By Samantha Gallagher
We’re all geeks here. Nerds. Squares… But now we’re geeks/nerds/squares that have experienced the Italian Grand Prix as VIPs. Myself (Samantha – you can call me Sam), Michaela/Kyla, Frances/Fran, and Stephen/Steve lived it up in Monza this September cheering on Paul Rees at the Porsche Super Cup.
“How did you score that gig!?” – you ask; well, we bagged this bad boy by being part of the kdb+ engineers team for Kx – Paul’s sponsor (we’re on a first name basis now).While we sipped on espresso macchiatos in the Italian sun on a Monday morning – sniggering about our colleagues being in work – we chatted through all the amazing memories that we were taking away with us after our weekend at the Monza Grand Prix.
Only days before did we know that we’d soon be boarding flights from Dublin and London (we’re all over the place!) to meet up at the gorgeous city of Milan, ready for a weekend of revving engines, pit-stops, champagne and gelato. Being a VIP guest at the Porsche Super Cup was an incredible experience. Cheering on driver Paul Rees from the engineer’s wall at the track as his Kx logo-clad 911 GT3 Cup car flew past us is both a sight and feeling that we will never forget (we were very glad of our Heineken ear plugs!).
The first thing we were offered on arrival to the Porsche garages, on a humid 32°C afternoon, were ice cold beers (they know the way to our hearts). The engineering team worked round the clock and yet were still so welcoming to our mountain of technical questions (I mentioned we were geeks, right?). From engine power to aerodynamics and software tools, all of our nerdy needs were satisfied. Paul was also incredibly friendly and accommodating; we were getting very comfortably spoiled from all the Porsche hospitality, and I’m not sure how we’ve coped without it since!
The weekend ended on an almighty high – sushi and cocktails on a rooftop bar overlooking the beautiful Duomo di Milano. We spent the evening sipping on Limoncello, sharing stories, and crying with laugher.
This trip was an all-round success; we explored Kx’s soaring potential in the racing world, gained a unique perspective into the engineering behind the Grand Prix and, dare I say, made life-long friends along the way.
Next week, a few more lucky Kx engineers will be taking to the skies to meet at the Austin Grand Prix. We’re very jealous of the inevitable craic that will be had in Texas, but I suppose we can’t be too greedy… Say hello to Taylor Swift for us!