As a brand we are always eager to support our employees in all aspects of their life, some of which may even fall outside of the workplace.Recently, we decided to enter the unique world of motor racing through one of our team members. Our International Sales Support Nancy Detournay, who hails from Belgium, currently races in the sport of classic motorcycle racing. Nancy has been in the sport for 17 years now, during that time she has been a British Champion a whopping five times, and crowned Belgian Champion twice.
When racing as part of a team, finance and sponsorship is crucial, a team cannot function without much needed funds. The marketing team at iCandy wanted to support Nancy, and decided to sponsor her racing team, this also allowed the brand of iCandy to participate on a great European adventure.
This is a quick roundup of Nancy and her race partner David’s latest season, written in the words of Nancy herself.
“Our season started on the Easter weekend at Pembrey, where we had four races planned. After a long winter, it is always good to get going again, and the day started with two good practices. It was a solid start to the season, we managed to secure three victories and a 4th place finish. A terrific opening weekend effort, especially as the elements are challenging throughout as we face both wet and dry track conditions.
For the second round, we travel to France to take part in the European Championship Camathias Cup. On a lovely sunny weekend, we manage to secure two victories, whilst a DNF (Did not finish) prevents us from the perfect weekend, an issue that will sadly become far too prevalent as the season unfolds.
After a solid third round we finish on the podium, sadly we cannot build on the momentum and experience a nightmare in round four, when one of our strong competitors overtake us. We keep with their pace, battling with them until our engine blows up on the last lap! Condemned to retire for the rest of the weekend… we won’t make any points for the championship… a total write off. We will just have to keep smiling and enjoy some good racing.
Fifth round, we are visiting the Anglesey circuit by the sea, somewhere lost in Wales…. We get a really good practice on the Friday on a dry and hot track. On the Saturday, we suddenly wake up in the winter, the weather has changed drastically, and it’s now raining with a very strong wind.
We have our first race early in the morning, we can feel the wind and it is a hard to fight against it. However, we remain fast and smooth all the way to the victory! Our second race is not scheduled until later in the afternoon…A long wait goes by and we are finally told that all racing is cancelled for the day. Hopefully Sunday brings better tidings. Sunday comes along and we are back in the Great British summer, well its dry anyway…We have two races to go. Race 1 we are on pole for a while, before we get overtaken, leaving us with a very respectable second step on the podium. Not long until the last race of the weekend, we have taken a good start from the first row, however we can feel that something is not quite right with the engine, two laps before the end of the race, we heard a strange noise that makes David believe there is something wrong with the engine. We then have to decide whether to stop or face a catastrophe… DNF for us on the last race.
The sixth round will take us to Chimay in Belgium, after cleaning and checking the bike, we find out that our rear brake disc is cracked, I then start chasing around the paddock to find one from another competitor to fix our bike to no avail, no one has the same customised bike!
Fortunately, one of our local friends who knows an engineer is able to modify anything and offers to go back to his house to make us a new one. Brilliant, we have a couple of hours before the first race. It is getting closer to the start of the race and we finally receive a text from our friend to let us know that he is running at the entrance of the paddock with the new disc… we all crack on with it and everything is ready at last. Ok, part is secure, lights out.
Warm up lap done, we get into our grid position… nothing, the engine turns off! What now?? We try to get the engine started start again, and again but nothing…well that’s a DNS (Did not start) for us. After checking everything once more we feel prepared for Saturday. Again during the warm up lap everything is absolutely fine, before the engine once more drops of on the starting grid, a second DNS… I suppose that’s racing.
On Sunday we experience the exact same fault again, before a red flag (racing halted) is issued meaning we have a bit of time to try and get the engine going… two small laps around the paddock later, we think we can give it a try and start from the back of the grid. New warm lap, and the engine drops again leaving us on the side of the track to watch the race!! Another DNS, that’s 3 DNS for Chimay 2016!!
We then finish the season with solid finishes in Round 7 Donnington, and Round 8, before our engine blows at Snetterton in round 9. We are then unable to take part in the final race of the season at Silverstone. Summary of the season, three engine blows, but we still managed a very respectable 4th place.
Overall, it was a story of what could have been for Nancy and her partner in 2016, ongoing mechanical issues robbed the pair of a top 3 finish, but there is always the exciting prospect of next year. It was also a great experience for us as a brand to get involved with something a little different, helping get iCandy some exposure amongst groups who may not normally come across the brand. Fingers crossed that 2017 is a much more successful year for Nancy, if they can avoid the mechanical faults, she could once more be a champion.