As I was working on the research for this book I had the feeling that, when I was reading about the practice sessions, it felt like the past. But, when I was reading, thinking and remembering the qualification days, it was like it just happened or was happening. I could hear "Hee's on the bricks" again as well as all the other great lines we would hear over the P.A.
It could be that the P.A,, and, of course, Tom Carnegie, was the difference. You will remember that the P.A. was seldom used during practice sessions, especially through the week. So, maybe it is the way I remember the excitement of the Public Address system on those qualification days that make it feel so "alive" and just like yesterday.
These feelings caused me to make the decision to use past and present tense when writing this book - and that turned out to be difficult. While writing the tense was not my first priority, therefore I had to edit each day later. My publisher and friend, Sue Breeding, and I spent quite a bit of time changing words from past to present, or visa versa. I hope we found them all, but there are so many, a few may have slipped through.
So, when you are reading the practice days I intend for you to be in the past but when you read the qualification days I attempted to make it "now" without going too far with the great quotes. For example, "Annd, heee's on it!" only appears a few times. My goal was to try to make you feel you were there in that moment of time.
I look forward to the grammar police commenting on this. I'm sure it will drive them crazy. However, I hope you like it and find the memorable qualification days a little more exciting because they are in present tense.
Every qualification attempt during the 10-year period, 1954-1963, is documented in this book. The official time that the car was pushed from the starting line to start the qualification attempt is included.
There is an example of an official historical card on this site. These cards were assembled as they happened, by the Speedway Historian, Bob Laycock.
Click on the card image below and the official time appears on the bottom right.