We’re entering into the second half of our story now, and things are hotting up. Old rivalries come to the fore, and new relationships are tested. There, that ought to look good on the back of the book. Here are the results of the vote:
That Mitch, he does like handling things himself.
“Don’t make any calls, Mason. You sound like you’re in the mafia.”
“You never know,” Mason chuckled.
Mitch shook his head. “Don’t you have some sun to go and soak up? I’ll see you in Bahrain.” He tucked his phone back in his pocket, shouldered his bag, and headed out into the paddock. He said goodbyes to the engineers – those staying late to finish packing up. Some he would see at the first race, most would be returning to the factory.
“Hey,” a voice beside him said, and Bruno fell into step with Mitch as he made his way to the car park.
“Cheered up then,” Mitch said, warily.
“Yea, sorry about before.”
Mitch nodded, a little taken aback at the unexpected apology.
“There’s only one way to settle this really,” Bruno continued, smiling when Mitch glanced at him. “A race.”
Mitch stopped short. “Are you completely mental?”
Bruno shrugged. “We’re racing drivers. It’s what we do. Why not prove who’s the best?”
“We’ve got a whole season coming up to do just that.”
“Yea, but this is different. This is personal.”
Mitch frowned. “I don’t think this is how girls pick their dates.”
“I’m not saying Melissa will fall in love with me because I beat you. I’m saying that when you lose, you can give me the opportunity to approach her.”
“You are completely mental.”
“No. Don’t you see? Melissa wouldn’t look twice at me whilst you’re hanging around. But I saw her first. The gentlemanly thing to do is to stand aside and see who she really chooses. Seeing as you don’t want to do that, I say we race for it.”
“And how do you propose doing that? You know they lock Silverstone up after hours?”
“We’re both going to the same place, aren’t we? Silverstone to Heathrow?”
“You’ve been watching too much Top Gear,” Mitch said, and walked past Bruno, continuing towards his car.
“You know I’ll beat you,” Bruno called after him. “I am the champion, after all.”
“You wouldn’t beat me,” Mitch said, turning to reply, but still walking backwards.
“Then what have you got to lose?”
It was a good question, Mitch thought. He knew Melissa was into him, that had been obvious at the pub. Bruno, though, had been forced to offer an interview for her to agree a date with him. If he won, he could get on with things his own way. If he lost, he had to take a step back, but Melissa wouldn’t be interested in Bruno anyway. Or would she?
“And why am I even thinking about it?” he muttered to himself. “It’s crazy.”
He pulled out of the gates of Silverstone, put some music on, and floored it, sliding onto the dual carriageway. It was already dark, but the moon was shining bright and strong in the sky, flooding the roads with a silver light. Mitch slowed to navigate the roundabout at Brackley, and was beginning to speed up again, when he saw Bruno’s car ahead of him. The Mercedes’ hazard lights came on and Bruno pulled off into a layby. Mitch thought about it for a moment, and followed.
Without climbing from his car, he pulled up alongside, dropping the window.
“What are you doing?” Mitch asked. “Is your car okay?”
Bruno smiled. “Wanna race?”
“Come on, Mitch,” Bruno said. “What kind of racing driver can resist a challenge? It’s not even on difficult roads. The motorway and traffic will be your only obstacle. Mason would do it.”
“What’s that got to do with anything?”
“Nothing,” Bruno shrugged. “I know how much you hate being second best to your teammate is all.”
Mitch tried to let the jibe wash over him, but failed. He gritted his teeth.
“Wanna race?” Bruno asked again, his eyes shining.
Will Mitch race Bruno to Heathrow?