Untill we get some 2016 Q&A sessions confirmed, here is a special Q&A from the end of the last season… The reason for it being special is because this is one Q&A that Group Leader/Editor Ian Mutch had wanted to set up since the Facebook group went live!

Here is the transcript of the session with, none other than… LOUISE GOODMAN of ITV Motorsport!!!

*Some of the original transcript may have been streamlined to make the submission easier to read…

Ian: Please welcome tonights guest… Louise Goodman

Louise: Evening all! Can I just start by saying I think Ian overstated my driving credentials so apologies to anyone who was expecting a ‘proper driver’!

Ian: Thanks for taking time to join us Lou
—Louise: You’re welcome Ian

Nick Holmes: No way!! Good evening Louise

Matthew Clarke: Good evening Louise

Ian: Lou is waaaay too modest… 1999…3rd in class in the British round of the WRC
—Louise: That was my only finish actually Ian…
—–Ian: One more than none.

Frank Mead: Louise! Thanks for taking time for our group chat!… Which year of BTCC have you enjoyed the most?
—Louise: Difficult to say Frank – they’re all damn good aren’t they. This year’s was pretty special I guess with all the different winners. Lots of good stories for us to follow. I can’t say I’ve seen a bad one to be honest!

Matthew Clarke: Louise who is your favourite BTCC driver on the current grid ?
—Louise: Sorry Matthew – just realised I missed answering your question. My fingers couldn’t keep up! I can’t say I have a favourite to be honest. And I genuinely mean that – I’m not just being coy. All the guys are great to deal with most of the time (and they can all be grumpy bas£$&%s at others!)
—–Louise: Just realised I did answer it first time round … maybe it’s my eyes that can’t keep up!!

Alan Gordon: Evening Louise, what’s your thoughts on the driving standards arguments we seen this season? Is there a lack of ability towards the back of the grid?
—Louise: Hi Alan. Sorry – missed your question too. I don’t think I’m in a position to question the ability of any drivers on the grid as they’re all doing a much better job than I ever could. However, you have to question the situation when some of the guys who we know are at the top of their game are passing accusations at some of the drivers further down the order …

Alan Groves:  Hi Louise, which team on the BTCC grid has the best cakes? 
—Louise: Easy – Motorbase. David Bartram is a HUGE cake fan so there’s always a Victoria Sponge to be had there. He has a woman who cooks them specially for ‘cake club’ an exclusive group (basically Bartram and Tim Harvey) who get together on Saturday after qualifying to scoff and shoot the breeze. I’m allowed to join in sometime. If I’m good!

Kieran Barrett Winston: Which BTCC driver past or present would you most want to go for a drink with?
Louise: Tricky one Kieran. The one with the biggest wallet?!!
—–Kieran Barrett Winston: Big night out when BTCC comes knocking

Olly Chambers: No questions for me. Just want to say I think Louise is a lovely lady. She is miss BTCC 
Louise: Bless you Olly – that’s kind of you to say. Just love your lad’s videos – I was showing him naming all the drivers to my producer when we were putting together the season review show the other day. Still can’t believe he’s only 3 and knows all their names. He’s better at getting their names right than I am!!!!
—–Olly Chambers: thanks Louise. He loves his BTCC. And obviously Aiden Moffat is his number 1 driver.

Lucy Welch: Evening Louise, If you could change or add a rule (reverse grid/ballast ect) what would it be?
Louise: Hi Lucy. I like the reverse grid and ballast. They’re not purist enough for some but I think it shakes up the order and makes for some dramatic racing. I’d maybe add a rule that the drivers have to take their helmets off for grid interviews as it would be nice for the viewers to be able to see their faces but to be honest that’s not really practical as the lights are often about to go out just as I’m removing my microphone from one of the cars. I think Alan Gow’s got the rules pretty much right at the moment … although maybe the boost rules could be adjusted a bit.

Joe Snell: Louise, I met you last year at the BRDC for the final race of the F1 season. Will you be attending the event again this year at the home of Williams F1 racing? It would be great to meet you again, you’re a lovely lady x
Louise: Hi Joe. that must have been at the CSMA event – good do wasn’t it. Nice to watch the last race of the season with a whole bunch of fans. I’m not sure if its the same people hosting the viewing at Williams – maybe it’s been organised by the team? Anyway, I haven’t heard anything about it so I guess I won’t be there! Hope you enjoy it
—–Joe Snell:  It’s CSMA again. Never mind, I’m sure I’ll have the opportunity to meet you somewhere else in the future. Take care x
——Louise: I’d best have a word with them about that …!! 

