There comes a time in every blogger’s life where they have to leave the confines of the bedroom that has incubated them for the past few months and venture out into the big world of real people with real jobs. For me, that day came this Friday when I missioned out into London for Codemasters’ Race Driver: GRID launch event.
The launch was being held and Zavvi.co.uk’s (the retailer formerly known as Virgin Megastore) flagship outlet on London’s Oxford Street in conjunction with the energy drink Rockstar. So, armed with a pen, paper, no dictaphone, the name of a PR manager and a bag full of dreams I set off for London Town to make my fortune. I arrived in good time to scope out the store and watch staff tear down the last of the HAZE promo material before the festivities started at midday.
Everything kicked off with The Stig (professional driver of Top Gear fame) and some racer pals belting down Oxford Street in a fleet of sports cars. For those interested, the cars included: an Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Aston Martin DB9 Coupe, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Mercedes-Benz SLK55AMG, Range Rover Sport HST and Bentley Continental GT. The drivers pulled up outside the store, grabbed a console and a copy of the game each, before speeding off down Tottenham Court Road.
The other big event of the day was the final of the European Fastest Lap Challenge which saw gamers compete to set the fastest lap time on Spain’s Jarama circuit with the winner taking away a BMW 3 Series car, worth around £30,000. The finalists were all from France bar a single Belgian, putting a strain on communications between Codemasters’ team and the competitors. But, after some quick High School French revision, the competition got underway.