we are much more flexible and capable than we imagined when it came to working environments and circumstances. Video calls galore and working from home may not be the smoothest way for some businesses to operate, but considering the way of the world, I'd say a lot of companies need a pat on the back for the way they've handled it.
Before I write this next bit, I want to clarify that I understand a lot of people have had a very hard time coping with lockdowns and restrictions - my heart truly goes out to them and I sincerely hope that things get better and we can go back to normal soon.
Despite what's gone on this year, it's actually been the best year I've had in a long time and definitely my most successful. A lot of people have assumed that it's bad for everyone, when in fact, compressed racing seasons and COVID restrictions have given me opportunities I don't think I'd have gotten this early in my commentary career, had it been a "normal" year without a global pandemic.
Before everything went mammaries up, I attended Autosport International with my brother in the hope of meeting new people and getting my feet in a few doors. It didn't turn out quite the way I'd hoped but I did get the chance to chat with Rinaldi Racing driver David Perel about upcoming projects and became Brand Ambassador of LuxSim24. I have since parted ways with the latter but thank them for their time and support.
Not long after, I was contacted by Roger Donnan after being pointed my way by my good friend Mark Fletcher - Roger is the Series Secretary for the Creative Funding Solutions Sports 2000 Championships - a mega series of brilliant prototype race cars from recent years to the 80s! I was signed as their Series Commentator for 2020 - my first real-world series! I was over the moon!
Then lockdown hit and the rise of sim racing came into action. Chazlington Ltd. became Chaz Draycott Media and I managed to get myself involved in a couple of great events - the VMO SRTCUK event was particular highlight, racing alongside the likes of Colin Turkington, Paul O'Neill, Abbie Eaton, James Gornall, Will Tregurtha, Tom Brooks, Mike Epps - this list goes on...
This however meant that for a while, any real-world commentary looked to be impossible. Oh how wrong was I?
July was upon us, and Motorsport UK had deemed that we could get race meetings under way again, albeit with strict scrutiny over social distancing, sanitising and wearing of masks. I joined Chris Dawes in the commentary at Snetterton for my first real-world gig and absolutely loved it - meeting all the drivers, getting to know the cars - it's a feeling that some people can definitely relate to, but it's hard to put into words.
In the meantime, the British Boring Car Championship had come to fruition and I'd had the pleasure of eMeeting David Addison - the voice of the BTCC on ITV4, GT World Challenge, Goodwood Festival of Speed and many other high-profile events. I'd been a fan of his for years and I managed to persuade him to commentate on a few meetings in Boring Cars. Off the back of that, he got me a day's commentary at Thruxton for BRSCC in August and eventually put me in his shoes for the world feed of the Nurburgring 24 Hours - the real one! I don't think I could ever show how grateful I am for that.
Over the course of the year I've covered a plethora of different events and series in the real world and sim racing world, which I feel very honoured to have been a part of;
Real World Commentary
- 2020 ADAC Total 24 Hours of the Nurburgring
- 2020 Creative Funding Solutions Sports 2000 Championships
- 2020 TCR UK / Dunlop Touring Car Trophy
- 2020 Motorsport UK Kartmasters Grand Prix
- 2020 ADAC Formula 4 Germany
- 2020 Milltek Civic Cup
- 2020 Nankang Tyre BMW Compact Cup
- 2020 Fun Cup UK
- 2020 Caterham Academy Championship
Sim Racing Commentary
- 2020 Daikin ESS GT Cup (Gran Turismo Sport)
- 2020 iRacing 24 Hours of Le Mans
- 2020 Virtual Belcar eSeries 24 Hours of Zolder
- Z1 Dashboard Simracersworld® TCR Winter Series
- Simracersworld® Formula 3 Series
- Dynamixx Simracersworld® GT Series
- Porsche Club GB Sim Racing Championship
- Virtual Belcar eSeries
- World GT Championship Season 8
- The Sim Grid 24 Hours of Spa 2020
- The Sim Grid Sprint Cup
- The Sim Grid Endurance Cup
- The Sim Grid World Cup
- The Sim Grid More Female Racers Series
I want to thank everyone I've worked for this year for giving me the opportunities and continuing to support my passion for what I do and Zansho Simsport for having me in their team since August. I really feel at home amongst them and think we can go places together.
Have a Happy New Year everyone! I know it's not been great for everyone, but let's focus on the positives and go into 2021 with the right mindset to beat this virus and get our world back to normal.
Thanks for the continued support - I'll see you on the other side.