Ian: You’ve worked with some great names over the years, especially in the F1 world… non more so than the great Murray Walker…although I remember a story that you called him something else
Louise: I remember him calling me James on one occasion! On several occasions actually … which is why I threw back to him and called him Martin. I don’t think he got the joke but I could hear all the producers laughing through my headphones. Lovely Murray – one of the most genuine, gorgeous people you could ever wish to meet. I feel so privileged to have worked alongside him
—–Ian: I heard a version he kept calling you Louise Allen… 2001 Canadian GP… so you handed back to Murray Brundle
——-:Louise: Your memory us better than mine Ian – you’re right. It was Louise Allen and that show I threw back to him

Ronnie Bearne: Best cakes!! the one and only Team HARD
—Louise: They’ve never invited me along for cake Ronnie. Must remember to have a word with Tony about that …
—–Ian: Tony Gilham… one for your mailbox
——Andrea Hurcombe: You know you’re welcome anytime Louise. We always enjoy the pleasure of your company. Big hug to your lovely dog from me too x
Louise Sheppard: Hi Lou, Do you ever as some of us fans feel a little frustrated you dont have more time to talk to drivers further down the grid at the start of some races – especially those that are up and coming and proved their worth maybe say in qualifying or in race one or two ??? Xx
Louise: Hi Louise. I was wondering when that question would come up!! 🙂 I can understand your frustration – I share it myself sometimes – but we are limited on several counts as to who we an talk to. Firstly time – I only have a certain amount of time to talk to the drivers on my grid walks. The other thing that limits it is grid positions. I have long legs but I can only walk so fast and I need to get from driver to driver as quickly as possible. Nobody wants to listen to me chuntering on whilst I walk from 20th place up to 10th place or whatever. AT the end of the day the drivers that feature in my grid walks are largely dictated by who is a ‘story’ for that particular race with the other factors taken into account. We do try to feature some of the drivers who aren’t in ‘story’ positions on the grid by involving them in Paul’s Twitter hits so that they at least get some exposure from us.
—–Louise Sheppard: Louise Goodman, thank you for your reply – luv watching you xx (ps if you could get to Goff a bit more that would be great lol ) xx fab Q&A xx

Frank Mead: What is it you love about any race weekend???
—Louise: How long have you got Frank? There’s not much I don’t love (except the rain – bad hair days – and when it’s freezing cold as I’m outside in the elements for the best part of 10 hours on a race day). Other than that I love pretty much everything – the atmosphere, the drama, the racing, the people …. I could go on ….

Liz Gorman: Good evening Louise… May I ask how you cope with the off season? Do you miss the racing as much as we do, or enjoy the break?
Louise:  I HATE it! It’s bloody miserable. The only nice thing about it is that I get a few weekends to myself to do with as I please, but I’m climbing up the walls by January – can’t wait for the season to get going again.

Lockstock-James Wilson-White: Hi Louise with btcc being 100% male do you think it is time for a spot of girl power.and if so which of young up and coming female drivers do you think would be up for rubbing and racing with the boys.
—Louise: Hi. I would love to see a girl on the grid but only on the basis that she was a good driver and had earned her place to be there. I’m not one for girls being there just because they’re a girl (and I don’t think you’d find any women in the sport who would be in favour of that either). I can’t understand why so few girls take up the sport which is why I’ve got involved with Dare 2B Different. It’s all about changing people’s perceptions – often parents perceptions – so that they are open to their daughters getting involved. How many people take their young lad karting for a birthday treat? And how many people take their young girl karting for a birthday treat?

Susan Mowatt: Hi Louise, How hard is it being a female in a male dominated sport? Do you find you have to do that bit more to prove yourself to get noticed to work up the ladder? xx
Louise: To be honest Susan I don’t feel like I’ve ever been discriminated against because I’m a woman or had to work harder to prove myself. EVERYBODY has to work hard to prove themselves in this business – it’s very competitive whether you’re out on track or working in the paddock. As for the ‘male dominated’ bit – just because there are more blokes around numbers wise doesn’t mean they get to dominate things 🙂!!
—–Susan Mowatt: Louise Goodman Thank you to you and all the rest of the TV team for doing what you do. Love BTCC and winter seems so long without it xx

Gemma Chapman: Hi Louise What’s it like working with Paul O’Neill?
Louise: Do I really have to answer that?!!!! I’m joking – it’s a gas. He makes me chuckle constantly and is very good at having the piss taken out of himself. Probably a good thing because it happens on a regular basis … as you’ve probably noticed!

