Track Limits - Chapter One

'Track Limits' was published today by Dreamspinner Press. 

This is an excerpt - the start of chapter one : 

Paul Ricard

THE PHONE rang at the worst moment, when Mark was helping to lift the spare windscreen into the packing case. Balancing it on his elbow, he twisted round and finally managed to pull the mobile phone out of his jeans pocket and look at the screen. The boss. “Dave!” he yelled. “Come and hold this for me? It’s Randy at long last!”

Dave, short and compact, pulled himself out from under the sports car and grabbed the windscreen. “Randy!” Mark said, both hands finally liberated. “Where have you been? The cars go off tomorrow for the test days, and we still don’t have the final driver lineup.”

On the other end of the line, Mark was sure he could hear the sea. Randy must be out on his boat. “Mark, mate, calm down,” the team owner said. “I’ve got it all sorted. Signed, sealed, and delivered. And he used to do Formula 1, so he’s going to be brilliant. Go out there and get that title, Mark! I’m counting on you!”

“It’s not that easy, Randy,” Mark said, straightening up as another of the mechanics darted in and took over the manhandling of the windscreen. “Have you seen the lineups already announced for this season? There are going to be at least sixteen competitive cars going for….”

“Mark! No negative thoughts! Just wait until you meet your new teammate! He’ll blow your socks off.”

“Yes, but who—” Mark asked, trying to get a word in edgewise.

It was too late. With a brief “Catch you later,” Randy hung up.

“Did you ask about the brake discs?” Dave called from across the workshop.

“No time,” the team manager replied, putting his phone back in his pocket. “He didn’t even give me the name of my new teammate! But go ahead and order the brakes, Dave. I’ll sort it out with Randy later. If he’s investing in former Formula 1 drivers, he’s not going to be skimping on the minor details.”

“Randy does realize this is GT racing we’re talking about, doesn’t he?” Dave asked. “Grand Touring. Sports cars, two drivers, sprint races. It’s all in the teamwork, the strategy, the quick driver changeovers. We don’t need another prima donna.”

Mark sighed and picked up the windscreen again. “Oh well, at least he’s found someone. I wouldn’t get very far sharing the car with myself, would I? Come on, Dave. At this rate we’ll never be ready.”

 

“AND HE really didn’t say who it was?” Dave said later, stirring sugar into his coffee as he relaxed on Mark’s scruffy sofa. “I mean, you’ve had Katie back at the race organization office on the phone three times already asking for the lineup. What are you going to tell her next time?”

Mark, sitting opposite him, stretched out his long, denim-clad legs, which were cramped from working under the car for much of the day. “You know Randy. He most probably thinks it’s some kind of great surprise. No matter that Katie will kill me if she thinks I’ve been keeping secrets from her. Not to mention that new press officer, whatever his name is….”

“Tony? Tom? Something with a T,” Dave mused.

“Trevor? No—I’ve remembered—it’s Tim. Doesn’t matter—I’m going to have to come clean with Katie. At least she had a couple of run-ins with Randy last year over unsigned documents and late information, so she understands what we’re up against. And I think she still feels sorry for me for the mess with Brad.”

“Don’t even mention that name again,” Dave said with a shiver. “We should have fumigated the trucks. I was thinking of getting some garlic. Or holy water….”

“I think that’s vampires you’re thinking of. He’s just a racing driver. Just—not a very nice one.”

“And that’s the understatement of the year,” Dave said before gulping down his coffee and jumping up. “You’re too nice for your own good, Mark. Brad screwed you up, got all he could out of this team, and left when it suited him. But I bet that if Randy said he was driving again, you’d just sit back and accept it.”

Mark shook his head. “Not likely. If he even comes near me, I’m off. And in case you don’t believe me, I said exactly the same to Randy. Brad’s bad news. Not just for me or for the team, but for the whole championship. I’m very pleased he’s racing elsewhere this season.”

But Dave looked dubious. “I’ll believe it when I see it, Mark. But I hope you’re right.”

 

To read some more, visit Dreamspinner Press and click on the Excerpt link.

I hope you enjoy it !