2012 Party In Pit Lane
There was torrential rain during the day of Friday 16th March, and ominous skies extending into the evening, but guests at the AMSF Inaugural Party in Pit Lane had come to party and nothing was going to get in their way!
For those involved in the set up of the event it was a nervous time, and as 7pm drew near, the team from the AMSF, Peter Rowland Catering and Pages Hire watched the skies and waited impatiently for the magic nod from the AGPC – the nod that meant we had access to Pit Lane to set up for the event. When the nod came, there was a flurry of activity as market umbrellas, red carpet, show cars, registration desks, sound equipment and signage were hastily set up in time for guests arriving at 7.30pm. And when the first guests did arrive, everything was in place and ready to go – a testament to our team of suppliers. That the function was permitted to take place in pit lane only 45 mins after the final track activity for the day was a leap of faith by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation – one that we are very grateful for and were keen to reward with a clean and ordered set up.
The first cars and taxis pulled up into the Formula 1 Pit Lane and guests were greeted by our valet parking and welcome staff onto the red carpet with cocktails, canapes and live music on arrival. They wandered freely down the V8 Supercars Team garages, Ferraris on display and our roving entertainment, enjoying what many described later as ‘outstanding food’ created by top Melbourne chef Shane Delia of Maha Restaurant in close collaboration with Peter Rowland catering.
As more and more guests arrived into Pit Lane in cars and taxis and on foot from other parts of the circuit, our team upstairs were putting into action a carefully planned turnaround of the V8 Supercars Club from a seated day-time venue to a cocktail evening venue complete with sound, vision and displays.
Guests reluctantly left the buzz in pit lane to be greeted upstairs by the lively sounds of Headspace, who provided the entertainment for the evening, and more of the delectable treats on offer from Shane Delia. From then on, the evening seemed to fly past. Professionally hosted by Greg Rust and Mark Skaife, there followed a whirlwind of entertainment from the stage – an interview with Australian Motorsport legend Alan Jones MBE, an informal chat with former Minardi Formula 1 Racing Team owner Paul Stoddart, an exciting live auction which raised valuable funds for the AMSF thanks to the generosity of our guests on the night – all interjected with the usual light banter and jokes from our hosts. And to follow the loosely called ‘formalities’, a dramatic dry-ice filled dessert buffet with Shane Delia himself serving decadent treats for the sweet toothed in the crowd and the reveal of our feature performer for the night, singing sensation and TV personality Rob Mills.
We only wish that the night could have gone on for longer – the party was in full swing and the food and wine flowing as it should! However, all good things must come to an end, and all too soon the inaugural Party in Pit Lane was officially over.
As our first year of running an immensely challenging event, the outcome surpassed our expectations, and we look forward to putting the experiences and knowledge we gained from 2012 into an even better event in 2013. There are many areas we would like to enhance and improve on, and the feedback from guests on the night has been gratefully received and noted.
So watch this space for more information for next year, and keep the Friday night of the Formula 1TM Australian Grand Prix free in your diary for what promises to be another great celebration of Australian Motorsport at the Party in Pit Lane!