Tim Farmer: Hi Lou, Of the non championship winning drivers currently in the series who do you think will be the next new BTCC champion??
Louise: That’s a tricky one Tim – there are so many young drivers coming up through the ranks who could be the next new champion. Let’s face it – we almost had a new young(ish!) driver taking the title this year. Felt very sorry for Sam at Brands – though he handled the defeat really well. The MG guys have impressed me this season – especially Ash. He’s done a brilliant job in his first year.
—–Jack Vincent: Louise Goodman yeah I think the mg boys done amazing this year and with a bit more luck think both them would of been further up their ash drove superb on his rookie year having 2 wins I think it was his drive at croft was amazing

Ian: You’ve worked with a number of our members that are also drivers, Toby Davis, Darron Lewis and Toby Bearne from Tony Gilham scholarship programme.
Are some people naturally good in front of a camera.. or is there special training?
Louise: Funny you should ask that Ian … as I suspect you already know, there is special training. That’s exactly what my company, Goodman Media, does. It’s such an important part of a racing drivers armoury these days – they HAVE to know how to present themselves to the media, to the fans, and to sponsors – it’s a vital part of the job. Some people are naturally more gregarious and happier to be on camera but everyone can be trained to be better and have a wider understanding of the media environment they’re working in. If there are any drivers reading this you can check out my website to see what I do and how I do it; Advert over

Russell Edwards: So in all of motor racing you have seen, what is one stand out moment of your career so far?
Louise: Impossible to single one out Russell. I’ll always remember the interview I did with Eddie Irvine on the grid in Melbourne at my first ever race with ITV. To say I was nervous would be an understatement but I knew Irve well as we’d worked at Jordan together so I just sat down beside him on the grass at the side of the grid and chatted. Interviewing Rubens Barrichello when he won his first ever GP in Germany was memorable too – again we’d worked together at Jordan so it was lovely to see him finally getting onto the top step of the podium. Jordan never won a race whilst I was working with them but I made Eddie promise he’d give me the first interview when they finally did … and he kept that promise. I was also the first person to interview Lewis when he won the championship. That was some scrum but it was ITVs last race broadcasting the F1 so I was determined to get THE interview of the day.

Kelwyn Carrick: Would we ever see you in any kind of racing series as a driver?
—Louise: I’ve tried my hand a few times Selwyn. I race a Ford Fiesta a few times, had a couple of go’s in the Dinettes and got spun off by my ex-boss, Tony Jardine, going through the Craner Curves at Donington in a Proton race. I also drove in a round of the mini championships at Knockhill a few years back. Trouble is I’m horribly competitive so I hate the idea of tugging around near the back of the field … which is inevitably the case when you’re doing a one-off race and have limited experience in the first place. It’s been great to have the opportunity to give it a go a few times though

Jack Vincent: hey louise thank you for your time this evening I haven’t been to well so only just got on this what do you think of how the season gone whats been your lows and highs what do you most look forward to on a race weekend? and if you could bring in a thing to make fans and drivers even more closer than what they are what would you pick meaning like a charity event or etc
Louise: Hi Jack. Sorry to hear you’ve not been well. I thought it was a great season. It had all the drama you look for and want from a championship plus some new faces coming into play which is good for the future of the series … and for fans like us. What do I most look forward to on a race weekend? That’s easy – the racing. And the banter with all the drivers, team people, media guys and the ITV crew. The BTCC is a brilliant championship to be involved with from that perspective – who doesn’t love a good bit of banter!

Caz Phipps: If you went back to interviewing in F1 for 1 day which of the latest drivers would you like to interview an why?
Louise: Hi Caz. I go back to it a couple of times a year actually – I work for the race organisers in Melbourne and Singapore each year (although I had to miss Singapore this season as it clashed with our race at Silverstone). Favourite driver to interview when I’m there is easy – Dan Ricciardo. You can guess why I’m sure – he’s a gem. JB comes a very close second although his interviews have been a bit tougher lately as it always seems to be bad news we’re talking about …

Ian: You’ve had a few firsts in your career, 1st woman to cover F1, 1st woman to be in a pit team with Midland in 2006.. Any other 1st’s you’d like to achieve?
Louise: First woman to make millions from racing?!! (Maybe Clare Williams has already beaten me to that one). Perhaps first woman to win Wales Rally GB …? Seriously though, I’ve been very privileged to have the career in motorsport that I’ve had and to achieve those ‘firsts’ you mention. It’s something I’ll always be proud of (hopefully not in a smug way I hasten to add)

Sean Sheringham: Hello there . Who is the easiest driver to Interview and who is the hardest. 
—Louise: The easiest to interview is the one who’s just won the race. The hardest is the one who’s just taken himself out/been takne out of the race. I’m not dodging the issue and trying to avoid naming and shaming – it’s just that ALL drivers have their good moments and bad ones. I can understand it – when you’ve just thrown away a good result because your enthusiasm outweighed your talent, or because someone has just speared you off the track, the last person you probably want to see is me with a microphone. You want to go and hide and lick your wounds. I’d say the BTCC guys are all pretty good about it though – they know the fans want to hear what happened so, once they’ve recovered their composure, they’re generally pretty good about coming out and facing the music.
—–Sean Sheringham: Cheers Louise. Have a lovely evening

Leonie Holmes: Hello Louise, of all the interviews you have done in BTCC are there any that stand out and you remember above all others?
—Louise: All the championship winning interviews stand out. The emotion in that winners enclosure when a driver takes the title is palpable – I’m often surrounded by crying family/team and have to keep a check on it so I don’t blub in the interviews myself! It’s also pretty chaotic – you don’t know how long it’s going to take the driver to get to you so I’m kind of making things up as I go along, trying to listen to what the production team are saying to me in my earpieces above the noise of the cheering, and trying to think about what I’m going to ask the guy when I finally get to him. Love it!

Paul Kenwright: Hi Louise, I race in the VAG Trophy, will you be my grid girl?
Louise: Errr…nope! But thanks for asking though

Martin Atkins:Hi Louise, what do you think of the current state of F1. We all think they could take a few tips from the BTCC…
Louise: It’s not the most exciting watch is it!! Such a shame as I love F1 – what motorsport fan doesn’t? It’ll be interesting to see what impact the new owners have. It’s become SO elitist – the fans can’t get anywhere near it (that’s definitely a lesson that F1 could learn from the BTCC)

James Colburn: The moment I knew I made it in Clio Cup was being interviewed by Louise and Steve Rider. Really surreal talking to those who you watched and admired on ITV as a kid. My question is is there any events in the world that you would love to be a part of that you haven’t been involved with ?
Louise: Hi James. That’s so sweet of you to say (although less of the ‘when I was a kid’ bit – making me feel old!!) To answer your question there are a few. Firstly the IOM TT. What an event!! Those riders are bloody brave. Hoping to get out there myself next year and watch it for real rather than on the telly. I’d also love to work at the Macau GP – heard so many stories about it over the years. Same applies to Bathurst – and I love Australia so that’s another good reason for going to that one. I’m also determined to get myself to a NASCAR race one day – somewhere in the Carolinas – real red-neck NASCAR territory. I’ll probably watch that one from the side lines drinking beer and laughing at the crazy fans

Susan Mowatt: Louise Goodman I would just like to say a massive Thank you to you for giving up your time to chat to us all. I have really enjoyed reading the question and your answers. Looking forward to next season and please keep doing what you are doing. xx
—Louise: Thanks Susan – glad you enjoyed the chat. Thanks to everyone for the questions – they’ve been interesting. I’m with you regarding next season … can’t wait!

Jack Vincent: last question what would you do to make it easier for autistics or people with mobility’s problems tog et autographs as I find it difficult and by the time ive made my way through the pits I can only see one or two drivers with the superbikes the mace bike insurers go up and marshals same time before the crowds do you think they should apply the same thing or adults with disabilities or autistic to get to see the drivers and grid girls before the crowd as it’ll make life easier for me if I go same time as the marshals as the crowd is hard with my mobility problems plus people with autism find the crowds to big so miss out on a chance thank you louise for your time this evening hope u get paul steve or tim to do it next
Louise: That’s a good point you make Jack – might mention that to Alan Gow next time I see him. Maybe they could let fans with mobility problems into the pits a bit earlier than everyone else …
—–Jack Vincent: thank you very much just I’ve seen some autistic people in their and they struggle as do myself and thought it’ll be nice if we could make it a little easier for myself and others to have a fairer crack at it and yeah of course that would be a lot easier like put in the program or on the website people with mobility issues if u could get down for a set time and we can make our way down just an idea Louise be good if you can mention it to Alan and if a plan comes up could u let me know many thanks x

Frank Mead: Louise, who is your all time favourite person to interview? Sporty and non sporty?
—Louise: I got to interview George Clooney at the F1 in Monaco once – that was quite cool … and he was a dream (to talk to as well as to look at). Gave me – and all the other reporters – a well though out response and a nice smile. Very different so some of the ‘celebrities’ I’ve tried to speak to. So he gets my vote for non-sporty. Sporty is a trickers one to answer. I’ll have to have a proper think about that …

Louise: Think that’s the last of your questions answered so I’ll sign off now. Thanks for sending them through. It’s been lovely chatting to you all. Here’s to another brilliant BTCC season in 2017. Bring it on …

Ian: Massive thanks to Louise…I always had a goal…to have a Q&A with a media great….mission accomplished…see you at Donny for Media Day 2017